Tag: Camping

Albury-Wodonga

Albury Railway Station

Albury-Wodonga – Connecting Victoria and New South Wales

Albury-Wodonga is the twin regional city that is located on the North-Eastern part of Victoria. With the Hume Highway running next to it connecting Melbourne and Sydney, Albury-Wodonga became the major stop for travellers on the Hume Hwy.

Although often being referred as the twin city, yet, they are actually two cities. With Wodonga located on the South of the Murray River in Victoria and Albury on the North of the Murray in New South Wales.

Albury Motor Village Tourist Park

Albury Motor Village Tourist Park

Albury Motor Village Tourist Park

For this trip, we have spend majority of our time in Albury. We stayed at a nice little caravan park called Albury Motor Village Tourist Park (http://www.alburytouristpark.com.au). It is located in a suburb called Lavington, which is just 10 mins drive North of Albury CBD.

The park is now under new management and the new park owners are very friendly and helpful. They also have plans in doing some major upgrades to the park in very near future.

The park has only a handful of van sites, so they are generally fully booked. Though, there may be upgrading to more van sites in the future. The van sites can be tight, especially with the drive thru sites, so call in early to confirm with the owners in regards to availability and van size limitation. There are other accommodation options such as various style of cabins and YHA shared dormitory.

Book early to avoid disappointment.

Book early to avoid disappointment.

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Nice wooden cabins.

The park may be small, but it comes with the lot! It has free Wi-Fi (24 hours per night stay), a children’s playground, a swimming pool, a shared BBQ area, a shared guest centre with TV and a very well equipped kitchen area. Guests are also spoiled with choice when choosing your dining options, there are various eateries within walking distance from the park, you can either drive or commute to the CBD for more options, or cook up a storm with the ALDI supermarket just across the street.

Swimming pool.

Swimming pool.

Children's Playground.

Children’s Playground.

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Well equipped, clean and tidy shared kitchen.

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Guest Centre with dining area and TV.

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Undercover BBQ area.

As mentioned above, the new owners have plans for some major upgrades to the park in near future, so it will be interesting to see what will happen in the next 12 months.

Albury CBD

The heart of Albury is on Dean Street, spreading between Young Street and Wodonga Place. There are also a lot of shops, service stations and other supplies surrounding the CBD of Albury.

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Intersection in Albury CBD.

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The busy Dean Street.

The visitor information centre is also very close by, situated on the corner of Young Street and Smollett Street, right next to the Albury Railway Station. The staffs there are knowledgeable, friendly and willing to help.

Interesting crossing sign in Albury.

Interesting crossing sign in Albury.

Diners can be spoiled by choice if you decided to enjoy a meal in the CBD, ranging from fast food outlets to restaurants for a sit down meal. For alternative, you can walk further to Noreuil Parade, where the famous The River Deck is located. It is sitting just on the bank of the Murray and diners can enjoy their meal with a glass overlooking the beautiful Murray River.

We have found the average costs for a sit down lunch to be $15-20 per person, which can be pricey for some people.

There are quite a few attractions in Albury. The Albury Library Museum and the Murray Art Museum Albury (MAMA) are in the CBD and are within minutes of walking distance to each other.

The Albury Library Museum is a free and permanent exhibition showing some of the culture of the Wiradjuri people, their history and how they live. The museum also exhibition the insight into Albury’s past and some famous people who were from the town, including the famous Margret Court (Australian Tennis Legend) and Lauren Jackson (Famous Australian Basketball player).

Albury Library Museum

Albury Library Museum

The Library museum also house some information regarding the Bonegilla Story, which involves the migrants of many nations, especially the European nations, which formed the foundation of Australia’s multiculturalism.

Scarred tree and canoe.

Scarred tree and canoe.

Traditional Aborigines tools.

Traditional Aborigines tools.

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Display of early Chinese settlement.

For those who have an artistic sense, MAMA is the place to go. The entrance fee as at March 2016, is $15 per adult. Also, during the time of our visit, it was the Festival of Marilyn, which celebrates the life of the one and only Marilyn Monroe, featuring iconic imagery and artworks inspired by her.

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Murray Art Museum Albury (MAMA)

 

Murray River

With the mighty Murray being so close to town, it plays an important role to the locals and tourists. There are many parklands, walking tracks and public open space along the river, and we saw many locals gathering along the river with their lunch and enjoy the river-view, or the local parents catching up while their children have fun at the playground near The River Deck, or just simply have a relaxing afternoon nap under the natural shading from the trees around.

The River Deck

The River Deck

Locals enjoying their afternoon.

Locals enjoying their afternoon.

Playground

Children’s Playground

Albury Botanic Gardens

If you prefer just some relaxing and quiet time close to the nature, apart from the Murray River, the Albury Botanic Gardens would be another nice option. It is located at the West side of Wodonga Place between Dean Street and Smollett Street. So it is just a few minutes’ walk from the CBD. It is another popular place for the locals with their picnic lunch or a relaxing walk during the day.

Albury Botanic Gardens.

