244. Sunday 25th March 2012. One big day up in the mounatins and the cold weather begins…
Monday 19th March
The CO-PILOT has another day off today so we tossed a coin as to which area we were to explore. The area around Tumbarumba won the toss.
WOW! What an interesting adventure filled day.
We drove along the Culcairn – Holbrook road to Holbrook, turned north onto the Hume Highway to Little Billabong Road which became the Tumbarumba Wagga Road and followed this through Carabost, Rosewood, Glenroy and stopped for lunch at Tumbarumba.
Along the way we stopped at Rosewood where a park claims to have views of Mt. Kosciuszko. We have to trust that the views we saw were of that particular mountain, the highest in Australia at 2228 metres. What was more puzzling was the whitish wispy stuff streaked across the top. Could it be an early dusting of snow?
What is that wispy white stuff up on the mountains. A local Tumba resident thought it was snow!
It would not be unusual as I have seen snow falling in the snowy mountains in December – the middle of summer. (I was in the Army, December 1966 on exercises in the mountains around Cooma. I had trouble sleeping as my feet were cold. On daybreak when I emerged from the open ended honcho used for a tent, I was surprised to see this white stuff floating down through the tree canopy and settling on the honchos surrounding a central fire. It was my first sight of snow)
Next stop was at Glenroy where we visited the Pioneer Woman’s Hut and had a coffee.
Pioneer Womens Hut and Museum near Glenroy.
It is a volunteer museum made up of several buildings, restored and moved to the site.
Another museum at the Pioneer Womens Hut.
The old farmhouse also has a working commercial kitchen and a full dining room large enough to accommodate a bus load of people. The coffee was free and we had to make it ourselves but the baked slices were $1.
A cute steel cutout silhouette of the man, with his dogs, mostly responsible for the museum.
After an hour wandering the grounds viewing the exhibits we drove to Jolly’s Berry’s and bought a kilo of fresh picked blueberries. The CO-PILOT was in heaven. The owner gave us a guided tour of the workings within the packing shed and how each piece of equipment connected to another. Berries are placed in a hopper at the top. They are shaken stirred and de-twigged washed and rolled onto a sorting table before being bagged and boxed to be sent to Sydney.
The drive in to Tumbarumba, hereinafter called Tumba because that’s what the locals call it, was down a steep hill across a bridge then back up a steep hill to the centre of town.
The Union Hotel, one of several in Tumba.
A solid timber door at the Art Gallery shop in Tumba.
The town looks prosperous and there seemed to be lots of tourists wandering around. Just like us. We found the Four Bears Café (a bit hard to miss actually) and had lunch
The 4 Bears Cafe at Tumbarumbah
Biggest Bear inside 4 Bears.
A Bear Wall. It would have been easier to paint it.
More Bear stuff. The front counter was almost hidden by bears.
. The CO-PILOT ordered fresh baked Rainbow Trout which was very good. A quick walk around town and a visit to the Information centre and we chose two attractions to visit.
Paddys River Falls, is about 18 klms out of town on the Tooma Road or Snowy Mountains Highway. Due to the recent rainfall, the hills were alive with the colour green. The falls did not disappoint. The volume of water thundering over the 60metre drop was a sight to behold.
When I say thundering, I mean just that. When we first arrived and as I was stepping out of TERIOS I heard a noise which sounded like strong winds blowing through the treetops. I commented that the wind must have picked up. Looking up I saw the trees only gently stirring in a breeze. Hmmm! The noise was from the waterfall. The closer we got to the falls, the louder we had to speak until we were shouting to be heard.
Paddys River Falls from below.
A platform has been built out from the cliff face to give a terrific view of the falls and nearby area. As well a steep set of stairs with handrails (well some of the way) takes you to just above water level. The pathway ends at a railing
Donnis at Paddys River Falls
but thereafter there is a slippery muddy track to behind the falls themselves. The cave behind the falls indicates extreme age. I was able to scramble along the cliff face as far as I was comfortable but the rocks and mud were slippery from constant water, spray and drips from overhanging foliage.
Moving closer to the falls. That's me in the centre of the photo to the left of the falls.
In the large and commodious car-park, a couple were camped in their caravan. The man told me the sign at the top said not suitable for caravans but as he is a truckie with 40 years driving experience he ignored the sign.
The Bago Forest is a Pine plantation and timber is felled and cut here.
We followed the Snowy Mountains Highway back through Tumba and on to the Sugar Pine Walk in the Bago forest near the village of Laurel Hill.A section of Sugar Pines, planted in 1928 have been left in place due to their age and size. A track has been forged by cutting out a section of trees in a straight line.
The walk through a magestic stand of Sugar Pines.
Although only a short walk, the magical feeling when you enter the pine needle carpeted forest floor is almost haunting.
The area seems so, silent, with no noise as you walk on those soft pine needles. Midway through the walk it is evident that looking right and left into the surrounding forest it would be so easy to become disorientated and lost.
From the Sugar Pines we drove on to the town of Batlow, famous for apples. We stopped at a roadside stall and bought a 5 Kg bag of…apples.
Although it was getting late in the afternoon the CO-PILOT suggested that as we had come this far we might as well continue on to Tumut. We had a quick look around at the town, the picnic park with the fast flowing, bitterly cold Tumut River passing through. It was a long but great day of touring so we stopped for a Chinese meal in Tumut before tackling the 2 hour drive back to Culcairn. The drive took us through the town of Adelong, as we followed the Snowy Mountains Highway until it joined the Hume Highway as night fell. We followed the Hume to Holbrook where we turned off to Culcairn, a hot shower and a good night sleep in our own bed.
We saw enough of Adelong and Tumut to whet our appetite for a return visit next month.
What started out as a lay day to rest and recover, we ended up driving into Albury for me to have a healthy discussion with Centrelink. I did not get all my questions answered but hey, 50% strike rate is not bad. The CO-PILOT went grocery shopping, we stopped at WOW to see if there were any bargains. None, zilch, nadda. We arrived home in time for dinner.
The CO-PILOT was at work and I did house duties.
This week in 2010 we were battling cyclone Ului which scored a direct hit on Airlie Beach. Looking back now I recall the tension of several days while we waited for the cyclone and when it finally hit us. Although we did not think so at the time, we now realise the tension we were experiencing. Much greater tension than we experienced when the floodwaters were threatening us two weeks ago.
This week in 2009 we were travelling the south coast of NSW on our way to Tasmania and catching up with my friends from when I lived here 20 or so years ago.
A home duties day today.
A cold front from the Antartic moved in today, bringing overcast and very cool conditions although the predicted rain did not arrive. We did experience a few wind driven raindrops which were icy cold. I drove to Albury to purchase a few needed items arriving back in time for the CO-PILOT to leave for work.
Reader Geoff C sent an email to inform me about a free MS download called ICE. It automatically stitches together 2 or more photos to make a wide screen panoramic view. I did a little experimenting and a couple of examples are shown.