Blogs from Victoria, Australia, Oceania


Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Melbourne » Essendon September 11th 2019

We’re up at 4.30 am for a long day of travelling home. I accidentally push the alarm button on the hire car, so we suspect that the rest of the guests at our previously quiet Kauai hotel are now also awake. We drive away quickly before we manage to wreak any further havoc. We get to the airport as the sun is coming up, and if we needed any more reminding that the whole island seems to be overrun with wild chickens it comes in the form of multiple roosters crowing very loudly to greet the new day. It is 11 September and we pause for half a minute’s silence at Honolulu airport at 8.45 am, which was apparently the exact time that the first plane hit the North Tower of the World Trade Centre back ... read more

Oceania » Australia » Victoria September 2nd 2019

And just like that, it is over! What an amazing 11weeks we have had touring around parts of Western Australia and South Australia. We have seen so many new places and experienced so many opportunities, thoroughly enjoying it all. We have travelled quite a few kilometres but have seen so little of this big country, and there are many adventures still waiting. Some holiday stats: Distance travelled = just short of 11,910kms (7,400 miles) Days away = 74 Fuel costs = $3182.22 (average $43/day) Accommodation costs = $1165.95 (includes caravan parks & donations at freedom camps – average $15.75/day) Time now then to clean down the van …….. ready for another holiday.... read more

Oceania » Australia » Victoria September 1st 2019

I think Nyah Rec Reserve, 28kms north west of Swan Hill, has to be our favourite freedom camp; it was the first freedom camp we experienced so it has a kind of sentimental attachment. These days the township has nothing more than a service station which doubles as the general store & newsagency. The recreation park caters for football, netball and cricket and it is this sporting link that cements the strong community spirit. A few years ago, after the town lost its right to horse trotting to the much bigger Swan Hill, the locals realised they needed to do something to encourage people to stop a while in their town. For a donation of $5 per night caravaners can set up by the River around the football oval or near the cricket nets. There is ... read more
90109.9 ghostly trees

Oceania » Australia » Victoria August 31st 2019

Just a short distance from Mildura CBD and through some of the Sunraysia vineyards we turned onto Cureton Avenue which would lead us to Psyche Bend and Kings Billabong. The access road down to the pump house needs a bloomin’ good go over with a grader, but once there the tracks meandering through the billabong camping area were quite good; lots of defined camping sites alongside the water, some too tight for caravans, but we soon found a place to stop for the night. With the campsite set up it didn’t take us long to be sitting back taking in the view; houseboats and speedboats made their way up and down the billabong enjoying the Saturday afternoon sunshine, their wakes slapping against the tall bank. Pelicans and waterfowl were conspicuous by their absence, but there were ... read more
83108.4 Kings Billabong
83108.5 Kings Billabong
83108.6 Kings Billabong

Oceania » Australia » Victoria August 29th 2019

Today started slowly with jet lag still waking me around 3am. Dozed on and off until 8am but it was hot and time to begin the day. I had a few organisational matters first so brekky was a Kellogg’s gluten free breakfast biscuit. 15g protein to start the day. Really miss the tea and coffee making in rooms that European hotels lack. Headed off to Le Republique districtrict not too far from the hotel- about a 20 min walk. On the way found a great little supermarket where I stocked up with fruit and mini cheeses. Sadly as a coeliac, I walk past the baguette isle. You can get gluten free bread 🍞 but it’s the same as home and not the best if not toasted. Also don’t want to be buying a full loaf of ... read more

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Echuca August 28th 2019

Where do you go for a holiday to escape a 4-day 40-plus deg January heatwave in Sydney? Why, you go south-west about 800k’s and further inland to where it is 46deg, of course! This year marks Ted’s and my 50 years of wedded bliss! 25th January 1969 is where it all began. Of course, we have been together for longer than that and, are what is commonly known as, “childhood sweethearts.” Do they still use that term these days? We both grew up in a small country community of about 600 people where everybody knew everybody else and, if you weren’t related to Ted’s family, then you were probably related to mine somewhere along the line. 😊 We have come a long way since those days – nearing 60-odd years ago, now - and have ... read more
Our wedding day - 1969
Our houseboat home for the week
Tying up for the night

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Melbourne August 25th 2019

Finally got myself checked through and into the lounge to pass a couple of hours before boarding. The majority of the people in the lounge are Chinese and no doubt heading home to Hong Kong. And no doubt wondering what will greet them as the riots continue. Then there’s the Aussie baby boomer couples. Easy to spot as they eye of the liquor cabinet and their comfortable clothing for a long flight. And then.... there is the eccentric unusual character- and no I’m not talking about myself! A gentleman, somewhere between 60-70 years of age whose shiny leather, pointy toed shoes make a clicking sound on the shiny black tiles. Talking to himself as he decides on his nourishment. A business man I suspect. And of course there’s the female solo traveller typing this account..... I’ll ... read more

Oceania » Australia » Victoria August 17th 2019

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 ... read more
Abandoned wagon
The Dog (back) on the Tuckerbox
HMAS Otway at Holbrook

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Melbourne August 15th 2019

We head off on a different trip this time. Not the feather light purebred stallion racing bikes of our previous trips beneath our saddles but rather the draft horse of the cycling world, Touring Bikes. There'll be no 30km/hr days as we lug upto 30kgs of bike and baggage up the Rockies, and around the roads and rail trails of Canada. It's not going to be quite as rough and ready as full on touring though with accommodation booked for each night along the trail and some well placed rest days along the route. It's the first time touring for me and I must say I think I went a size too small on the paniers with only 2 x 15 Litre bags. It's the night before we leave and Tommy has changed his mind on ... read more

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Yarra Valley August 14th 2019

Not quite go. But pretty close. Best read to ‘Waltzing Matilda’ but somewhat embarrassing if you do if there are others around. But then again reading my blog qualifies as embarrassing even if no one’s around. Once an old teacher and his little sister Headed off to England to walk day after day We’ll trudge and we’ll tramp and walk and walk We’ll go a walking the Pennine Way. Ahead lay hill, dale, cairn and tarn Each day a labour and certainly no play But over, around, to and through we go We’ll go a walking the Pennine Way. Starting at Edale and heading towards the north Through the peaks of Yorkshire hey, hey, hey What? Nothing compared with the TMB We’ll go a walking the Pennine Way. Traversing the peat and bogs of the Pennines ... read more

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