Albury Botanic Gardens.

It is not a very big park, however, it is very well maintained. It is facilitated with many park seats and benches under shades and a drinking fountain. The gardeners did a wonderful job to keep the place functioning, clean and tidy and the plants happy.

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Plenty of shaded seats.

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During the summer months, there are signs everywhere telling visitors to beware of snakes, therefore, keep an eye out for your children.

Wonga Wetlands

Wonga Wetlands is predominately a man-made area, with an ecosystem lagoons and billabong. It is aim to bring back birds and wildlife back in the area, as the construction of the Hume Dam has altered what used to be floodplains along the Murray River. Since the restoration of the wetlands, it is said to house more than 150 species of bird in the area.

A bridge crossing a lagoon.

A bridge crossing a lagoon.

Hidden wetland?

Hidden wetland?

Apart from the lagoons and bird watching, the Wonga Wetlands has also recreated a Wiradjuri campsite. It is to show visitors how the Wiradjuri people used to live, and how they used the land back in the days. It is interesting to see how they have men’s camp, women’s camp, young men’s camp, a working area, etc. When we went to Uluru and learned about the Anangu tribe, they also have a very similar camp allocation. Maybe this is a common practice for the Aboriginal tribes?

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Display of Wiradjuri campsite

Unfortunately, during our time of visit, the Wonga Wetlands is quite dry and we didn’t get to see much birds, apart from a few magpies and ducks. We hope we will have better chance next time, more importantly, we hope our readers will get to see the true beauty of the Wonga Wetlands.

We've managed to see a few magpies...

We’ve managed to see a few magpies…

...and a few ducks.

…and a few ducks.

Yindyamarra Sculpture Walk

We’ve found the Yindyamarra Sculpture Walk to be the most iconic walk in Albury. It is located at the North side of the might Murray River, spanning almost 6km between Kremur Street Boat Ramp and the Wonga Wetlands.

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Information about the Yindyamarra Sculpture Walk.

Along the walking track, not only do you see beautiful river scenery and wildlife, there are also a total of eleven contemporary Aboriginal sculptures created by local Aboriginal artists.

You can choose to either do only a part of the walk or in the full return trip (10.5km – 2-3hrs walk). It is a fairly easy walk with very well paved paths. You can also choose to do the walk in sections by stopping at a few stops in your car, do the full walk on foot or even ride a bike.

Nicely paved path suitable for walking, running and riding a bike.

Nicely paved path suitable for walking, running and riding a bike.

There are some pretty amazing artwork on display. You can appreciate the amount of hard work that has put into them and the messages they are trying to express through their art work.

Goanna

Goanna

Teaming Life of Milawa Billa.

Teaming Life of Milawa Billa.

Bogong Moth Migration.

Bogong Moth Migration.

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Wiradjuri Woman

Reconciliation Shield

Reconciliation Shield

In order to make the most out of this walk’s experience, we were recommended to download the ‘APositive’ app on our smart phones. Once you turn on the app and scan the QR code or images with ‘AR’ symbols, there will be descriptions and even the animated explanations from the artists themselves.

We would personally recommend to bring enough drinking water and a sun hat, especially during warmer and sunny days. From our experience, when we did the walk, it was a sunny warm day, and there were parts of the track which was close to the road and had no shade, without water and a hat, it would be a less enjoyable experience.

Peaceful and beautiful scenery along the Murray River.

Peaceful and beautiful scenery along the Murray River.

We saw more birds here than the Wetlands!

We saw more birds here than the Wetlands!

Others

There are quite a few other attraction points which we haven’t visited. Some because we haven’t arrived at the right time or season, such as Lake Hume, we were told there was only about 30% capacity when we were there, so we didn’t put it on the top of our list. Also, we haven’t been able to visit the local markets, especially the twilight market in Albury CBD, as when we arrived it was already finished (Oct – Mar).

There are some other attractions, we simply didn’t have enough time reserved for them, such as the Gateway Village, Bonegilla Migrant Centre, Bandiana Army Museum, Albury War Memorial and Huon Hill Parklands.

There is really a lot to see and explore in Albury/Wodonga, we truly believe it is much more than an overnight stop when travelling between Melbourne and Sydney. So we would strongly encourage if next time you get a chance to visit the area, allow some extra days to truly experience the area!

Albury and Wodonga are very colorful cities!

Albury and Wodonga are very colorful cities!

Back – Bemm River  | Next – First two months on the road

Bemm River

Bemm River

We were told by one of our friends that Bemm River is a very nice place for fishing, therefore we have decided to make a trip there to check it out.

Bemm River is approx. 420km away from Melbourne CBD, which would take a good 5-6 hours of driving depending on the road condition and weather, also whether you will be towing or not. It is a very small township in East Gippsland with a population of less than 300. It has a pub, a caravan park and a store, the closest petrol station would either be at Orbost or Cann River. Although, it is a small township, but don’t let its size fool you, as Bemm River is also known as ‘The Bream Capital’, renowned for its great bream fishing! There are many tourist who would travel here just to fish for bream, either recreational or competition.

