Easter at Wangaratta
Tuesday 3rd April to Tuesday 10th April 2012.

Tuesday 3rd April 2012
Day 1 - Home to Wangaratta - 292kms.

We had finished packing up and left home at 9:19am (thanks Harry for the accurate times) and headed along nepean hwy left into South Rd and right into Beach rd and then passed Station Pier on our way to the West Gate Bridge. We joined the Western Ring Rd and stopped at the Service Centre before the Western Freeway exit, where we stopped for some nibbles. The Western Ring Rd was absolute crap, there are roadworks everywhere, it was stop and go and this was about 10:30 heading away from town.
Anyway, we finally swung onto the Hume Freeway exit and headed North, our journey has started. The traffic was light and moving, our next stop was the Service Centre before Seymour at 11:47am for a break then we stopped at Balmattum Rest Area at 12:45pm for another break. we arrived at Painter's island CP at 2:31pm, Shane the manager showed us to our site (193) and we had plenty of room.

As we were staying for a week, it was a FULL setup (awning, outside fridge/Freezer, Satellite Dish and unpack my bike. It took most of the afternoon to finish setting up. Our nearest neighbour lives in a caravan and also owes a nice motorcycle cruiser, which he and his partner used for a cruise upto Wagga and back for Easter.

It actually was a bit too warm, with a maximum of 29.5°, a very warm night.

Tuesday before Easter - A near empty CP.

Tuesday before Easter - A near empty CP.

Our neighbour's Kawasaki Cruiser.

Wednesday 4th April 2012
Day 2 - Fossicking along Reedy Creek.

After a very mild night, I started with a single blanket and by dawn, I had both blankets on and still cool.

After brekky and at 9:52am, Marg and I headed off to do some fossicking. We drove over to the Wang info centre and the lady said to call into the General store at Eldorado, to get some fossicking info. So we drove to Eldorado and stopped at the Dredge, just out of town and took some photos. Stopped at the General store spent some money on drinks but the lady told us nothing about fosssicking, a complete waste of time.
We drove along Woolshed Rd towards the Beechworth-Chiltern Rd to do some fossicking, we stopped at a couple of nice sandy, rocky sections of Reedy Creek and tried our hand at fossicking, didn't find anything. Finally, we stopped at a site that we visited in March 2010 and we found a nice small topaz. Marg then went for a walk along the creek, see the photo below where Marg is standing on a rock, 10 seconds later there is a splash and yep, you guessed it, Marg had slipped into the creek, after I stopped laughing, I helped Marg out of the creek, she was a drowned rat, as we didn't bring a change of clothes, I didn't expect her to fall in the creek, we only had a large towel, SO she stripped off and wrapped the towel around herself, this reminded me of 'Lady Godiva'. Naturally, I drove non-stop back to camp, so she could get dressed into some dry clothes. She was very lucky that she only managed a sore thumb, it could have been a lot worse. But it wasn't.

Another warm day, with a maximum of 28.2°, with a warm night.

Eldorado dredge.

Eldorado dredge buckets.

Eldorado dredge.

Reedy creek.

Reedy creek.

Marg just before she fell in.

Thursday 5th April 2012
Day 3 - Fossicking along Reedy Creek near Beechworth.

After a very mild night, I started with a single blanket and by dawn, I had both blankets on.

After brekky and at 10:02am, Marg and I headed off to do some more fossicking along Reedy creek. We drove through Eldorado and along Woolshed rd which runs beside Reedy creek. We stopped at a number of nice looking spots, but we didn't find anything. Good news, Marg managed to stay dry all day. A good effort.
We gave up on the fossicking and drove into Beechworth for lunch at the Beechworth Bakery. I managed to park over the road from the bakery, we wandered into the bakery found a table on the ground floor and Marg bought lunch, a couple of pies, which were yumma. After lunch, we walked next door to the Beechworth Sweet Co, where we bought some magnificent fudge. The woman said that the fudge lasts at least a month in the fridge, I told her that mine would be eaten by tonight, it was. We then drove back to our camp at Wang arriving at 2:55pm, we spent the afvo on the internet.

At 5pm, we left camp and drove to the Wangaraata Club for dinner. We originally planned to eat at the RSL, but can you believe it, the RSL does not have a carpark, where the Wang Club is 50 meters down the street has a BIG sign saying Welcome Patrons carpark, so we went there. After we signed in, Marg went to the pokies, and I went to the bar, where I sat and watched the Tv and had a couple of chilled refreshers. At 6pm, Marg and I went into the bistro, I had a Chicken parma and Marg had a veal parma, both were very yumma. As I drove into the main street of Wang, there was a police car tetsing all drivers. I passed.

