Travelling Australia
Wayne & Pam BENTLEY

Saturday 7th May 2005 to Monday 9th May 2005

Saturday 7th May 2005

After a damp night, the morning came with promise of a better day to come. We were up and commenced our preparations for departure from Phillip Island by around 7:am, however we didn't get away until 8:55am and that was after a very welcome phone call from daughter Kym.

Once on the road we relied on Miss Bossy B. to tell us how to get to Lakes Entrance, although we did inform her (set a route) to take us via some particular towns on the way.

We first drove through Wonthaggie, before stopping in Foster which was a rather 'cute' little town that had a bakery in the main street. Whilst 'One of Us' made a bee line for the bakery, the 'Other One' walked down the street to take a photograph or two. With a mini pizza under our belts and a cream bun for lunch down the track, we headed back out onto the highway. Next came Yarram, Sale, Stratsfield and Bairnsdale before arriving in Lakes Entrance at about 2:00pm.

We had heard that the Gipsland area in Victoria was a must to visit and now we can vouch for that as a fact. The drive from Phillip Island up to Lakes Entrance took us through some beautiful rolling farmland with mountains in the background. The drive up as far as Sale was through paddocks full of green grass and fat cows.

After our arrival and setting up in the caravan park, which is very close to the centre of Lakes Entrance, we walked down the street to the waterfront and then back to the local 'Safeway Store'. There was the essentials purchased such as some chops and tissues to dry up the tears when it came to $30.60, but that meant the docket could be used in the Safeway Service Station for the 4 cent discount on fuel.

As tomorrow is Mothers Day we will not be traveling too far and 'One of Us' will need some special attention as she is "So far away from my babies!".

Fosters War Memorial

Sunday 8th May 2005 (Mothers Day)

We woke up to a beautiful Mothers Day with the sun shining down from a clear blue cloudless sky. 'One of Us' lazed back in bed whilst the 'Other One' gave her a cup of tea and biscuits in bed along with a pair of pink opal earings. Then after showers and preparation for our days activities one of the staff from the caravan park arrived with a large parcel of chocolates and biscuits gift wrapped and sent to a wonderful mother from a lovely daughter Kym and son-in law Lee. Then there was the telephone call and chat from son Travis to wish Mum a great day from he and our daughter-in-Law Lana who we will be seeing in Melbourne in less than a week from today. Last but not least, a long chat on the phone with youngest daughter Jay. What more could this Mother want!

The day started out with a drive around the town area of Lakes Entrance and then a decision to make use of one of the many small boats available for hire and have a picnic on the lake. We made another visit to the local Safeway Store to buy a BBQ chicken and some salads, then back to the caravan to pick up some additional picnic items before heading for the boat hire jetty.

Once we had hired the boat we set off along the lake to the south, passing a variety of other craft tied up at the jettys along the foreshore and under the road bridge past the passage out to the ocean, then continued down the lake to the south. After about 45 minutes we found a little bay that was protected from the gentle but cool breeze blowing over the water and we anchored there to enjoy our picnic lunch.

After enjoying a great meal of chicken and salads, assisted by a warm cup of tea and a chocolate that 'One of Us' recieved for Mothers Day, we hauled up the anchor and set off back along the lake to the boat hire jetty in Lakes Entrance. 'One of Us' kept saying that although she would have loved to have had "my babies" around her, this was a great way to spend Mothers day. Wo hope all other mothers had a great day as well.

Tomorrow we intend to drive up along the Great Alpine Road into the high country which will mean a long day and quite a lot of kilometres. It is possible that we will be away all day and may get back too late to prepare the web site for uploading so we may not have any updates tomorrow night. If this is the case, the days activities will be updated the next night (Tuesday).

A suprise parcel for a special Mum

Pelicans galore on Lakes Entrance shore

Monday 9th May 2005

An early start this morning, out of bed about 6:am and preparations started for a long day. All set and every need catered for and on board, we turned Miss Bossy B, on and departed the caravan park at about 07:30am.

