A Travellerspoint blog

May 2013

Another day in Griffith

Day 16 - Sunday 26 May 2013

It was five degrees overnight but we woke to a mainly sunny day with a forecast maximum of 17 degrees. After breakfast we decided to walk to the nearby Rotary Sunday Market which is open every Sunday from 7:00 am to noon. The market is mainly fruit and vegetables with a few craft stalls. We came away with a bag of black olives in a chilli marinade - very nice they were too!

After lunch we drove to the Griffith Pioneer Park Museum which incorporates the Griffith Italian Museum. The Pioneer Park has a lot of old buildings from many other towns in the district that were brought to Griffith and re-erected. Many of the buildings are from Bagtown, a small village about 7 kms from Griffith that started life as a Public Works camp associated with construction of the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Scheme. Because construction materials were hard to come by many of the buildings were constructed using empty jute cement bags to build tent-like structures. With the establishment of Griffith in the 1920s, which along with Leeton and Canberra was designed by Walter Burley Griffin, Bagtown all but disappeared.

Griffith Pioneer Park Museum

Griffith Pioneer Park Museum

Griffith Italian Museum in the groungs of the Pioneer Park

Griffith Italian Museum in the groungs of the Pioneer Park

Di in the Wumbulgal School

Di in the Wumbulgal School

Dumossan Inn

Dumossan Inn

Soldier Settlers Hut circa 1919

Soldier Settlers Hut circa 1919

Gunbar Portable Lock-up

Gunbar Portable Lock-up

Hairdresser and Newsagent

Hairdresser and Newsagent

Hairdresser's Chair

Hairdresser's Chair

Tango Tea Rooms

Tango Tea Rooms

Methodist Minister's house from Bagtown

Methodist Minister's house from Bagtown

Paxman Diesel engine

Paxman Diesel engine

Homemade Log Jinker

Homemade Log Jinker

Fairview cottage (from Tabbitha)

Fairview cottage (from Tabbitha)

Posted by TwoAces 02:45 Comments (0)

Wandering around Griffith

Day 15 - Saturday 25 May 2013

We woke to another beautiful sunny day in Griffith with a forecast maximum temperature 17 degrees. We decided that we would spend another day in Griffith so will be here until Monday morning. After a leisurely breakfast with the newspapers we walked to the Visitor Information Centre for some tourist information and then walked into the City Centre for a look around.

A Fairey Firefly Navy reconnaissance aircraft is on display at the Visitor Information Centre - they were built in the UK in 1944 and this aircraft saw active service in Korea on HMAS Sydney. Being Saturday morning most of the shops were closing between 12 noon and 1:00 pm. Griffiths has a very strong Italian influence with two waves on Italian migrants in the 1920's and again after World War 11, and about 50% of Griffith's residents have Italian heritage.

Fairey Firefly at the Visitor Information Centre

Fairey Firefly at the Visitor Information Centre

Di at the MIA Pioneers Memorial

Di at the MIA Pioneers Memorial

We had a nice lunch at an Italian Restaurant on the main street, selecting an outside table where we could watch the passing parade. It must be a large country town thing as there were plenty of intersting cars making there way up and down the street. One in particular caught our attention.

I want to be a Road Train when I grow up

I want to be a Road Train when I grow up

After lunch we walked back to the caravan park - 3 kms all up. Later in the afternoon we went for a drive around Griffith locating the Dump Point for future reference, and taking in the sights from the Hermit's Cave Lookout before driving to nearby Lake Wyangan. Lake Wyangan is about 8 kms NW of Griffith and has a picnic area as well as a large free camping area which we also noted for future reference.

Hermit's Cave Lookout

Hermit's Cave Lookout

Griffith from Hermit's Cave Lookout

Griffith from Hermit's Cave Lookout

View from Hermit's Cave Lookout

View from Hermit's Cave Lookout

Another view from the Hermit's Cave Lookout

Another view from the Hermit's Cave Lookout

Lots of solar panels

Lots of solar panels

Orange grove near Griffith

Orange grove near Griffith

Di on the shore of Lake Wyangan

Di on the shore of Lake Wyangan

Lake Wyangan Camping Area

Lake Wyangan Camping Area

Posted by TwoAces 00:32 Comments (0)

Shepparton to Griffith

Day 14 - Friday 24 May 2013

The temperature was 3.8 degrees this morning when we woke up, but the forecast was for a clear sunny day with a maximum of 18 degrees. As we had packed away the awning last night while it was still dry there was no great rush this morning.

We eventually got away at about 9:45 am and set the GPS for Griffith a distance of 292 kms. Just north of Shepparton the GPS sent us towards Katamatite then north again towards Tocumwal on the Murray River. We crossed the Murray River at 11:00 am and continued along the Newell Highway to Finley where we stopped for a coffee and scones at the Finley Bakery and Coffee Bar. It must be the best bakery for miles around as it was packed with customers standing 3 deep at the counter. As we walked back to the van we noticed that a nearby coffee bar was empty.

