Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Thoughts on Mildura, Victoria.

Mildura is a reasonably large rural town where 80% of Victoria's grapes are grown

Having been to Mildura a few times before we were disappointed this time.
The Murray River access has been taken away, was only permitted if going on a Paddle Steamer. The photo below is all we could see of the river.
No where to park to walk along the river's edge and no paths to walk along - totally different and ruined in our opinion. There were a few things that were improved.
So we only stayed two nights.

The town itself was ok as we did some driving around.
There was a Caravan Show on so we tried to find it, and did.  However on the way we ended up at the Cemetery, so had to have a look.

I love these gumtrees and their orange/brown trunks.  This was at the Cemetery.

An old Homestead not used now, but it's a museum.

The loo that's not used anymore for the homestead.

A shearing shed, a reconstructed one.

Monday, 28 September 2015

On the way to Mildura, Victora

Stayed at the Webberburn Caravan Park  in Victoria on our first night and saw this sweet little cottage with the story attached at the entrance to the Caravan Park.

Mr & Mrs Stokes arrived in Wedderburn in 1933 and early the following year Mr Stokes died leaving Mrs Stokes living in a little home made tent alongside the reservoir drain. Bruce Robertson, who lived with his family in the town later described the place as “a shocking place to live! It was a bag tent, home made, sewn together, plastered with flour and pipe clay to try to run the water off. When it did rain, they got equal amounts of water in and out”.

Bruce, who was 11 years old, said to Mrs Stokes one day, “What say we build a little mud brick cottage for you?” an so they set to. They made the bricks, “just so many so we could go on”. Bruce made the mould and the mixed “the white quartz stone and loamy sort of soil that won’t crack like clay and is more durable” and let them dry.

They needed slate for the foundations, so with Jimmy, an old draught horse, they went out in the spring cart to get the slate. No damp course because they had no money for tar or bitumen. When it came time to lay the bricks, Mrs Stokes mixed up the mortar and Bruce did the brick laying.
At first Bruce had only weekends to work as he was at school. Leaving school early and while working for his uncle, Graham Ross, he had Wednesday afternoon off and “that speeded it up a bit”.

The house has a double fireplace, for fireplace and stove and a dirt floor. The doors, windows and stove were found in an old disused farmhouse. Timber was “anything Dad had laying around” and “Dad helped me put the roof on” said Bruce.
Having just started to plaster the walls inside, they realised that the wet weather was starting and “there was no way you could keep her out, even with a big stick” Bruce said of Mrs Stokes, so she moved in and lived there until 1979.

Mrs Stokes died aged 93 at the Korong Bush Nursing Hospital in 1982. In 1983 the house was moved from the Crown Land on which it was built and re-erected by the Shire at the Pioneer Caravan Park as a memorial to Mrs Nancy Stokes.

The Caravan Park at Wedderburn, Victoria.

Came across these old discs at Wycheproof a small town.

Wheat growing, and an indication how flat that part of the country is.

A sign to say how far some places are in this world.  Need a good paint and redo.
If you wish to see how far places are it's possible if you make the image larger.
This was where we bought some diesel at Hatta where we have done 640km from home.

Friday, 25 September 2015

Life inside the Caravan

Travelling and living in a Caravan for 3 months for us was wonderful. One thing for sure is you have to get on well, there is not much room to move around.  It's 'excuse me, I need to get to the fridge'.

The bed is higher than a normal house bed, there is storage underneath.  There isn't much room to move around each side or at the bottom of the bed, but you learn how to 'move'.
There is certainly plenty of storage room for us with all the cupboards. When finished with winter clothes they were all placed in a bag and put underneath the bed in storage till needed again.

Most of the knobs on the drawers came loose and had to be tightened.  The touch light in the bathroom decided not to work, so it was redone, worked for awhile, then that was it, no more!  We have ordered another to replace it.  Actually that light blew a fuse, lucky we had spares.
All lights are solar powered.

The shower was just great, don't know how life was managed with the inconvenience of going to the Amenities or Ablution block in Caravan Parks in the past.  Guess we didn't know any different before.

