From Gloucester to Melbourne: NP's, Blue Mountains, Mount Kosciuszko and more

Melbourne Travel Blog

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Leaving a job never felt this good! I was so relieved on the third of January when I drove away to start a new adventure. While working for BOAC I met this English couple, Chris and Helen and we became friends. They wanted to join my on a road trip from Sydney to Melbourne. My schedule fitted exactly in what they had in mind. The had to be in Melbourne on the 16th of January.

So I picked them up outside Sydney in a town called Richmond. I drove down the long and windy Putty Road, which should be beautiful if the sun shines... I had rain and rain and more rain! Late afternoon we arrived in Katoomba. All places where fully booked and we hadn't made any reservations. We've found a great hostel, called No14. We were allowed to share a double room with the three of us, without paying any thing more. The double rooms were in this little house, next to the dormroombuilding, and it had good showers and a kitchen. The dormrooms weren't that luxury. We've spend three and half day in Katoomba, doing what most tourists do: Visit the Three Sisters and do a bit of hiking. Helen and I decided we like to have a piercing and so we did. I only had my ears pierced before, but now I wanted an eyebrow piercing. Didn't hurt too much, so that was alright.

From Katoomba we drove to Goulburn (Australia's first inland city, not much of a big deal) and Yass (to cool down in a large lake) to end up in Canberra. I never planned to go there, but Chris and Helen liked to go. It's the capital afterall. I didn't like Canberra very much. I couldn't find my way around. But maybe I was never in the right place... After two days we left and continued our trip to the two national parks, that make the ACT (Australian Capital Territory) together with Canberra. Tidbinbilla is a small np where you have to pay a small fee to get in. There are a couple of hikes and an animal sactuary. We were looking for the platypus, koala and emu's. We've only found the emu... It was quite nice to spend a few hours here. The other np is Namadgi, where several bush campsites are. We choose to stay at the Honeysuckle Ground, which was in the northern part. Late at day kangaroos and wallabies hop in between the tents. Pretty cool. We paid $5.50 for the first night and could stay the second night for free. That was really good. Close to the campsite had been the centre that showed the whole world the first landing on the moon. The building isn't there anymore, but the foundations are.

After two nights it was time to move on to Jindabyne. This mountain village lays in the Kosciuszko NP. Next day we hiked up Australia's highest mountain: Mount Kosciuszko, 2229m. There were several short hikes up to the top, but we felt like cheating if we had done that. So we decided to make a hiking round trip of 23km. We started and ended at Charlotte Pass. It was a really nice hike and not to streneous at all. Just a long distance in the heat. It took us about 8 hours to start the hike, play around in a little bit of snow (!), enjoy the views of the glacier lakes, have a long break at the top and play in the Snowy River just before the end. It was a great day. Only two bad things were the flies and horse flies that liked to stay on your skin with a couple of hundreds at the same time and that I got sunburned quite bad, even though I used loads and loads of sunscream. Factor 30+ is sometimes not enough... The campsite we stayed at was located at the lake of Jindabyne, so after the hike we jumped in to relax.

Only a few more days and we had to be in Melbourne. The second last stop was at the south coast of Australia in Mallacoota (Victoria). Unfortunately as soon as we arrived the weather turned bad and stayed bad for three days. It should be a beautiful location, but because of the rain we didn't see a thing of it. These days were boring... But doing nothing can be good sometimes.
One more stop to go: Lakes Entrance. The Loney Planet doesn't pay much credits to this place, but it is a beautiful spot. The village has lots of shops and restaurants and is located close to Ninety Miles Beach, which is just gorgeous. Don't skip it if you're close. We stayed at a small campsite close to the shops and it was a shame to have only one night here. But we made the most of it and had a great time at the beach.

On the 16th of January we drove from Lakes Entrance to Melbourne. I had to drop Chris and Helen in St. Kilda, which is on the east side of the city and from here I had to go all the way to the south-west side. Trafic in Melbourne is crazy and the trams are scary, but I made it safe to my campsite. Because the Australian Open (tennis) is on at the moment, there is no cheap accommodation in the city and no free spot to park my car. Every thing was fully booked as well. I ended up at a trailer-caravan park. It lays in Williams Town, which is a rich suburb, but in this trailer park life all the unemployed and addicts of the area. You can't leave any thing of your stuff unattended, because it will be stolen. That was the first thing every one told me when I arrived... By now I've spend a couple of nights here, and I really like this place. Just because of all the international backpackers that stay here for the same reason as I (no place in the city). I'm hanging out with a couple of Germans, French, English and Scandinavians. Making music, having great BBQ's and just relaxing. I don't feel like leaving, but I have to go tomorrow. On the 26th of January I'm starting a new job. I'll do fund raising for the Australian Red Cross. This will be done on a road trip. I have to meet my colleages in Port Lincoln and from there we driving to Perth in a couple of weeks and work on the way. Hopefully this will  be good fun.
Yesterday I had to go to the garage with my car. I've drove almost 5000km since I have the car, so it needed a service check and since a couple of days the car made a bad noise while steering... There was a hole in a high pressure oil hose. After four hours waiting and $280 less, my car was fixed. Now I'm waiting for my Car Registration to arrive. Should be here today...
I've only spend one afternoon in the city centre, but didn't go any where specific (I had a job interview). Some how big cities and I donĂ½ go together. Or I'm bored or I'm partying too hard. Can't tell much about this city.


 

 

 

 

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photo by: jendara