Just north of Jerilderie we turned off the Newell Highway onto the Kidman Way which will take us all the way to the Queensland Border. We stopped for a photo of the Bucyrus Erie Walking Dragline Excavator at Coleambally. As we walked back to the excavator we noticed lots of cotton balls on the side of the road - Di says she did not need to buy any in Shepparton. Cotton and rice are the major crops in the area. The excavator was imported from the USA in 1935 along with 3 others to construct irrigation canals in the Murray Valley and Coleambally irrigation areas. The machines were powered with a 275 HP Diesel engine and were walked from one construction site to the next at 3 KPH. The machine weighs 130 tonnes, and is still in working condition and drags a 4 cubic metre bucket.

The start of the Kidman Way

The start of the Kidman Way

Cotton balls on the side of the road

Cotton balls on the side of the road

Bucyrus Erie Walking Dragline Excavator

Bucyrus Erie Walking Dragline Excavator

4 cubic metre bucket

4 cubic metre bucket

While there were a few trucks and road trains on the Newell Highway, traffic was very light on the Kidman Way. We arrived at the Griffith Tourist Caravan Park at about 2:15 pm and were allocated a drive through site at the back of the park for 2 nights. There are 3 other vans from Tasmania nearby. So far we have had a chat to two of them - one van is from Penguin and he is working locally to the get some "more bikkies in the bin" and they have been travelling for eight months, and the other is from Launceston and like us they are heading north for warmer weather.

After setting up on the site we went looking for Woollies petrol and the supermarket. We filled our jerry cans as this will be the last opportunity to use our petrol discount dockets until Cloncurry.

Posted by TwoAces 03:35 Comments (0)

Still in Shepparton

Day 13 - Thursday 23 May 2013

Slightly warmer when we got up today 8 degrees in the van and 6 degrees outside - but a clear blue sky with a forecast maximum of 18 degrees. David spent the morning tidying up the wiring for our entertainment centre while Di spent time installing new drawer liners and tidying up the cupboards in the van. The downside of having a Satellite Box, a Blu-Ray Player, a PVR, and a TV is that we now have 4 remote controls - luckily they are all different brands which helps. We also put some new advertising for our blog site on the back of the van.

Bright sunny day in Shepparton

Bright sunny day in Shepparton

Our camp site

Our camp site

Advertising space still available

Advertising space still available

After lunch we decided to do a bit of a drive around to explore the sites Shepparton - we started with a quick trip to Mooroopna on the other side of the Goulbourn River. Back in Shepparton we parked at the Monash Reserve and checked out the Moooving Art.

Moooving Art in Shepparton

Moooving Art in Shepparton

Di wasn't getting too close

Di wasn't getting too close

Strawberries and Cream

Strawberries and Cream

Something fishy with this one - Moomaid perhaps

Something fishy with this one - Moomaid perhaps

After checking out the displays in the park we wandered into the Town Centre - not too many people around and lots of empty shops. Probably not too surprising given recent cutbacks at the main employer in the area - SPC Ardmona. The cow displays are also to be found around the town - including Hot Rod Cow outside the Hotel Australia.

A turbo-charged cow?

A turbo-charged cow?

Shepparton's Hotel Australia

Shepparton's Hotel Australia

Shepparton Lookout on the Telstra tower

Shepparton Lookout on the Telstra tower

Outside display at the Shepparton Heritage Museum

Outside display at the Shepparton Heritage Museum

Water feature in the park

Water feature in the park

Posted by TwoAces 03:49 Comments (4)

Shepparton

Day 12 - Wednesday 22 May 2013

When we woke this morning it was 5.2 degrees inside the van and 4.8 degrees outside - Di got up and put the heater on and we stayed in bed until it had warmed up a bit. The forecast for today is 12 degrees and partly sunny. The caravan park is very quiet today with only a handful of vans staying on, although about half a dozen over-nighters departed by 10:00 am this morning.

So much for partly sunny - by lunchtime it was showers and by mid afternoon we had a couple of very heavy showers. Spent the afternoon running around Shepparton - Woolies/Caltex for diesel, Woollies for groceries, and Bunnings for a new fuel can for the generator and some screws, a knife sharpener, and some drawer liner. Diesel in Shepparton is $1.439 per litre before we used our 8 cent per litre shopper docket. Tassie sure gets ripped off with fuel over $1.50 per litre.

Went to the Information Centre for inspiration for tomorrow - but no luck as it has burnt down and the info about an alternative not very helpful. Also found the local Jaycar store as we left home without the power pack for out 3G router - and managed to find a 12 volt power pack with about 8 different connectors, so all is well.

Back at the caravan park Di did a couple of loads of washing and used her innovative drying room - a blow heater in the bathroom to dry clothes hanging on the pull out clothes line. David spent time installing our new Topfield PVR with twin tuners so we can record programmes while we watch other shows. We now have a satellite box, a BluRay player and the PVR all stacked on top of each other, with the cables all running under the bed to the TV.

Our entertainment centre

Our entertainment centre

Posted by TwoAces 01:26 Comments (0)

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