Dangers of using Motor Vehicle Recovery Straps (Snatch Strap)

People have been killed or seriously injured when using vehicle recovery straps that have broken or when components on vehicles have ripped off and struck the person with great force

Consumers using motor vehicle recovery straps should:

  • always read and obey the product’s instructions and warnings.
  • ensure the strap’s stated breaking strength is appropriate for the gross vehicle mass (GVM), including load weight, of the individual vehicle being recovered (the minimum breaking strength of the strap should be between two and three times the vehicle’s GVM).
  • ensure the strap is suited to the GVM rating of the lighter vehicle in the recovery
  • never attach the strap to a standard tow-bar, tow-ball or standard vehicle tie-down point (they are not designed for this purpose and may result in the strap or a vehicle component detaching and striking a person).
  • only attach a strap to a suitable rated vehicle recovery point or device
  • ensure the strap is undamaged and in a usable condition
  • drape something like a heavy bag or blanket over the strap during use to reduce any unintentional rebound of the strap.
  • ensure that any people outside the vehicles stand far enough from the vehicles – at least 1.5 times the non-stretched length of the strap. They must never stand in the line of recovery.
  • do not use the strap for lifting or conventional towing

For more information visit http://www.fairtrading.qld.gov.au/motor-vehicle-recovery-straps-for-consumers.htm

There are currently three recalls for recovery straps sold in Queensland that do not meet the Queensland mandatory labelling standard for recovery straps. For more information visit:

Anaconda Group Pty Ltd – https://www.recalls.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/986902

Australian Trading Services Pty Ltd (ATS) – https://www.recalls.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/987018

Lion (Australia) Consolidated P/L – https://www.recalls.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/972394

Republished from http://www.recalls.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/989054


Holden Jackaroo Recall Notice

On June 9, 2011 Holden has issued an alert to owners of Jackaroos of a potential condition to those vehicles fitted with 3.0L diesel engines.
According to the notice, Holden has identified a potential condition which may cause an unintended increase in engine speed whilst the engine is idling.
The following engines are those identified as being affected:

  • 1998 JACUBS73GW7100010 – JACUBS73GW7103492
  • 1999 JACUBS73GX7100566 – JACUBS73GX7104876
  • 2000 JACUBS73GY7100012 – JACUBS73GY7107235
  • 2001 JACUBS73G17101509 – JACUBS73G17102996
  • 2002 JACUBS73G27100274 – JACUBS73G27107074

“Owners of the affected vehicles will be contacted by letter outlining the process for arranging a free of charge inspection and rework of the wiring harness.

If you require any further information please contact your nearest Holden Dealer or call the Holden recall and rework assistance line on 1800 632 826. This service operates 8am to 7pm EST Monday to Friday and 9am to 1pm EST Saturdays except National Public Holidays.”

see http://www.recalls.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/1003878 for details.


South Gippsland Wander

13- 14 Nov 2010


  • John and Margaret Jackaroo
  • Les and Ros Patrol
  • Barry and Lynda Prado
  • Mark Pathfinder
  • Philip and Brenda Jackaroo

On Saturday 13 November dawn broke with heavy rain. As trip leaders, we were aiming to get to KooWeeRup before the rest of the group but the continuing rain required caution and we found two vehicles already there by 8.50 am.
The trip briefing was conducted in the bus shelter at the KooWeeRup bus interchange. We planned to follow the route of the abandoned KooWeeRup – Strzelecki Railway line so some history on the railway was in order to set the scene. Local farmers in the district had campaigned for many years for a railway to access the area around McDonalds track south of Warragul to enable farmers to receive stores and send produce to market. However over the years from the late 1870s the succession of petitions and plans were all somewhat different and it was not until 1914 that the KooWeeRup to McDonalds Track Railway Bill was passed by the state government. This was hardly a propitious time to commence construction (due to the commencement of WW1) and it was not until 1919 that work actually commenced. Light construction techniques were used with horse drawn buckets and bullock drays. The line was placed on the ground without much ballast. The line was finally opened at Strzelecki on 29 June 1922. Before leaving the KooWeeRup car park we noted the area where the engine shed and turntable were located at the end of the car park.

We travelled to Bayles where the only remaining evidence of the station was the weighbridge (right). Bayles was named after the first member of the construction team to have been killed at Gallipoli. The KooWeeRup district was famous for its potatoes, and the notice board adjacent to the weighbridge tells the story.


It was then onto the next station on the route – Catani, which was named after Carlo Catani, the engineer responsible for the major drainage works that made the hitherto swamps in the KooWeeRup district into productive fields for dairy and crops. There was little to identify the next station at Herne Hill on the Western Port Rd just west of the Lang Lang River.

The Railway continued up the river valley to Athlone station which was the site of a saw mill for the local Blackwood timber. We travelled along Clifton Road that for a km or so actually followed the railway bed through a cutting.

With light rain falling our convoy turned south and then east on Lang Lang Park Rd to the Main South Rd where we continued south with the railway route a km or so to the west. The roadbed was clearly visible at the site of Triholm station that is now marked with a farmer’s shed on the raised embankment with a simulated Victorian Railways sign on its side. (Triholm was a Danish settlement with roads named after local Danish families). The railway formation crossed our road route heading east a couple of km further on. We headed east along Waterfall Gully Rd while the railway made two crossings of the road.

The railway was out of sight from the road for this last section of about 5 km as it followed the contour of the adjacent steep hills. Through the rain showers we could barely see much of the lush green paddocks filled with contented cows.
We travelled north on the Warragul Korumburra Rd and turned east into Wild Dog Valley Rd. The farm shed and buildings now mark the site of the old Strzelecki Station. A 100 m or so further east, the pit of the turntable was discernible in the scrub. We had now completed travelling the 48 km route and were about 200 m elevation above KooWeeRup. In viewing the site today we can wonder at the wisdom in placing a station and sidings in such a location on a steep side slope on a hill that apparently required extensive earth works to construct. The farmers would have had to cart all their produce uphill to Strzelecki station but in compensation it was all downhill getting their stores back home!

Due to declining rail traffic, increasing road traffic and dubious accounting practices in recording revenue attributed to this branch, the railway was closed in stages. Strzelecki – Triholm closed in 1931 a mere 9 years after opening. Athlone to Triholm closed 10 years later in 1941. The last remaining section to Bayles station closed in 1959. We are left with the thought that perhaps if the railway was constructed 20 years earlier when the residents demanded it, then maybe it might have had a more profitable existence and illustrious history.
From the Strzelecki station site we travelled north and east in mist to Moonlight Picnic Ground in Mt Worth State Park for lunch. Lunch was taken under the picnic shelter with the heavy mist (drizzle) falling around us. A lone member of our group, having finished his lunch, decided to stride off on a walking track to see the giant trees saying that this wouldn’t take long. He took a map of walking tracks in the park area but found that he was going in the wrong direction and returned a few minutes later taking another path while the rest of us finished our luncheon. The rest of us then took the loop track to see the giant trees, ferns and the remains of the many timber mills with their rusting boilers that filled the valleys here.

So with 8 members back at the vehicles at the appointed departure time we were still missing our lone walker who was well past his announced return time. Fearing the worst, the 8 members decided to mount 2 search parties of 2 males each with a CB radio. The ladies remained at the vehicles keeping radio contact with each search party. Unfortunately due to the mountainous terrain radio communication dropped off after about 500 m. It was sobering to note that shouting and the vehicle horns were lost in the bush after about 400 m. The classic Coo-Eees were equally smothered by the wet trees and ferns. The group had asked a few other people in the area whether they had sighted our lone walker but no more information was available. We had set a time of 3 pm before we would start to call for outside assistance. Fortunately, while the two search parties were still out, our lone walker finally returned to the vehicles and admitted to losing his way after searching for his misplaced camera. With the return of the search parties it was time to check for leeches. This required a strip down search to get those little suckers out from remote personal areas!

Now running a couple of hours later than scheduled, we headed off in the mist to Mirboo North from where we then took the Grand Ridge Rd east. The first 15 km was on smooth bitumen along the aptly named route. The views either side of the road would have been magnificent if the weather was more favourable as we had noted on the pre-trip. So here is a view of the Alpacas in the sunshine a week before.

The Mountain Ash Springboard tree was found on the north side of the road. Its height of 163 ft was climbed by J.Pattinson in 1927 using 54 springboards. The remains of the holes for the springboards can still be seen.

Reaching Balook and the Tarra Valley Bulga National Park we took the narrow winding C484 south to the Fernholme Tarra Valley Tourist Park. With the forecast poor weather in the days leading up to the trip, the group had wisely chosen to take the option of sharing a couple of cabins. We gathered in one cabin for drinks and nibbles while we solved the world’s problems. These cabins proved to be snug and comfy particularly during the heavy rain overnight. Thank goodness we hadn’t decided to brave it in tents!!

Note the origin of these two parks. In 1903 the Alberton Shire Council asked State Government to reserve an area of forest with fern gullies near Balook as a public park. Twenty hectares were reserved in 1904 and given the Aboriginal name Bulga, meaning “mountain”. Five years later, 303 hectares of forest within the Tarra Valley were temporarily reserved. This park was named after Charlie Tarra, Count Strzelecki’s Aboriginal guide. In 1986 the two area were joined and enlarged through a land exchange with private industry.

