Griffith, NSW

Today was a stop over day. We don’t have many of these on this trip. Only three in fact but I’m glad Griffith was included in the three.

Griffith has an amazing history that includes a large Italian component. They did it very tough out here but it seems the Italians new how to do it well.

We visited the Pioneer and Italian Museum. Both are very well done and highlight the amazing cultural background of Griffith.

The first building in the Pioneer museum was the school building. The school children would hang their bags on the hooks outside the front door and go into class.

The kids thought it was interesting the desks they used to use. I stood at the front of the class and yelled, “Quiet children” At the top of my voice. They thought it was hilarious and I explained that’s what the teacher would have said in the old days.

We ventured further into the Italian museum where on display was a huge number of items from tiny ricotta moulds to huge wine presses.

Food and drink definitely play a large part in the Italian community and this town was no exception.

This image shows a large basket used to hold curds while the whey drained off.

We continued to walk around the pioneer village learning the early history of Griffith. Here the girls are behind the counter in the bakers shop.

The bread tins that were used.

We left the pioneer museum and headed to the Hermits Cave. This is the view of Griffith from just above the hermits cave.

The story goes that an Italian immigrant made this area his home. He made stone walls and had a magnificent garden. We walked along the track and visited a few of the remains of his work. Amazing to think he built these stone walls and gardens by himself.

It was an interesting walk but a bit to much like a mountain goat track. The local paper recently announced a grant had been received for the improvement of the tracks in order for people to be able to safely visit the site but we are a bit too early for this so decided to walk back along the road.

Tomorrow we travel to Cobar.

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Shepparton Vic, to Griffith NSW.

Last night after finishing work we hooked up the van and headed North to Shepparton. Our plan was to get clear of the city early.

We caught up with our friends who are traveling along with us and left Saturday morning with Griffith NSW as our destination for today.

A crisp and fresh morning greeted us when we woke which turned into the perfect driving weather.

We are traveling along the Kidman way for a good part of the trip.

With a stop along the way at Jerildierie NSW, for lunch, we spent about an hour or so here at a very busy park that seemed to be the place for travelers to stop at. There is a lot of history here with the highlight being Ned Kelly. We’ll spend a night here on our return so will take more time to see just what he did here.

A very different windmill greeted us in the park. It’s called “Steel Wings”. It’s fan sits in the middle of the tower.

We then headed off to complete todays drive and finished up at Griffith, NSW.

Mulled on the Mountain 2013

Finally the Queens Birthday weekend had arrived and we were off to Warburtons Bridge for a long weekend of camping with friends.  We’ve done it a couple of times over the years, camping over the long weekend in June.  It’s usually cold and we enjoy a mulled wine over a roaring campfire.  photo 2

Some were able to come for a day, others an overnight stay and the rest joined us for the whole weekend.

We had such a good time and many a laugh was had late into the night. We had some amazing campfires that kept every one warm and we now look for a huge tree root, from hereon to be named the “after dinner log”, to keep the fire going well into the wee hours of the morning.

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It was the first time we’ve had a good usage out of our caravan heater and I can honestly say it made a huge difference to the enjoyment of the weekend.  It wasn’t a cheap item to have put in the caravan but its worth every cent.  I’d highly recommend it to anyone, especially if you have kids.  Happy kids, Happy parents.

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We spent a lot of time just relaxing at the camp site but also took a trip into Castlemaine followed by some geocaching on the trip back via some bush tracks.

We did discover that the female partners do a lot of talking on the UHF radios when the men are doing a walk ahead to scout the track.  Apparently they have already decided if we will be going ahead or not. 🙂

Our two daughters, Grace and Matilda, are enjoying hunting for caches more than ever now so we may just try and do it more often.

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Tilly had a great time carrying the caching bag and finding the caches.  Big thanks to all those who stood back helping her find discover them first.  It gave her such a thrill to think she was the one finding them all.

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The girls enjoyed spending time with Tilly dog too.  If you look closely you can see Tilly dog had her tail and her paws coloured for the occasion.  photo 3

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We spend some time learning about the history of the area as we searched for caches. It’s quite amazing some of the stories and I think next time we come back we may explore some more.  There is even a Dingo Conservation center in the area.

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A trip to one of the caches on the roof of Mark and Dianne’s camper was a highlight for the girls.  A bit like an old fashioned hay ride.

photo 3 copy The kids playing on the banks of the Loddon River in a makeshift cubby.
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It was great catching up with everyone and don’t forget to keep the 2014 Queens Birthday long weekend free in your calendar.