Our first destination was to Omeo which is about 120 km from Lakes Entrance on what we thought would be a fairly straight forward road that would be the start of the Alpine country..... WRONG! Once we turned on to the Great Alpine Road (about 30 km from Lakes Entrance, we found ourselves in a range of mountains and the next 60km were winding around and up and down the sides of these ranges. The mountains provided some amazing views over valleys into even more mountains covered with tall trees. On the last 25 km to Omeo we passed through a number of small villages & farming land with cattle and sheep grazing on the slopes of rolling hills. This 120 km of the journey took us just over two hours to complete.

Omeo is a 'cute' little town that was established way back in the 1840's when gold was discovered in the area. The main street has been built on a bit of a slope and it is near the base of the Alpine Mountain Ranges. Once we left Omeo we started climbing up into the mountains again and as we made it to the top of the first peak we stopped at a lookout for a morning tea break. From this lookout we could see over a wide valley to several layers of ranges as far as Mt Kosciosko in New South Wales.

We continued along the road around the sides of mountains around the sharpest and most bends we have ever encountered (and that includes Tasmania) and climbed even higher into the clouds until we went through Dinner Plain and arrived in Mount Hotham Ski Resort. When we stopped at a roadside bay in this resort and climbed out of the Patrol to take a photograph or two we found the temperature had dropped dramatically and there was a fairly strong cold wind blowing as well. It was a lot warmer back in the Patrol when we started off again.

From here the Great Alpine Road took us through more of the same beautiful country as it wound slowly down over the next 30 km until we came out at Harrietville. This is a small town situated in a valley full of cows, sheep.

Our journey then continued along this valley with less severe bends for the next 25 km until we drove through an avenue of beautiful multi coloured deciduas trees into the town of Bright. This town is in it's absolute glory in the autumn, with colour everywhere. We stopped in the main centre of the town whilst 'One of Us' visited the shops and the 'Other One' took a few photographs. We then found a lovely little park on the river that runs through the town and we stopped there for lunch and a few more photographs.

When we left Bright we headed North over the mountains to the small town of Mount Beauty, situated in another valley at the base of the mountains. After driving through the town we set off toward Bogong and on to Falls Creek which is another ski resort high up in the mountains.

From Falls Creek we started out of the resort to return to Omeo via a scenic road marked on our map, however it did not tell us that this road was not a lot better than a dirt track up through the 'High Country'. After a little confusion, Miss Bossy B. told us we were on the right track so we continued on our way with 'One of Us' getting rather nervous and expressing her concern when she couldn't see any signs that said we were on our way to Omeo, whilst the 'Other One' put his faith in Miss Bossy B. The High Country was very fascinating and was just as it is shown in the movies, with low stumpy trees, plenty of grass and rocky outcrops. Just as 'One of Us' had finished expressing even more concern about not being on the right track and that there were no signs to Omeo, we rounded a corner and there it was - Omeo 50 km the sign said - and the look on the face of 'One of Us' made the 'Other One' laugh until tears ran. From this point it was still a fair drive along this very winding and steep track before we made it to the Omeo Highway and wound our way back to Omeo town site.

We stopped in Omeo this time and took some photographs before heading back toward Lakes Entrance the way we had come, yet this time those winding roads we first encountered didn't seem very bad at all compared to what we went through over the alps.

Lights were well and truly needed along this section of the road and we eventually arrived back at the caravan park at about 6:25pm after traveling in excess of 514 km over a period of 11 hours. There is no way we can show all we saw on this website and so many of the greatest views were in locations we could not stop on the road to take photographs. It was a great day and a fabulous drive, well worth every twist in the road and will go down as another highlight of our journey.

Looking out toward Mt Kosciosko

The drive into Bright

Lunch in the park at Bright

The 'High Country' near Falls Creek