All The Way Home - Bruce Springsteen

After a crazy few days back in Melbourne we are back home!  Bryce flew home on Tuesday and Hillary and I came on the boat on Thursday night.

The chaps on the boat were kind enough to squeeze Hillary up the front so she would be one of the first cars off in the morning.

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Here are some facts and figures from the trip:

Stubby holders acquired: 71

Total number of km: 36 481 km

Total fuel bill: $9330.82

Average fuel usage: 14.95 L/100km

We have returned home to some beautiful Tasmanian summer weather (no sarcasm).  It has been great to catch up with family and friends.

Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home

So now begins the next adventure of our lives... a baby.  Due in June 2013.  

Back Down South - Kings of Leon

To complete another beautiful lap, we had to make our way to the southern most point of the mainland.  Investigations revealed this to be in Wilsons Prom National Park.

With a couple of days to make our way to the Prom we decided to take the slow and scenic coastal route down south.

Exiting Melbourne and saying goodbye to its delightful traffic we followed the coastline down past the turnoff to Philip Island and onto the seaside town of Inverloch.  Our camp for the night was a nice quiet patch of grass just behind the sand dunes.  Apart from a few blue wrens (without shutter detectors) we had a large area all to ourselves.

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The setting sun, moderate wind and outgoing tide seemed made ideal conditions for a few kite-surfers (and photographers).  

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After a good nights sleep we continued our way down the coast before heading inland to Toora.  Luckily for us we were spared from the hot conditions Melbourne was having, with the temperature gauge reaching a pleasant 26 degrees. 

Venus Bay

Venus Bay

Friday morning we made our way into Foster to meet up with Sim and Geoff who had arranged a long weekend to join us for our expedition down south.

After collecting a few supplies we made our way into the National Park and set up camp at the Tidal River camping ground.

The campground has 483 campsites.  Luckily for us they were not all occupied.  We were able to find a place without any schoolies in the near vicinity.

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Large sections of the National Park were damaged by flooding in March 2011 and the park still  has lots of roads and walking tracks that are closed. 

Friday afternoon we spent at Picinic Bay and Squeaky Beach, enjoying lunch on the beach and a swim.

Picnic Bay

Picnic Bay

On Saturday morning we wandered around the camp exploring Norman Beach and Tidal River.  A few little flathead were spotted in the river.  Lucky for them we didn't have the super yacht!  

Tidal River

Tidal River

After lunch we set off about heading as far south as we could make it.  Sections of the track to South Point are only accessible to bushwalkers on a multi-day hike.  Without the gear (and perhaps the fitness) we decided to make it as far south as we could to Norman Point.

The track followed the coastline and reminded us of sections of the East Coast of Tassie.

Norman Bay

Norman Bay

With our home made sign we ticked off another point on our lap of the mainland.

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A huge thanks to Sim and Geoff for taking time off work and heading down the coast with us.  It was great to see you guys.

We spent a night on the Mornington Peninsular on the way back to Melbourne.  Sadly our trip is coming to an end.

MF on a Motorcycle - Machine Gun Fellatio

Our arrival back into Melbourne was premature given we were not booked on the boat until the 6th December.

The reason for our premature arrival was so we could attend the Australian Motorcycle Expo.  Cian and Katy were flying over from Hobart for the expo and Bryce didn't need them to twist his arm to attend too.

On the Thursday night before the expo we donned all our synthetic fibres and headed into the Capitol Theatre to see the Radical Reels Tour, part of the Banff Mountain Film Festival.  You can check out the youTube trailer here.  It is always good to watch mad, clever, crazy, fit people throwing their bodies of cliff tops.

Friday night was dinner and a catch up with friends.  We had an awesome meal at Ladro in Fitzroy.  Great choice girls!

By now we were slowly getting the hang of the unreliable Melbourne Myki cards and had the trains and trams all sussed out.

Heading into the town on the train on Saturday morning we met up with the Morgans and Iain and wandered around the motorcycle expo.

Jaks - Superbike champion!

Jaks - Superbike champion!

Much to Bryce's disappointment there were no purchases made (except a raffle ticket and lunch).  He did however pick out a KTM 200 Duke as Jaks' LAMS bike.  Will have a closer look at them when we get back to Hobart.