We’ve chosen to stay at the Bemm River Caravan Park’s powered site. During the time of our stay, our fee was $25 per night, which was considered to be quite reasonable, given the nice environment, with clean facilities, friendly neighbourhood and friendly staffs. To many pet lovers, this caravan park has advertised itself as being pet friendly, we have seen the managers with their dog on site, and many other campers who brought their beloved dogs along. Even though, it is a pet friendly site, the grass camp sites has been kept clean without droppings everywhere, we didn’t stayed in their cabins, and hence, cannot comment on their condition.

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Bemm River Caravan Park – Pet Friendly

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As usual, we were arriving the site late…

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Rushing to set up camp before dark!

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Finally, camp set! Now time for dinner.

On the next day, we went down to the local store for some bait, and more importantly, some local fishing knowledge. There are two main boat ramps in the area, one near the Bemm River Hotel, and the other between the Hotel and the caravan park. Both were facilitated with cleaning tables and water hose, which is very considerate for people to clean their catches at the end of the day. Many seagulls and pelicans awaits for leftovers in the area and it can be quite an interesting sight! For those who don’t have a boat (like us), you can either choose to hire a boat or simply fish at the jetty near the boat ramps.

We first tried in the afternoon, one of us did managed to catch a small size bream, which we had to release. Other than that, we haven’t had much luck with it, after all, bream is one of the smarter fish out there, and the water was clear. So, we have decided to try again in the night after dinner.

It was dark and obviously not many people liked the idea of night fishing, but we thought we would give it a go anyway. There were a lot more activities in the water at night comparing to day time, where there were mainly prawns and small fish splashing in and out of the water surface. We haven’t had much luck with both lure or baits, not to mention there were a lot of sea weeds and rocks underneath. It was getting late and my patience was wearing thin, but my friend, Sean was encouraging me not to give up so easily. So I was going to do one last cast with a worm bait and was I glad that I did! It was when I started reeling my line and suddenly I felt there was a bit of a struggle at the end of the line, I wasn’t so sure at first, but as I reel the line in faster, the clearer the struggle. We were both delighted when we see the fish surface on the water, it was a legal size Flathead! We were both very excited, especially myself as this was my first ever night catch! It was late at night, so we quickly cleaned the fish and went back to camp.

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My first ever night catch!

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Nice size Flathead.

The next day, we asked our neighbour Glenn and Deb to show us how to properly fillet a fish. They were very kind not only to show us how to fillet our fish, but were generous enough to even share their catch with us to taste! They are also travellers on the road with their dog, Buddy. So they also shared with us some of their knowledge and insights about travelling on the road. We tried to extend our catch, but the wind was picking quite quickly, and even we gave it a red hot go, we couldn’t add more to our tally.

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Our neighbour were kind enough to show us how to fillet our fish and also shared theirs with us!

Sadly, it was time for us to start packing up and leave. Yet, we were blessed by the short amount of time we have spent here at Bemm River, blessed by the fish we caught, and more importantly, the wonderful people we have met here, especially our neighbour Glenn and Deb. We hope to be able to meet them again on the road in the future.

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It was time for us to pack up and head home.

Back – Jindabyne  |  Next – Albury-Wodonga

Camping at Lake Eildon

Lake Eildon Camping

It has been a very busy year with a lot happening, including trip preparation, work, church, etc. Finally, we get a chance to go camping at Lake Eildon after Christmas, with a few friends from church. Some of them are first time campers, they were quite excited and nervous at the same time, as they didn’t know what to expect. We wanted to take this chance to show them the fun of camping in Australia, and give them a glimpse of our Big Lap Trip.

Lake Eildon is located at the North-Eastern part of Victoria, near Mansfield, a popular Alpine township during the snow seasons. It is a relaxing 2 to 3 hours drive (approx. 140km) from Melbourne.

The Eildon Dam started its construction in 1915 and finished in 1929. However, it experienced modification and enlargement during 1935 and 1955, to cope with the increasing demand for farmers during drought years. Lake Eildon today still act as a major irrigation source for the Goulburn Valley region.

We have chosen to stay at the free campgrounds located at the North-East part of the lake, which was managed by the government. It has basic facilities, such as drop toilets and constructed fire pits.

Where we stayed was at the upstream of the lake, so it was dry during the Summer season. However, the local ranger told us that it won’t take long for it to be filled again.
Though we lack a water front view, but were compensated by plenty of shades and quietness. As most people have decided to fight for a spot in the downstream area (not much shady spots), where the water was, we were able to have the whole camp site to ourselves!

We enjoyed the weekend around the fire, with meals, stories and laughter shared. This is a place definitely worth visiting.
(Note: Be advised to prepare your own firewood, and clean up the camp site after use, so it can still be opened!)

Lake Eildon

We stayed at the upstream area of Lake Eildon, where it was dried during Summer.

Fire Place

The camp site has facilities such as drop toilets and constructed fire places.

Next – Vehicle Maintenance