A Travellerspoint blog

Lake Hume

semi-overcast 27 °C

The drive from Canberra to Lake Hume was uneventful and the new (used) Navara performed faultlessly. And yes, we did trade the old one in Canberra, it was passed it's use by date.

Lake Hume is a disappointment on two points. The water level is quite low so our lakeside site is in fact a dust-bowl site. Having looked forward to a quiet, relaxing stay, yesterday, after having our row of sites to ourselves, the hoards arrived. Apparently there is a basketball tournament there so all the happy campers with their camper trailers and tents from the region stayed there.

This morning, after a noisy night, we decided to "get out of town" so we are, right now,in a motel in Jindabyne. We will go back on Monday in time to pack up and leave on Tuesday morning.

Apart from a couple of short stretches of the Hume Highway, I found it quite good, particularly after some of the ghastly roads we've been on. Albury/Wadonga I think is a dog's breakfast. Having the highway bisect the towns has spoilt it I think. Over the top or a bypass woud have been a far better option but I guess it cost too much.

The drive to Jindabyne has been breathtaking. For someone who enjoys driving it is fantastic. A combination of open road, steep, winding, and tight. The views are awesome.

Posted by BobnJo-Elsbury 02:10 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Canberra

last days

semi-overcast 26 °C

Our last 2 days in Canberra were full on.

We visited the Glass Factory and saw some fantastic glass blowing by the experts. They make it look so easy. Some of the pieces on sale were mind blowing, as are the prices.

We visited a renowned fine furniture outlet near Canberra and I have to say we were very disappointed. Some of the designs of larger pieces like tables, drawer cabinets were unusual and attractive, but the finish on many of the was second rate. Some of the timber combinations just did not suit also. The smaller items were excellent.

After that we were taken to see James and Sue's horses. They have four horses, one getting on in years, and another with only one eye. Sue trains horses and riders and demonstrated her talents. It was amazing to see her control the horse by gesture only. Jesse the doggie is a laugh a minute. Jesse was a mistreated dog which James saved. Jesse absolutely adores him. Jesse is a working dog and will "round up" anything that moves.

We finished off our Canberra visit with a very enjoyable lunch, with James and Sue at the Rocksalt Restaurant in Belconnen.

After that it was back to the park and prepare for departure.

It was really great to catch up with James and Sue after almost 20 years. How time flys.

Posted by BobnJo-Elsbury 01:53 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

The National Capital

overcast 25 °C

Had a great day Wednesday, a bit weary now though.

Started with the Telstra Tower on Black Mountain, then Mount Stromlo, bloody shopping centre, then finished up at AWM.

I was at the Telstra Tower about 15 years ago and while the tower is as was, internally there’s a lot of changes. A fabulous view from 860 MASL. It now has a revolving restaurant. The view is magic, but now you pay to see it.

Mt Stromlo was the site of the observatory before being wiped in the fire storm of 2003. The views are great but the display there is enlightening. It must have been a terrifying place to be. The ruins of the Directors home, and burnt out telescope buildings is terrible to see.

From Mt. Stromlo we just had to go to the biggest Woolworth's store in Australia. And while there we just had to visit Masters.

We finished the day off at the AWM. We finished looking at the WW1 display and part of the Aircraft display. We were there to see the interactive A/V presentation of “G for George” on a bombing mission over Germany. It was amazing, with all the sound effects and search lights. The A/V is projected onto a curved wall (cinerama I think it’s called) and gives the impression of you moving, rather than the image on the wall screen.

Hopefully we will be able to see the A/V of a WW1 dogfight. We caught the last 5 minutes of it today. We didn’t stay for the Closing Ceremony today because my old back was aching and old legs buckling.

There is also “the bridge” salvaged from HMAS Brisbane which is open to the public.

I think a minimum of 2 more half days is necessary to see the remainder of the museum.

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Yesterday we spent another 5 hours at the AWM. We have now completed WW1 and WW2 displays and the Aircraft Room. We have yet to complete Post WW2 displays.
Yesterday we visited the Tomb of The Unknown Soldier. What a magnificent monument this is.

It is impossible for anyone to describe the AWM. I can only describe it as overwhelming, and emotional. The exhibits are fabulous as are the dioramas, and the “sound and light shows” make you feel you are there. One of the “bombing run ” S and L” shows actually has a vibrating floor inside a mock fuselage which changes when bombs are released. The Iroquois exhibit in the Vietnam exhibit is also impressive. The bridge of HMAS Brisbane is an eye opener, and has a ‘S & L” show.

