Down on the farm

Rosella 1Dawn and I are enjoying our house sitting at Kyabram. Our nearest neighbour is a couple of kms away and aside from Bear and black puss we are entertained by daily visits of rosella and red rumped parrots. The feeders in the garden keep them coming in good numbers.

Hattah-Kulkyne NP

They also enjoy frolicking under the hose as we endeavour to keep some greenery around the house.

 

House sit 4The home here is a 100 year old cottage set on acreage and has access to irrigation channel water for the gardens.

We are here until this coming weekend and have made use of the time with some general repairs and maintenance to The Burrow and to the Chariot. Auto transmission has been serviced and should be OK again after earlier issues. The portable fridge has had a clean and service and now performs again on gas. We have added tracking for the shade screen to the offside of the caravan so can now get protection on either side as required.

 

Cows 10Have had a couple of trips to Shepparton and a run down to Murchison where I used to spend many of my early school holidays on the family farm.

Murch 2

Our friends Glen and Jack came up from Melbourne and we went to Rushworth for their Easter markets and parade.

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Sitting here writing these notes and I have looked out the window to see the cat having a great time on the verandah leaping about and harassing a brown snake. I have just despatched it with one of the many strategically placed shovels around the place. It is a bit cooler now and there are not so many snakes in evidence.

Storm water mittigationPart of our instructions before the owners went on holiday included the introduction to the internal storm water mitigation system, which collects overflow from a box gutter!

 

 

 

No rain since they left so we haven’t needed to operate it.

Just had a text from Jan and she and Greg will be home Friday, so we will be on the road again on Saturday heading for Swan Hill.

Northern Victorian Heatwave

Well the heat got the better of us and we headed into Echuca/Moama which were booked out with the long weekend.

CocobendEventually we found a site for two nights at a new caravan park, “Cocobend”on the Murray. No swimming due to the algae in the river but power for air conditioning  and nice new facilities and welcome cool showers. Very friendly people and very reasonable rates. The van sites are large and are all drive thru sites. Our outside fridge still refused to work on gas so it was good to get some ice to cool drinks down. This park is well worth a visit and is getting better by the day. No fishing this time but a great spot on the bend of the river in better times. Some youngsters having brekkie by the river were startled by a kookaburra which swooped in their midst to score his breakfast. Brought back memories of when it happened to us in Qld. The “Yabbie Man”was just down the road and we enjoyed a great feed of yabbies and wine back at camp.

 

 

Nesters 2Murray 3

 

 

 

 

We drove back into Echuca for some shopping and a brief look around and will be back here when we house sit near Kyabram over Easter.

 

 

 

 

Aldi Sauce 1A purchase at Aldi of some pasta sauce held a surprise chunk of jagged plastic and so we took it back the next day and filed a complaint. Fortunately, I didn’t swallow it and we are still waiting to hear the outcome.

 

 

 

 

Ayson's Reserve 1Aysons Reserve 2

 

 

 

 

Our next stop was at Aylson’s Reserve on the Campaspe River near Elmore. A great free camp site with flushing toilets and a dump site, it was quite well patronised for the couple of nights that we stayed. Met Terry and Kerry Reardon, from Epping in Melbourne, and gleaned some good recommendations for other free camps along the Murray, and into South Australia. Terry is a keen Ultralite flyer and had his plane with him on their current 3 month break away from home. He and Kerry took off from a local farm strip and flew over our camp with a wave from 1000 ft. It was terrific to meet such lovely people and to have a shared interest in flying also to marvel at his memory of every camp they had stayed at for over 18 years. The Campaspe is free of blue green algae and apparently so too is the Goulburn which is near our house sit property.

We are now near Kyabram on acreage looking after a one hundred year old house, cat and staffie named “Bear”. Our night before getting here was spend at a park in Girgarre and we experienced our first rainfall in over 6 weeks. It pelted down over night and has been a welcomed drop in these parched parts of Vic. Girgarre is a pleasant stop over place with good amentites, including hot showers, available for a donation towards the upkeep of the park. It was a shame to see that the town had lost its main income source when the local Heinz factory closed. We saw that the country spirit lives on as we passed the local hall, lights off, with a bunch of locals line dancing in the dark.

Temps are now down to 20 deg today and low to mid 20’s for the next week.

Catching up with Bundalong and Beyond

 

After a good run from Towong, except for the automatic gearbox not changing down, we arrived at Bundalong Resort. We had purchased our stay two or three months ago on Travel Auctions. On arrival we were surprised to find that we have our own ensuite bathroom as part of the deal.

