Australia · 352 Days · 26 Moments · April 2017

Mark & Jo’s adventures around Australia

31 March 2018

Our last silo on this trail for now and it has taken us a few hours to get to here. We left this morning about 9.30am and we are here now about 4pm. Again the silo suddenly sticks out from nowhere and guides up. This silo had a huge parking area but unfort at the silo it says no camping. We took the photo of this huge silo with the car and van in front to depict their size. We walked around it to get a feel for it. Across the road there was the Patche Pub where we asked about camping. He told us we could stay in the park opposite. We bought a couple of cold beverages and headed back to the van to set up camp for the night. Also bought the mandatory magnets of all the silos we had visited on this trail. Tomorrow next stop???? No idea. Somewhere in the great outdoors.
Our next stop was Rosebery which again the silo was on the side of the highway. This one was not so busy as the last but still had a few visitors. It looks so strange driving along seeing fields that have been harvested and all of a sudden a huge silo pops its head up and says ‘here I am’. Can not get over how huge these silos are. Another Geelong concrete silo. Again our van looks small compared to the size of them. We walked around it again and took a scenery shot from behind to show the landscape and nothing can be seen for miles around, just fields. On the back of this one we found the artists colour scheme paints with their names and mixture quantities to get the correct colour.
This was our second last silo for today. Again only about 50 mins from one. Another Geelong concrete silo. This one was a bit different as the pictures were on either end of them not across the front as we have seen on previous ones. As this one was a sepia picture was hard to get it to show the picture clearly. It is truly amazing that these pictures start off on a A4 sheet of paper and end up on these huge silos. Only the first one at Rupanyup was painted on a aluminium silo so far. All the rest have been concrete. Again we walked around the silo and looked at the old railway line imagining the trains coming thru and the people that worked there.
We arrived at Sheep Hills silo art to a wry colourful display of a talented artist. It’s amazing that in the middle of nowhere there are these amazing artworks. These were painted on concrete silos called “Geelong” concrete silos. Again we had the picture taken with the van in it and also to show the enormity of the project. Again pictures don’t do it justice. We walked the silos and there was the old train line behind it in a state of disrepair. You could almost imagine the life in these small out of the way towns was very hard. Even the pub was closed down permanently. Unsure how many still live there but doesn’t look like many. We are now heading off to the next silo.
We left Sheep Hills and headed towards our next silo at Brim. We drove thru Warracknabeal and decided to stop and have a walk around the town. Unfort being Good Friday nearly everything was closed except for the local IGA and some take away food shops. We decided to have lunch here then continue on our way. The next silo was probably about 30 mins away. This silo would have to of been the most popular so far as there was the most amount of people here. It is just on the side of the Henty Highway again in the middle of nowhere but looking spectacular. These silos are huge compared to our van in front. As it was so popular we parked nearby first then walked around then then drove thru, took the pics and left. On the back of this silo was again the old railway line as we again walked around them, imagining them in the hay day.
Last night we walked around the town and came across the local CFA building which was painted to depict what the building was. Today we headed off from Rupanyup virtually across the road to our first painted silo. Seeing them up close and seeing the pictures doesn’t do them justice. Def better in person. I took a picture of our van in front of it then having moved the van Mark and I walked around them and visited the old station. We then headed off to the next silo which was Sheep Hills which was about 30 mins approx away.

30 March 2018

Yesterday after a very hectic morning we left Seaford at 11.45am and took the van around to be weighed as it was fully loaded. Mark was on point about the weight. No problems there. We travelled thru the car park that is Melbourne traffic and had lunch on the otherwise of it. We continued in our way as we were heading towards Beaufort. As Mark felt good about driving we decided to continue to Rupanyup as that’s where the first silo art is. We found the Memorial Park and after a few directional changes within the spot we were hooked up with power and settled in for the night. We walked around the spot and I picked up a few brochures about our journey. We came back and had tea then we went for a walk around the town and saw some sights then returned to the van. We watched a bit of tv then headed to bed for a good nights sleep. Our silo art tour awaits us.

