After a week at a caravan park where we did the usual, washing, shopping etc, we meandered up into the Great Dividing Range where we made camp at The Upper Yarra reserve about 24 klms from Warburton in Victoria. It was a lovely spot only a few kilometres from the start of the Yarra River. Unfortunately, it cost us a fortune to get there, as we went through 9 tolls in about 10 klms. The locals must just love it.
Our first afternoon though cold, we were mobbed by the local wildlife in the form of King Parrots and Crimson Rosellas.
They really made themselves at home, climbing the steps of our van and coming inside and trying to take the meat as I was putting it on the barbecue plate.
|This one is getting a bit hungry|
|Just checking if I have the right cooking equipment|
|Yep! the table has been set|
|OK the lamb chops have crumbs on them but we can work with that|
But once another lot of people turned up they left us and went to them.
We did a trip through the mountains to the town of Marysville which was devastated about 3 years when Victoria suffered some of the worst fires in years where whole areas were wiped out. We drove through whole forests that were just blackened ghosts and then we came to areas where the trees had lots of green foliage sprouting from what appeared to be black dead tree trunks, as if to say "you haven't beaten us yet"
The towns have resurrected themselves with new homes where the burnt shells once stood with only the occasional spare allotment with a driveway leading to nowhere, where someone's home once stood and the owner couldn't bring himself to rebuild.
While in the area we had a look at Stevenson’s Falls. Despite the fact that there has been little rain in the area recently, the falls were worth the look.
We visited a place where one man has built a sanctuary of carved figures at Bruno’s Art and Sculpture Garden. In amongst the native trees and shrubs and in little nooks were the most amazing statues.
|This is all that was left of the piano man after the fires|
|This was the hand after the fires|
Next day we went in the other direction to the towns of Mt Dandenong, Olinda and other small towns in the area, where we encountered another sculptured Forrest built by a man called William Ricketts.
|I believe this is Albert Namatjira|
Amongst the aboriginals were some that looked very much like William Ricketts and a couple that look like a more modern day couple
These were very similar to a place in the Northern Territory which was called Pitchie Ritchie Sanctuary. An amazing place which burnt down some years later and was never replaced unfortunately. Apparently Ricketts built that one too while living with the aboriginals up there.
We packed up on Saturday to head to KooWeeRup for a few days and as the following week was Melbourne Cup Week with a public holiday in Victoria, locals took advantage of a very long weekend taking Monday off and so Friday afternoon and Saturday campers flooded into the reserve and by the time we left there were nearly 100 camps set up and more on the way in.
We parked at our usual spot a KooWeeRup at the rural fire service training centre and spent 3 days there catching up with friends Lindsay and Judy Black.
We also caught up with friends we met on our Canadian jaunt, Jenny and Stuart Craig and Julie and Noel Craig for dinner while we were staying at Healesville.
Saturday we leave for the Melbourne docks where we board the Spirit of Tasmania to cross to Tasmania over night, docking in Devonport about 6.00 am the next morning.