The Big Lap 2015 – Beechworth – Dinner Plain

We had almost finished packing up and hitching the caravan to the truck when light rain started to fall in Wagga Wagga so we moved quickly to finish and jumped into the relative warmth and dryness of the vehicle and headed toward the Olympic Highway on our journey south to Beechworth.

The Rock - along the Olympic Highway

The Rock – along the Olympic Highway

Once on the Olympic highway we travelled through Uranquinty, The Rock, Yerong Creek and Henty before arriving at Culcairn (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culcairn) where we had decided to stop for a coffee. We pulled into an indicated Rest Area only to realise too late how small the area was. In order to turn the combination of vehicle and caravan around, a lot of toing and froing was needed; when we finally extricated ourselves we parked along the street near a roadside garden and had our break.

Onward again through the drizzle we reached the junction of the Olympic and Hume highways and continued on toward Albury Wodonga on the Hume. We crossed the Murray River and passed from New South Wales into Victoria. The address of the Lake Sambell Caravan Park (http://www.caravanparkbeechworth.com.au/) had been keyed into the Navman and we were directed off the M1 on to road C315 to take us on to Beechworth (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beechworth) where we arrived at 12:10pm in continuous drizzle to a very wet park.

When we arrived the park was full but it emptied out Monday Tuesday

When we arrived the park was full but it emptied out Monday Tuesday

There were four vans cued at the office in front of us so we had a short wait to book in; when we had completed the formalities we were shown to our site and assisted to park by a Drizabone-clad (http://www.drizabone.com.au/) gentleman on a four wheel drive motorbike. After we had parked we set the van up in the mud and rain for our three day stay in town. After having some lunch we went into the business centre in search of fruit and vegetables (carrying fruit and some vegetable across state borders is restricted and it is wise to consume all affected produce before crossing the border).

When we awoke Monday morning it was wet and the rain continued until mid-morning. We had decided to visit Mt Hotham and Dinner Plain so we rugged up and drove out of Beechworth toward Myrtleford and the Great Alpine Way. Once on the highway we drove east quickly reaching Myrtleford, Porepunkah and Bright as the weather cleared and the rain ceased. Traveling through Bright we soon reached Harrietville at the foot of the mountains.

Along the Road to Myrtleford

Along the Road to Myrtleford

Driving into Bright

Driving into Bright

View along the way

View along the way

The view from the Truck

The view from the Truck

Hoys Ski Hire (www.hoysskis.com.au/) also hires snow chains so we called in to check that the road over the mountain was clear (to ensure we didn’t need chains), our nephew had advised us that people who had driven up from Bright that morning reported a clear road but we checked to make sure.

Hoys Skis at Harrietville

Hoys Skis at Harrietville

Before tackling the mountain we had a break and had a look at the sights of Harrietville (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harrietville,_Victoria).

At Harrietville

At Harrietville

Mining monument at Harrietville

Mining monument at Harrietville

The stream at Harrietville

The stream at Harrietville

School Bridge at Harrietville

School Bridge at Harrietville

As we drove on the road immediately began to climb and was very winding with advisory signs suggesting speeds around 30 to 35 kph in many places; we drove past Graveyard Gully (elevation 1050m), True Blue Gully (elevation 1165m) then up to Mt Hotham (http://www.mthotham.com.au/) with an elevation of1861m;

Mt Hotham in the distance

Mt Hotham in the distance

One of the many chain bays along the road - we stopped for the rum but gave the mutton a miss.

One of the many chain bays along the road – we stopped for the rum but gave the mutton a miss.

then down to Dinner Plain (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dinner_Plain,_Victoria) (our ultimate destination) with an elevation of 1590m. There was snow around Mt Hotham and more is predicted in the next few days but nothing at the lower levels on the day we visited (but again snow was predicted in the next few days).

Snow on the side oof the road - keep to the right of the red poles

Snow on the side of the road – keep to the right of the red poles

Traveling along through Mt Hotham

Traveling along through Mt Hotham

Snow on the roof of buildings at Mt Hotham

Snow on the roof of buildings at Mt Hotham

A snow blower on the side of the road

A snow blower on the side of the road

Each to his own opinion

Each to his own opinion

We caught up with our nephew and his wife, who run an accommodation service in Dinner Plain (http://www.dinnerplain.com/) managing a large number of residential properties in the village. We enjoyed lunch at the local hotel and after a few hours catching up we headed back down the mountain. We stopped for a late coffee at a delightful little establishment Cherry Lane in Bright (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cherry-Walk/316475325178934) before heading back to the caravan in Beechworth.

We arrive at Dinner Plain

We arrive at Dinner Plain

Dinner Plain Hotel

Dinner Plain Hotel

Buildings at Dinner Plain

Buildings at Dinner Plain

Pete and Erin

Pete and Erin

A view of the valley below Mt Hotham

A view of the valley below Mt Hotham

Silent ski lift at Mt Hotham

Silent ski lift at Mt Hotham

The view on the way back down from Mt Hotham

The view on the way back down from Mt Hotham

Mt Blowhard

Mt Blowhard

Snow clearing patrol depot at Mt St Bernard

Snow clearing patrol depot at Mt St Bernard

Tuesday morning we decided to talk a walk through Beechworth to see the sights of this historic town. There are many historic buildings in town and the retail establishments in the CBD area have all tended to maintain historical features which makes the town very attractive.