27 January 2018

We were woken up early in the morning to loud music being played after having a restless sleep due to yelling til the early hours of the morning. We decided to pack up the van and get out of there as didn’t want a second day of being miserable. Also it is Marks birthday today. We were packed up and ready to go by 9am. We didn’t even have breakfast we just packed and left. I was upset as some people have no consideration for others and being Marks birthday wanted a good day for him. We pulled the van up on the turn off to Walhalla and we had our breaky. We couldn’t believe what we had just experienced over the last couple days. We have vowed to never return (sorry Walhalla). After breaky we pulled into Rawson and emptied our toilet cartridge. We continued home and upon arrival pull in, cleaned the van outside and inside and parked it away for another time. We had dinner with Dean, Alison & grandkids at Noojee Pub which was a lovely meal. Sometimes it’s good to be back home.

26 January 2018

Second day in Walhalla and wasn’t enjoying ourselves. We couldn’t really do anything we wanted to do as the camp was being filled up fast and we were hesitant about leaving our caravan for a long period of time. Last night we had a downpour for a little while but it didn’t last long. The thunder we heard was rolling in but again that only made the place more muggy. We went for a drive to Coopers Creek as we heard the publican mentioning that is was usually a dry pub (no alcohol) but had got licence for long weekend. After a 2km dirt drive we came across the area. Not very many campers and the place looked so quiet. We drove back out and continued along a few more dirt tracks. We headed back to the van. We had bought the newspaper from the local shop and sat under the trees reading the papers and relaxing as again it was muggy. The camp ground was quite full now probably about 100-150 people had arrived. We had tea and settled in to watch the cricket then bed.

25 January 2018

We left Noojee and made our way to Walhalla. It’s an old gold town. We left approx 9am and got to Walhalla approx 11.30am. We drive thru town and it was so quiet being a week day. We pull into the free camp area and decided where our spot was going to be and Mark and I set up camp. At that stage there were only 2 other parties camping there. After having lunch we went for a walk thru town. It was quiet a warm day. We looked at the other campers setups as we made our way to the pub to book in for dinner on Saturday night. We decided to have a cold drink at the Walhalla Pub. We walked back to our camp and took shade under the canopy of the trees for the afternoon.

27 August 2017

Arrived in Omeo yesterday to lovely weather about 15 deg. Set up the van then Pat at the Hilltop Hotel who told us about the place. We went for a walk down the Main Street and saw some of the sights. We headed back to the van as it was starting to get cold then headed to the pub for tea. The meal was good and it was cosy and warm. Woke up this morning and looked out our window to see the hill flushed with snow. We had breaky then headed up to Anglers Rest. We stopped and had a look at some camp grounds along the way back. Saw a few kangaroos grazing at the camp grounds. Having lunch then going to continue our adventure around Omeo. We had an overnight low of -3 and today's top temp will be 7 deg. ROLL ON SUMMER!!

10 June 2017

We left Noojee this morning (8.55am) and it was 0 deg C. We arrived at Maffra at 12.30pm and are free staying at the old Maffra caravan park site. We had lunch and then we went for a walk around the town for a couple hours. Bought the compulsory tea towel souvenir. Walked passed the old train station and found a sign that I think I should work by. Lovely big free stop area with dump point next to the cfa. We are undecided as to whether we are heading back to Heyfield tomorrow free stopping there tomorrow night or stopping at Newry at another free stop there then head home to Noojee on Monday. I really do love the free stop life - whenever we want, wherever we want. Note: Lake Glenmaggie want $35 a night for a unpowered site. What a rip off.

23 April 2017

Last night we stayed about 10km outside of Elaine in the Lal Lal park with no phone reception. We thought it was a tranquil place but were amazed how many cars came thru. As we left Tchum Lake yesterday we headed thru Donald, St Arnaud, Avoca and a few other smaller towns. In a little town called Lexton there were wind farms everywhere. I think maybe 100 give or take. Quite strange considering we were in the middle of nowhere. Donald's old stores had been painted by local students giving a history of the old life. We had lunch at Avoca in the market, the compulsory snags in bread and steak sanga. We had a Chinese lion dancing throughout the market. We are heading home today (unfort) then back to work Wednesday. Just want to take this opportunity to say thanks for following us on our journey and look forward to doing this again in the near future. Take care 😘😘
We left Swan Hill and headed towards Sea Lake. We walked thru the town and got told by locals about a popular spot about 5km out of town on Lake Tyrell. We drove there and had lunch there then headed towards Birchip were we are free stopping somewhere. We stayed at the Tchum Lake just out of Birchip. Lovely spot on a bit of a grassy area. Bit of a local spot for fishing for the locals and one guy we saw caught quite a few red fin and a big golden perch fish. What can I say but a beautiful aussie sunset over the lake. We drove passed 'Big Red' the Malley Bull in the main street. Like a lot of towns that we drove thru there are a lot of shops closed down and up for rent due to lack of business. We are now heading for home (unfortunately) as we have to head back to work. One more free stop then we do the drive home.

