|Canberra to Kilmore
So out through Canberra and north to Yass to join the Hume Highway, the main road between Sydney and Melbourne. Yass is another little historical town, with buildings from early days of settlement. The town is now bypassed by the Hume Highway, a motorway at this point which we joined shortly after. On down the motorway, the rain had stopped and it was hot and humid. On through rolling hills, gradually climbing to a pass through the hills and then dropping into the next valley, terrain we crossed for many kilometres. Pleasant driving for a motorway as it wound its way up and down and round the many hills.
We swung off the Highway just before Gundagai at an “Olivers”, a new style eatery offering organic foods, drinks and snacks. We bought some smoothies and brownies and sat outside in the sunshine to eat our own food plus the Olivers stuff. It was hot in the sunshine but we could see really heavy clouds rolling towards where we were headed. There were several other food outlets at this pullout, called the tucker box trail, including a little cafe called ‘dog on the tuckerbox’ a monument to the pioneers of this region. (It had a statue of a dog sitting on a tuckerbox!). So on into Gundagai to see the historic bridges. There are two, the oldest built in the 1860s was the first road crossing of the Murrumbidgee River and its flood plain and is over 920 metres long, all built of wood. Sadly now in a very dilapidated state though it has been replaced by two new bridges to carry the Hume Highway. The other bridge was built for the railway in 1902 and is over 820 metres long and was the earliest bridge built with Australian cast iron piles. Both bridges are impressive but too unsafe to walk on now.
Back to the Highway and on to Albury/Wodonga and the mighty Murray River. By now it was pouring with rain and It was here we discovered the Hume Highway was closed by flooding further south and the authorities had put in place a diversion, going much further west along the Murray Valley Way to Yarrawonga before heading south again to rejoin the Hume at Seymour. The road trains charged on down the road sending up sheets of spray; the rain got heavier and it got dark. A challenging drive! We eventually arrived at Kilmore more than ten hours after we left Canberra; so much for the six hour drive we had anticipated. Collapsed into bed.
A late start, we set about getting the trailer and car ready to hand back. We had arranged to meet up with Chris and Jan, friends we had made during our tour in the Kimberley, in King Valley, just over two hours from here and we had checked the weather forecast for the weekend last night and it was dire; thunderstorms and heavy rain! That plus the closure of the Hume Highway put us off going.
It was dry this morning so laundry duties called. Checked the forecast again and it had improved: called Jan who told us it was looking good up there. Checked the Vicroads website to discover the Hume had been reopened; so we took in the washing, re packed the trailer and set off. We really wanted to finish our camping trip in good weather.