Beechworth Honey Eperience in the old bank

Beechworth Honey Experience in the old bank

Beechworth Honey at the top of town

Beechworth Honey at the top of town

Lovely old fashioned awnings along the street

Lovely old fashioned awnings along the street

We visited one of the two Beechworth Honey Experience (http://www.beechworthhoney.com.au/beechworth_honey_experience.html) shops in town. Explore bazaar shop selling cheaper items, looked at lovely clothing made from Alpaca wool and Merino wool, checked out the greengrocer in an unsuccessful search for Persimmons.

Greengrocer's store

Greengrocer’s store

Everything is historic at Beechworth

Everything is historic at Beechworth

Main street Beechworth

Main street Beechworth

Interesting sign outside the Butcher Shop

Interesting sign outside the Butcher Shop

We enjoyed coffee and cake at the original Beechworth Bakery (http://www.beechworthbakery.com.au/)

Beechworth Bakery

Beechworth Bakery

and then explored the Beechworth Sweet shop (http://www.beechworthsweetco.com.au/) to be enthralled by the variety of sweet sensations available for purchase.

Anglican Church at Beechworth

Anglican Church at Beechworth

Post Office Beechworth

Post Office Beechworth

The Beechworth Visitor Information Centre (http://www.beechworthonline.com.au/pages/home/) is housed in the old town hall built in 1888 and provides a great variety of information to assist tourists to enjoy their stay in Beechworth or to gather further information for travel further afield.

Old Town Hall - Beechworth

Old Town Hall – Beechworth

Inside the old Town Hall

Inside the old Town Hall

Wall hanging in old Town Hall

Wall hanging in old Town Hall

HM Prison Beechworth (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HM_Prison_Beechworth) still stands and tours of the old prison are conducted on a regular basis (http://www.beechworthgaol.com.au/) but the facility was closed when we were in town. The old prison has associations with Ned Kelly (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ned_Kelly) and the Kelly Gang and was where Ned was held pending his murder trial in 1880. Members of his family were also incarcerated here. A new facility has been built (http://www.corrections.vic.gov.au/home/prison/beechworth+correctional+centre.shtml) to house prisoners today.

HM Prison Beechworth

HM Prison Beechworth

Larger than life Ned Kelly figure in the courtyard of accommodation at Beechworth

Larger than life Ned Kelly figure in the courtyard of accommodation at Beechworth

Uniting Church at Beechworth

Uniting Church at Beechworth

There are a number of museums in the town for the interest of visitors including a carriage museum (http://www.beechworthcarriages.com/) which provides town tours via horse and carriage generally only on weekends and public holidays. The wet and dismal weather was not conducive to such activity today. Bridge Road Brewers (https://bridgeroadbrewers.com.au/) also operates a boutique brewery in town but we didn’t visit during our stay.

Old Court Hose at Beechworth

Old Court Hose at Beechworth

The weather is wet and dismal with cold winds predicted for later this evening with the possibility of snow. At some stage, during a break in the rain, we will raise our awning in preparation for our move on to Shepparton tomorrow.

More later!

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One Response to The Big Lap 2015 – Beechworth – Dinner Plain

  1. Jenny says:

    Hi Murray, Have been meaning to send you the news several times, we have been leading such busy lives. Our trip to the conference in Canberra went ok, the Conference was great and we had a quick look around Canberra then down to Bega where we went to the cheese factory and the Museum , then on up the Shappire Coast and finally to Bowel where we stayed. It was Good Friday and nothing was open and it was raining, but we finally found a coffee place charging extra but doing a roaring trade as soon as a table was empty the next lot came in.
    It was here we both ended up with terrible colds, Rex’s eye swelled shut and I was far from well so took ourselves off to the hospital where we saw a very bored doctor who really did not want to be working, got prescriptions, had them filled at Chemist and went back to the hotel and to bed and slept all day. Did not miss anything as it was raining still.
    Moved on the next day, did manage to do some research in Sydney and we went up to see Aunt jean, only one visit, we were both still coughing. She seemed fine, Lyn was there and her daughter.
    The family reunion went off well, the cemetery at Mutton Falls had been cleaned up since our last visit, the day was fine We all had a lovely roast dinner and talked to many people. Flew home the next day and it was great to be home. Needed further visits to doctors before we were finally well. Since then I have had a colonoscopy and a gastroscopy and Rex has had his hernia operation last Tuesday so at present not feeling the best. We lost the cat, she had to be put down as too sick. It is only about ten days till our trip to the USA. Rex is not allowed to life anything heave so I will have to do the suitcases on to scales and in and out of car, At least it will be summer in the USA.
    Have been reading your blog and you seem to be having a great trip, hope everything continues ok.
    We are still having warm weather here, yesterday was 21, though we are having rain. All the best to you both, look after yourselves. love Jenny and Rex

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