My Road Trip Diary 2024: Upper Murray River and Gippsland, Victoria Australia

melanie.ylang

Top Veteran
Location
Australia
Every year we aim to spend two-to-three weeks on the road, camping and sight-seeing. This year we headed to Echuca on the Murray River ahead of a statewide, autumn heatwave, then headed over the mountains into Gippsland.

Instead of using a combination of small compact camera and my larger Panasonic micro four thirds G85, this time I used my Panasonic GX9 the whole time, as it's smaller and has USB charging. I only used my Olympus 14-42mm EZ and Panasonic 20mm f1.7 lenses briefly; the rest of the time I used my beloved PL12-60mm. All photos shot as JPEG and edited in Snapseed on my phone.

Come with me on this journey through photos! I'll post in batches over the coming week, and let you know when we're at the end.

01253316-01-01.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
Let's start with a walk around Echuca, a once-bustling port along one of Australia's most significant rivers, the Murray. I started out with the O14-42mm EZ lens, just because it's lightweight and easy to pack away.

PGX92479-01.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

PGX92467-01.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


I'm looking forward to drawing this next scene of the rear of some main street buildings:
PGX92462-01.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


PGX92463-01.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


An intriguing oddity we observed around Echuca is that often similar shops, offering similar products or services, were very near each other. This was the first example we saw: we later talked to a local resident in another such example, who told us this pair is run by a father and daughter - she having opened her salon much later after his.
PGX92461-01.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
If you drive across the bridge (photo 1) from Echuca to Moama on the New South Wales side, and turn down a bumpy track, you could find yourself looking across at the Port of Echuca, with its historic paddle boats. We arrived at sunset, when the light was particularly lovely.

PGX92522-01.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
PGX92520-01.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
PGX92516-01.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
PGX92497-02.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
With the March Labour Day long weekend nearly upon us, along with the statewide heatwave, we decided our best bet would be to find a campsite along the Upper Murray upriver of Lake Hume. There we could try to stay cool (it was in the high-30Cs for a few days there, cooler than most parts of Victoria), and also not have to fight traffic and other campers for a place to stay.

As it turned out, our free campsite wasn't terribly crowded, and the river water was VERY refreshing.

01252579-01.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


We've used this Trayon camper for a few trips away now, and are very comfortable with it, in good weather. This caveat has mostly to do with rain on canvas, which is not a pleasure to deal with - we do have a canvas fly, but it only protects the top section, and also makes the interior unbearably gloomy - which is important when you're stuck inside in bad weather. Happily, there was no bad weather for the first couple of weeks of our trip.

The views around the Murray River valley of the surrounding High Country are something I get excited about!

01252568-01.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Our campground was visited daily by Black Angus cattle from the farm across the river - when we heard them thrashing through the water on our first night, it took a while to work out what was happening. They were very placid camp companions.

01252674-01.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Our best "meal at home" on the road were gloriously juicy inch-thick pork steaks from the Tumbarumba butcher - I would go out of my way to buy them again! We cook in a cast iron skillet, usually ouside on the slide-out stove.

01252667-01.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
Paddy's Falls, outside Tumbarumba, was a nice spot to stop as we toured in New South Wales, which was only across the Murray River (which forms a very long section of border between the states).

01252606-01.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


This was a popular spot for people to cool off in the heat, and take selfies for social media.

01252609-01.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
01252589-01.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
Whoops, I forgot about our visit to the National Holden Museum in Echuca! My man is a Holden guy (apparently you're either Holden or Ford in Australia, but I reserve the right to be anything else), and it was scheduled to be permanently closed the next month. So we went. Well, we were driving one!

01252527-01.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


It was lit the way so many such places are: dimly. I took the Panasonic 20mm f1.7, and shot with the L. Monochrome D filter to try to feel interested.

01252529-01.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Here we have a hatchback coupe Torana with a Hatch Hutch: a tent which turns your cramped hatch into a campmobile. Probably someone on this forum had firsthand experience with one!
01252530-01.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
01252532-01.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Actor Shane Jacobson's HJ Holden:
01252536-01.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
01252534-01.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


A very American-styled HX prototype, with sunroof - only about 12km on the odometer:
01252538-01.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
01252539-01.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


A bit of fun with mirrors:
01252547-01.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
01252552-01.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


01252542-01.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
Khancoban pondage drew families to the water's edge on the hot long weekend. This is lake is part of the Snowy Mountains Hydro Scheme.

01252652-01.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
01252645-01.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
01252648-01.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
01252658-01.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
01252657-01.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
Continuing onto the bridge over the Mitta Mitta River, we were delighted by the rapidly-changing colours, and the end-of-day calm.

01252705-01.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
01252717-01.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
01252720-01.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
01252736-01.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
01252754-01.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

01252738-01.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
We headed into the mountains in the direction of Bairnsdale, only stopping one night before reaching Omeo, at a campground beside Big River, which, at the end of summer, it wasn't - but it was utterly delightful, and I forgot to take a photo.

The high country township of Omeo was a delight, with handsome architecture strung along the undulating main street. The original post office was still in use, its interior delightfully shabby.

01252791-01.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
01252816-01.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
01252795-01.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


I'd happily take this little 4x4 pop-top Mitsubishi van home!
01252794-01.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

01252826-01.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

01252798_edit_226585024353446-01.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
01252808-01.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
01252817-01.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


It was a town of many crows (actually ravens, but we persist with calling them crows).
01252833-01.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
01252831-01.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

01252836-01.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


We had our best meal out at the Golden Age Hotel: duck spring rolls, and the most meltingly tender beef brisket.

IMG_20240314_184027-01.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
01252853_edit_306887239535463-01.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Arriving in Lakes Entrance, one of the busiest towns in the Gippsland lakes area, on Saturday around lunchtime was a stupid move, but sometimes you can't help bad timing!

01252857-01.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


We had a quick walk up and down the main street, dodging other sight seers, and grabbed something to eat. As we'd just been listening to a podcast episode from Flightless Bird about the culture of doughnuts in the US, we couldn't resist visiting a hole-in-the-wall donut shop for afters.

After eating half of my very sickly sweet, sticky Ferrero Rocher filled donut, I handed it over to my man, who had already finished his Homer Simpson one, shown below.

01252859_edit_306925780556811-01.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
We got out of Lakes Entrance, lickety-split, and found our best paid campsite at Banksia Bluff campground near Cape Conran. I've never been happier to spend over AUD$20 per night for an unpowered site run by the National Parks service, as it was a lovely spot - it even had visiting wildlife and flushing toilets!

The site we selected had some cute painted rocks, and a rather large monitor lizard that strolled through during breakfast. In the evening, a possum tried to raid us while eating our meal outside (my spray bottle of water saw it off), and during the night an Antechinus (marsupial mouse with sharp teeth and a taste for insects...and whatever else humans might have) was in our camper, fossicking through our stuff.

01252862-01.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
01252865-01.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
01252919-01.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


The beach was only a short walk away, and the sound of the Southern Ocean surf at night had me wearing ear plugs.

01252880-01.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
01252884_edit_306998002062529-01.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
We really enjoyed the Snowy River Coastal Walk, near Marlo, which weaved through temperate rain forest along rubber mats, gravel path, and boardwalk along the base of the coastline.

01252927-01.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
01252934_edit_348168649893226-01.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
01252937_edit_348162275488540-01.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
01252938-01.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
01252939_edit_348154522709895-01.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
01252968-01.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
01252971_edit_348077060168761-02.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

01252953_edit_348108347992715-01.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

01252951-01.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

01252975-01.jpeg
Join to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
Back
Top