Saturday, 11 January 2014

Back along the Hume

This post covers the second day of our trip to Wagga.  We more or less backtracked, but stopped at some other towns to fill in gaps in our project.

Considering it was our first night in the camper we slept rather well, eventually waking at 6:20.  Astonishingly, for Wagga in January, we were feeling cold and had had a blanket on!  Our plan was to take Tammy for a walk further on down Pine Gully Rd to see what was there.  Before departing the camp I snapped this group of Eastern Rosellas dining near some horse apples.
A bit further down the road we came across this flock of Guinea Fowl.  Unfortunately they were clearly domestic poultry out for a stroll so not tickable.
We next met a Pied Butcherbird which was quite interesting and definitely in the running for Bird of the Day until a strange call came from the top of a dead tree.  There was a small flock of Cockatiels  - these occasionally turn up in Canberra but I have never seen one there.
This image shows the colours a bit better.  They were a fair way off and in the direction of the sun.
The area is a rural area, about on the limit of the city of Wagga.  So we got a nice image of sheep (of some unknown, but non-Merino, breed) in a white field of stubble.  The image also gives a good feel for the flatness of the area.
The owners of the property had an artistic bent with these anatomically precise sheep cut-outs on their fence line.  (They also had a terrier which was keen to play but was unwilling to come out of the fence.  Probably just as well.)
So then we packed up the camper - about an hour - and said farewell to Carinya Caravan Park.  A very quiet place to stay and well recommended.  Unlike a couple of other parks it isn't within walking distance of the CBD but - far more importantly from our perspective - it is out of earshot of the Sturt Highway!

Obviously someone in Wagga Hospital (or the local domestic violence support industry - which seems unlikely) has a sense of humour.  It got our attention at the traffic lights.
We finished our time in Wagga at the Botanic gardens.  We only visited the more formal part since the native area appeared only accessible through a cafe and Tammy might cause an uproar in there.  The area we did cover was very very pleasant.  The rainforest gully wasn't huge, but had some nice planting.
The bamboo garden had good bamboo and a nice Chinese themed lake with statues of Brolgas (plus real Pacific Black Duck sitting at their feet).
Beside the lake was a little shelter including this roll of honour to the women who had won the Miss Wagga Quest over the years.  This caused us to reflect on whether this event still happened (it does).  We were also impressed that the first winner had a name implying a strong Greek element in her ancestry.
So we left Wagga heading back towards home.  Our first stop was the small settlement of Forest Hill which contains an RAAF base and the city airport.  The Public School is right on the Highway (on the opposite side of the road to all the housing) which seems daft planning but I guess the traffic wasn't heavy in 1878!  The kids had done an attractive mural.
The gates into the school, for the kids who make it across the Highway, are decorated with this impressive memorial plaque,
Rumbling on down the road we got to South Gundagai where a lookout looked attractive.  Indeed it was, giving a very good view of the massive bridge which takes the Hume Highway over the Murrumbidgee flood plain.  (Possibly click the image to see that more clearly.)
Swivelling round, the old road and railway bridges can be seen leading into the town proper.
We went that way and I thought this image from under the old railway bridge looked pretty artistic.  I'd expect this route is cut pretty soon in a wet year.
Back to the Lookout and this shows the river weaving its way upstream.  I must do a post about the Murrumbidgee sometime soon!
Our photography was carefully watched from within the car.
Down by the river this cairn commemorates the passage of Captain Charles Sturt in 1829.
We found two War Memorials in Gundagai.  This is ANZAC Grove, in a sporting and recreational complex close to the river.  A number of images of the various memorials are in the ad-hoc post about the trips War Memorials.
This is, I suspect, the original memorial located where the two old bridges rejoin the town proper.
After taking on board a steak and kidney pie (me) and a chook sandwich (Frances) we were on our way to Coolac where the main memorialising was the Memorial Hall.  I believe this is where the original Bald Archy Prize was judged.  A couple of extra images are in the ad hoc post.
Our final town was Jugiong which our fuel consumption suggests is the foot of the slopes from the Monaro.  The Memorial here is the gateposts (the gate has unfortunately fallen down).
Just inside the gate is a memorial to Sergeant Edmund Parry shot by John Gilbert, a member of Ben Hall's gang of bushrangers.
Nearly at the end of our trip down the Hume Highway we passed by an area where a grass fire had burnt in the past few days.  The tracks made by the fire trucks make an interesting picture.
Overall a very good trip.

  • The camper works very well and with practice we will get better at erecting it efficiently.  Fuel consumption for the car was very good going out but dodging about the the hills and traffic lights of Wagga were not good for our carbon footprint on the way back.
  • The towns were a lot more interesting than we had expected.  Our previous view of Wagga was simply as an annoyance when driving to or from Adelaide, but we now appreciate it much more.

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