Hotwater to the Van was invaluable, no boiling of the kettle/jug to acquire hot water.
A/C, wouldn't be without it.  Great thing at the Top End, the nights were not that hot so we didn't leave it going.

Dirt, so much dirt and dust inside the van it was unbelievable.  The van was swept everyday and the floor washed, an easy task as there isn't much floor.

Washing machine, well that saved me heaps of money as most caravan parks charge from $4.00 to $8.00 a load to use their washing machine.  Dryers are extra.  Plus you have to take your turn, but no more..
I hang the clothes on a line underneath the awning, and they dry in no time at all.  I did the washing every few days, that way I didn't have heaps of washing for two people.

The two water tanks were great, and one grey water tank was enough to hold the grey water, when it was need.  We filled up with water before we left home and used it in places where there was not water.  If there wasn't any power we used the Gas to heat the water and keep the fridge going.
It's amazing how much frozen food can fit in the fridge.

TV!  Well I could say 'what TV'.  I recall the old caravan and analogue TV, we usually had TV, but with Digital it's a different story.  Many places didn't have TV, some places there was only a few channels, so we went for weeks without knowing what happened in the World.
Bought some DVD's to watch, and bought the whole series of Breaking Bad which we watched, still have several episodes to see as yet.  Also bought some music DVD's, they are about in the more isolated places and not so prevalent in the cities.
We have a radio in the Van, but due to the terrain we were in couldn't get anything, only once in awhile.
The TV works on both electricity and 12 volt battery.

In the morning times if not travelling we would go to the shops.
Afternoons were spent sight seeing and me taking photos usually.
Evenings, games were played on our Tablets, reading, blogging, reading blogs, commenting if there was access to the internet, mostly there was. Planning where we would go and what we wanted to see.
I crocheted making granny squares with bits of wool of all colours I took from home, the finished product will be the size of a queen sized bed and when finished will be handy in the van when the weather is cool.  I've nearly finished it.

The top of the oven has one hot plate when connected to electricity, the remainder are gas as is the oven.  We had baked meals every now and then. We ate well even having a Turkey baked dinner.
There isn't much bench space but you manage.

Seating is a problem, but with outside chairs as in camping chairs one goes outside and sits, oh yes, used to fall asleep!  Happy Hour was had some late afternoons with someone whom we didn't know, they would call us to their van or they would come to sure was a happy hour.  About 6pm we would all return to our vans. We all had something in common, 'travelling and doing the same thing'.

Bread!  Fresh bread!
You ask for fresh bread at the more isolated places and you are given frozen bread.  That's fresh bread!  Supermarkets in other places, the bread is being thawed out and of course when it's done it's not that fresh.
That's a good one, in isolated places, one asks for milk.  Frozen milk, that's fresh milk!  All other places it's normal milk.

In all we were very happy with the van, the way it towed and the vehicle which towed it.

The above photo was taken with my little camera which has a GPS.  I forgot to turn it on earlier in our trip, but this photo has it.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Great Stupa, Victoria. Australia.

The Great Stupa will be the largest Buddhist Monument constructed in the Western World when finished. It will be the final home for the largest gem quality Jade Buddah in the World.
This building is not far from Bendigo in the State of Victoria.

We came across the sign at Myers Flats as we were driving through on our first day travelling and headed to see what it was.

Had breakfast at Kyneton, Victoria instead of having it on the ship, not enough time!
This stop over was most welcome as it was a chance to have a good walk around.
Horse races are held at Kyneton - they are racing at Kyneton!  So the commentator says..

These first 4 photos were taken with my phone camera.

The Great Stupa

Starving we were, so this small cafe was very welcome on the cold, foggy, wet morning after driving off the boat some distance.  Of course a wrong turn was taken just out of Melbourne and somehow we ended up behind Tullamarine Airport, Melbourne.  However the mistake was soon rectified and off we went.

To the left which we can't see was a big fire that helped to keep us warm.

