Melbourne to Kosciuszco  2004


27 January to 18 February.

28 January. Arrived in Melbourne 7 AM. We wanted to see the Victoria Markets which we found after some detours. The city is not that busy at seven in the morning. Had breakfast near the market and we spend about 3 Hr. there. The mangoes are cheaper there than in north Queensland where they come from. After that we drove to Anakie. Bart's parent were here still. We had a great time there.                                         

31 January. First stop Geelong for new tyres. The first set on the front lasted only 10 000 KM. Found out why. The bus is about 500KG heavier than I thought it was, 4700 KG fully laden and the previous tyres could not handle that. We also needed some supplies, internet  and visit some acquaintances there. The tyres were not available the same day but we were invited to stay the night at Ria and Ari for the night. Next morning it only took an hour to get the tyres fitted an d we were on the way towards Apollo Bay. We took it steady and got there late in the afternoon. Ria Oudemijlink is very hospitable and we planned to stay two nights. But when we woke on the third of February it was raining cats and dogs and the wind was even stronger. We decided to stay another day. We could not leave anyway because the driveway was blocked. In Melbourne it was the wettest day in history. And about the coldest day.


The day before we removed already another tree from this spot. Luckily we did decided to stay because on the way to the Great Ocean Road there had been numerous trees on the road.  The sights at the Great Ocean Road are something you have to see for yourself. We were there the same time last year but this is like  good painting. You can look at it time and time again.

We camped on an official camp spot but we were the only one there.


5 February. Via Port Campbell to the north, Camperdown and camped at Lake Corangamite. Another official camp but we are the only ones.  On Sunday back to Geelong and found a laundromat and went to the market on the foreshore. In the afternoon via the freeway to Melbourne. We camped in the same spot as we did before we went to Tasmania.   7 Feb. and it took a while to get out of Melbourne. The bus had an oil change in Warburton. Drove up mount Donna Buang and camped near the Upper Yarra dam. Next day via Moe to Moondarra dam. A lot of rain again and the front carpet soaking wet again for the fourth time. 9 Feb. Visited Walhalla. This is an old mining town turned tourist town. Had a tide in  recently restored train. Next Traralgon and camped beside the La Trobe river. 10 Feb. Visited a coal mine and power station. 80 % of Vitoria's electricity is generated in this valley. The coal seam is 100 m thick an 100Km long. Drove to Sale. We have friends living here which we met for the first time in Port Keats. Barbara and Jim Erskin moved to Mount Isa, Townsville before working here. We have visited them in those places. They were very hospitable and had the roast going in the oven when we arrived. Barbara was able to get me going in the kitchen which Susan is unable to do.


After dinner we went to a bowls club fundraiser. Luckily it was not to cold. Spend the night in their driveway. Next morning Susan had to do the washing. 

I took us all morning to get organized. We only drove 35 Km to Paradise Beach. At least the sun is shining every now and then. Next morning the weather had not much improved. We had to drive back to Sale and from there to Barnsdale and north towards the Snowy Mountains. At about 3pm we stopped in a clearing along the side of he road. Good view over the valley. The night was very cold but meant clear skies and the next day as glorious. The road changed from bitumen to dirt and became very narrow  . In most places two cars could not pass and the drop straight from the edge was hundreds of metres. Spectacular views.


And when we found a camping spot beside the Snowy River, I did not feel like driving anymore. Beautiful spot and sunshine as well.


About one 1PM a lot of motorbikes drove in and we thought that the piece had gone, but they were from an organised trail bike trip and only stopped for lunch. Some seat covers were still wet from the storm two weeks ago and are hanging out to dry.   14 Feb. Over 90 KM of unsealed road but fantastic views we arrived in Jindabyne. Payed some bills, did some shopping and were on the way to Mount Kosciuszko national park. I made a long walk to the Blue Lake and brought Susan a snowball. Last winter a lot of snow fell and there is still some left. That night in the campsite a few campers came in and we sat around the camp fire till 11 PM. Next morning to Thredbo and with the ski lift up and the rest walking to Mount Kosciuszko. On the way Susan had to make some snowballs.


Susan walked the first 2KM to the lookout and I continued to the top of the mountain. During the night a storm developed and the nice weather from the last two days had gone. Strong wind and little rain during the day and more at night. We rang Paul in Townsville and they are still sweltering.

We camped in another great spot. There are plenty of man made lakes here and there are a lot of campsites. Te night was probably the coldest we had so far this trip.  Nine in the morning and it was 9 degrees. Two weeks ago it snowed here. 17 Feb. The next morning cold but clear and we set out towards Tumut. We visited Tumut 3. This is an hydro electric plant we visited 25 years ago and impressed us very much. The pipes you see are 3 Metres in diameter and bring the water down from the lake above.

After we visited the power station we drove another 50 KM and stopped at a lake. The campsite is called the pines because the other side of the lake has a massive pine plantation. Even during the day there are kangaroos hopping around everywhere.


This will be the last day in the Kosciuszko national park. This certainly is a beautiful part of Australia. It can be rally hot in summer and in winter the resorts are full with skiers.