Thursday, 7 November 2013

We had heard that there had been some good snow falls over in the Snowy Mountains so we decided to detour that way but when we got to Tumut we were advised that, yes they had had a blizzard over in the Snowies but probably most of the snow had gone by then.  We decided to just do a day trip, a circuit  over to Jindabyne, Thredbo, Khancoban, Tumbarumba, Batlow and back to Tumut.  A long but interesting drive.
Looking out over the Snowy Mountains from Black Perry Mountain Lookout along the Snowy Mountains Highway.
One trip into the Snowy Mountains NP and we saw more wildlife then we had on the rest of the trip.  We saw ......
kangaroos - lots of kangaroos and emus.
We didn't see any live wombats but we did see a lot of dead ones along the roads so there must be quite a few about.  I guess we weren't out driving at night or early in the morning to see any - I don't think I would like to hit one.  We did see these wombat holes near the Murrumbridgee River...
And at last I did see some........
Snowy Mountain brumbies - only took two trips to the Snowy Mountains.  There were at least four horses and two foals.  We weren't very close to them (this photo was taken with my zoom lens) and I think if we tried to get any closer they would have been gone.
We also found another Snowy Mountain hut - this one is Delaney's Hut which is on the Snowy Mountains Highway.
Berridale Rocks on the way into Jindabyne - not quite as big as the Devils Marbles.
There was still some snow on the top of the mountains but not a lot. It was still pretty.
All the creeks were running as the snow was still melting.  Very pretty scenery.

Another picture of the Murray River.  This is up in the Snowy Mountains, almost on the Victorian border and is the closest you can get to the origin of the Murray River without going bush(walking). This is near Tom Groggins Picnic/Camping Reserve.
Snowy Mountains from Scammel's Lookout.  That is not a dusting of snow on the top of the mountains - it is dead trees from the devastating bushfires that went through this area some years ago.  The area is still recovering and the fire would have been at least 6 or 7 years ago.
Some more of the countryside. It just looks like a big parkland.
The next day we went for a drive to Wee Jasper which is to the east of Tumut.  We knew the road was through a State Forest and was mostly dirt but I don't think I have ever been on such a narrow winding road.  I am glad we didn't meet another car let alone a logging truck. 
The Goodradigbee River at Wee Jasper.
Once we reached Wee Jasper we decided to find another route back to Tumut and that was through Yass and Gundagai.
The Taemas Bridge over the Murrumbridgee River on the way to Yass.
When we arrived in Yass we found a carnival happening.  They were advertising for an exhibition  on the Sunday (we were there on a Saturday) of steam and early machines.
These two characters were part of that display.  The old chap told me he has had this donkey for 52 years - I didn't think donkeys lived that long.  I think the old chap has been around for 80 plus years.
This steam engine was fully operational. They were driving it around the streets.  Note the rubber on the wheels so that they could drive it on the bitumen.
They also had a display of vintage cars - most of these ones were vintage racing cars.
This one was absolutely beautiful but I don't think I would like to drive it - even down the street - it was so low to the ground it was almost touching just parked.
And then there were the .........
.... Billy Cart Races.  This was the under 7's final.  Poor old Tomas the Tank Engine came second by a long way.

We even found Banjo Paterson in the park.

Did you know that he was born near Orange and when he was seven he moved with his family to Binalong where his father was a farmer.  He grew up in Binalong and became a lawyer.  After returning from the Boer War where he was a war correspondent, he was asked to go to  China in 1901 to report on the Boxer Rebellion.  He then continued as a journalist in Sydney.  He returned to the Yass area where he bought a farm at Wee Jasper and continued to farm until World War I when he joined the Light Horse Brigade.  After the end of World War I he returned to journalism (and writing poetry) until his death in 1941 aged 77 years.
We had been told about these strange horses at Jugiong so we had to detour off the Hume Highway to take a look for ourselves.
I would have liked to bring one (or two) home for my garden.  I didn't dare ask the price.
The old wooden railway bridge and traffic bridge at Gundagai.
It was then time to pack up the caravan and start heading north again.
We encountered these strange clouds the next morning on our way across to Wagga Wagga.
We stopped for a look at the RAAF Museum.  They didn't have a real lot on display but they don't have too much area either.
It was then onto Junee where we stopped, firstly, for a look at Monte Cristo House.
Supposedly the most haunted house in Australia! 
We did the tour through the house but we did not hear, see or feel anything unnatural and I took a lot of photos (as usual) and nothing supernatural in appeared in any of the photos.  There was a lot of rattling and noise but we put it down to the gale force wind blowing that day.
It is reported that some people claim that they feel it is the most evil place that they have ever been in.  A nanny was suppose to have dropped an infant down the stairs and a maid committed suicide by jumping (or was she pushed ???) off the front verandah.  Apparently there are records of both these incidents but it is also claimed that another maid died during child birth in one of the bedrooms but there appears to be no official record of this.  In the early 60's a young fellow from the town apparently watched the movie 'Physco'  then came up to the house and shot the caretaker who was living in a building at the back of the house which is referred to as the dairy.  The house was built by Mr and Mrs Cawley.  Mrs Cawley died in 1933 (her husband had died some years earlier) and some family members remained in the house until about 1952.  During this time the housekeeper was allowed to live there as well.  She had a mentally disabled son who was kept chained up in the dairy and was not discovered until the police were called to investigate after the housekeeper had not been seen for some time.  They found her dead, from natural causes, and the disabled fellow still chained up in the dairy.  There is also another story that a stable boy was burned to death in the stable.  The house was left unoccupied until 1963 when the present owners bought it and set about rebuilding it as vandals had almost completely destroyed it.
I am not sure about the ghosts but the house did contain some of the most beautiful antiques I have ever seen.
The internal stairs.
The 'boys bedroom' - said to be the most haunted room.
The small building on the left is the dairy.  The air conditioning unit on the roof of the house looks a bit out of place.
The catholic church in Junee.  They certainly built big beautiful churches in the 1800's.
One for the football fans.  Ray Warren in a park in Junee.

This beautiful rose arbor was also in Junee.
Bethunga Dam (near Cootamundra) - another free camp spot.
Bethunga Dam
Sunset at Bethunga Dam
We even had our own light show at Bethunga Dam.  It appears we were under the flight path of many planes and in the clear, cold skies they were leaving a long jet stream behind them that shone bright in the setting sun.
Boorowa River, Boorowa.
It has been some years since we were at the Japanese Gardens in Cowra so we called in on our through.  They are still one of the best Japanese gardens I have visited.

Another free camp site at Carcoar Dam near Blayney.   On the hill over from the dam was a wind farm.  There were fifteen wind turbines but only ten could be seen from the camp site.
Sunset (looking east) at Carcoar Dam.  The wind had changed direction and the smoke from the bushfires at Lithgow and the Blue Mountains started to blow our way.
Sunset - looking west at Carcoar Dam.
Millthorpe - another historical village between Blayney and Orange.  They have kept a lot of their old buildings and have turned them into hotels, B & B's, restaurants and cafes.  I think a lot of people from Sydney must come up to this area on the week-ends.  We were there on Wednesday morning and most places were closed.
The old Bank of New South building now used as a B & B.
Gardens down the main street of Millthorpe.
We have been in Orange for the last two days catching up with some relatives.  Tomorrow we leave for the last leg of our journey home.





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