Another warm day, with a maximum of 28.4°, with a warm night.

Marg just finished fossicking.

The beautiful Reedy creek.

The mighty Navara crossing the teacherous Reedy creek.

Friday 6th April 2012
Day 4 - Riding the Rail Trail.

After a very mild night, I started with a single blanket and by dawn, I had both blankets on.

Last night I decided that I should go for a ride today, so I was up dressed, had brekky and on my way at 7:21am.
I put Harry Hema in my pocket and away I cycled, down to the river where the rail trail starts, about 8 kms to Bowser, where the rail trail proper starts, about 5kms out to Londrigan, then 8kms to Tarrawingee and finally 6kms to Everton Station arriving at 9:02am. A total of 52kms round trip and about 3.5 hours.
As it is a rail trail, the gradient is quite gentle, just right for cycling. As you can see from the photos, it was a beautiful morning, with a hint of mist in the fields, no breeze and with a slight chill in the air, but it was on its way to a maximum of 29.0°. The views were sensational, especially the big tree by itself. On the way to Everton Station, I saw 2 other cyclists, on the way home, I past about 30 cyclists, all in small groups, heading away from Wang.

My bike route to Everton.

After I got back to camp, showered and changed, it was time for Marg's brother and SIL to arrive. They arrived at 12:15pm, so we spent the afternoon, sitting, chatting and relaxing under our awning. That night we adjourned to their cabin and played cards, I lost big time, but we all had a ball, as we always do.

Another warm day, with a maximum of 29.0°, with a warm night.

Early morning mist on the Wangaratta Rail trail.

Some of the rail trail is straight, like the Nullarbor.

The world famous 'Fossicking area' Reedy Creek.

My turnaround point was Everton Station 26.5kms from Wang.

Some of the magic scenery.

The cattle are lowing. (Xmas carol).

My new best friend. She was the one being that understands me.

More of my 'new' friends.

Back at the start.

Saturday 7th April 2012
Day 5 - Beechworth, Here we come.

Ok, the southerley change has arrived and last night I had to break out my sleepingbag, was I snug as a bug, You Betcha.
Today, the temperature reached a maximum of 19.8° and a minimum of 8.6°.

It was to be a big day and it was.
After brekky, we picked up Paul, Jen and Dan in the mighty Navara and the five of us headed over to Beechworth (35kms away). During Easter, Beechworth had a large festival, so we went and checked it out. First port of call was the street market, we walked around and nothing turned me on, Marg and Jen walked around together and nothing took their fancy, so the market wasn't a great success. We were booked in for the 11am Beechworth Goal tour, this was brilliant, a fully guided tour with Sir, yes sir, no sir, only at the end of the tour did Sir tell us that his name was Ian, he was dressed in the guards garb and played the part very well. The tour is well worth the $22.50 each and goes for an hour.

After the tour we walked down the main street as it was closed to traffic for the street festival and checked out the various stalls, it was great. Most of the shops were open, the streets were absolutely chockers with people, when it came to buy lunch, our group except for me, decided to go to the Beechworth Bakery, well, it was a tad busier than when Marg and I were there on Thursday. You couldn't get anywhere near the counter, so they came over to me at the fish and chip shop. The Fish'n'chips were yumma. We sat on the gutter in the main street in the shade and ate our lunch. After lunch we walked a complete lap of the festival, before walking back to the mighty Navara.

On the way home, we stopped at Woolsheed Falls and then drove down Woolshed Rd to Eldorado and then continued onto Wang. We were booked in for dinner at the Wangaratta Club at 6pm, so Marg and I got there about 5pm, to play the pokies and for me to have a chilled refresher or two. Paul, Jen and Dan arrived just before 6pm, we had a lovely meal, Marg and I had the same meal as we did on Thursday night. Back to their cabin to play cards which was great fun and finally hit the sack buggered after a big day.

The markets are in the background.

Yes Sir!!!!!!!!!!

Cell block D.

Hangman's trapdoor.

Hang man.

Our group.

Some of the Beechworth Festival crowd.

Some of the Beechworth Festival crowd.

Some of the Beechworth Festival crowd.

Sunday 8th April 2012
Day 6 - Stanley, Mt Stanley, Woolshed Falls and Chiltern.

The weather is fine and cool to cold. Last night I used my sleepingbag again, was as warm as toast..
Today, the temperature reached a maximum of 18.1° and a minimum of 3.6°.

