Saturday, 26 November 2016

Victoria's Grand Ridge Road & Walhalla by RV

Australia has wonderful Visitor Information Centres. You can stop in and pick up lots of brochures, maps and booklets or visit their websites and download e-versions of the information and it's all absolutely free (although, they always have things for sale too). You can also ask all manner of questions. 

Amongst the information I'd collected at various centres there was mention of a scenic drive called the Grand Ridge Road. It said it where it started and ended and that it was partly dirt road, but that was it. And, even with questioning at a visitors centre and various web searches I couldn't get much information about it. But, I found the road on our OSMAnd maps and away we went. 

The road is, for the most part, forestry road used by the logging trucks. At various points along the way there are signs saying UHF28. So, we switched our UHF to channel 28. But, was that enough? No. 

Fortunately for us, when we radioed a log truck driver to ask if he wished to overtake us (he did, of course, and told us where was suitable), he also volunteered the information that we should radio each numbered point on the road as we passed it so other trucks would know we were there. Good to know!

The state of Victoria has dished up some horrible cold wet weather for us this week. It shouldn't be like this in late November. Doing the Grand Ridge Road in the wet meant that our views weren't so good, but the forest did look and smell glorious. 

motorhome on the Grand Ridge Road 

The worst road wasn't actually the Grand Ridge Road, as it was wide enough for logging trucks, but a road going down past Tarra Bulga national park. It was signposted as not for articulated vehicles yet, going down we met a 4wd with caravan coming up! It was a tight fit. 

A stranger we'd met recommended we drive up to Walhalla and what a lovely place it is. Walhalla was once a booming town of gold mine glory, then almost deserted, and now it's a restored tourist village, with lovely free and paid campsites. We did the Long Tunnel tour which was really interesting and wandered the streets looking at the restored old buildings, each with information about its history. 

Walhalla extended long tunnel gold mine 

We are hoping that this next week gives us some better weather. The Belgian, clearly thinking his days of bad weather were behind him, has been sulking about the rain. I (the Aussie) grew up with too much drought and I find something nice about rain, it actually lifts my spirits most the time. 

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