22 April 2017

We pulled into Swan Hill yesterday after travelling only about 60km. We stayed at the Swan Hill holiday park for $30 per night and we got there about 11.30am as we aren't in a hurry so didn't leave night before a spot early. We topped up on a few supplies, used our washing machine and did a few loads then $1 to dry the whole lot in the parks dryer. We left Swan Hill this morning as we are now making our way home. Don't know where we are heading (same as usual) but love going thru all the back roads and small towns. Not over keen on big towns anymore.

20 April 2017

Yesterday we didn't travel far, just 87km for the day but that didn't matter. We stopped and had a walk around Cohuna then got a bread stick to have with some hot soup for lunch. We were looking for places to free camp overnight so we decided to push on a bit further. We drove to Koondrook which had a old wharf on the side of the Murray River and beside it was an old railway line. The town had a pub (as they all do) and some volunteers painting up the old train there. We drove to a place called Mackenzies Bend but we didn't like the look of it as if it rained we would probably be unable to get out, real bush dirt track. We drove back into town and had lunch then after lunch the mandatory walk around town. We then got back on the road and decided to head further up towards Swan Hill. We passed thru Kerang and found an Apex Park river on Reddy Lake just out of town. Had my first (and hopefully last) argument with another free camper about spots.

19 April 2017

Yesterday we left the Edwards River camp site heading to Mathoura for water and dump site. We were there approx 30 mins not doing what we went to do but chatting with people who were free camping out the back of the bowls club for free. Lovely grassed area and cheap meals apparently at the club. We left there and headed to Echuca, which was only an hour away, for our first New Age caravan repair. Needless to say what a waste of time. 1 1/2 hours I'll never get back. Water pump still trying to prime but not as often. We then headed to bunnings where I forgot to take back heater but bought a new addition for our van. A 1m square fake grass with rubber backing to put under our step so we don't keep stepping onto dirt and try and put our shoes on (as we don't wear shoes in the van). Found a couple really good sites of FB about free camping and typed in Echuca and the Leitchville Travellers Park about 50 mins out of Echuca came up. We are staying here the night.

18 April 2017

On a quick note I wanted to show you a visitor we had while free camping at Edward River. We thought at first it was a bat cosmic it's size but then realised what it was. It was drawn to the light we had on inside the van. We didn't dare open the netting for fear it would of come inside. I would have def moved outside if it had.
Well we are still at Gulpa Island. It is so quiet here. Today we drove into Mathoura and had a yummy lunch at 2710 eatery. We walked the Main Street, all 150m of it and was amazed there were 3 pubs. Spoke to a couple of local elderly ladies who were definitely up for a chat. Heard about some of the old shops that have been closed for years and things they got up to u til the now white ant ridden police station was built. We then drove to Picnic Point where the Edward River joins the Murray river. Mark naturally out his hands in the river, like he always does when we visit the river. We checked out a beautiful caravan park on the banks of the Murray and met some of the wildlife. A few people are now here which makes me feel a little more comfy. Tomorrow we are back on the road to Echuca for the day before heading who knows where. Let you know when we do.

17 April 2017

I know we haven't travelled far but we are staying at the Gulpa Island State forest just out of Mathoura NSW on way to Echuca. We are free camping beside the lovely Edward River. Don't know how long we will be here for but got to love the serenity of quiet apart from the bird life. We stopped at Deniliquin on the way from Finley and walked around town. We visited the Deni Market which was held at the Deni botanical gardens. They had everything from alpaca blankets (oh my god you would not believe how soft they were but expensive) to plants, animal relocation services, adoption agency for cats, clothing, food stalls and jewellery to name a few. Left there and heading towards Echuca we saw this turnoff and both went "why not". We have enough supplies for 3-4 days and food for the same (haha) As I write this we are all set up and sitting watching the river run by. This is the life. Loving everything so far.

