Canberra to Melbourne

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August 17th 2019
Published: August 18th 2019
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We left Canberra just before 9.00am this morning for the drive home to Melbourne. We made our first stop near Gundagai for the BIG Koala and, of course, the Dog (back) on the Tuckerbox. The statue was vandalised (knocked from its plinth) at the end of July and had to be taken away for repairs. Bernie checked this morning to learn that the dog is back. When we arrived, not only was the dog back on the tuckerbox, there were hundreds of people at the site for the ceremonial return of the dog. What a momentous day to visit!

Tracey took over the driving and we continued down the Hume. As we neared Holbrook, Tracey decided that it was probably time for another leg stretch and maybe some lunch. When we stopped near Gundagai we smelt bacon and egg rolls being cooked, but resisted buying them for ourselves. But the smell seemed to linger in our memories making us feel ready for an early lunch. We had forgotten that Holbrook is the home of the HMAS Otway submarine, but as soon as we pulled up beside the sub it seemed very familiar. We decided that we probably stopped here when we drove up to Sydney for the World Masters Games in 2009.

With BLAT focaccias in our tummies we went for a walk around the sub to take a few photos and read about just why it is that a submarine comes to be in a town 259 kms from the sea. Originally named Ten Mile Creek the town was renamed Germanton in 1875. However, during World War I, the town name was deemed unpatriotic so, on 24 August 1915, the town was renamed Holbrook in honour of Lt. Norman Douglas Holbrook, a decorated wartime submarine captain and winner of the Victoria Cross.

To honour Lieutenant Holbrook, the town's namesake, the Holbrook council acquired a portion of the hull of HMAS Otway, an Oberon-class submarine, after it was decommissioned by the Royal Australian Navy in 1995. Following negotiations with the scrap yard in Sydney, the town succeeded in purchasing all of the outside casing of the Otway above the waterline. This part of the Otway is now displayed in Germanton Park in the heart of Holbrook.

We made our final comfort stop near Seymour and then continued on our way home arriving just before 5.00pm. After we unpacked the car Bernie felt the need to mow the lawn ... as you do after eight hours on the road!!

Most importantly, let the record show that the Bolivia tournament went 12-6 to the girls!

All in all, another interesting and fun-filled driving holiday with the Gatts. Thank you Cathy and Steve.

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