The Sunday morning dawned reasonably fine and we travelled back up the winding road pausing at the Tarra Falls which were more a slide than falls and were somewhat disappointing when seen from the viewing area. Up in the Bulga Park Information Centre we saw examples of the local flora (ferns) and fauna. Also displayed were period photographs of the sawmilling in the area. A 10 minute slideshow showcased some interesting local scenes through various weathers. Then it was on to cross the famed Corrigan suspension bridge across the valley of giant ferns. We then walked down through the valley marvelling at the tree ferns reaching up to the sky while at our feet on the damp valley floor there were many types of fungi. In leaving the Tarra – Bulga National Parks we reflected on the foresight of the local residents and shire councillors who petitioned the government in the early 1900s to retain this natural area as a park for all people to enjoy.
Then we travelled north to Mount Tassie. At 750 m this is the highest point in the Strzelecki ranges and commands a splendid view of the Latrobe valley. Unfortunately the bushfires in the surrounding area, and the subsequent clearing up of the fallen trees, had reduced the magnificent green forest area in some directions to bulldozed rows of downed fire blackened trees. Nevertheless the sky was blue with little wind while we had lunch here beneath the radio towers (with no flies around). After lunch we descended the mountain and drove east through the marked area of giant trees and old sawmill site and then through Calignee – the site of recent horrific bush fires. It was then agreed that rather than visit some other historic sites we would make our way directly back to Melbourne in the fine weather and so we wound up our convoy and entered the Princes Hwy to make our way home.


Philip Johnstone


Alpine Adventure – Diary of a Tumut Tri-State Traveller

Harry Richards reports:

Tumut at the end of April! Brr. Just thinking about it made me want to get another jumper. Poor N.S.W. found Easter falling at this time when it was their turn to arrange the annual Easter Tri-State Gathering. But one should not let pre-conceptions cloud ones actions. And so it proved.

Sure, it got cold at night, but the days were lovely – calm and fine and the Tumut Showgrounds proved a more than adequate venue. Victoria’s numbers were down, 13 vehicles compared with (from memory) 19 from South Australia and 24 from the host state.

I had just taken delivery of a new camper trailer the Friday before, so it was with some apprehension we set off for Tumut. Could we put it up without breaking anything? Would we be warm enough? What would we leave behind?

As I said, pre-conceptions should not … We decided to take our time to get to Tumut, hence we left on the Wednesday and stayed overnight in Wangaratta.

Being a well known wimp from way back, we stayed in a cabin that night, with the camper parked out the front! I don’t know what our neighbours thought, but what the heck. Statue in Corryong

From Wangaratta, we took the scenic route around Lake Hume, through Corryong, Tumbarumba and on to Tumut. Twelve months ago, I believe Lake Hume was down to something like 8% full. I was astounded then, to drive past and find that I doubt whether one more drop could be put in it. There was certainly no tell tale brown line between the water level and the grass. My mind was left to ponder how much water it took to fill the dam, given its area and depth. My brain hurts when I think about it.

Corryong is a pleasant country town, dining out on the Man From Snowy River legend. Nevertheless, a great lunch spot. Walking around town, we came upon a plaque dedicated to some local who swam the length of the Murray River from nearby to Lake Alexandrina in South Australia. Not a bad effort, given I’m flat walking to the front to get the paper!

clip_image002[8]Beyond Corryong, the road starts to climb and some of the gradients are a bit steep. The Pathie knew it was pulling something. Just past the little town of Tooma is a lookout and a memorial to the lives lost in the crash of the Southern Cloud. This was an episode of Australian aviation history I was only vaguely aware of. It is a most interesting story and worth a separate article.

The next town of substance is Tumbarumba and Jill was most interested to visit the Pioneer Womens Museum, which is some 8kms out of Tumbarumba on theMain st - Tumbarumba road to Wagga Wagga. So, being a caring, obedient husband, we did a leftie off the main road and headed out for the museum, which we found with no difficulty. The day was Wednesday and the museum is not open on … Wednesdays! Oh Well. So back to Tumbarumba and continue our journey to Tumut through the apple town of Batlow.

The entrance gates to the Tumut Showgrounds welcomed us, as did the N.S.W. organisers. Complete with “show bag” and directions, we pulled up at our allotted site. “Ten minutes”, the camper trailer salesman said when asked how long it takes to put the outfit up. Ninety minutes later we were settled in our camp chairs, under our annex, enjoying a freshly brewed coffee. Next time we’ll be quicker… won’t we?

At five o’clock the word was passed around that Happy Hour would get away unless we all gathered around. So we did.

It was great to catch up with the interstate faces we’d met at Tolmie, as well as the faces we’d met at our monthly meetings. The inevitable raffle was conducted and the trip sheets for the next day displayed. That night, our new camper got tested for “waterproofness”, as we had some extended periods of rain. It came through with flying colours, although in the morning, we found that one of the annex poles was a little higher than it should have been and a large pool had formed in the annex roof. Warning. Don’t stand outside your annex when you empty this pool. The water does not care that you have just put on some dry, warm clothes. Oops. Still, that’s the fun of camping … isn’t it?

There were several trips on offer today (Good Friday), most to different parts of the surrounding ranges. The one that interested Jill and I though, was a guided tour of Gundagai and its history. Gundagai is one of those towns you bypass without a second thought. Most people would only associate it with The Dog Sitting on the Tuckerbox. Our guide was Marie, who grew up locally and her family are well recorded in Gundagai’s annals. She certainly knew her stuff.

Old railway bridge GundagaiThe original settlement of Gundagai was built on the river flats of the Murrumbidgee River, despite the warnings of the local aborigines of big floods. What would they know said the Europeans. Sure enough, in June 1852 came the flood of which the locals natives had warned. Except for a flour mill, the entire town was swept away with 83 lives lost, including one of Marie’s antecedents. A lesson learned, the town was rebuilt further up the hill and flourished due firstly to gold, then to the wool boom of the 1920s. Gundagai from the lookout

Floods though, are still part of Gundagai’s psyche Talking to one of the locals, I heard of the latest flood in February, which came up to the steps of his front porch. “Just part of life here,” he said, as he told me of a friend of his who had cut 180 bales of hay a week before the inundation. “All but 14 were swept away and you can see the remains of some of them over there,” as he pointed out some scraps of blue plastic hanging from the lower branches of some trees.

Marie took us out onto the river flats to show us a plaque highlighting the centre of the original township and the layout of the streets. From here, we could also get an appreciation of the work which went into two surviving trestle bridges – one for the railway and the other for the road. The road bridge has been closed due to its condition, but one can still walk across the other. We left the river flats and climbed to a lookout on top of a hill overlooking Gundagai and the surrounding countryside. The Murrumbidgee and its flats could be easily identified snaking through its broad valley.

Frank Rusconi - Marble MasterpieceAlso prominent were the aforementioned trestle bridges and the new concrete bridge which allows the Hume Highway to bypass Gundagai. Returning to ground level, we parked behind the Visitor Centre and Marie arranged for us to see the Marble Masterpiece. I must be honest, I had never heard of this, but, having now seen it, I would recommend it if you are in the area. Detail of the Marble MasterpieceThe Marble Masterpiece is the work of a local stone mason, Frank Rusconi and took 28 painstaking years to complete. It is an imaginary Baroque Italian palace, comprised of nearly 21 thousand intricately carved pieces of local marble. It is 1.2 metres high Each piece was meticulously chosen for its colour and veining so that it complemented the whole. Twenty different varieties of N.S.W. marble were used by Rusconi. So particular was he that it is said he discarded more than 9,000 pieces as not of the required standard. Within the same room is a scale model of an altar the man had made for St. Marie’s cathedral outside Paris. Again the same patient, painstaking workmanship was evident. You leave the room with admiration for the spirit and devotion of skilled tradesmen like Rusconi and their work. Marie then left us to explore the town on our own and have lunch.

Armed with a map of a walking tour we obtained from the Visitor Centre, we wandered through the streets of Gundagai. Although there were a number of pre 1900 buildings such as the school, town hall and churches, the overall impression of the town was Art Deco. Marie said this would have come about from the prosperity brought to the town by the booming wool industry in the 1920s. We gathered again at 2.00pm to continue our tour. The next part I was particularly interested in.

Those of you who were on my first Bacchus Marsh trip might remember me talking about Andrew Scott, one of the earliest preachers at the Presbyterian Church there, who went on to become the bushranger, Captain Moonlite. After his escapades in Victoria, including a spell in Pentridge prison, Scott migrated to the Gundagai district and found himself in serious trouble. In true Kelly style, in 1879 Scott and his cronies took hostages on a farm and following a shootout with police, was captured, tried and subsequently hanged. He requested that he be buried with his friends who had died in the shootout and his request was granted. Marie took us to the cemetery and his grave, which, surprisingly, is well maintained and in a prime position high up the hill.

clip_image001The icon of Gundagai of course, is the Dog on the Tuckerbox sculpture, so a visit to the area could not miss it. And we didn’t. At first we could not enter the reserve due to the queue of cars stretching back out on to the highway. What on earth! Marie then took us past the entrance and further on to a later road which brought us back in from the other way. From this aspect we could see the cause of the queue – petrol! Marie informed us that there is no petrol in Gundagai and that this is the only outlet in the area. Hence the number of customers. Fuel was not on our agenda and, luckily, nor was food because that wasn’t available here. But we did see and photograph “the dog”. From the information boards, it appears the dog in the original story may not have SAT on the tuckerbox but done something sounding close to that!

We returned to Tumut via the back roads that follow the Tumut River valley. A scenic drive made interesting by coming across a pony club gathering with young riders and their horses around each corner. A very satisfying trip and we all thanked Marie for providing such an interesting tour.

Another Happy Hour, another raffle, a cold night and then it was Saturday. Looking through the trips on offer, I noticed one to Paddy’s River Falls which went through Tumbarumba. The return leg was a forest drive. Some members who had done the trip the day before said the forest drive was … well a forest drive. So Jill and I joined the trip and told the trip leader we would leave the trip after the falls and try again to visit the Pioneer Womens Museum at Tumbarumba We lined up for the trip in the morning, signed ourselves in and waited for the pre-trip meeting. A familiar face appeared wearing a N.S.W. official’s vest and told us he would be the navigator for the trip. Our erstwhile Past President, John Dudley, had “defected” and was going to ride with the trip leader and show us the way. Apparently Nancy and the trip leader’s wife wanted to go shopping, so John stepped in to become “wife” for a day and thereby got the navigator’s gig. The apple orchards stretched away

We set off on a lovely sunny morning and soon found ourselves on a scenic road running along a ridge with views on either side. Shortly thereafter, we found ourselves among the extensive apple orchards of the Batlow district. The climate and soil obviously are ideal for apples around here, for the orchards stretched away on both sides of the road. Our “trusty” navigator soon had us at a camping ground for morning tea and a toilet break. We did not stay long as the camp was very popular and parking was at a premium. The trip notes said “time has passed Tumbarumba by and so will we.”