Our plans to head down the coast early in the week were put on hold by massive thunderstorms and heavy precipitation.  The hard roof of Marcus' house was slightly more appealing.

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow - Twisted Sister

Departing the Capital, we headed towards the Snowy Mountains.  The drive to Tumut wound through some very green and pretty hills.  After a brief lunch stop at a park, where the ground looked like a shearers shed floor we headed out into the wilds again.

We climbed up over a few mountain passes and along some lake shores with some awesome views.  There has been lots of rain here this winter and the surroundings are bright green with spring growth.

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Just north of the big trout we turned into Lake Eucombene.  A very pleasant spot on the side of the lake was our camp for the night.

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Next morning we left in search of coffee and the aforementioned big trout.  We found the super fish and some coffee at the small town of Adaminaby.

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The next town we passed through was Jindabyne.  Hard to believe it is nearly two years ago that we were here on our high country adventure.  Entering into the Kosciuszko National Park we followed the Snowy Mountain Highway to the small town of Khancoban (just outside the park boundary).

With a large patch of flat grass in the caravan park and friendly fellow campers we decided to retire here for the night.  With the park owner and fellow campers all talking up the pub meal, we headed to the local for a counter meal and a few frosty adult beverages.  In an attempt to purchase a stubby cooler, Bryce ended up with a freebie and it even plays music.  Could be best stubby holder of the trip?

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Continuing our journey through the Snowy Mountains we entered into the Alpine National Park.  Taking the scenic route we passed along both sealed and gravel roads through some spectacular country.  

The sealed sections of road around here are very popular with motor bike riders.  There were bikes everywhere enjoying the twisty sections of road.  Very inspiring for Bryce's CAF tour in March next year.

We eventually made camp up in the snow just south of Falls Creek, our highest camp of the lap.  Suspecting the temperatures would drop overnight we lit a fire. 

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As the sun set, the temperature did drop and  I was grateful for the billy of boiling water to fill my hot water bottle!

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On Sunday we made our way around the lake and into Falls Creek.  Still some snow about on the mountains but not enough for a run down Wombats Ramble!

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Once again bikes everywhere.

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On our way down into Mount Beauty it began to hail and for that few minutes Bryce was glad to be in Hillary rather than on Dora.

After a lunch stop at the Mount Beauty Bakery we made our way into Bright where we decided to stop for the night.

We spent the afternoon at the Bright Brewery, having to assert ourselves to keep the couch we were comfortably sitting on.  

On Monday we made our way through Myrtleford, Milawa and Tolmie on our way to Mansfield.  Monday night we spent with Laura, Andy and Hanna.  It was great to see them and sample some of their home grown strawberries.

Once again the day was spent on a mixture of dirt and sealed with loads of bikes on the sealed sections.  We stopped in at Marysville which has been rebuilt since the fires.

We had planned to camp in the Cathedral Range State Forest, but a ground of about 20 tents resembling a school group changed our minds.  We spent our final night before hitting the big smoke at Taggerty camped next to the river.

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Tomorrow we hit the big smoke.

A Kind of Magic - Queen

Deciding to take the long and scenic route to Canberra we braved the pacific highway south to Moruya. Here we headed inland into Deua National Park in search of a nice riverside camp. We were not disappointed. Camp 4 was erected next to the Deua River and we had a lovely peaceful little spot for the night. Even managed a nice afternoon swim in the river.

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After being woken in the morning by the fee collector we made or way to Braidwood and stopped at the highly recommended bakery for morning tea.
Mid afternoon we arrived in Canberra at Cathy's house to be treated to a magic show by Makhaya. Still have no idea how he managed to do at least 3 of the tricks, pretty impressive given he is only 6!
Cathy wasn't working on Wednesday so we decided to walk up Mount Ainslee to have a birds eye view of the Capital. Walking at Luca's (4 year old) pace made for a lovely stroll and a nice view from the top.

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Wednesday night was home made pizza night we were all very good eating all our main course so we could have strawberries and ice cream for dessert. With eyelids getting heavy we retired for an early night.
A massive thanks to Cathy, Makhaya and Luca for having us to stay.