Free accommodation with some locals last night, it's always nice to be able to combine travelling with calling in on friends.
Headed into Melbourne under a cloudy sky hoping the rain would hold off until lunchtime. Our destination was Woodlands, home of Living Legends.
We arrived early enough to have a look around the old homestead, a timber kit home shipped over from London in 1843 by the Greene family. Then it was time for a tour of the star attractions.
Most tourist attractions open at 10:00am, which usually means we have an hour or so to fill in each morning. This morning’s activities will not be spoken about except to say that an addict fell off the wagon and went on a binge. JB Hi-Fi may or may not have been involved...
Woke today to find the day was a cold and miserable one but the locals have been praying for rain so we couldn't really complain.
Started the day with a walk along the Marraboor River and soon discovered that it was rather fresh to be wandering around outside. We had planned to go on a paddle steamer, and one departs from the Swan Hill Pioneer Settlement at 2:30pm daily so we decided we might as well make a day of it, get the two for one ticket, and spend the day checking out the settlement so we could be indoors.
Started the day with another drive through the vineyards and look at Kings Billabong. Then it was on to Woodsies Gem Shop to browse (and maybe purchase) some beautiful gemstone jewellery and carvings.
Woke this morning to find that the rain hadn't left the ground too soggy so we headed down the road to Hattah-Kulkyne National Park. The park protects 48,000 hectares of Mallee vegetation and is home to some rare birds, hence the main reason for our visit.
Up early to start our day of exploring. First up was a quick look at the Murrumbidgee River and then we headed out to the Ben Scott Memorial Bird Trail, giving the new car it's first taste of an unsealed outback road. It was quite fresh this morning, and there were plenty of birds to be heard, but they proved much harder to see. Still, it was a nice walk through the river country.
It's happening again. We're off travelling. This time it's an Aussie road trip, with very little planned and absolutely nothing booked. Just us, the open road and a brand new 4x4. Oh the freedom!
We did all our packing last night and this morning, and set off from home at 9:00am, heading in a general south-westerly direction.