So we drove through Tumbarumba and continued on to the falls. Although we could not see them, as we parked the vehicles we could hear the falls loud and clear. A short walk took us to a lookout over the falls. There is something about waterfalls that I find mesmerising and so it was here. Our trip leader told us that when they first pre-tripped this site, there was only a trickle going over the drop. clip_image002[22]The volume of water going over on this day backed up the volume of sound we’d heard emanating from the falls. A grand sight. There was a steep path down to the base of the falls and, if one was game and had good grip on their shoes, you could go behind the falls into a shallow cave and look out through the water. Although a few of our group ventured down the path, no-one tried to get behind. clip_image002[24]

From the falls, Paddy’s River continues on down through a scenic forested gorge and apparently there is a good walk along the river through this area. Lunch however, was more important to our troup. After lunch, we returned to Tumbarumba while the rest went off for their drive through the Bago Forest.

The museum Jill was seeking was open and, while I caught up with the newspapers sitting in the sun, she perused the exhibits. After an hour, she came out enthused and after our return to camp, recommended it to anybody who would listen.

From there we returned via our outward bound tracks to the junction with the Tumut road. It never ceases to amaze me how a track can look so different when you traverse it in the reverse way. And so it was with this road. As we travelled along this road, we could hear the rest of our convoy on the UHF as they traversed the forest. Obviously, they weren’t too far away from us. clip_image002[26]At the intersection, instead of turning right to Tumut, we turned left to Adelong, an old gold mining town and cruised into a little town which has seen better days. clip_image002[28]The museum though, was interesting and highlighted its gold mining history. But also of interest was photos and some amateur film of a flood which hit the town late last year. Bridges and streets many, many metres above the piddling little creek were inundated. Just mind boggling to think how we cannot control Mother Nature.

The volunteers at the museum gave us a screed on the mine about a kilometre out of town and recommended we visit the site. So we did and, from a lofty lookout, were able to see over the site and what remains of the buildings and the equipment. The recent flood had washed away some of the ruins. The very good information boards filled in the gaps of our knowledge. We caught up with some of our original convoy here. They had completed the journey through the forest and come out to look at the old mine. They took the walk down to the creek bed, but we decided to go back to camp.

The overlook of the Adelong mineHappy Hour that night had two surprises. Firstly, a local winery had a wine tasting on offer and most partook. The wines were pretty good and good sales were made. At the end of Happy Hour and the seemingly interminable raffle, the organisers had arranged for a local identity and author to give a little talk. Harry Hill, an octogenarian who had lived in the area all his life and been a bushwalker for most of that, kept us enthralled with his tales. He proved to be a real raconteur with his tales and humour. His knowledge of local events and incidents was unsurpassed. He was the sort of fellow you could ask a question of and he would entertain you for the next ten minutes. The hour, or so, he spoke went far too quickly and the supply of some of the books he had written went very quickly.

It was back to camp for a bite to eat before returning for the evening’s entertainment. NSW had booked a band as I understand it and they rang at the last minute to say they had been doubly booked. A quick phone call and an experienced fellow with his daughter filled in at the last minute. He did a good job, had a well trained voice and spent most of the night fielding requests. I thought he would have done better to sing his own songs, but that is a minor criticism. All in all, a very satisfying day.

Next morning, I went out to the Pathie to find the Easter Bunny had found us with a couple of Easter eggs on the wipers. They were gratefully accepted and consumed. The entrance to our caveA couple of short morning trips were listed so that everybody could be back in time for the afternoon games on the oval. Jill and I decided that, as we had never been to Yarrangobilly Caves and no trips were listed to go there, we would take the opportunity, while we were in the area, to visit same. The caves are a little under one hour’s drive from Tumut and the road skirts the Blowering Dam. The N.S.W. people told me that, like Lake Hume, this dam had dropped to around 10% capacity. Not now. It looked pretty full to me and was a great sight as we drove on. This drive had some steep, winding climbs and according to the GPS, at times we were over 1400 metres above sea level.

Yarrangobilly Caves The caves, as you would expect for Easter, were very popular. You have to book cave tours and we were concerned whether there would be any spots left for the cave we wished to see. But, as luck would have it, we scored the last two spots. The cave we signed up for is the largest in the group, but is only open for certain days at Christmas and Easter. The reason given is that the lighting is old and not up to contemporary standards. It is about to undergo a complete lighting upgrade. I love caves and this one was no exception. The tour was about an hour and a quarter long and took us through many chambers and tunnels. Again, one can only wonder about Mother Nature’s ability to outdo anything homo sapiens can come up with. The stalactites (they come down from the roof), the stalagmites (they rise from the floor), shawls, straws and other intricate creations from the limestone impregnated water seeping into the cave, are a marvel to be appreciated. Lookout above the Ranger StationSoon enough, the tour was over and we found a quiet picnic spot to have lunch.

Despite the crowds around the lower reserve, we only had a bird orchestra for company. The drive in the Reserve is one way only and on the way out passes a number of lookouts, each of which was worth pausing at. Soon it was time to return to camp and get ready for the traditional Sunday evening dinner.

The dress up theme for the dinner was the letter “A” and the creativity and imagination of the participants was amazing. All sorts of “A”s walked through the door. The one that caught my eye was a lady with a basket of model planes and she came as an “aircraft carrier”. I liked that. Because of our lack of numbers, Victoria had not scored well in the various categories for the perpetual trophy, or ‘block of wood’ as it was called. But we did take out the best dressed prize at the dinner. The Warburton trio, Les, Norma and Ray, came as Alice in Wonderland. Les was dressed as the White Rabbit, Norma as Alice and Ray was a convincing Mad Hatter. They looked truly amazing and were worthy winners. Not content with winning that prize, they were constantly going forward to collect raffle prizes. They had a great night.

The dinner was catered for by a local ladies auxiliary and they did a fine job providing a three course meal. Simon Smith from South Australia announced that the venue for next Easter’s Tri-State would be Whyalla. Huh! We all thought. But as Simon went through the things planned and in the pipeline, it sounds exciting. We’ll be there. The “Block of Wood” was once again won by South Australia, although there was some discussion as to whether they should have points deducted because the trophy was not brought to Tumut. It had been “mislaid” apparently.

Long Plain HomesteadNext day was Anzac Day and a number of early risers went off to the local Dawn Service. A little later, a small convoy headed into town for the march. It had been our intention to do the trip to Blue Water Holes, but that was cancelled and so we signed up for the Goobarragandra trip, which was going through a similar area. The first part of the trip covered the same roads as yesterday’s visit to the Yarrangobilly Caves. But where we turned right for the caves, this trip turned left on to Long Plains Road. Soon after turning, we aired down, then proceeded on to the Long Plain Hut for morning tea. This “hut” used to be the homestead of one of the earlier settlers and is a popular camping spot, particularly for horse riders. In fact, we were intrigued to read a notice reporting the “loss” of two horses, both saddled and equipped for riding. Hoon damageOne suspects the “loss” may not have been accidental. The corner of the building had suffered severe damage and was fenced off. The repairs were being done by the Canberra Land Rover Club. We found out later that the damage was done by some drunken hoons, who had attached their winches to the corner and tried to tear the building down. It’s instances like this where you think abortion should be made retrospective!

Coolamine homestead and outbuildingsAfter our rest, we continued along Long Plains Road and shortly thereafter, crossed a tiny rivulet with the sign “Murrumbidgee River” proudly standing above it. Hard to fathom that further downstream, this little waterway wiped out Gundagai so long ago. We then turned off to view the well preserved Coolamine Homestead and its outbuildings. This is the home of an early settler and the information boards scatter about the property tell the tale of the struggles to make a living in this alpine wilderness. Blue WaterholesAs this road led to the Blue Waterholes, the trip leader asked if anyone wanted to go there. Naturally I put my hand up, but so too did most of the group. It was only a couple of kms further long the road. The waterholes get their distinctive blue colour from the natural copper which seeps into the creek. The colour was striking and a number of decent size fish could be seen in its waters.

This was another popular camping spot, but we found enough room to park the vehicles and have lunch. Following lunch, we headed back to Long Plains Road and continued our journey north. With the group’s consent, our trip leader said he would throw away the trip notes and take us on a bit of an adventure. And so we headed off into the scrub and the tracks became a little more adventurous.  few fallen trees that needed clearing, but nothing serious. A few fallen trees that needed clearing, but nothing serious.

Soon we arrived at the crossing of the Emu Flat Creek. Now this did look serious. A small weir had been built across the creek and the river stones had piled up against this. The track here was only centimetres deep. But a metre or so, to the right of this was a deep hole. One of the South Australians, stripped down to his underpants and waded in to check its depth. His underpants got wet. Hmm! Now had I been on my own, I would have done a quick ten point turn and skedaddled out of there. However, our intrepid trip leader decided to give it a go and pushed on into the water. The creek level was at door sill level on the right hand side, but he motored through with no difficulty. One of the South Australians, stripped down to his underpants and waded in to check its depth

So one by one, we attacked the crossing. Then it was my turn. I don’t have a snorkel, but at least my air intake was on the left hand, or shallow side. So with heart in my mouth, I engaged Low 2 and pressed forward. Since buying my Pathie and getting involved in this four wheel drive lark, I continue to be confounded by the capabilities of these machines. The crossing was completed without missing a heartbeat and upon checking on the other side, not one drop of water had penetrated my door seals. I was glad I did it, because it just gives me that little bit more confidence for future occasions. One by one we made the crossing and were able to continue our adventures through the forest tracks. Soon enough, we reached the blacktop and found a little area where we could reinflate the tyres.

