Today was the first day of our 2017 “Up the Centre” Adventure. Our planned ultimate destination is Darwin, and then we’ll see what happens from there.
With everything sorted at home, we headed off after peak hour along the Eastern Freeway and made our way to Lower Plenty, where, at the civilised time of 10:45 am I was breathalysed ! Passing with flying colours we made our way to the M80 Ringroad and then to the Calder Freeway. We had a very good run and stopped for our first break at the Calder Park Service Centre, after only travelling for just over an hour. Bertha was dwarfed by some of the other visitors in the carpark.
It was a great drive on the Calder but when we turned off the A790 just north of Ravenswood we really felt that we had left civilisation and were well and truly in the country. By going this way through Marong we bypassed busy Bendigo.
Our next stop was the very pretty town of Bridgewater. After purchasing some supplies at the Bakery, we drove around to the free camp at the recreation reserve where we stopped for lunch.
Refreshed, we headed north passing through Inglewood which was much bigger than Bridgewater and had some very interesting buildings. We both commented that we would love to just spend some time cruising around this region and spending more time exploring each of the historic towns.
As we approached Wedderburn we found ourselves in thick smoke. We soon found the source of this unpleasant smoke – it seems that the farmers around here clear their paddocks by burning off. Luckily for us it started to rain which immediately cleared the air and made life a bit more comfortable.
We soon arrived at Charlton, which is another attractive and historic small country town, with a great Caravan Park/Free Camp complex called The Travellers’ Rest. Imagine, 3 nights on an unpowered site by the Avoca River for $10.00. Powered and en-suite sites are also available. After setting up we donned our rain-coats and had a good look around town. The art-deco Rex Theatre is a standout. Walking by the river we came across a statue of a swaggy carved in a tree trunk.
Coats hung up to dry, we enjoyed a delicious meal inside Bertha while giant moths attacked the doors and windows. Hilarious!!
What a great start to our adventure. Now to work out where to go tomorrow!