16 April 2017

Well last night we went to Tocumwal Rodeo. Had front row seats right in front of the opening shutes. It was a great night and some fun was had by the competitors also. They had barrel racing and one of the girls was only 3 years old lead by her grandma around the barrels. The little girl loved it as she had a big smile on her face and waved to everyone. It was 4 1/2 hours of adrenalin for everyone involved. All I can say is some guys are nuts for doing what they do. Mark enjoyed it as he had never been to a rodeo. Couldn't believe yesterday's weather 30 deg and we had air con on. Well today we are packing up soon and heading off towards ...... somewhere. All I know it will be free camp somewhere. Hope everyone had a great Easter.
We headed off to have a nice relaxing walk around Lake Finley. Things didn't go according to plan when I landed my foot in an unseen divet that had grown over with grass and down on my ass I went. Mark wanted to cancel the walk but the walk must go on. We fed some wildlife along the way and watched the ski boats out on the lake. Needless to say we didn't break any land speed records and I was glad to get back and off my feet. Sitting here at the moment about to have 40 winks as we are heading into Tocumwal tonight for their annual rodeo. Here's hoping I won't be hopping around at the rodeo. Had a very relaxing day today, which felt odd as I'm usually doing something but it felt good to do nothing for a few hours. Wishing everyone a happy Easter and don't eat all your eggs at once.
After a successful full setup of the van I can only say I had a couple of DOH! blonde moments (apologies to blonde people) but first I forgot we on 240 V and heated the hot water up for cooking tea last night with the whistler kettle on the gas cook top. Then Mark turns around and says why didn't you use the electric kettle. There it is the first DOH! moment. The second I nagged Mark to buy a small electric heater for when we have power and this morning I told him I was going to put it on as was a bit chilly (12 deg) and he says why not put heater on the air con on. DOH! #2. Have to find a Bunnings store to return heater. Oops. Heres hoping I will get use to this free camp / caravan park usage thingy quickly cos I don't want a DOH! #3 but stay tuned just in case. On the plus side tea was great cooked on our new BBQ with veggies. Went to the Finley RSC for a quiet cold one and soaking some the local atmosphere. Watched the footy for a while, lost $5 on the pokies but was relaxing.

15 April 2017

Well we have arrived at Finley, NSW. Travelled thru Shepparton today where we headed to bunnings for some little extras and we were still unsure where we were heading. Travelled into Tocumwal where for love or money couldn't get a spot as didn't know NSW have just had their first week of school holidays whereas Vic head back next week. DOH! Anyway continued into Finley Lakeside Park where for $20 a night power and water and free eggs (yes feee chook eggs not Easter eggs) we are staying til Monday as we are driving back into Tocumwal tomorrow (only 23kms) and heading to the Tocumwal rodeo tomorrow night. Will upload some pics when I can. We are planning a walk around Finley Lake in the morning which is not that far from our caravan.
They say if you dine at a 5 star restaurant your doing well. Well for dinner last night Mark and I dined at a thousand star restaurant. We saw the stars shine so bright. Wasn't anything as fancy as the food in a 5 star restaurant but it was the best baked beans and spaghetti on toast I've ever had. We tested out all cooking facilities, gave the oven a bit of a run, had first showers (I suppose everything is a first) ran the heating and I must say it's still all good. Woke up this morning about 2am and it was 13 deg in the van. Woke up at 6.30am and it is now 8 deg in the van but the wildlife are like an alarm clock cos I got woken up by their squawks and other birds calls. The river beside us has a very heavy mist on it, looks quite eerie. Time to have breaky soon and pack up then head to our next destination. We have no idea where. You will all know when we do.

14 April 2017

Left Noojee this morning at 10.05am after the last minute packing. Headed towards Poweltown and Yarra Junction where we stopped at a little place called Chum Creek for check if everything in van. It was all good. We then headed towards Yea where we arrived and had a walk up and down the Main Street. Bought some yummy rolls for lunch and went back to van and had lunch. Headed off again towards Benalla where we are staying the night at the Casey Weir Rest Area right beside the Broken River, 10km NE out of Benalla. Just as we arrived in Benalla we got pulled over for a breath test where the policeman said he was glad we opted for the smaller model of our caravan. Total kms for the day - 276 km.