Sydney to Mt Eliza

It is so good to have a GPS to guide you through Sydney, especially when you travel alone, I use two, a Garmin and the inbuilt one. They come up with different routes at times so I follow the shortest one. My first stop was at Wilton for some water tanks about 80 Km south of Sydney on the Hume Highway. The artwork was good, I especially liked the eagle. You could only get to within 100 metres of them because of a barbwire fence.

I stoped overnight at Coolac on a farm stay, a delightful small caravan park with about 20 sites, lots of birdlife around set in farmland and very peaceful. I didn’t book as usual but the park was full, but the manager managed to find a spot on the grass near a power-pole so I was OK, I need that electric blanket! The journey down the Hume the next day took me to a water tank 12 Km south of Tarcutta, I really liked this one.

The big old gum trees made a perfect frame for the artwork. I decided to spend a few days at Chiltern which is between Wodonga and Wangaratta. I have stayed here a couple of times, it is a lovely historic small town and the caravan park is next to a small lake. It is close to Rutherglen and the Chiltern-Mt Pilot National Park where Marg and I have enjoyed a number of picnics over the years with hampers from the Pickled Sisters Cafe in Wahgunyah.

I went to Wangaratta to see the water tower there, it is near the railway station and the whole area has been renovated and landscaped. The tower has been rendered and the artwork painted on the render. It depicts lots of native birds and animals the live or used to live in the area, plus plants and insects.

The arms protruding at the bottom of the tank are flood lights that light the tower at night, It would look spectacular.

Back at Chiltern to the local toilet block which has a painting of a Regent Honeyeater, a small bird that is now endangered. The Chiltern – Mt Pilot National Park, which protects a Box Ironbark forest, is an important refuge for this bird and the small population is slowly rebuilding. From memory I think the bird depicted is named Red, Red, Yellow from the marking bands on its legs. I love the red gum blossoms. This was painted by Jimmy D’Vate who paints animals, birds and flora exceptionally well, I have mentioned his work previously.

On Monday I headed to Eldorado where we camped in 1976 over cup weekend, the third cup camp of what now totals 50 camps over cup weekend when we gather this November, our golden anniversary camp. The drive through the National Park and along Woolshed creek was very enjoyable. The caravan park at Eldorado has changed little over the years. It is a tiny town now but when they were running the gold dredge, Wangaratta was an outpost with 2 policemen compared to 13 at Eldorado. The electricity consumption of the dredge made Eldorado the second largest consumer of electricity in the state after Melbourne.

From Eldorado I went to the peak of Mt Pilot in the National Park and enjoyed a picnic lunch and great views from the summit.

It’s Tuesday and my holiday is drawing to and end so I decided to treat myself to lunch at Tulleries in Rutherglen. I had a Wagu steak with wild mushrooms and Wakame (an edible seaweed). It was delicious, the thick sauce had just a hint of mustard and I enjoyed that as well.

On the way home I drove through the National Park again along Donchi Road that loops around through the park and back to the main road. Marg and I have picnicked by this road, but the picnic table has disappeared. I spotted an orchid while driving slowly so I was pleased with that, Marg used to be the expert orchid spotter. The Lady’s Finger Orchid is about the size of a 5 cent piece.

The country is so green, I have never seen eucalyptus forests green on the ground, but they are now, the ground is covered with native grasses and tiny plants. I think the coming wildflower season will be wonderful.

So a good holiday has been had, around 6,000 Km travelled, flooded roads generally avoided and mostly good weather. Back home on Thursday to cold wet weather, bugger.

If you want to be notified when I post my next blog just put your email address in the box below and click Subscribe. The next blog maybe in November when our camping group gather for the 50th time over cup weekend

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