Sunday, 1 February 2015

Murray River - Bruce's Beach 2 near Yarrawonga

We left Echuca & headed NE towards Cobram, guess what? we planned to camp on the Murray River again! We had a look at a camp on the river there but decided to keep going towards Yarrawonga. There is a camp close to town but it was packed with people, so we decide to check out another one back towards Cobram a bit. A track lead us down towards the river & we found various campsites along the Murray. Some were okay, but not quite right in either access to the water or to shaded for the solar panels. We kept following the bush tracks further & finally came to a sign that pointed to Bruce's Beach 2 & what a campsite it was. Just fantastic, probably the best Murray camp we have found. A large flat grassy area, a bit of shade, easy access to the water & the river was flowing but beautiful & clear water & it's free, wow. There was another camp about 300 meters away with 2 carvans, so we had a spot to ourselves. After setting up we still couldn't believe our luck, this is the life, although we had to make the most of it while it lasted.......

Our camp at Bruce's Beach above & 2 below

You see it was the Tuesday before the Australia Day long weekend & our little oasis was about to get rather busy! The next day we decided to go for a drive around the area. We went into Yarrawonga & looked across the river to Mulawa & got some photos of Lake Mulawa. We then went on towards Wangaratta. All these Victorian towns are bigger than we expected & really busy, it's crazy. We ducked into the local Kmart to try & find a pool ring to float out on at camp, but with no luck & also grabbed a few groceries at the Coles next door. 

Lake Mulawa

We then made our way towards Glenrowan which was the actual reason for our day out. The famous Ned Kelly town did not disappoint & we had one of the strangest days we could remember. First up we did a lap around town, not much here, a pub, a museum, a theatre, a bakery, a few gift shops. 

The site of the Kelly gangs last stand burnt down, so we only found a paddock with a few horses in it. Righto into the pub for lunch. An awesome pub with heaps of memorabilia on the walls of the Kelly's & some huge Murray Cod. A couple of pints of Kelly Gang Draught was consumed & a cracking lunch. It was then time to explore further. Should we do the museum or the theatre thing, or both. Well the theatre is the closest we will check it out. The guy is out the front ringing the bell saying the show is about to start, so we thought we just made it in time, so we line up to pay not really knowing what we were getting in for. When he told us it was $28 each we nearly fell over, but couldn't really back out, so we bought our tickets. He led us into a room that had a door concealed behind a book case to a room filled with lots of props & sitting benches. What followed was the weirdest things we have ever seen. It was a marionette theatre with animations projected on some of the puppets. It took you through various rooms & told the story of the last stand, including the police coming on the train to get the gang, inside the pub where it happened, out the back of the theatre was a gun fight & we even had Neds hanging. 

There was rain, thunder, creepy puppets, a dog that peed water, a guy that threw up, a train, loud banging, gun shots, smoke machines & the hang-mans noose. When we finished you are then taken through a room that is the owners grandkids bedroom that is like a Disney fairytale, as the theatre is part of his house. We chatted to the owner afterwards & it turns out his family was involved in making the Kelly gang armour. I really can't think of anything more unique that I have seen in all of Australia. Yes it's expensive to get in, but if you don't support things like this they will eventually close & may be there is nothing like it anywhere in the world. It has to be seen to be believed! A word of advice though I wouldn't take kids younger than 10 or 12, it was pretty confronting & would be scary for kids. So that was the end of our Glenrowan adventure, what a day.  

The next day we stayed at camp to enjoy the serenity while it lasted. This is really a great camp. I did some hand washing as Mat went for a fish. Not long after he came back yelling with a decent sized fish on his line. It was a Murray Cod, how exciting. They are such a beautiful fish. After some photos, we decided to release it, they are just to beautiful to keep & have enough pressure from fishing & European carp, that we couldn't keep it. To say Mat was excited was an understatement, what a great catch. Despite his efforts & a few carp & yellow belly that was the only Cod he managed to catch. 

We cooked up some delicious Roast  Pork for dinner & sat back appreciating a great day. We even had a swim at 8pm, the weather was so warm & beautiful. We went to bed really happy. As we went to sleep, we were soon woken by a car coming into camp, the lights blazing as they did 3 laps trying to find a spot. Guess what they chose right near us, suprise, suprise. As 3 kids & a dog piled out of the car obviously after a long drive we knew we wouldn't be getting much sleep for a while. The next thing the dog was in our camp trying to pee on our stuff, so it got yelled at to get away, a few words were had with the owner & he proceed to put up the Taj Mahal of campsites & finally stopped banging pegs in at 1am, it just got quiet, when he decided he needed to also move his car 2 meters. God some people are so rude, inconsiderate & have no manners. 

Eastern Rosellas 

The next day we were up early as we had to go into Shepparton to get the winch replaced. Let's just say we made a lot more noise than was our normal morning noise, revenge is sweet! We went into Shepparton & found a crazy busy town, we could barely get a park anywhere. We ended up driving just out of town to Mooroopna to do our groceries at the Woolies there. Back to town & we dropped of Ruby to get the winch replaced & luckily there was a pub just up the road that we had lunch at & usedtheir  unlimited WIFI to update all our phones & iPad while we waited for the winch to be put in. After we picked up Ruby we grabbed some fuel & headed out of town. Unlike most other Victorian towns we have been to, we have no real desire to go back to Shepparton. Back at camp & the influx had continued. About 15 camps were now strung out along the river. 
Getting busy

More busy, this is just on one side!!

The next 2 days, Saturday & Sunday we just stayed at camp. Mainly to try to defend a small piece of our camp spot, but we ended up with people all around us. Oh well. Suprisingly most people were really well behaved & it wasn't even rowdy at night. We relaxed, swam, cooked (more recipes to come, we hope you liked the Perfect Roast Pork) & tried to ignore the neighbours. There would of been at least 30 camps & they just kept rolling in. It is a great spot, I can see why they come to it. We did expect it to be busy & were just happy we got a good spot for the weekend. There are a number of ways to get to the campsite, but we are going to tell you the easiest, we thought about letting you work it out for yourselves, but the spot is definitely no secret if the number of people there is any indication. So heading from Cobram to Yarrawonga turn left onto Thoms road (opposite the turn off to Tungamah), follow this until you turn right onto W. Wrights Road & follow this all the way along till you get to a gate. You will follow this along the edge of a paddock, keep going without turning until you see a left hand turn & a Bruce's Beach 2 sign, you will see a large grassy open area beside the river. Sit back & enjoy! Next up, let's go to the High Country!

Map Courtesy of HEMA

Google Earth image of the area 

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