The road back to Tumut proved to be very scenic as we descended from the mountains and could look down the Tumut River valley and to the Alps beyond. At Happy Hour that night, we were informed that Harry Hill had agreed to come back after dinner and give us an illustrated talk of his bushwalking exploits over the years. Needless to say, there were no empty seats that night, although by now a number of campers had packed and returned home. Next day was our turn to pack and head back to Melbourne. We said our good byes and to our interstate friends, promised to meet them at Whyalla next year.

Quite a few of the Victorians were staying on for a day or two, or heading off for an extended holiday to other localities. But we had to go.

The highlights of the Gathering? Too many to mention, but without doubt the thing that thrilled me most was to see Rocky Tompkins there and making the most of it, despite his difficulties. And similarly, my disappointment was learning that Craig and Sue Findlay could not join us due to his hospitalisation. Hang in there you guys. Our thoughts are always with you.

A final view of TumutThe N.S.W. organising committee did a fantastic job and deserve our heartfelt congratulations. Given that last January they were seriously thinking of calling it off, they really came through with flying colours. Well done to all involved.

Now we look forward to Whyalla next year. Knowing the South Aussies, I reckon they will up with the goods too.

Mark the dates in your diary.


Representing us were:

  • Ian & Anne Blainey
  • John & Nancy Dudley
  • Mark & Maddie
  • Eames Robert & Helen Hume
  • Ray & Gillian Jones
  • Jan & Michael Martin
  • Graeme & Gayle Mitchell
  • Wayne & Christine Scholes
  • Chris & Lyn Smith
  • Rod & Bonnie Tamblyn
  • Helen & Rocky Tompkins
  • Les Warburton with Norma & Ray
  • And Jill and I

Toolangi Traverse Saturday 2nd April


Rick Farlow reports:

The group met at the McKenzie Reserve, Yarra Glen at 10.00 am and after the normal heart starters, headed off up the Melba Highway. It wasn’t long before we turned right off the highway on to the Old Toolangi Road. A few years ago, this was quite a rough and rocky road. It is now an easy gravel road which climbs up to meet the Healesville/Kinglake Road. It did however, provide excellent views of the mountain ranges and their recovery from the bush fires. I travelled through this area a few weeks after the fires and everything was burnt out. It was just grey ash. It’s amazing how different it is now, although because of the fierceness of the fire, there are many trees which will not recover.

Upon reaching the Healesville Road, I took the group up to the Forest Discovery Centre (not open on weekends) and pointed out  C.J. Dennis the Yea River walk. This is a very pleasant walk along the river and through the forest. Along this route was the home of C.J. Dennis of Sentimental Bloke fame, from 1908 until his death in 1938. The house burned down in the 1960s, but his “Singing Gardens” remain and now feature tearooms.

We headed back to Spraggs Road, which leads into the Toolangi Forest and stopped at the turnoff to Victoria Range Road to lower tyre pressures. Continuing on, we passed Rocky Track, which, from experience a few years ago, was fairly hairy. I was tempted to go down and check while doing the pre-trip, however we were pressed for time. I think it’s a track which would be handy to have another vehicle present in case you needed assistance. A right turn took us up Wee Creek Track and its large “whoopsi dos”. A left turn took us on to Flat Rock Track (a new orange posted sign named it Flat Track) for numerous bog holes and lots of new growth of young gums and “Dusty Miller” plants.

All of this lush growth provided just enough room for one vehicle for over five kilometres. I did wonder what would happen if we met vehicles coming from the opposite direction. Fortunately, we didn’t. The only obstruction was branches from a large tree, which we had managed to clear enough to get through on the pre-trip. On leaving Flat Rock Track, we were back on Victoria Range Road and heading towards an intersection of a few tracks when we were flagged down by a chap in a Patrol. He wanted to know how to get out of the forest! After providing him with directions, we headed down Downies Road, Starlight Flats Track, Blowhard Road to the Mt. Tanglefoot car park.

Towards Mt. Tanglefoot Here we had lunch and were entertained by a pair of Flame Robins. There are walking tracks from this car park right up to Mt. St. Leonard, from memory, a six hour return walk. But we didn’t do it and, after cleaning up from lunch, headed off through Siberia Junction and on to the Murrundindi Road. At Xylophone Bridge, we crossed the Murrundindi River and continued up to the Cascades car park. This car park was destroyed in the bush fires but has since been reconstructed. A benefit of the fires is that you can now see the Cascades from the road. A new steel bridge is nearing construction across the Cascades. Murrundindi River Cascades

Heading north past the camping sites, we turned into Falls Creek Road, then Black Range Road. Then it was time to engage low range and descend McClure Break.

McClure Break is a very steep and rocky descent, with great views of the Black Range. It drops 330 metres in a very short distance to the SEC Track with its high tension lines. It was then on to Ginten Road, past the old Stanley Homestead site, which had a large group of campers.

Cheviot tunnelWe were heading for Limestone and the historic Cheviot Railway tunnel when we came across a group of young people in four small hatchbacks who were unsuccessfully trying to find their way to a party using a Melways. They were amazed to find they had nearly driven to Yea. I pointed them in the right direction, although I was kind enough not to tell them to take the McClure Break.

Entrance to Cheviot tunnelWe arrived at the Cheviot Tunnel, read about its history and then proceeded to travel through this 201 metre beautifully constructed brick tunnel. After airing up tyres and enjoying afternoon tea, we headed up Frogponds Road and back onto the Melba Highway.

The group then turned right into Kinglake Road and then travelled 14kms down the winding gravel Mt. Slide Road with its beautiful views.

Brickwork in tunnelThis brought us to Jan and Michael’s newly refurbished home where we were given a cook’s tour before indulging in a BBQ dinner. Jan and Michael’s property has great views of the Yarra Ranges and Jan pointed out Mt. Tanglefoot and Mt. St. Leonard. I and I’m sure all of our party, were amazed at the transformation of the forty year old house into a modern day home. Jan and Michael could not be anything but extremely pleased at the outcome.

Harry and Jill, who could not come on the trip, arrived, determined not to miss a BBQ, a house inspection and some vino. The evening settled into a companionable chat and proved a great way to finish the day.

Thank you to Jan and Michael for opening up their home and providing an excellent way to finish our day out.


  • Jan & Michael Martin – Jackaroo
  • Gayle & Graeme Mitchell – Prado
  • Gillian & Ray Jones – Hilux
  • Glenda & Rick Farlow – Pathfinder

Listing of persons buried in Redcastle Cemetery – 2011

This Listing has been superceeded, please refer to latest published listing  

This information has been extracted from the “Index to Bendigo Region Cemeteries – Series 1, Northern Districts“, as compiled by the Bendigo branch of the Australian Institute of Genealogical Studies, and also from Redcastle Cemetery records held by the Heathcote Office of the City of Greater Bendigo.

Information extracted from the “Index” in May 2003 by Michael Martin, Jackaroo Club of Victoria, using a microfiche copy as held in the State Library of Victoria (Catalogue reference GMF 94 / Box 8). Parents’ names and other supplemental information kindly supplied by Lois Comeadow of Noble Park, extracted information cross-referenced to the Heathcote records in August 2003 and found to be correct.

This listing is not necessarily comprehensive, but should include most persons buried at Redcastle. The comments are mostly my own interpretation, and are not necessarily correct. Note re Parents: in many cases, one or both parents’ names are on the list and are probably also buried at Redcastle, but it is often difficult to establish direct relationships.

Date Buried
Age Marked



Parents’ names


(if known)

