Day 7 – 7th April

It rained most of the night, so we woke to the ground being very wet and muddy. From what we could see most of the sites at the park are on very sloppy ground, we had our jokey wheel to the highest it could go to get level. We saw one van that had dug a hole and put their draw bar into to get themselves level. Chris said for the price we are paying you would expect level sites, a concrete slab instead of the mud we had this morning and a hole to put the sullage into instead of it just running under the van. One plus of the rain it has washed some of the hoppers off.

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We left the park around 10am, we haven’t travelled far today, we have pulled into a rest area just outside Everton next to the river , rest area is called Pioneer Bridges. There were 2 vans, a motorhome and a tent when we pulled in just before lunch. An hour or so later there are another 2 big van’s and 2 car loads of people tenting it. Correct that another little motorhome has come in. This stop has a tick in the Camps Australia 5 book but it is a bit close to the road for us to give a tick too. Has lots of tall trees which you put yourself in between, we can’t get our awning out all the way, at one end it does have a sandy beach area to give good access to the water or put a canoe in.

Our-Campsite

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We just went for a walk and chatted to some of our neighbours, 2 couples away for a few days. They only live an hour away and have given us a few tips on some free camping areas in the Mansfield area. A little local knowledge goes along way.We are just relaxing this arvo, catching up on some computer stuff and reading some books. It is still overcast with the occasionally drizzle; it is supposed to clear this arvo.

Creek Pioneer-Bridges-4

Day 6 – 6th April

The kids quieten down before the park time of 10pm, so it was a quiet night but it did get a little cool.

The showers are quite good and give a good flow of nice hot water but, they have this industrial exhausted fan that kicks in within a few mins of you having your shower which is providing nice lovely warm steam, which the monster exhausted fan likes to suck away. Now this might be ok when you are on the side of the curtain with the running hot water but when you reach for your towel it is like a dry ice freezer on the other side of that curtain, brrr. Chris was trying to work out a way of disabling their humidity censor, which we think is a bit if a joke for us who live in the sub-tropics and live with humidity. They also have music playing 24/7 in the toilet block which is nice unless you are in the toilet with the speaker.

Riverside-Park

It is an overcast day today; we got away pretty smartly this morning, heading down the Great Alpine Road doing a big loop, going to Mt Hotham, Dinner Plain, and Omeo, then up the Bogong High Plains Road to Mount Beauty, Falls Creek and back to Bright. Checking out things of interest like huts along the way.

The road up to Mt Hotham is windy and steep. Lots of dead looking trees as you get higher to the top. There was nothing much happening or of interest at Mt Hotham just to say we went there. We then stopped at JB Plain Hut not far from Mt Hotham, it’s very close to the road and surrounded by snow gums it was an interesting hut. We filled up with gas at Omeo before heading along the second part of the loop.

JB-Plain-Hut

We stopped for lunch at a camp area along a river, would be a very nice place to camp but maybe a bit cold. Another strange behaviour of nature we have encountered that we first noticed at Bright and then many miles away at our lunch spot. Is the dead hoppers on the front of the car are attracting wasps, lots of them, they are even getting to the hoppers on the radiator, fried hoppers must taste and smell good.

The road across from Mount Beauty to Bright is very windy and the first part is not marked, it is marked from Falls Creek onward, the way up to Falls Creek from Bright seems to be the main way in. We stopped at several huts along this road. The first being Faithful Hut, a very steep 700m track, in our opinion not worth the effort as it was not that interesting a hut and a very steep climb back up with loose rocks. My asthma starting giving me some curry and I struggled going back up with a very tight chest. Ventolin was the first thing I grabbed when we got back to the car and will be going with us on every walk from now on end in this area, gives one a bit of a fright.

Faithful-Hut

We then stopped at Cope Hut which was our favourite; it had some really lovely snow gums out the front. And is only a short walk from the car park. It was built in1929 by the Ski Club of Victoria after the state experienced a surge in skiing in the 1920’s. The hut was called “The Menzies of the High Plains” by early skiers and walkers because of its size and comfort. I doubt if they would say that now but it was a nice hut and well worth dropping in and having a look.