It was another big day.
After brekky, we picked up Paul, Jen and Dan in the mighty Navara and the five of us headed over to Beechworth, on our way to Stanley and Mount Stanley. We left camp at 10:10am and drove to Stanley, here we were looking for a house which is owned by Jen's family. We found it after driving through all streets of Stanley which consists of about 4 streets. Not a big town. We then headed to Mount Stanley(1,061m high), along a narrow gravel road which took us to the summit, which has a large Telstra tower. It would make things very interesting if we encountered any traffic on the road, but we didn't.
At the summit, there was a picnic table and spaces to park, so we parked and had a picnic and took photos. Just as we were packing up, a 4Wd came past and then did a U turn and parked near us. Within 5 minutes, there were 5 4WDs and a HSV Grange (which I thought was not suitable to drive the gravel road, obviously, the owner has more money than brains). We were very lucky, that we did not encounter any traffic coming towards us. The views from the summit were awesome, but were a bit hazy.

We drove through Beechworth on our way to Chilten, because Jen wanted to visit Chiltern. On our way, we stopped in at Woolshed Falls and walked down to the Falls and took photos, there were heaps of people visiting the Falls. Paul got his jeans wet jumping over various streams, lucky that I have long legs, I didn't get wet.

Left the Falls, and on our way to Chiltern, we passed a sign displaying Gems, so we did a U turn and visited John, owner of Stonehedge gems, Marg and I bought a lovely piece of Peacock Ore (Bornite). John was a talker and Paul and I spoke with him for at least 40 minutes, he was a very interesting guy.
We continued onto Chiltern, we parked out the front of the cafe in the main street. We walked in to the cafe,noticed that they had outside table and chairs, so we asked if we could sit outside, the lady nearly snapped my head off, by saying very abruptly that she was not serving outside, something about a previous patron bringing a dog outside, we said that we didn't have a dog. It didn't matter, she refused to serve us outisde, so we left and walked the main street and looked at the shops. Finally, we headed back to Wang, but we had one final stop to make, Paul wanted to take photos of the Eldorado dredge. So we stopped at the dredge, took photos, walked around the perimeter and then headed back to camp.

We finally got back to camp at 4:50pm, we were all buggered after another big day. After about 30 minutes of relaxing in their cabin, Paul and I used the camp's BBQ and cooked a beautiful barby dinner. After dinner, Marg and I were absolutely buggered, so no cards tonight, we went back to our camp and just chilled out. Bed wasn't too far away.

Picnic at Mt Stanley.

The Telstra tower.

A great picnic spot with great views.

The narrow gravel road.

Woolshed Falls.

Woolshed Falls.

Woolshed Falls.

Paul at Woolshed Falls.

Woolshed Falls.

Eldorado dredge.

Eldorado dredge.

Eldorado dredge.

Peacock Ore - magnificent colours.

Peacock Ore - magnificent colours.

Monday 9th April 2012
Day 7 - Fossicking and driving to Corowa.

The weather is fine and cool to cold. Last night I used my sleepingbag again, was as warm as toast..
Today, the temperature reached a maximum of 18.5° and a minimum of 4.5°.

Today Paul, Jen and Dan were leaving, so we organised a breakfast at The Vue. We walked to the cafe crossing over the foot bridge over the Ovens river. Brekky was beautiful and quite reasonably priced. After we said our goodbyes, Marg and I headed off to Reedy creek to do some more fossicking. While out riding along the rail trail, I noticed where Reedy creek crossed the trail, that it looked a fossicking prospect, so we drove there, but it wasn't suitable. We then drove along the gravel roads that went beside Reedy creek, but we couldn't find any suitable spots, so we headed off to see the Murray. We drove through Springhurst, Rutherglen, Wahgunyah then over the Murray into Corowa through the caravan park and parked on the edge of the Murray, stopped and take some photos, then headed back to Wang along the old main road. Arriving back in camp at 12:58pm, we spent the rest of the arvo just slowly packing up, ready for our departure in the morning.

Brekky at The Vue, Wang.

The Vue, Wangaratta.

Ovens river from the foot bridge.

No Luck.

Murray river at Corowa.

Enjoyment on the Murray.

Tuesday 10th April 2012
Day 8 - Wangaratta to Home - 298kms.

The weather was overcast and looks like it would rain.

We left the Caravan Park at 9:26am and arrived home at 2:10pm.
It was an uneventful drive, but we did get some rain squalls come across and it was BLOODY cold. When we left the CP, we were very tempted to turn left and head North, but we didn't.

We are now home until Sunday 20th May when we head to Qld to visit our sons. Bring it on.