Firstly, we apologise for the lack of blog posts, we get a little lazy with keeping track of things! Too busy living the life, right?
After leaving Rochester, we spent two nights at Mount Franklin. It was a nice free camp area on top of an extinct volcano. This is not the spot where Mount Franklin water bottles are born. We assumed because there were mineral springs all around us that this would have to have something to do with water. Nope. But, a lovely spot nonetheless.
We spent a day checking out the mineral springs in the area including Vaughan Springs and Hepburn Springs. We are big drinkers of soda water and mineral water and thought we would really enjoy the natural mineral springs. Well, we were very wrong…we will describe it as ‘metal infused dam water’. We tried to scull our bottles for the health benefits… I can scull tequila but not this! Okay, it wasn’t as bad as tequila…(that would be Blaine speaking, everyone knows Shenaid is allergic to tequila😷)
The Easter long weekend meant that our free camp site turned into a very busy area. Everyone was pretty much crossing tent ropes, so we decided to leave and get away from the craziness. We drove through a very quiet Melbourne, everyone else was heading away from the city for the long weekend. We ended up in Traralgon, where we stayed with a friend for 3 nights. We spent these days exploring the area including the picturesque Tarra-Bulga National Park and repeatedly playing board games. Which was great, I got my fix as Blaine won’t play with me anymore (21 games of Cluedo).
Easter Sunday was spent in Melbourne at our first ever AFL game, which was crazy! So many people and they were really into it. Good experience.
After Traralgon, we ventured to the coast where we spent 2 nights near Golden Beach (along 90 Mile Beach). The beaches around here were much nicer than we were expecting! We spent some time exploring here and this is where Blaine rigged up the drone to deliver him cold beers whilst fishing. 🍻😎
From Golden Beach, we headed through Lakes Entrance (which is another nice seaside town) to Pettmans Beach. This was another awesome beach camp, just behind the dunes so there was no wind, but the beach was beautiful! We spent the day on the beach and used the drone to drop the bait out. We aren’t set up for surf fishing, didn’t catch anything but I’m not overly concerned. 😏
After 3 nights there, we left and got maybe 10k’s, found a little farm stay that we thought would be nice. It was great, they had a bar and a fireplace that we sat around for a while and listened to the local stories. It was nice to have some grass under our feet!
From there we headed back through Bairnsdale, and into the High Country, a spot that I was very keen to see! Went to the iconic Dargo Hotel for a beer, was a lot of history there too! Something we love about Victoria is the amount of history here. So much to see.
First night in the high country, (photo below) this is our set up at Indian flat. And of course, it rained. 😒
From there we headed to the old township of Grant, not much left of it but you get the idea of the gold days when you are there. Then, we went on to Talbotville, pretty deep in the mountains. It was a fair drive with the trailer; a very steep and windy descent and when met with oncoming traffic it was very difficult. But we got there! Spent 3 nights at this beautiful spot, big fires and plenty of privacy. Plenty of cattle too! Little calves running around the place, was great. Weather was on and off, mostly good! We did the Crooked River track, which has about 28 river crossings in just a few kms! Was an awesome track, very steep at the end and took everything to get up there, didn’t have he trailer on too! Was fun.
Wanting to get to the Great Alpine Road, we took the Basalt Knob track, which started off as a nice windy track with perfect views and ended up an almost disaster. The first few hours were great, we got up to about 1300 meters above sea level and saw snow, our reaction would have been great to see, little did we know we’d have to spend the night in it.
We came across this predicament, doesn’t look that bad but they never do. Tried driving it twice but the car kept slipping which made the camper hit the tree on the right. We decided something had to move, and didn’t want to go back (very stubborn 😂). This is what Blaine came up with, luckily we had some extra gear and a snatch block! Easily enough, we winched the tree out of the way and drove on through! 👍💪
We kept on up towards Mount Blue Rag, we encountered a very tight turn that was very hard to navigate, but we got through it. We made the top! Over 1600m above sea level, we could see the finish line. Down a little then there was one main hill to climb. Made it maybe half way when the track turned to big loose rocks and we were going nowhere. With all brakes flat out we were still sliding backwards and the trailer was not going straight. The photo below was where it stopped. Wasn’t looking pretty. So, we tried to winch and then double line pull, just wasn’t happening, so long story short, we disconnected the trailer and spent a few hours winching it up the mountain. In the snow. In thongs. It was all very frustrating and we snapped the jockey wheel off, too. But otherwise, it did well, could have been a lot worse. That night, we slept on the floor of the camper, without popping the roof. At least it was warmer than the negative temperatures outside.
The next morning, we got ourselves back together, jacked up the trailer, reconnected it and carried on!
We made it to Bright, where we spent the next 5 night with Blaine’s Dad and partner. The Autumn Festival was on so it was quite busy and although cold, we didn’t want to leave! We did some trout fishing, market browsing, exploring and most of all we ate and drank very well.
We drove up Mount Buffalo, no snow there but was very nice! We also found a good waterfall on the way down, made for a perfect picture.
From Bright, we went to Ballarat, spent a night and did the tourist thing, went to Sovereign Hill. Some good history there too! Stayed the next night near Geelong, then got onto the Great Ocean Road, and it was heaps better than we expected! Went to some of the attractions on the first day, did some drone flying. We also found a great camp spot at Jamieson Camp ground, with an awesome view! (Second photo down)
We spent 2 nights there, did some exploring and then the rain came. Packed up in the rain and got back on the road, made it to Johanna Beach, another quiet little spot. Stayed the night there then got on the road to see the 12 Apostles and Loch Ard Gorge etc. Such a beautiful stretch of coastline! Well worth the drive!
We are coming up to 3 months on the road amd are definitely thinking that 12 months won’t be long enough. There’s just too much to see and do. But, with the way that we spend money, we’re going to need to stop and work soon 👎🏻 We budget $1000 a week, which is massive and we never thought we’d use that much, it was more ‘just in case’…. but 10 out of 11 weeks so far we have actually hit our budget and even gone over it a few times. Since starting we have spent roughly 4 grand on food and alcohol….. time to diet I think…😅
From here, we plan to do The Grampians then on to South Australia and up the guts of Aus. If you have any recommendations for us please let us know!
Blaine and Shenaid 🍻