The Adelong Gold Rush began in 1852 with the discovery of alluvial gold at upper Adelong. The Adelong gold field was declared in 1855 and reef gold was discovered in 1857 in the hills above Adelong .The Reef ore was processed in the ore crushing mills along the creek. The biggest and most important of these mills was the Reefer ore crushing machine built by Scotsmen William Wilson and William Ritchie, which remains for all visitors to view from the platform or wander through to interpret how reef ore was processed.
After the short drive from Tumut, we arrived at Gundagai Cabins & Tourist Park for our final leg of our 19 caravan Bailey journey.
After 14 fantastic days of travel, exploration and making of new friends it was time to have our final dinner at the Gundagai Services Club with a private function roomed booked. It was really like a “last dinner” with us all arranged around a large “u-shaped” table.
One of the power generation points of the Snowy Mountains Scheme is the Blowering Dam. We took a drive out to check it out, with a walk along the dam wall and a visit to the power station outlet.
There are numerous camping spots along the shore and it was well and truly utilised with hundreds of campers. Have noted it down for a future trip.
Today we had a fascinating talk from Shane Herrington who is a ranger from the Wiradjuri Aboriginal Community.
Items covered were bush tucker, the didgeridoo, creating fire with fire sticks, boomerang throwing and a walk through the local wetlands.
The drive from Cooma to Tumut (maplink) was a fairly short one passing through the plains where wild horses (brumbies) run free.
We stopped off at Yarrangobilly Village Campground for a break and it was very rewarding. This would be a perfect overnight stop for anyone travelling the Snowy Mountains Highway, with a lovely stream running nearby.
A visit to the Cooma Hydro Discovery Centre was really informative.
To begin with we discovered that all of the Snowy Mountains Hydro scheme is managed through this facility. They also allocate pricing on the available power via a bidding system by the electricity retailers who use the snowy scheme. Learn more from the SnowyHydro website.
The Snowy Hydro story is absolutely amazing considering that it designed and built from 1949 to 1974.
A visit to the historical Cooma Jail is a must when in town.
A very informative tour was provided by a current inmate. The inmates undertake training and provide the tours as part of their rehabilitation and road to release. Our guide, Tom, was a top bloke who knew a lot of the history of the jail, which dates back to 1788.
The jail has a very long history dating back to the first fleet and is still an operating correctional centre – find out more on Wikipedia.
We left Mallacoota today for the scenic drive up through the great divide to Cooma (maplink), the largest town in the Snowy Mountains. The weather was brilliant and the views spectacular with a few challenging stretches of road, but we all arrived safely in Cooma.
It was a bit of a squeeze for our large convoy of 19 caravans at the Cooma Snowy Mountains Tourist Park, with some of us having to dig to level our vans. But all good, we enjoyed our stay at the lovely park.
Of course, we had the standard happy hour after we had all settled in with plans being made for the remainder of our stay.
The next stage of our Bailey caravan “Mountains, Rivers & Seaside” journey took us to the lovely seaside town of Mallacoota (maplink). It was a windy road in with the Bailey’s bunching up a bit on the road.
Booking into the Mallacoota Foreshore Holiday Park saw our 18 Baileys + 1 settle in for 2 days.
We were booked into a cruise on the MV Loch-Ard which is a timber motor vessel over 110 years old. This was a very leisurely (10knots) cruise across the lake checking out Allen Head and the historical Fairhaven buildings; feeding some Sea Eagles along the way.
The caravan park was quite full and we were pushed up the back which was a shame as we didn’t have water views but there were plenty of local kangaroos around to take our interest.
Following lunch the group returned to Lakes Entrance for a leisurely afternoon cruise on to Paynesville the lakes with Peel Lake Cruises and the fishing charter people got back just in time to join them. A very relaxing end for the day; naturally followed by happy hour back at the caravan park – cheers!
I’ve been busting to do a fishing charter for ages and the opportunity finally came along at Lakes Entrance. Four of our group booked into Far Outing Fishing Charters and out we went “thru the notorious Lakes Entrance bar” in the dark (5.30am) – a little bit scary but we survived OK. Eight people in total plus skipper and deck hand.