BABIDGE, Elizabeth Ellen 27/08/1875 1 year 2 months   William Babidge & Martha Gray  
BAKER, Julius 27/02/1894 33     Killed in mining accident  
BARKER, Edward 16/07/1876 70 Yes Richard Barker & Elizabeth Lesswall >New headstone, inscribed: “Bert,  
BARKER, Eliza 27/03/1867 57 Yes James Lesswell(?) and ?? >Fred & Jack
Barker – February 2000″
BARKER, Frederica Rose Laura 03/06/1876 1 year 11 days   ?? and Laura Barker    
BARKER, Laura Eliza 25/12/1873 5 months   James Barker & Amelia Windebank    
BARNDEN, James 10/10/1864 33   James Barnden and ??  
BENNY, Francis 24/01/1886 68      
BERTENSHAW, Hannah 17/07/1872 32      
BIANCHI, William 07/10/1887 3 weeks   Angelo Bianchi & Ellen Huston Date could be 1877  
BISCHOFF, Elizabeth Ann 26/08/1876 12 years 6 months   William Bischoff & Sarah Ann Gray >Probably  
BISCHOFF, Regina 26/10/1872 1 year   Wilhelm Bischoff & Sarah Ann Gray >sisters  
BURGESS, John 01/05/1866 6 weeks   John Burgess & Mary Doolan  
CHAMBER, J or I 06/07/1947 85      
CHAMBERLAIN, Charles 03/02/1907 86      
CHAMBERLAIN, David 17/09/1874 9 days   Charles Chamberlain &
Catherine Carle
CHAMBERLAIN, David George 26/07/1947 87   Charles Chamberlain and Emily ?? Most recent date  
CHAPMAN, Louise Sarah 13/01/1862 3 months   James Edward Chapman & Sarah Pert  
CLARKE, David 12/04/1873 16 months     Son of John and ??(?)  
CLARKE, Emily 19/06/1935 84 Yes   “Beloved wife” of Frederick Clarke  
CLARKE, Frederick 02/04/1910 62 Yes John Clarke & Mary Ann Hollingsworth See Mary Ann Clarke  
CLARKE, John 07/11/1881 65   John Clarke and Mary Ann Salt Discovered first gold in area  
CLARKE, Mary Ann 24/07/1865 42 Yes J Holingsworth and Ann ?? Nee Hol(l)ingsworth  
CLARKE, Walter 07/06/1861 2 years   John Clarke & Phoebe Louisa Morgan    
Name Date Buried Age Grave? Parents’
names (if known)
COLLINS, Hannah 14/01/1866 15 days   ?? and Hannah Collins >Hanna/Anna?  
COLLINS, James 26/06/1864 15 days   ?? and Anna Maria Collins >Could be same mother  
COLLINS, John 28/10/1900 75   Peter Collins and ??  
CREELY, Matthew 28/11/1893 71   Henry Creely & Mary Neal  
DAVIES, Flora Theodore 23/05/1868 8 months   William Davies and Margaret Grey  
DRAPER, Catherine 16/12/1895 17 months   Alexander Draper and Louisa Gleeson  
DUNCKLEY, Charles 04/01/1879 68     Surname could be DUNKLEY  
ELLIS, Anne 12/12/1861 24   James Hennessey and Bridget ??  
FOLVIG, Charles Olsen 09/12/1882 7 months   Magnus Folvig & Mary Jane Massey    
FOLVIG, Emily Louisa 02/10/1880 5 years   Magnus Folvig & Mary Jane Massey    
FOWLER, Eliza 12/09/1881 38   Martin Fowler and Abigail ??  
FOY, James 25/09/1927 93 Yes David Foy and Mary ??  
GAFFNEY, Margaret 19/10/1870 1 day   Thomas Gaffney & Margaret Morgan  
GERONOVITCH, Antonio 16/05/1880 53   Luke Geronevich & Maria Seegovitch    
GERONOVITCH, Christina 08/03/1865 10 weeks   Antonio
Gerovinitch(sic) & Mary Bottrill
See Mary Geronovitch  
GERONOVITCH, Mary 17/03/1915 81   ?? Bottrill and ?? (Note multiple spellings of Gero…)  
GIBSON, Edward 14/09/1870 38      
GILL, Robert 30/04/1875 51      
GLEESON, Irene 27/06/1906 8 months   Patrick Gleeson and Emma Harris >These have to be  
GLEESON, Mary Ann 01/02/1896 32   Patrick Gleeson and Mary Egan >different
Patrick Gleesons.
GLEESON, Mary Ann 19/02/1896 53   O’hagan Francis Egan & Anne Murrita Aka Mary Egan?  
GLEESON, Patrick 24/10/1891 64   Daniel Gleeson and Cath O’Shea  
GREEN, James 23/06/1877 50      
HAMILTON, Jane Manson 26/01/1869 1 year Yes Walter Scott Hamilton & Mary Catherine Hickey >”Infant twin daughters”  
HAMILTON, Mary Catherine 26/01/1869 1 year Yes Walter Scott Hamilton & Mary Catherine Hickey >on headstone.  
HAMILTON, Mary 01/07/1911 73 Yes ?? Hickey and ?? >>Parents of  
HAMILTON, Walter Scott 25/07/1917 81 Yes Peter Hamilton and Mary Ann Manson >>above twins.  
HAWKING, William 16/04/1874 57      
HAWKING, William James 16/03/1873 5 weeks   Edward Hawking and Elizabeth Jones  
HEATHER, Eda 08/08/1875 15 days   Charles Frederick Heath & Kate Star Surname should be HEATH  
HIRD, Annie 04/10/1913 43 Yes William Tice and Chris Crawford  
HIRD, Edward 12/04/1896 59 Yes ?? and Mary Barter  
HIRD, Edward James 13/07/1927 59   Edward Hird and Mary Theresa Braters  
HURST, Nicholas 06/04/1880 57      
KELLY, James 25/08/1873 3 years   John Kelly and Catherine Creely  
KNIGHT, Phillip 09/03/1869 44   John Knight and Susan Wagland  
Name Date Buried Age Grave? Parents’
names (if known)
LONSDALE, Eliza Margaret 25/08/1870 6 days   Charles Lonsdale and Sarah Allen  
LONSDALE, Emma Leah 21/12/1897 37 Yes Phillip Knight and Ellen Pippin  
LONSDALE, Hannah 11/01/1877 7 months   William Joseph Lonsdale & Jessie Marie Knight Sister to Leah Emma Knight  
LONSDALE, Jessie Maria 16/05/1876 24 Yes Phillip Knight and Ellen Pippin  
LONSDALE, Leah Emma 02/10/1867 16 days   William Joseph Lonsdale & Jessie Maria Knight Sister to Hannah Knight  
LONSDALE, William J. ?? 1928 86 Yes William Joseph Lonsdale and Eliza Atkinson  
LOWE, Elizabeth Ann 25/05/1868 12 months   William Lowe amd Mary ??  
MERRYFULL, James 17/05/1880 1 year   William Henry Merryfull and Eliza Robinson  
MITCHELL, ?? ??/??/1892 infant      
MITCHELL, Alice 03/05/1905 43   William Davey Mitchell & Sarah Arnold  
MITCHELL, Bertha Veronica 24/05/1891 8 months   Stephen Henry Mitchell and Mary Howard See Mary Mitchell  
MITCHELL, Ella Florence ??/??/1884 1 month      
MITCHELL, Frederick Henry 28/01/1897 1 year 7 months   Fred Mitchell and Hart Thompson  
MITCHELL, Mabel ??/??/1890 ??     Uncertain – probably buried at Redcastle  
MITCHELL, Mary 24/07/1892 42   Ch Howard and Christina Graham  
MITCHELL, Sarah Jane ??/??/1880 child      
MITCHELL, Sarah Jane 14/09/1873 2 years 6 months   Stephen Mitchell and Mary Ann Howard See Mary Mitchell  
MITCHELL, Stephen Henry 06/09/1900 62   Joseph Mitchell and Jane Gribble  
MITCHELL, Stephen Henry 30/01/1902 32   Stephen Mitchell and Mary Howard See Mary Mitchell  
MITCHELL, William 24/04/1905 9 days   William Moses Mitchell and Alice Davey See Alice Mitchell  
MITCHELL, William Moses 06/08/1915 65   John Mitchell and ??  
MORAN, Bertie 01/10/1875 10 days   George Moran and Isabella Sutherland See Isabella Moran  
MORAN, Bessie Rachel 12/04/1897 24 Yes George Moran and Isabella Sutherland  
MORAN, Charles James 03/06/1892 26 Yes George Moran and Isabella Sutherland  
MORAN, George 21/04/1911 84 Yes    
MORAN, Isabella 03/09/1895 65 Yes James Sutherland and Helen Grieve  
MORAN, William 13/08/1911 52 Yes George Moran and Isabella Sutherland  
MORRIS, ?? 04/12/1880 6 hours   ?? and Sarah Morriss  
MORRIS, Charlotte 30/01/1863 1 year   Henry Morris and Selina Griffiths  
MORRIS, Sarah 18/12/1880 22   William ?? and Ann ??  
MUNSTER, Louis Daniel 29/04/1861 38   Paul Munster and Magna ??  
McKEE, Eleanor 07/02/1891 52 Yes John Bates and Eleanor ?? >Headstone also includes Clara E.  
McKEE, James 17/08/1902 67 Yes James McKee and Mary Orr >McKee, died 14/12/1894, aged 22.  
McKEE, Clara E 14/12/1894 22 Yes Andrew Pook and Elizabeth O’Grady Died following childbirth  
McKEE, Eva Isabella ??/??/1891 2 days   James and Eleanor McKee Interred with parents  
NEAL, Ivy Eveline 24/01/1898 6 weeks   William Neal and Sarah Neal  
Name Date Buried Age Grave? Parents’
names (if known)
NEILSON, Alexander 22/10/1893 57   Daniel Neilson and Mary Alexander  
NEILSON, Isabel Bessie 23/06/1899 10 weeks   William Neilson and Susannah Cath Morgan  
NEILSON, Marion Elizabeth 04/01/1914 52   Antonio Geronovich and Mary Bottrill    
NEILSON, Mary 28/12/1866 10 months   Alexander Neilson and Elizabeth Graham  
NEILSON, William Charles 27/11/1913 23   William Neilson and Susan Moran  
O’TOOLE, James 30/09/1877 50   John O’Toole and Catherine O’Brien Died after falling down a mine shaft  
PEARMAN, James 10/04/1869 88   James Pearman and Ann ??  
POLKINGHORNE, William Northey 21/09/1868 18 months   William Henry Polkinghorne & Nancy Ann Allen  
POOK, Andrew 17/03/1876 1 year 13 days   Andrew Pook and Elizabeth O’Grady See Elizabeth Pook  
POOK, Elizabeth Jane 22/05/1902 53   William O’Grady and Mary ?? Andrew’s mother  
PROCTOR, Charles 27/05/1907 78   Thomas Proctor and Mary ??  
PUSTON, John 11/04/1875 52     C/be John Preston,
parents unknown.
QUIRK, Andrew 14/09/1898 7 weeks   Patrick Quirk and Mary Jane Pook    
RALPH, Harrison 23/03/1861 2 years   Harrison Ralph and Ann Cox  
REED, Emily 29/01/1872 11 months   John Reed and Catherine Profser  
REID, John Milne 19/12/1875 44   James Reid and Ann Walker  
RICHARDSON, Sarah Frances 31/07/1861 2 yrs I month   Henry Richardson and Jane ??  
ROBERTS, John 01/10/1891 67   William Roberts and Ellen Griffiths  
ROBERTSON, James Daniel 06/09/1864 28   James Robertson and Mary McDonald Cut own throat – suicide  
ROFSER, William 07/11/1886 57   Morgan Rosser and Abigail Tamplin Surname should be ROSSER  
RUFSEL, Jane 06/04/1863 8 months   William Russell and Bridget Rogers Surname should be RUSSELL  
SMITH, George 16/09/1862 35     Blown up in a mine explosion  
SULLIVAN, Agnes 01/01/1861 39   James Ashcroft and Margaret ?? Died of DTs. Oldest
TAYLOR, Robert William 18/09/1882 32   Noah Taylor and Hannah Marten    
THOMSON, Annie 19/05/1901 36   William Thomson and Elizabeth Barker >Annie died of “severe dropsy”, and  
THOMSON, ?? 19/05/1901 Stillborn     >took her child with her.  
THOMSON, David William 18/03/1877 8 months   William Thomson and Elizabeth Barker  
THOMSON, Eliza 19/08/1863 2 months   William Thomson and Elizabeth Barker  
THOMSON, Elizabeth 04/07/1876 37   Edward and Eliza Lesswall  
THOMSON, Hugh 30/08/1863 9 days   Hugh Morton Thomson & Julia Payne Mann  
THOMSON, Percy Mann 15/10/1867 5 years   Hugh Morton Thomson & Julia Payne Mann  
TICE, Alexander Crockett 25/02/1870 13 months   William Tice and Christina Crockett  
TICE, Christina 06/11/1891 42   Alexander Crockett and Annie Robb  
TICE, William 09/07/1895 50      
TYLER, Ada Charlotte 03/10/1873 6 months   John Tyler and Frances Mills  
Name Date Buried Age Grave? Parents’
names (if known)
WALSH, William 30/08/1873 47   Kenneth Walsh and Mary Cluney  
WHITFIELD, Edna May 15/03/1915 3 years   Charles Whitfield and Martha Hart Kemp  
WINTER, Alfred 01/03/1873 23      
YE GEEN, ?? 21/02/1879 49   (From China) Killed when thrown from a cart  
YOUNG, Margaret Ann 24/03/1861 6 months   Robert Young and Hannah Brough  

