Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Saturday 18th February - Tumut, Batlow, Tumbarumba

Underneath the shadecloth
Another lovely day.  We went for another drive today - this time to Batlow and Tumbarumba.  Batlow was very disappointing.  I expected a quaint little village - but it just looked old and tired I'm afraid.  And although I think it IS apple season now there were no roadside stalls offering new season's apples.  (No - apparently that is March / April.)  We decided to have something for lunch, not that there were many places to choose from.  We saw a cafe called Mountain View, but it was closed permanently.  It was beginning to look as if we'd have to go somewhere else.  But then we saw a little cafe called Coffee and More.  This didn't look much from the outside, but inside it was quite charming. We had a nice lunch (can't remember what).  There are definitely lots of orchards around Batlow - and the amazing thing is that many of them have what must be thousands of metres of either shadecloth or bird netting.  As you drive around the fields look strange because they are covered in white!  There is apparently a Big Apple at Batlow, but we didn't see it.  According to one web site it is very inaccessible!
Big Ted??

Do Not Disturb

Room for one more?
After lunch we headed for Tumbarumba.  When I was a kid my Uncle Bob and his family used to go for holidays at Tumbarumba.  I've always liked the sound of the name, but had never been there until now.  Now this was a pretty little town.  The highlight of our visit was the 4 Bears Cafe.
Night time visitor
We went back to the caravan park and decided where to go for tea.  We chose the RSL.  After dinner, back at the caravan park, Bill was feeding a couple of possums that paid a visit.

Friday 17th February - Tumut, Adelong

A lazy start to the day, but after breakfast and a bit of reading on my part we headed out for a sight-seeing drive.  We made our way to Adelong.  This is a pretty little town founded before gold was discovered, but it flourished after the discovery.  We went out to Adelong Falls to see the ruins of the gold battery.  The link makes for interesting reading about the history of gold mining in Adelong.
Adelong Falls Gold Battery Ruins
The ruins have been damaged in relatively recent floods, but you can still see the remains of some of the stone buildings, and there is good interprative signs explaining the history.
Lunchtime Visitor
We ate our lunch at the reserve, and had a great time feeding the magpies that were lurking.

Woolpack Hotel
We went back to the van and at tea time we went to Woolpack Hotel for dinner.  Bill had a whole trout, which he said was lovely, and I had a smoked salmon and avocado stack which was just lovely.

Thursday 16th February - Bombala to Tumut

Lunch at Lake Blowering
Up reasonably early this morning to get the van packed up so we could head for Tumut.  We travelled along the Monaro Highway, through Adaminaby, down the Talbingo mountain until we came to Blowering Dam.  We stopped for lunch beside the Blowering Lake.  The Talbingo drive was quite steep.  Bill thought we dropped over 1,000 metres.  Only unpleasant part of the stop was that a cocky dropped an acorn which landed right smack bang on my head!  Boy, did it hurt!
Ensuite site at Riverglade Caravan Park
After lunch we continued on our way and arrived in Tumut at about 2 o'clock.  We were booked into the Riverglade Caravan Park for three nights.
This excerpt from the Monaro Highway site link above dscribes the country we drove through.


10 km south of Nimmitabel the [Snowy Mountains] highway joins the Monaro Highway coming in from the south and shares the same carriageway running north to Cooma.

Nimmitabel to Cooma (37 km)

Running north-north-west from Nimmitabel, the Snowy Mountains Highway traverses an impressive and expansive landscape of rolling grassland plains, largely treeless except for some exotic species. It then enters the urban area of Cooma (altitude 780 m).

Cooma to Adaminaby (52 km)

The Snowy Mountains Highway leads west out of the Cooma urban precinct, corresponding with the Snowy Mountains Drive, then turns off to the north-west. It ascends through rolling hills of the Monaro Tableland, with mixed grassland and woodland, similar to the country east of Nimmitabel. Not far out of Cooma vistas to the south over the Monaro Tableland are glimpsed, and near Adaminaby (altitude 1,260 m), forested hills rise to the north across open plains.

Adaminaby to Kiandra (Khancoban turnoff) (40 km)

Kiandra Panorama. © Stuart Cohen DECCWKiandra Panorama. © Stuart Cohen DECCW
Leaving Adaminaby the grassland begins to diminish, as woodland and open forest becomes more dominant. Kosciuszko National Park is entered about 16 km from Adaminaby. The Great Dividing Range (1,251 m) is crossed again about 1.5 km inside the park, as the Snowy Mountains Highway enters the Snowy River catchment. From the park entrance to Rocky Plains Creek the country is mostly forested with montane open forest and tall open forest, showing the impact of the 2003 bushfire. Gardiners Hill is passed with the road at 1,390 m elevation. Views are close and limited.
West from Rocky Plains Creek pockets of frost hollow grassland begin to appear, becoming abruptly dominant when the road sweeps into the basin of the Eucumbene River. Sawyers Hill is passed with the road at 1,480 m elevation. Views begin to open out.
The historic locality of Kiandra (altitude 1,400 m) lies in an expansive grassland basin on the Eucumbene River.

