MT BEAUTY, FALLS CREEK AND SNOW!
Trip Start Oct 05, 2009
325Trip End Oct 31, 2013
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Where I stayed
JOURNEY: Halls Gap, St Arnaud, Bendigo, Shepparton (overnight),Benalla, Milawa ,Bright, Mt Beauty, Falls - 450 kms
WEATHER: Cold nights and sunny days
We set off early from Halls Gap passing agricultural and pastoral fields and made a stop at St Arnaud, a small town with many historic and attractive buildings. Kath decided to have a meat pie and pastry for breakfast there- yum! Sheila stayed with our regular breakfast cereal. We headed along the Wimmera Hwy through picturesque farming land.
Victorian Goldrush towns have wide streets, grand architecture and a history of multi-culturism; Europeans and Chinese flocked to the areas to find gold and towns like Bendigo still show signs of the wealth and "new money" that grew the towns overnight. We only spent a short time here, did some grocery shopping and drove on to Shepparton where we spent the night.
Shepparton is on the Goulbourn river and the centre for fruit growing and processing. Australian icons SPC, Ardmona and Campbells have factories here, although we did hear stories of job losses and struggle as the $A reaches new peaks and overseas sales have halved. In some areas citrus is rotting on trees because their value is so low it's not worth picking them!
The town has an industrial feel to it and we stayed in a caravan park on the lake which was pretty busy with permanent residents. And at $27 pn was not very appealing.
On Thursday morning, 5 degrees at 9am, we drove onto the Midland Hwy, passed through Benalla
and found ourselves back on the Hume Hwy until we turned off onto a minor but gorgeous road to Milawa. This little town was special for gourmet produce and wines, and we did some shopping and exploring. Brown Brothers Winery was attractive but the Milawa Cheese Factory with a deli and bakery was our favourite. We stocked up for lunch.
The day was now sunny, warm with perfect blue skies and our next stop was the town of Bright. Another great little centre with information and gear for the snow fields- we were now in Alpine country.
Victoria's Alpine high Country is easy driving distance from Melbourne and Canberra and the ski resorts of Falls Creek, Mt Hotham and Mt Buffalo are weekend destinations.
We could see the snowy peak of Victoria's highest mountain, Mt Bogong as we approached our destination Mount Beauty and weaved carefully along the narrow mountain road.
Mount Beauty was constructed in 1946 by the State Electricity Commision to house the thousands of workers who built the Hydro Electricity Scheme in the area and completed in 1960.
We reached the Thompsons house, and with Sarah's expert directions Sheila was able to squeeze the van into the front yard. Their big 5th wheeler sits snuggly on the front verge.
We had a very happy reunion and settled in for a 5 day stay. Yippee!
We played Monopoly because Emma loved it - let's not worry about who won or lost- we had fun.
We learned to love the TV show 'Deal or No Deal' and sceamed with excitement as contestants won or lost. Sarah gave up on channel 7 and 9 News and became a fan of SBS and ABC when we could not get updated on the USA reaching a decision on raising the debt ceiling limit. We talked about the state of the world economy but could not come up with any solutions!!! Is it the end of the Americans role as Masters of the Universe?????
Sheila and Sarah enjoyed a challenging day of golf on the picturesque Mt Beauty Golf Course; Kath was caddy, as golf is not her forte. Both girls performed extremely well. Even the kangaroos were impressed.
We really loved the day up the mountain at Falls Creek and we thought the kids had done great with their new skills on the snow. Let it be said, Joe prefers the snowboard rather than the skis and he performs well.
It was really cold and breezy on the mountain so we went down with Emma to the village and waited for the others.
We had a great night at the local tavern celebrating Kath's birthday with the gift money from Nell; food and ambience was excellent.
The kids remembered Kath's skill at hair plaits at Augusta WA and she didn't disappoint with some very professonal results
And so the days went on and we were sad to leave.