the Heathcote records comment that there were “approximately 50 Chinese burials in unmarked graves, interred along fence near dirt road”.

End of Listing


Gold ‘n’ Talbot Market Trip

Linda McElhenny reports:

Harry and Jill thought they would come up to Maryborough on Friday to check on a couple of things for the weekend. Ian, Anne, Brenda, Phillip, John, Greg, Noelene, Barry and I thought it was a good idea as well. Someone suggested “fish and chips” would be a simple evening meal and most agreed. A nice way to start the weekend.

Saturday saw the early birds meet the rest of the group in Creswick, where, lo and behold, a market was in progress. Harry allowed us some time to look around the market before we headed off on an historical walk around Creswick.

Streetscape of Clunes - just as it was in the 1870s (maybe more Automobiles)

Alluvial gold was found in Creswick in 1852 and the town flourished. The population soared to around 30,000 and, of course, boasted some 37 pubs to quench the thirst of the miners. Creswick was luckier than most “gold towns” due to the discovery of a rich lead at what is now Bloomfield, some 5kms north of the town. Further shafts were sunk and the Berry Deep Leads were found. But getting the gold was hazardous. For the reason why, we need to go back many thousands of years to when the area was evolving.

A streetscape in Creswick. Apart from the power pole, as it was in the 1850sInitially, the area was flat plains crossed by a number of rivers and creeks. The area then experienced volcanic eruptions which sent lava over the plains and covered the waterways with successive layers of basalt. These subterranean rivers held the gold and to get the gold, shafts had to be dug through the basalt into the river beds. As these rivers were still flowing, flooding was a continual hazard faced by the miners. A union movement grew to protect the miners. Eventually, after several deaths in the mines, limits were set on working hours, the standard of ventilation of the shafts was improved and the use of ladder ways in these shafts was implemented. These were won by the unions.

Gold certainly played a big part in the prosperity of Creswick and this can be seen today in the many beautiful buildings still standing and the grandness of its streetscape. The town had its own gasworks until electricity came in 1932. The Cosy Corner shop (1856)

Some well known people were born and raised in Creswick over the years. Artist/writer Norman Lindsay, John Curtin, Prime Minister of Australia during World War II and Sir Alexander Peacock, a parliamentarian for 44 years, just to name a few.

As we walked around, we saw where the old gasworks was located, a stone cairn marking the home of the Lindsay family, the former Wesleyan Church and the Creswick Hospital, built in 1912 and now a nursing home.  In our walk of some 2.5 hours we saw more notable public buildings, churches, old homes and business establishments.  Two of the more notable were the Cosy Corner shop, the oldest surviving building in Creswick, dating from 1852 and Pasco’s Store, built in 1864 and operated continuously until 2008 by four generations of ownership.

The Creswick Hospital

Anderson’s Mill at SmeatonAfter our walk, we headed off to Anderson’s Mill at Smeaton. This mill was owned and operated by the Anderson family for almost one hundred years through the boom time, the Great Depression and two world wars. It is a huge five storey bluestone building, complete with a massive waterwheel, outhouses and stables. Sited on the banks of the Birch Creek, it still looks rather impressive today, thanks to the restoration work done by the State Government. The mill closed in 1959 due to a number of reasons. The railway line bypassed Smeaton and the centre of the wheat growing area gradually shifted to the north and west. This made it harder for a small local miller to obtain regular supplies. The annual variation of conditions and weather played havoc with the local grain harvests. Without grain, the mill could not function fully. The buildings, now owned by the State, are now on the Historic Buildings Register.

From the mill, we returned to the Creswick – Clunes road past many old mining sites. These can only be noted these days by their large mullock heaps, although there are remnants of buildings at some sites. Back on the main road we took a short detour to the site of the New Australasian Mine and learned of the disaster there.

In 1882, over 1200 men were employed in the Creswick area mining the Deep Lead. But the work was dangerous. As mentioned previously, the lead was in underground rivers covered by basalt. Consequently, flooding from these rivers was a constant problem. The New Australasian Mine began in 1867 but struggled to make a profit and the mine and its plant was seized by the Bank of Australasia. In 1877, under the auspices of a new company, the mine began operating again and in 1878 sank a new shaft down into the lead. In 1882, a drive (a tunnel horizontal to the main shaft) was begun and was 2,000 feet long by December. On 12th December, two miners digging into the top of the drive, struck water. This water gushed into the drive trapping 27 miners. Feverish rescue efforts to save the trapped miners only managed to save 5 of them. The other 22 lost their lives. But the disaster lead to greatly improved working conditions and safety requirements for the workers after agitation from the unions and a subsequent inquest into the accident. Today, the mullock heaps and evidence of the main shaft can be seen, along with a number of information boards outlining the background and causes of the disaster.

As we continued on to Clunes, it was pointed out that the seven hills we could see on both sides of the road, were the remnants of the volcanoes which covered the area in lava so many years ago. Who would have thought we had volcanic eruptions in Oz?

A long awaited lunch was enjoyed at the Clunes Gardens, right in the centre of town.

Clunes was established as Victoria’s first “gold” town after gold was discovered in the Creswick Creek in July 1851. Interestingly enough, the gold was found by one James Esmond who later The London Chartered Bank Majorca (1870)went on to become Peter Lalor’s lieutenant at the Eureka Stockade. Clunes grew to become, at one stage, the fifth largest town in Victoria. But by the turn of the century, the gold had run out and so had most of the population.  The town lacks the splendour of Creswick. The shops are very old and dreary (circa 1870s). Some are still operating as the original businesses. The colour scheme is beige everywhere and seems to dominate the streetscape. Clunes, though, is one of the most original and intact gold towns in Australia. Most of the magnificent public buildings erected during the boom times have been preserved. We had a walk around the town and noted the old Post Office, police station, Methodist Church, St Andrew’s Church, Masonic Hall and Town Hall as examples of these old preserved buildings. The streetscape is still very much as it was in the 1870s and as such has been used as the background to a number of films and television programs. Ned Kelly and Mad Max are two well known productions which used the town.

Majorca General Store (1866)During the period between 1880 and 1930, the bare hills from the gold mining were subjected to a tree planting programme by both public and private sectors. Within a generation, the ravages of mining gave way to the treed surroundings we see today.

On the way back to Maryborough, we detoured through the ghost town of Majorca, where gold was discovered in February 1863. A flourishing township developed and by 1866 had 250 clip_image002[22]general stores, billiard rooms, hotels and timber yards. However, it was very like an American Wild West town with lawlessness prevalent. Unfortunately, many of the buildings in Majorca were destroyed by bushfires in 1985 and only a couple of original buildings remain. Back at camp, we enjoyed a Happy Hour, then many of us adjourned to one of the local pubs for dinner. The evening was quite nice and ended a perfect day.

Sunday morning saw us set off to the Talbot market to find a bargain. The market is reputed to be the “best farmers market in Victoria”. I haven’t been to them all, but Talbot’s would certainly take beating. Half the market is farm produce and the balance is crafts and clip_image002[24]odds and ends. By 11.30 am, the group met and decided we’d had enough of the market and would head off to our lunch spot. A head count found we had a couple missing. A search party went out in different directions equipped with hand held CBs, all to no avail. We then tried Telstra’s facilities and found the missing couple stranded at the “Vintage Steam Rally” on the other side of town. They had caught a shuttle bus out there and were awaiting one to return. It was decided we would head off to lunch and the couple would follow when they could.

Lunch was at the site of the old Stony Creek Elementary school. The rock bed as a map of AustraliaThe school began in 1865 and is notable for the interest the teacher, a Miss James, engendered in the children for gardening. She laid out rock gardens and flower beds and encouraged the children to tend them. One of the beds was laid out as a map of Australia and was used to educate the children about the fledgling nation. By 1902, the enrolments had dropped to ten and the school was closed in 1916. Nothing remains of the buildings except for a few bricks lying around, but the rock gardens, including the map of Australia, can still be seen. It was a lovely spot for our lunch break and a most suitable place to say our goodbyes. Some of the group headed back to Maryborough to look at a quilt exhibition, others head off for further exploration of the area, while the rest returned home.

We all had a great weekend. Thanks to Harry and Jill and, of course, the beautiful weather.