We had a great day out in Bass Strait, travelling approx 25km South West of the entrance. About 40 decent size Snapper we caught along with heaps of Port Jackson sharks (I caught 2). Back to port at about 1:00pm and the crew cleaned and filleted the catch which was then shared out among the team. A nice feed for all, that’s for sure.
Leaving our free camp at Cobungra the Bailey “caravan of caravans” headed off to the Lakes Entrance Recreation Reserve and Camping Ground on the Victorian Gippsland coast (maplink) with heaps of winding roads and plenty of steep downhills along the way. Plenty of hot brakes and blackened front wheels on the Landcruiser from brake dust.
Following the mountain drive over the top of Mt Hotham we arrived at a “free camp” location at Cobungra (maplink). The campsite is known as Victoria Falls; an historic site of Victoria’s first large hydro power supply, built in 1908 for Cassilis goldfield 20k to the south-east.
We just squeezed our 19 Bailey vans into the campground, probably destroying the quiet amenity for the only other caravan in the campsite.
A great campfire was established and we were all totally enjoying ourselves; Liam ran his drone (video below) around taking some great shots and videos, then the heavens opened and we all took shelter in our respective vans – end of the singing.
One of our group, Liam, took his drone up (1st time) for a great view of the campsite…
One of the most challenging caravan trips we have ever undertaken was taking the Great Alpine Road from Bright (Vic) over the top of Mount Hotham to the Cobungra Campground at Victoria Falls (maplink).
The drive was rather taxing on some of the vehicles with some suffering over heating, so we just took our time for a rest for both the vehicles and drivers; south of Harrietville at a wayside stop called B500.
As we crested Mt Hotham we drove through the Tunnel of Love (see photos) built to give the rare and endangered Mountain Pygmy Possum safe access across the road.
A lot of steeps ascents and descents and super sharp bends caused issues for some vehicles with overheating etc; but our Toyota Landcruiser 200 performed the task extremely well.
Here is Merrisa’s video of the high country as we crossed the top of Mt Hotham…
Today we had a self drive to Mount Buffalo for a bit of a look, stopping off at the 110 year old Mt Buffalo Chalet (maplink) for a nice group photo, with morning tea in an old stone building perched on top of a cliff – spectacular views of the valley below.
The group then moved on to have a quick look at Lake Catani before travelling onto the Red Stag Deer and Emu Farm (maplink) for lunch. Here we were treated to a talk by the owner on the history of the farm and how it has progressed to where it is today.
Our second day on the Bailey Rivers, Mountains and Seaside trip took our group up to…
- Mount Beauty – a small town in north-eastern Victoria, Australia. The town lies alongside the Kiewa River, at the junction of the Kiewa Valley Highway and Bogong High Plains Road.
- Bogong Hydro – for a tour of the power station and a talk by one of the volunteers about the history of the place and the town itself.
- Falls Creek for lunch at Easy Eats cafe
- Drive out to Wallace’s Hut ( built 1889 ) for a look at a traditional high country cattleman’s’ hut
Back in time for tomorrow’s briefing and happy hour – what a great day had by all who went!
What a wonderful start to start our travels with our group of Bailey caravan buddies.
Staying at the Bright NRMA Caravan Park we began with a briefing session on the Friday arvo followed by dinner in the park. Then our 1st day involved the following activities…
- Michelini Winery for some tastings and plenty of purchases
- Happy Valley Pub – a very old pub (est 1854) for a few cold ones
- Feathertop Winery for more tastings and a few coffees
- Reed & Co Gin Distillery in Bright
- Rounding out the activities at Bright Brewery for a brewery talk/tour and a sample tray of 6 of their crafted beers
On the way back into the caravan park we checked out some of the 70 Vintage Cars (circa 1900) which were in Bright for the weekend participating in the RACV 2019 1 and 2 Cylinder Rally.
We all then gathered together for happy hour at 5:00pm for a few drinks (of course) and a sing along. What a great start to our trip.