Saturday, 25 July 2015

Caravanning North 2015

Setting off from our home on the Mornington Peninsula on a sunny but cold and wintry Monday, we drove up busy car filled freeways skirting the Melbourne CBD until finally we were free of the city and began the long drive up through central Victoria where we had our first overnight stop at Echuca. We like this town and have stayed here before enjoying the closeness of the Murray River and the old colonial buildings.We have in the past had paddle steamer rides to wineries and with gourmet lunches on the river bank and exploring the old port precinct which still retains much of the history of the area. This time however, apart from the usual "oh - remember that!" we just settled the van in at the Echuca Tourist Park, thankful for some heating on a rather cool night.

Next day we again headed north crossing the border into New South Wales and hoping for a bit more sunshine and warmth. We  reached Hay and continued on along the Cobb Highway eventually aiming for Wilcannia and then on to White Cliffs (opal mining town). After about 200 kilometres through dead flat countryside we reached Ivanhoe for a night stop. We found very friendly locals and had an excellent dinner at the small but popular Ivanhoe Hotel. Overnight it rained and rained with a thunderstorm thrown in for good measure. Not daunted
we set off next morning only to find a sign on the outskirts of town advising that the Cobb Highway north to Wilcannia was closed for two days. Nothing for it but to turn around and drive back the long 210 kilometres of the Cobb Highway, a brief stop at Hay then another attempt to drive north along the Kidman Way. Success at last and this day's travel brought us to Cobar - once an important copper mining area. We decided to stay here a few nights to brush off the now dry red mud and have the usual wash and brush-up and replenishing of supplies.

We've had a little rain since but it is definitely warmer here - enough to sit outside for a cuppa and chat and to feed all the very friendly birds around the park - and even do a little rug-hooking.