Kiandra (Khancoban turnoff) to Talbingo turnoff (54 km)

kiandra-02Gold Mining Machinery © Stuart Cohen DECCW
The turnoff to the Khancoban-Cabramurra Road is passed just north of Kiandra, as the Snowy Mountains Highway continues to wind northwards through the grassland basin extending 10 km beyond Kiandra, edged by low hills of Snow Gum woodland. Then the grassland gives way to scattered woodlands and the exit road from Yarrangobilly Caves is passed. The Great Dividing Range is again crossed, at an elevation of 1,490 m, the highest point on the highway. The road re-enters the Murrumbidgee River catchment.
The road descends slightly to the grassland basin of Long Plain and passes the entry road to Yarrangobilly Caves, then the site of Yarrangobilly village on the Yarrangobilly River.
Beyond Yarrangobilly the road traverses tall montane forest (much if it unburnt in the 2003 bushfire), with views becoming close again, and crosses the Cumberland Range at an elevation of 1 183 metres. It then descends the steep western escarpment of the Snowy Mountains at Talbingo Hill to the turnoff to Talbingo village (elevation 410 m). On the descent tantalising glimpses of the Bogong Peaks appear to the north, with views also into a gorge on the southern side and down the Blowering valley.

Talbingo turnoff to Tumut (39 km)

From the Talbingo turnoff the Snowy Mountains Highway follows hilly ground on the eastern shore of Blowering Reservoir, a Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Scheme impoundment of the Tumut River. The country is a mixture of mostly cleared paddocks and remnant forest, with obvious weeds such as Blackberry. East of the road rises the dramatic granite escarpment of the Blowering cliffs. The outlook to the west is across the reservoir to more forested hills.
Near the northern end of Blowering Reservoir the highway climbs eastward over hills and crosses out of Kosciuszko National Park. It then descends steeply into the rural Tumut valley, with some good views to the north. The scenic rural country of the Tumut valley continues into Tumut (altitude 585 m).

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Wednesday 15th February - Bombala

Another beautiful day today.  We had a look at the shops in Bombala, including the Tourist Information Centre where we purchased a little soft toy platypus.  Unfortunately we didn't see any real platypi.
We went for a drive to Cathcart to have a look at the Cathcart Collectables display.  It was a shed full of hundreds of examples of all sorts of things - from egg cups, salt and pepper shakers, jugs, tools, shaving equipment to boxes. Not to mention the various trucks and farm machinery that were outside.  A very dusty collection!  There was much exclaining of "We used to have one of those" as we wandered around.
We went for tea at Priscilla's Heritage  restaurant.  The menu was mainly Chinese, with some Australian choices also.  We had mini spring rolls as an entree, then Bill had fish and chips and I had Honey Chicken which was very nice.

Tuesday 14th February - Bruthen to Bombala

As has become the norm for the start of our holidays we began the day with a visit to John Scarlett.  All was well, with no change to treatment, so we came home, finished loading the van and headed off.  It was about 2:30 when we left Bruthen.  The day was quite warm.
We stopped at Cann River for a drink and petrol, then headed out to Bombala.  On the way, just past Chandler's Creek, we saw a huge police van by the side of the road.  There were also obviously reporters and camera men.  Talking to Susan later she said the news had a report about the police looking for a body near Bombala.  We think that mught have been what we saw.  We had rung the Bombala Caravan Park to make a booking, and to find out how we accessed the ablutions as we were under the impression that the caretaker didn't live on site.  However, that has now changed and Darryl (?) greeted us when we arrived. Later he came to present us with a Bombala Shire calendar and a platypus country sticker.  He also gave us a small lavender sachet - Bombala is famous for platypi and lavendar.  On seeing my walking stick he even asked if we'd like the disabled facilities opened, which we took advantage of, so I more or less had a private bathroom despite there not being en-suites at the park.
We spent a bit of time organising the van, then decided to go to the Bombala RSL for tea.  It was Valentine's Day, and the RSL had a special dinner, but it was fully pre-booked so we had dinner in the small dining room.  Dinner was quite nice - can't remember what we had.
The caravan park is right beside the river, and just up fromour site is where the platypus can often be found.  We didn't actually see any, but we did see the water moving in the moonlight, which suggested they were swimming.

An Inland Holiday

Well, our latest adventure was a combination of previous ideas.  First, we arranged for the dog and the bird to be farmed out to Mum and Jim so the temperature wasn't going to be an issue.  Second, the east coast of NSW was experiencing lots of rain, so we figured places we might go to might be flooded.  So we settled for an inland holiday instead. Some Snowy Mountains, some Murray River.