The Hotel in Kyneton, Victoria.

Once a Bank, now flats.

The post Office.

Not much happening here.

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Across the Sea

Home is Northern Tasmania, Launceston to be exact.

We have travelled 15,000 kms (9,320.57miles) across the sea to Melbourne, up the middle of Australia to Uluru, then Darwin, across the Top End to Broome, and down the west coast of Western Australia, across the Nullarbor, the Great Ocean Road, back to Melbourne, across the sea to home.

There is will more photos and information re the trip over a period of time, for there is much to cover.

It was my husbands birthday two days ago, the September 17, the day after we arrived home.
I planned a dinner party whilst on the road travelling, and it was a great success with my husband having a ball.

We were greeted with some flowers when we arrived home....the Camellia, Margaret Davis is one, then Ave Maria.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Karlu Karlu, (Devils Marbles) NT

Karlu Karlu/Devils Marbles Conservation Reserve is about 105km (65mile) from Tennant Creek, NT

The Devils Marbles is a cultural and spirtual signifacne to the traditional Aboriginal owners of the land, and the reserve protects one of the oldest religious sites in the world as well as the natural rock formations found there.

Karlu Karlu is the local Aboriginal term for both the rock features and the surround area.  The Aboriginal term translates as round boulders.

The origin of the English name for the same boulders is the following quote:
This is the Devil's country, he's even emptied his bag of marbles around the place! -
John Ross, Australian Overland Telegraph Line expedition, 1870.

Some of the information is from Wikipedia.

At the Reserve there is a Free Camp which means Motor Homes, Caravans can park there for Free.
After driving and seeing 'flat' country the Devils Marbles was something different to look at.

It's amazing how in the middle of desert there are natures boulders.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Wycliffe Well, NT

Wycliffe Well, in the Northern Territory is a Roadhouse in the tiny Settlement in the Barkly Tableland and is a stop-over for many who travel the Stuart Highway.
Wycliffe Well is between Tennant Creek and Alice Springs in the NT.

There are only a few permanent people that live there, travellers can't miss the building when driving on the Stuart Highway.  There is accommodation, a small restaurant, take-a-way food, a few other items to be purchased along with Fuel for the vehicles if needed. 

Wycliffe Well is a self-proclaimed UFO Capital of Australia.  Apparently UFO sightings are common. There are newspaper clippings and images to persuade skeptic visitors.

The photos were taken of what greets you.

Friday, 11 September 2015

Water to Kalgoorlie WA

When the Gold Rush happened in Kalgoorlie and places nearby there was absolutely no Water, many died. This was in the early 1890's.

So a pipeline and dam project begun which delivered and still does deliver potable water to communities in Western Ausralia's Eastern Goldfields, particularly Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie.
The project was commissioned in 1896 and was completed in 1903.

The pipeline continues to operate today, supplying water to over 100,000 people in over 33,000 households as well as mines, farms and other enterprises.

There was of course political upheaval, and more information to be found at this link [here] .

557klm is approximately how long the pipe is from Perth WA to Kalgoorlie. We followed this pipe for many klm.

Monday, 7 September 2015

A few things we appreciate

Travelling great distances in a day it's wonderful to see pretty things.

At Merredin, WA I took the photo below of a typical Australian Gumtree in these neck of the woods with the sun setting.

Further down the road we came across the Wattle flowering, then a lot further on the Canola growing in the paddock.  When you see Canola you know you are getting towards civilization, well at least for awhile.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Across the Nullarbor

Mulga Snake, or King Brown snake, or Pilbara Cobra, is a species of venomous snake found in Australia. It is one of the longest venomous snakes in the world and is the second longest in Australia.

We came across this snake not that far from the Nullarbor Roadhouse on the walk to see the Whales in the Great Australian Bight.

Also there were some little birds.  I have not taken many photos of birds in the past, but was pleased with my effort.  I did not photo shop other than make the photos smaller.

Currently we are in Streaky Bay in SA, enjoying the spring weather....rain, wind and sunshine at the beach.