After settling in, a trip to Yarrawonga was in order to check for mail c/o the Post Office and to replenish supplies.

Lake Mulwala at MulwalaOur stay has included exploring around Yarrawonga and Lake Mulwala with a pleasant walk around Chinaman’s Island.Lake Mulwala 1

 

 

 

 

 

SignCheese factoryAll Saints 2Vists to Rutherglen and Wahgunyah discovered some excellent wines to sample. On a 40 degreee plus day we were amongst the few who braved the heat at “Music on The Murray” at St Leonards Winery.40 degrees on the green

Murray 2Lake Moodermere Wines took our fancy and we popped back for a second visit to stock up on their Lakeside Red.

Another place that we visited twice was Rich Glen Olives. A lovely “Farm Gate “ business including a café, all with home cooked goodies and the best malted milkshake that I have had since school days.Olives 2 Each visit was on a hot day and the fine mist of water and fans on the verandah added to the experience.

CockyThe current heat wave across northern Victoria s taking it’s toll with the Murray and most other rivers full of blue green algae. No contact with the water and no fishing unless you can clean and wash the fish immediately in fresh water.

The swimming pool at Bundalong  has served us well and has been the meeting place for most park residents.

On a day trip to Kyabram we met Jan and Greg, who we will house sit for for nearly 3 weeks over Easter. From their 100 year old acreage property we drove on to check out a few free camps to use between Bundalong and getting to Kyabram. One option near some lakes had a very “strange feel” to it. The nearest village was a collection of derelict caravans and dump sites, with the distict possibility of two headed people or banjo playing hillbillies, so we voted it down.

The best of them is Edward River Bridge Reserve. In NSW, near Mathoura. Again the river is green, but we have a lovely site overlooking it and a brief 100m walk to the well maintained “long drop”. The bird life has been busy but patchy and there is evidence of kangaroo and snake activity.

Our bird spotting has included several species of wrens, one with a blue tail, striated pardalote, galahs, sulphur crested cockies. Kookas and crows. There is a lack of water birds, probably due to the condition of the river.

VisitorBarmah LakesTrack 1CampRiver 1We have had 3 days here and they have been very hot ones so we are contemplating heading for a caravan park for some access to power and air conditioning for a couple of days.

Watch this space!!!

Towong- 5 nights on the bank of The Murray

Just arrived

Recapping notes on one of our most enjoyable camps to date.Our site

 

 

 

The river is flowing quite quickly. The water is clear and cold. A quick swim was nothing more than a brief dunk near the bank as the cold took your breath away.

We are cooling wine and beer in the river. Tried our hand at fishing on a few occasions but there are no signs of fish.

The strong flow of the river is due to an upstream release of water for irrigation downstream. Keen, regular fishermen reckon this has put the fish off the bite.

 

Ready for BrekkieToday is Saturday and we have seen the river drop almost a metre since we arrived Wed afternoon. This is such a relaxing camp that we have had only one quick trip into Corryong and a short drive to look at two other free camps in the area, Clarkes Lagoon and Neils Bend, both nice but don’t warrant a move from where we are.

The Murray and The AlpsA lookout on the way back afforded views to the Australian Alps including Mt Kozzie.Clarkes Lagoon

 

 

 

We have used the binoculars for close up looks at sulphur crested cockatoos drinking from the river, ibis fossicking along the bank, eastern rosella, wrens and finches. Our dailygreetings and evening salutes come with the compliments of kookaburra and magpie.

The days have been mid to high 30 deg, with cooler nights making for good sleeping with the constant background noise of the Murray bubbling  over rocks and around snags.

Our portable 3 way fridge has decided to not work on gas so will need to get it checked out somewhere down the track.

The hours are easy to while away just sitting, relaxing and watching the river flow.

Towong Bridge from NSWAs the level drops there are stones breaking the surface in various spots and it is easy to imagine that there must be times when you can walk across from one state to another.Visitors 2

Saturday, and we have enjoyed an evening drink and nibbles with Laurie and Jenny from Narrogin in W.A. We may meet again in Darwin in July.

Sunday, and the river has dropped even further with a patch of grass appearing amongst the river stones. Kookas and magpies greeted what promises to be a hot day.

Monday,  and there is more water in the river this morning. There must be another release coming down. Coffee with Laurie and Jenny as they head off towards Qld.

We packed up and set off for Bundalong having to manually change down on steep hills as the automatic wasn’t kicking down by itself. Another thing to check out where we can.

Farewell to The Man from Snowy River country and thanks for a memorable time.The Man from Snowy River 2 Corryong