Harry & Jill Richards – Trip Leaders
Anne & Ian Blainey Sue & Craig Findlay
Brenda & Phillip Johnstone Linda & Barry McElhenny
Noelene & Greg Moore Helen & Chris Rogers
Christine & Wayne Scholes Bonnie & Rod Tamblyn
John Smith Les Warburton

Murray River Beaches Pre-trip Report

[cetsEmbedGmap src=http://g.co/maps/yt7t9 width=350 height=425 marginwidth=0 marginheight=0 frameborder=0 scrolling=no]Jan Martin reports:
After the wettest spring and summer for many years, the Murray River was flooded along all of the Victorian and New South Wales border. The worst of the floods were downstream of the Goulburn and Loddon Rivers. Some areas near Swan Hill are still under water. The area where we usually go for the Club’s annual Murray River beach camp is further upstream, between Barooga and Mulwala.
In October, we had a first hand report from Greg and Noelene Moore about Backhouse Beach, our favourite camping spot. They reported that the river had completely covered our camping area and the water over the access track was more than two metres deep. Greg said the water would have been over the top of his Landcruiser, if he had tried to get through. And that was before the summer rains!
On 9th April, we went on a pre-trip drive to see what was left of the beautiful beaches along the Barooga-Mulwala stretch of the river and, more importantly, whether they still had access tracks through the forests. We started with the access track through the Cottadidda State Forest to Backhouse Beach.
At first it looked pretty good. A grader had been through and fixed the worst parts. A deep bog hole had been graded and improved with a topping of crushed rock. At the lagoon, which had been dry for many years, there was plenty of water. Some three metre high young red gums growing in the lagoon bed had fallen sideways, pushed over by the strong water flow. There were some deep ruts in places, where people had forced their way through boggy areas, but nothing really bad. By the time we arrived at the Thong Tree above the levee bank, we were quite optimistic.
The track down the levee had also been graded and we drove down to the river level easily. But about twenty metres along the low level track, the grading ran out abruptly. A large river gum had fallen straight across the track. Not just the limb of a tree, but the whole tree had been uprooted.
On one side of the track was the river, with the tree partly submerged in it. On the other side, just beyond the tree roots, there was a deep, impassable swamp. No way to cut a side track around the tree. The tree was too big for a conventional chain saw to tackle – it needed something of industrial size to cut it up and a winch to shift it off the track.
We scrambled over the trunk and walked into Backhouse Beach. Another big red gum had fallen over at the end closest to the access track. A bit too close to the camping area for comfort.
The beach area had obviously been flooded, but had recovered well. It would still have been a good, safe camping spot, if not for that fallen tree across the access track. Given the widespread nature of the flooding in the NSW forests along the Murray, we thought there was little point in contacting the authorities and asking when the tree would be moved from the track. It’s a big job. No doubt they will get around to it eventually. Maybe, it might even happen before Easter, which is a popular time for camping on the Murray River beaches, but we have no guarantee on that.
So we managed to turn the Jackaroo around on the narrow track with use of 4WD and headed upstream to check out some other beaches.
The next two beaches on the NSW side were no good – a combination of access tracks in bad condition and beaches too small for more than three or four camp sites. One of them also had a large fallen red gum right across what might have seemed like a good camp site. After wandering around the forest tracks for a while, sometimes temporarily unsure of our position, we picked up a follower – a family in a Holden sedan.
As we were using 4WD on the worst parts of the track, we were a bit concerned about them following us. After we backed out of one bog, they finally got the message and retreated. We eventually found our way back to Stock Route Road, a graded, gravel road which runs a little inland, but roughly parallel to the river. We decided what we needed was a big beach, not too far into the forest and consulted our “Murray River Beach Access” map. One, near the end of the road we were on, looked like a possibility.
We turned off the graded road towards the river into the Boomanoomana State Forest (and you thought Cottadidda was hard to pronounce). A short, repaired access track, suitable for caravans, led to a large, sandy beach. Most of the trees behind the beach were young red gums, with no danger of falling limbs. There was plenty of sand to dig trenches for camp oven cooking and flat areas for a larger group of campers. Just back on the access track was an excellent supply of firewood.
The school holidays had started, but no-one was camping there. We had it to ourselves.
This place is called One Tree Beach. It had one large deciduous tree, in full autumn colour, right in the middle of a wide sandy beach. It is roughly halfway between Mulwala and Barooga, easy to find and quicker to get into than Backhouse Beach. The fastest way to get there would probably be to travel on the Hume to Benalla, then take the Yarrawonga road and cross into NSW at Mulwala. It would probably take about the same driving time from Melbourne as Backhouse Beach. But going back to the nearest town for bread or milk would take a little longer. 14.5 kms from Backhouse to Cobram; 19.5kms from One Tree to Mulwala. However, it seems very suited to our purposes, so we have decided to use it for the May trip this year and will send details of how to get there to everyone who is coming. Hope to see you there.
Final note: In July 2010, the previous N.S.W. government proclaimed large areas of forest along the Murray as part of a new Murray Valley National Park.
This was mainly to protect the degraded river red gum forests from commercial logging, but has future implications for the unstructured free camping we have been able to enjoy. At present, nothing seems to have changed, but it may not be too long before the Murray River beaches have designated camp spots with pine poles around them and sky high camping fees.
Enjoy it now before it changes!

Boomanoomana State Forest – One Tree Beach

  • Starting from the Yarrawonga Mulwala Visitor Information Centre, cross the main traffic bridge into Mulwala and drive through Mulwala (on Melbourne Street) until you cross the Mulwala Canal Bridge (approx. 3½km from Visitor Information Centre).
  • Turn left immediately after Canal Bridge – there is a sign post on right “Industrial Estate and one on the left “Tocumwal, Berrigan, Savernake”.
  • Stay on bitumen road until come to cross-roads (1.4km) with sign post in centre of road, one points to Tocumwal to the left. Turn left.
  • Travel about 10km along this road. You come to a cross-road. On the left is a road sign “Yarrawonga 17km” (pointing back in the direction from which you came), “Barooga 23” (pointing straight ahead), “Berrigan 36” (pointing to the right). KEEP GOING STRAIGHT AHEAD for approx. 5km until you get to “Ruwolts Road” on the right. TURN LEFT.

  • View Larger Map

  • On the left is the third entrance to the forest. Enter the gates and there is a sign “One Tree Beach 3.5km”.
  • Follow the green arrows on trees. “One Tree Beach” is aptly named – there is a large “elm-like” tree in the middle of the beach!

Mallacoota Meander

Harry & Jill Richards – Pathfinder
Rick & Glenda Farlow – Pathfinder
Ray & Lynne Bridger – Patrol
Les Warburton – Discovery

Victoria is an amazingly diverse state. We have deserts in the north-west, the world’s largest lava plains to the south-west and the High Country and associated forests and National Parks.

The extensive lakes systems of the Gippsland Lakes and Mallacoota Inlet (and the inlets between) just add to this geographic tapestry.

This diversity was brought home in another way as I was driving to   Mallacoota for the club trip.

The car radio was giving out graphic details of towns inundated by floods in the northern part of the state, less than one hour’s crow flight from where we were.

Where we were was just east of Nowa Nowa. And here, SES and CFA units were mopping up after an extensive bushfire.

Wisps of smoke were still drifting through the blackened forest as the crews cut down burnt trees and poured water on smouldering stumps.
It was an eerie image to begin our week away.

Mallacoota though, was very welcoming. The weather was comfortable and benign as we booked into our cabin in the Beachcomber Caravan Park.

The Farlows and Les Warburton were    already there, so after settling in, we sat down to Happy Hour and to plan the week ahead.

Ray and Lynne were due in next morning, While waiting for them, it was agreed we would pass the time with a visit to the   local museum.

I anticipated a quick “in and out” and on to something else. But what a surprise. Our quick “in and out” lasted nearly two hours.

Before us was a history I knew nothing about. How the area was an important  station in our World War II coastal    surveillance was revealed, along with the part it played in detecting and watching Japanese submarines. Most interesting.

Back to base for lunch and, as there was still no sign of the Bridgers, we took a short drive up to Gypsy Point, some 15kms from Mallacoota.

Gypsy Point is a lovely, quiet, scenic spot on the Inlet and obviously popular with tourists.

Needless to say, with such a wonderful expanse of placid water, fishing was the most popular activity. Little jetties poked out into the Inlet around every corner.

While at Gypsy Point, two D.S.E. rangers were launching an ugly looking boat. Upon enquiry, they told us they were doing a survey of the fish in the Inlet.

The bulky structure on the boat was a  generator which, when a two pronged     attachment was placed in the water,    produced an electric charge which stunned all the fish in the immediate vicinity.

These fish would then be collected off the surface, measured, recorded, tagged and released. Apparently, the fish were not harmed by the experience.

The rangers took off to continue their work further up the Inlet. Another example of our D.S.E. friends working for our benefit.

Upon our return to camp, the Bridgers had arrived and set up. They were ready for a Happy Hour, so we could not disappoint them.

Next day, the group gathered for a trip through the Croajingolong N.P. to Wingan Inlet, via Shipwreck Creek.

In the main, the track was easy although there were plenty of water filled potholes to be wary of.

Shipwreck Creek is a lovely isolated beach between a couple of rugged headlands. There is a small camping facility here, with composting toilets.

After a bit of beachcombing, it was back to the vehicles and off to Wingan Inlet.

The tracks through the Park were anything but boring, as we traversed various track conditions and forest flora.

Unfortunately, one track took a dislike to Ray’s vehicle and slashed one of his tyres.

While our convoy was parked by the side of the track effecting the tyre change, we got word a “B Double” was on its way and to be careful.

This was a concern, as the track was not that wide, although I did think “What on earth would a B Double be doing here”.

The tyre change was completed and Wingan Inlet beckoned. No sign of a B Double, or any other vehicle for that  matter.

Wingan Inlet is a lovely, picturesque, large inlet where the Wingan River meets the sea. There is a good camping ground here with toilets.

