Monthly Archives: June 2016

Day 2 – Jugiong to Canberra

As anticipated, we both slept in this morning, but it was a little chilly so the heater went on and soon warmed us up – have we mentioned that we love our diesel heater?  Apart from the chill, it seemed to be an alright start to the day so we went for a tour around Jugiong.  Within the grounds of the free camp area there are some tennis courts, and right next door is the local swimming pool, a playground, and public toilets.  There’s a great old pub that is currently undergoing some quite extensive renovations, and an obviously very popular store and cafe.  We stopped there for coffee but unfortunately it’s closed on Tuesdays.  Further along the road we spotted an interesting horse-drawn cart and there is also a small yard full of sculptures of mainly horses made from pieces of scrap metal.  There is a small motel with what appears to be a nice dining room.  The locals at Jugiong have done a great job in attracting visitors and we would recommend vanners and motorhomers should definitely add Jugiong to their list of places to visit.

Views of Jugiong

Views of Jugiong

As we headed back to the Hume Highway, it started to rain.  It soon became very heavy rain and driving became very unpleasant with a good number of trucks in a hurry, and various other vehicles in even more of a hurry.

Not great weather for driving.

Not great weather for driving.

Eventually we turned off the highway into Yass, where we stopped for coffee and a hot snack, and a respite from the weather and traffic.

Refreshed and more relaxed we returned to the highway and eventually turned off onto the Barton Highway into Canberra.  The weather wasn’t much better at this stage.

The Barton Highway into Canberra usually looks much better than this!

The Barton Highway into Canberra usually looks much better than this!

We often stop at Murrumbateman but it didn’t look too inviting today so we drove straight through.

Not even Murrumbateman looked inviting.

Not even Murrumbateman looked inviting.

On the Canberra side of Murrumbateman there is a stretch of road that was under construction for quite a long time a couple of years ago.  In our opinion it is a wasted opportunity – they could/should have straightened out the bend and made it twin lanes both ways, and much safer given the weather conditions in the area.

Wasted opportunity

Wasted opportunity

Fortunately the weather did improve a little as we entered Canberra and arrived at the Alivio Tourist Park.  We came with a little trepidation, as we stayed here several times some years ago but it was quite run-down so we found somewhere else to stay when we visited Canberra.  Katie told us that there had been some changes here so we thought that we’d give it another try.

After setting up and enjoying a nice hot lunch in Bertha, we ventured out for a walk around the park, then back home for afternoon coffee.

This place is under new management, has a new name and the changes are significant.  There are now a number of ensuite sites and the main amenities block has had an amazing upgrade, including heating.  What used to be a very old secondary amenities block has now become a magnificent camp kitchen.  There is a large cooking area and another large room with colourful tables and chairs, both rooms with large TV screens, plus a great outside deck area.  They even provide a herb garden for the use of park guests.  If  cooking isn’t your thing, there is a very nice looking cafe/restaurant here which serves breakfast and dinner 7 days per week, plus they have take-away, all at reasonable prices.

Newly created Camp Kitchen - luxury camping at its best.

Newly created Camp Kitchen – luxury camping at its best.

Alivio also has plenty of playgrounds and activities for kids, several bbq areas, modern cabins and views to the Black Mountain communication tower.

Views of Alivio Tourist Park.

Views of Alivio Tourist Park.

We will be going to Katie’s for dinner tonight and will be spending the next few days with her, so we will probably be off the air until we hit the road again.

Still living the dream …..

Categories: 2016 Big Maroochydore Adventure | Tags: ,

2016 Big Maroochydore Adventure – Day 1 – Melbourne to Jugiong

We got off to a ridiculously early start this morning and were out of the gate in Bertha about 6.45am in order to miss the early morning traffic.  In fact we slept in Bertha last night as part of our preparations – it’s amazing how many things you think about that you might not have packed etc when you’re actually “on the premises”.  Plus it was a good chance to make sure that the diesel heater worked.  It did!

One of our concerns about leaving that early was that it might be foggy, but thankfully it was a nice clear morning and the traffic was flowing well so we made great progress.  That was until about Wallan, when we hit dense fog and very limited visibility.  We took advantage of the situation to stop at the servo and top Bertha up with diesel and to treat ourselves to a hot breakfast and a hot coffee.

Foggy and wet at Wallan.

Foggy and wet at Wallan.

The weather improved somewhat as we went further north along the Hume Freeway and we settled for just constant drizzle.

Weather is a bit better.

Weather is a bit better.

Next stop was at a rest stop near Euroa for a cup of coffee, then it was back on the road until we both felt that we needed a stretch and a walk so we turned off the Hume into Glenrowan.  It was still drizzling lightly so we put on our coats and went for a wander.  In a “small world” moment we bumped into our long-time friend Simon who I had worked with many moons ago and who we hadn’t seen for several years.  Simon and his wife were on their way home to Melbourne from Canberra where they had been visiting relatives and after a brief chat we headed off in our respective directions.

Ann's mother's name was Kelly!

Ann’s mother’s name was Kelly!

We continued our slightly damp stroll around Glenrowan before stopping off at the Glenrowan Bakehouse for something hot for lunch. .

View of Glenrowan.

View of Glenrowan.

Back on the highway the weather improved and the sun made an appearance and by Wodonga I actually needed my sunnies.  Travelling in sunny and clear weather is a lot more pleasant than driving in rain and drizzle so we bypassed Holbrook, where we would normally have stayed and continued towards Gundagai.  It was also great to see green pastures and some healthy looking livestock. We stopped just north of Holbrook for another stretch before continuing on to our final stop at Jugiong free camp.

Healthy looking pastures and livestock.

Healthy looking pastures and livestock.

Weather is a bit better.

Weather is a bit better.

We have stayed at Jugiong before and it is a beautiful spot.  It’s a bit cold at the moment and there aren’t many people here but we have our heater and the music on and we’re quite cosy.

Jugiong is a great place to stay.

Jugiong is a great place to stay.

Today has been an exceptional day and certainly not typical, as we very rarely travel anything like 556 kms in a day.  However, an early start and quite decent weather, most of the time, have combined to create a long but successful day with the end result that we don’t have nearly as far to travel tomorrow to visit our daughter Katie in Canberra.

We will sleep well tonight though!

Categories: 2016 Big Maroochydore Adventure, Free Camping | Tags: ,

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