An Adventure through Time, Our Story of the Euston 2 Bega Safari
We had done plenty of research on this safari in the lead up to the event, and with the opportunity to visit some of the towns prior to the safari, we knew it was shaping to be the best tour yet; the roads travelled were very picturesque, the weather would be near perfect, and the history we’d uncover would remind us of our past and give us an appreciation of the life that we live now.
Monday arrived, and after an unexpected storm, greeting us with clearing skies. Our fellow travellers, CMCA members, all arrived during the day at the CMCA Euston RV Park. We all gathered around the fire for happy hour from 4.30pm where we had the chance to meet our fellow members who we would be travelling with over the next few weeks. Happy hour snacks were devoured, many a stories told, and members all received their safari packs consisting of their caps and trivia questions (a series of observation questions to be answered each day we travelled on the road), followed by a delicious barbecue dinner we all shared. If you travel through Euston, take the time to stop overnight at the park (your vehicle must meet self-contained requirements) and enjoy a coffee over at the club on the banks of the Murray River. Bring along fellow CMCA members and make use of the fire pit and barbecues on site, all for the use of our Club.
Day two arrived and a magnificent sunny day with mild temperatures was enjoyed. On this day we left Euston for a romance with the road, heading east where we all admired the sites of the Murray River and all it had to offer. This easy journey saw the tour reach Swan Hill via a short stop at Lake Tyrrell which, due to its salt content, had a distinct pink colour. We later arrive at Pental Island, where we camped in a park along the banks of the Murray. Later we enjoyed happy hour together as well as a lovely stroll around the banks of the Murray. The next day a bus collected us from camp, taking us into the Pioneer Village at Swan Hill and we were able to explore the history of the area they have saved. One of our members had fond memories, as he had spent much time in this area as a young boy. We returned to camp later in the afternoon for a rest, but later returned to the village to admire the Heartbeat of the Murray Laser Show. ‘Wow’ is an understatement, this show is a must see if you are traveling through this area.
Day four we were back on the road heading to Moama, a town just outside Echuca, where we enjoyed another camp on the banks of the Murray. Thanks to the cooler weather, we all made use of the fire pit as we enjoyed happy hour and a BBQ dinner. As the sun set, the ever changing light around the river kept us entranced for the evening. The next day greeted us with clear skies and perfect temperatures for a full day exploring the Port of Echuca, where we boarded the PS Canberra, a historic paddle steamer, for a cruise downstream to Morrisons Winery, where we dined for lunch. A relaxing lunch was had by all and we all enjoyed some wine tasting before we boarded the PS Canberra for our return trip. With our bellies full of delicious food and tasty wines, some had a light dinner that night, while others couldn’t even bear the thought of food.
On day six it was time to leave the Murray for a day or two as we travelled north to Jerilderie for a nights stop over. We travelled through the small township of Conargo and the surrounding farmland where we learnt how the area was instrumental for breeding Merino Sheep in Australia. Ned Kelly and his Gang have a distinct history in the area and a guided walk through town will enlighten you as to their indiscretions many many years ago. After a day exploring the rich Australian history of the region, we enjoyed a few games at happy hour, followed by a short walk next door for a delicious Chinese feast at the RSL.
Day seven saw the group ready for another day on the road, as we headed for Beechworth. During our travels, members had to answer an array of trivia questions about things that they may see out on the road. During this trip, members were given a bonus round where they were required to collect a stick about 620mm long, as well as a minties wrapper. Also, unnoticed by a few, I was not wearing my usual work attire on this day. This was to be a bonus question later in the week, one that caused lots laughter as the members attempted to remember what it was that was written on the unusual shirt I was wearing. On our way to Beechworth, we stop via Eldorado for lunch. We later arrived at Lake Sambell Caravan Park, still with plenty of time for a push bike ride, walk into town, happy hour and some games, before heading off to bed. The next day greeted us with a sunny and a perfect morning, and we set off for a walk into town for a guided tour of Beechworth’s old historical buildings, the most notable being the courthouse where we participated in a court re-enactment of the famous Ned Kelly trial; a lot of fun was had. Most of us enjoyed a pie or a pastry at the famous Beechworth Bakery for lunch, a look through the museum and then back to camp for a rest before happy hour. We cooked our famous camp oven damper at happy hour, and I say famous because it is loved by many!
On day nine we headed off for the longest day of driving on the safari. While only 215km were travelled, it took us 6 hours including a few stops along the way, as we travelled up to Omeo via the Omeo Highway. When we weren’t driving along beautiful countryside, we enjoyed long stops in Mitta Mitta and a few camp areas along the way. We arrived at our grassy campground and set up camp amongst the trees, just in time for yet another happy hour might I add. Later, most of us then walked to the pizza shop for a delicious feast. The next day our tour bus picked us all up at 10am for a guided tour around the area. Jeff, the local historian, discussed the history of the area and showed us some of the sights including the old log gaol, reported to be the last one of its type still standing, and the old courthouse and associated buildings. We also visited the Chinese Goldfields. In the late 1800s the population of Omeo rose upwards of 10,000 people, which included a high number of Chinese people. These days, the population is only approximately 350 people.
Day 11, we hit the road heading for the coast for our first glimpse of the ocean, travelling the southern section of the Alpine Way. We were left breathless with great views across the valleys as we travelled down toward Bruthen, where we managed to stop for lunch with most of us supporting the local bakery. That evening we stayed at Tostaree B&B, where we made use of their hall for our happy hour. We all enjoyed a delicious home cooked meal and a great variety of dishes were served, keeping us all happy. The men and a couple of ladies enjoyed a competitive game of pool. I managed to win all games in the lead up to dinner; however, I must have eaten way too much to maintain my winning streak after dinner. A huge thanks to Greg and Vicky for their hospitality.
We left Tostaree B&B in the morning, enjoying a leisurely 115km drive up the coast. We had an extended morning tea stop at Cape Conargo where we had the opportunity to explore the beach and headland. We soon continued on to our destination, the sleepy fishing town of Bemm River, staying at their local caravan park where we enjoying an elevated open campsite catching the lovely coastal breeze. We all enjoyed a relaxing afternoon happy hour, and feeling a little lazy, our choice of game for the afternoon was quoits.
On our last day together, we travelled to the small beach-side town of Tathra. We have spent the last 13 days travelling throughout our beautiful countryside. We all enjoyed our time exploring the open road, taking in the open plains around the Murray River, majestic High Country views and the coastal areas of eastern Victoria and southern NSW. On our last night we enjoyed a three course Italian meal. Prizes were awarded for the trivia questions, with the award going to Malcolm and Angela, and sadly, John and Glenyse received the wooden spoon.
A big thank you for those who attended, we enjoyed getting to know you and hopefully we will cross paths in the near future again. The safari was an excellent opportunity to experience all our country has to offer in the convenience of your own vehicle, and we assure you that this group of members made lifelong friends and memories. We have a number of upcoming safaris planned, and with each offering unique experiences, you’ll be sure to find one to suit you.
See you around the campfire somewhere other than here :)
Andrew - Xpedition Tagalong Tours
Page Last Updated: Monday, 8 January 2018 12:23 PM, Session: Public