From the car park, a boardwalk takes you through the coastal scrub to the ocean beach.

The wind had risen by the time we reached the beach, making it a little    uncomfortable. Offshore were “The Skerries”, a number of islands well known as a home for seals.

With the aid of binoculars and a long camera lens, one could see them lying back in the sun.

From Wingan Inlet, we returned to camp via Cann River and the bitumen.

After another lengthy Happy Hour, we retired to our respective abodes for dinner and a rest.

Thursday we headed into N.S.W. and the seaside town of Eden, about an hour from Mallacoota.

The day was spent meandering around the town, starting at the lookout over Twofold Bay.

Nearby is a memorial wall erected to honour mariners who had died at sea in the area. It was built in 1978, after the sinking of the fishing trawler Shiralee that year with the loss of all hands.

The plaques on the wall detail the names of seamen from the port of Eden, who were lost at sea and their bodies never recovered.

The earliest plaque is for a young crewman on a whaler lost in September 1881.
The story goes that his boat had harpooned a whale and was towing it back to base, when it suddenly turned and smashed the boat with a flick of its tail flukes. The other crew were rescued but the young fellow’s body was never found.

(One for the whales!)

The memorial wall is within a park and proved a perfect lunch spot. Some of our group drove into town to procure some fish and chips from a recommended    purveyor of such goodies.

The recommendation was well founded. So much so, that before we left Eden, we returned to buy some fresh fish to have for dinner back at camp.

(Surprisingly for a fishing village, Mallacoota does not have a shop selling fresh fish. The supermarket has frozen fish in stock)

After lunch, we strolled along the pathway by the extensive Aslings beach. This concrete pathway depicts the maritime history of Eden in large stencils applied to the concrete while wet.

The walk demanded a reward upon its completion, so it was back into the town centre for ice creams.

On the way back to camp, we stopped off at the historic Seahorse Inn.

A significant early settler of the area was Benjamin Boyd, who arrived from England in 1842. He quickly established a shipping service between Eden and Sydney, a bank and purchased large landholdings where he ran sheep and cattle.

Shore whaling and the related oil    extraction process was soon added to his business empire.

With his growing wealth, Boyd’s ideas became grandiose. One of his displays of grand style was the building of the Seahorse Inn in 1843, using convict  labour.

It had ten guestrooms, hand carved doors, lots of stained glass, a winding staircase and a sense of luxury throughout.

It looked out over landscaped gardens and sprawling lawns to Twofold Bay.

The Depression of the late 1840s hit Boyd hard and many of his forays went  bust. Boyd left Australia and, after a short stint at the Californian goldfields, immigrated to the Solomon    Islands. He disappeared while hunting there.

With Boyd’s departure, the Seahorse Inn became vacant. Vandals caused significant damage and it the lack of upkeep added to its deterioration.

In 1936, it was purchased by the Whiter brothers, who renovated the Inn and     restored it to its former glory. They added a second storey which blends in very well with the original design.

The Inn now operates as a luxury hotel with an emphasis on relaxation and local seafood.

On the coast, is one of Boyd’s follies known as Boyd’s Tower. A replica of the tower is found in the grounds of the Inn.

After our taste of luxury, it was back to camp for Happy Hour and to enjoy our fish from Eden.

Overnight, the sound of rain could be heard, but come morning, it had gone and we were greeted by a fine, albeit cloudy, day.

Today we headed off to the Maramingo State Forest in the Genoa Wilderness Area, where I had read tremendous views of the surrounding hills could be had.

Our first destination was the fire tower on Maramingo Hill. The track wasn’t too bad and eventually we arrived at the fire tower.

Alas, the alleged views could not be seen because the trees had grown and hidden the scene. Looking through the tree branches, we could see what could have been a good view, but …

Consulting our references and the maps, we decided to press on to an interesting grave site and what appeared to be camp sites along the headwaters of the Genoa River. One of these we thought would be suitable for a lunch stop.

To get back to the main road meant going down Bridle Track, which the map suggested was a formed track.

Well, it may have been at some point, but it proved a bit a challenge to our convoy. It was overgrown and the    recent heavy rain had caused a few washaways which required a bit of care.

No matter to us. The traverse was  accomplished without incident and soon we were travelling on the main track looking for the turnoff to the grave site.

Well, it should have been there somewhere, but it eluded us. Just as the mythical camp sites on the river hid as we approached.

Soon we found we had left the river and were climbing steadily uphill. A stop for a map reading and consultation was needed.

The map showed us that if we continued on, we would come to the Waalimma campsite. In brackets it noted “pretty spot”.

Sounded good, so we went on, up a track which deteriorated the further we went.

Eventually we arrived at the camp site, a quiet secluded spot in a heavily treed  forest. I’d like to say we had the place to ourselves, but forty million mosquitoes would disagree.

Jill went to use the drop toilet and as she raised the lid, a cloud of mossies arose and threatened to carry her off.

Needless to say, we had our lunch with a minimum of fuss and jumped back into the vehicles to descend back to the township of Genoa.

Just out of Genoa is supposedly the Genoa Creek Falls. Alas,   I can’t confirm this. We spent some time driving around its reputed location, but to no avail.

Before heading back to Mallacoota, we agreed to climb Genoa Peak and take in the views from there over the Genoa River valley to the sea.

From the car park, it is a 1.7km walk to the Peak. It was warm when we set off and got progressively hotter as we climbed.

The track is not for the unfit, nor the infirmed. In parts it is quite steep and requires some scrambling over rocks and ledges.

About three-quarters of the way up, you come to an outcrop which looks back towards Genoa and the hills    beyond. It was a good resting place before tackling the last stanza.

In the final 100 metres, one climbs up two ladders, a final killer to the hot, tired hikers.

The view though was great for those who made it to the top.

Not everybody, including your scribe, got beyond the earlier outcrop. So I am relying on the comments of others who reported on the great views.

After giving the cameras a workout, we returned to the car park. A much easier task than climbing up.

Word had reached us that on Friday nights the local Bowling Club had a $10 per head Roast Night. That sounding appealing, so we walked around after making a booking.

Somebody’s wires got crossed because the Roast Night was not on and it was a limited a-la-carte menu. No matter, we ordered and sat down to chat and have a quiet drink.

By coincidence, everybody ordered fish and chips and I think this put their kitchen  under a bit of a strain. The meals, while nourishing and good value, came out in dribs and drabs.
As is the wont of many country pubs and clubs, after we’d finished our meals, our hosts announced the “Meat Raffle”.

Dutifully, we all bought some tickets and, lo and behold, Jill won a tray of sausages.

As Ray and Lynne were leaving the next morning to head home, it was agreed we would have a BBQ breakfast on the beach to consume the snags.

Saturday morning was perfect for our BBQ on the beach. Betka Beach was the selected venue, only ten minutes out of town with BBQ, tables, toilets and a nice quiet sandy beach.

What a life. Sausages, eggs, bacon all on toast done on the BBQ, listening to the gentle lap of the water and the birdsong in the surrounding scrub. And it was all ours!

With the nourishment of the troops done, it was time for Ray and Lynne to leave and wend their way home.

After our goodbyes, they headed back to town, while we went on to investigate a couple of beaches we had passed on the first day.

The first of these was Quarry Beach, named because in bygone days, some stone was extracted from here for local use.

For the amateur geologist, this beach and its coast was a wonderland. As we looked around, we could see rocks twisted and contorted by actions of probably millions of years ago.

The subsequent erosion by wind, rain and tide, had created amazing shapes and sculptures. The layers of soil, sand, limestone, pebbles and in one section, a soft, yellow layer which we assumed was sulphur in some form, were easy to see and dissect.
For the beachcombers, they too found much of interest. Baby fish, anemones and the like were skulking in the rock pools. Large, purple/red crabs scuttled across the sand until disturbed. Then they backed themselves into rock crevices with just their large claws visible, a threat to  any unwanted approaches.

The other beach, Secret Beach, was again another lovely, quiet, secluded beach away from the mainstream. Again, the beachcombers found much to interest them.

After lunch back at camp, it was into the vehicles again to travel to the other side of the Inlet and into N.S.W. to walk through the Maxwells Road Flora Reserve.

From the Princes Highway, we turned down Maxwells Road and travelled through the Nadgee State Forest to the Nature Walk.

The walk is only 1.2kms around, but it  takes you through a lush Lillypilly and Pinkwood forest, with a thick understory of tree ferns, lichens and mosses.  Signboards along the way highlight the various species you come across.

It is one of the very few areas where Pinkwood (eucryphia moorei) survives and as we walked around, we came across many of its large white flowers carelessly dropped on the path.

A lovely, easy walk and thoroughly   recommended if you are in the area. On a hot summer day, it would be a great refuge.

A little further along Maxwells Road and not very prominently signed, is a turnoff to a small picnic area.

Here there is a magnificent vista over Mallacoota Inlet and Bass Strait. I am told by those who did both, that it was a better view than from Genoa Peak. And nowhere near as strenuous to get to.

This was a perfect quiet spot to have afternoon tea. We didn’t let the opportunity pass.
The return home was via Duncans Road and New Binns Road to Wallagaraugh Road. “Road” is a significant misnomer. They were very much tracks, which, at times,       disappeared into overgrowth.

It was obvious there had not been any traffic along them for quite some time.

The old wooden bridge over the Wallgaruagh River proved worth a look. While there, we disturbed a metre long goanna, which showed its disdain for us by scooting up a tree.

That evening we had our last Happy Hour and next morning packed up and made our respective ways home.

All in all, it was a great week, with lots of new discoveries and plenty of scenic travels.

The trip basically covered the far eastern section of the Croajigalong National Park. There is plenty of the middle and western sections of this wilderness still to see. Look for a trip later in the year.

To those on the trip, thanks for your   company and great spirit. I think everyone enjoyed themselves.

Report: Harry Richards
Photos: Jill Richards, Rick & Glenda Farlow