Cope-Hut

We then went to the hut we had most wanted to see “Wallace Hut”, thought to be the oldest hut in the high plains. Built in 1889 from snow Gum slabs and Wollybutt shingles. Again it is surrounded by lovely Snow Gums. Unfortunately for us there was a group of campers near the hut and we had to carefully crop them out of any photos. It did limit us quite a bit and disappointing for us and the weather wasn’t the best but we have to go with what we have.

Wallace-Hut

By this time it was getting quite cold, we had a lovely nice hot cuppa before continuing on. For us Falls Creek snow area was nicer than Mt Hotham we thought it was more interesting and wasn’t quite as deserted as Mt Hotham. We got back to the van about 6pm feeling very warn out.

Day 5 – 5th April

It was a dark night so we were well hidden from passing car lights, 2 other campers came in as well. We did get up early in case we had to move on quickly. It was a cold night and morning, the winter PJ’s are coming out tonight.

We arrived in Bright just after 8am, filled in time taking a drive around the area and then later going for a walk until the Tourist Info place opened up. We then had to fill in another hour or so until we could check in the Riverside Van Park.

Old-Car

Bright is a nice country town, people seem friendly and it’s very nice and popular along the Ovens River. It would be really lovely to see snow on the surrounding mountains. The trees are only just starting to change colour. The place was soon packed. Bikes are a really big deal up here, you feel out of place not having one. It soon warmed up and was a nice temperature for shorts and T/shirts.

Just before 11am we went to check in the van park, only to be told the people who were on our site had not checked out yet (checkout is at 10am). We checked out the park while we waited, which is situated right on the Ovens River across from the centre of town. There is a walk that loops around the park, crosses over a bridge and along the town side of the river and back over another bridge. It seems it’s very popular with everyone in town as all day people have been doing the loop. We sat on the water’s edge and watched the ducks while we waited for the people to pack up and move on, they were certainly not in a hurry even after being told by the management to hurry up. 11.45am they finally pulled out. We were set up in only a few mins enjoying a cuppa on the banks of the river.

Park-on-Ovens-River

The park is in a good position, the downside is the constant people walking through; there are notices up about securing your belonging. The park is full, every cabin and site taken, there are many different groups here and some keep coming back every year, one lady has been coming here for 40 years. Most people are booked in for at least 7 nights. Powered sites for 2 people are, ouch $49 the dearest we have every paid, all the parks in the area cost around the same, one was $59 a night they are all full.

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The town side of the river was packed with people everywhere having picnics on the banks under the beautiful big trees, some brrr even went for a swim, after how cold it got last night and this morning that water was not going to be warm enough for these Queenslanders. We did the loop and spent time photographing the ducks.

Duck Duck1 Splashing About Stretching

We often say parks don’t provide us with much, full of people, noisy screaming kid next door and for our $49 they tell us we can only have a 3 min shower. One plus of a park is we get to have longer showers and leave the water running while we get washed, instead of the quick wet down we get in the van, so for $49 we thought we might have a shower that was a tad longer.

Day 4 – 4th April

It was a quiet night with no trouble. It has only been in the last few weeks they have started having some trouble with the youth and they are getting right onto it nipping it in the bud. Forbes is an RV friendly town and it’s obvious they are proud of their town.

Forbes-2

We did encounter a few more hoppers along the way today. The locals keep saying they are bad this year. Everyone is cleaning windscreens at servos. We might have to take the car and van through a car wash as its pretty bad with bugs but Chris said wait until we get some mud on it from the high country that will cover the green slim up.

Another act of nature we saw today were these grass seeds things like little tumble weeds all over the edge of the road. In one place they were all over the road and we had to plough through them.

We have found the camps 5 book to be not that accurate in this area. We have stopped a few kms out of Bright. We had planned to stop 40 odd kms back but we couldn’t find the site listed even using the GPS co-ordinates. The stop we are now staying at is listed in the book as a night spot but at one end there is a sign saying no camping, but we have come in the other end, as have another lot of travellers. What sign???

So far it hasn’t been that cold, tonight is cooling down a bit, there are a few trees that have changed colour.