I last visited the AWM 15 years ago, and everything has changed and expanded.

Manu many foreigners visit it, and every Australian should.

As for another session there, time is running out for us. Picked up the replacement NAVARA yesterday so today’s task is to pack everything that’s been t under the awning for the last 5 days, and it’s raining. There are other things in Canberra to see so yesterday may be the last.

Posted by BobnJo-Elsbury 13:53 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Temora Aviation Museum

semi-overcast 32 °C

What a great weekend it was. Drove up from Wagga early Saturday morning to meet with brother and SIL, then off to the Aviation Museum for the flying day.

A fabulous range of “old” RAAF aircraft, ranging from trainers to bombers.

The highlights for me were the Canberra bomber, Hudson bomber (undergoing maintenance), Spitfire, and Sabre fighters.

An A/V presentation began at 10.30 with the flying commencing at 11.30. At 11.15 we could hear one of the piston aircraft startup, then a couple of minutes later it taxied out for takeoff. We immediately went outside to find it was an unscheduled Spitfire demonstration. It must have been in the maintenance hanger when arrived so did not know it was there.

And what a great performance it was, and they are noisy, and what a gutsy sound.

This was followed by the Winjeel, Wirraway, Boomerang, and lastly the Sabre. The Boomerang was impressive, it sounded like a Stuka dive bomber without the speakers. An incredible sound.

The Sabre demonstration in one respect was disappointing. Because it hadn’t been flown for a month, the pilot took it away from the strip for a test flight. We could see it all but it was some distance away, but we did see most of the maneuvers.

Over the strip was somewhat limited to high speed, low level runs. These were at as much as 400 knots (740KMH).

My brother, having piloted this particular Sabre was a little nostalgic, and on top of that he had flown with one of the pilots back in the 70’s.

The pilot of the Sabre is a serving RAAF pilot on FA18’s and part of his “official duties” is to fly this Sabre, the only operational one in Australia.

The facilities at the Temora Museum are excellent. The whole place, inside and out, is spotless. There are two hangars, one for static display, the other, a maintenance hangar which is opened for viewing after the show. The pilots are on hand at their aircraft to meet the public.

The Sabre and this pilot will be at the Avalon Air Show coming up soon.

Temora has these “flying days” monthly, rotating the aircraft. These monthly “days” attract hundreds of visitors.

Annually, they have a “War Birds Downunder” event. This year it is in November, and usually attracts around 10,000 visitors. I really cant imagine that many people in Temora. Brother enquired about accommodation for that weekend and was told “all booked out”, try Cootamundra. It’s a big event, obviously, with aircraft and crews coming from all over the world.

Posted by BobnJo-Elsbury 12:20 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

TUMUT and the Snowy's

sunny 43 °C

It's been a while since my last blog but have been busy.

As well as having daughter here few a few days we have doing lots of driving around the area. Even though it's very dry, and with bush fires not all that far away, the scenery is wonderful.

Two longer drives from Tumut were to the gold mining ghost town of Kiandra, on the Snowy Mountains Highway, and the other to Tumut Pond Weir which was via Batlow, Tumbarumba, and Cabramurra, the highest town in Australia at 1488 Mtrs.

Kiandra did not have a lot to see other than the desolate location. As opposed to Tumut where it was stinking hot, Kiandra was not uncomfortable at all and there was a strong cool wind blasting through the valley.

From Kiandra it was a short drive to the Mt Selwyn Snow Field. Admittedly it is summer but the place looked disgusting. A few hundred litres of pain and a ride-on lawn mower would do wonders for the place. But then, in winter, everything is covered in snow so who cares eh. We also went to Talbingo and visited Tumut 3 Hydro Power Station as well as the Blowering Dam wall and Power Station.

Seeing these power stations and weirs and understanding how all the dams and weirs link up is enlightening. Considering this project was started only 50 years after CY O'Connor built the Kalgoorlie pipeline, it is staggering. And without any of the wonderful machinery available today. No wonder they needed 60,000 workers.

We also drove the mountain goat track to Yarrangobilly Caves. We didn't do the tour because of the heat, 30 minute walk each way just to get the the entrance, and insufficient time.

The Tumut Pond Wier drive was incredible. We stopped at Tumut 2 Power Station on the way up the mountain then after Cabramurra drove on to Tumut Pond Weir wall. Tumut Pond is around 300 mtrs below Cabramurru but it is a a long winding and steep drive to get there.

As a spectacle, this surpasses the Blue Mountains.

Posted by BobnJo-Elsbury 22:01 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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