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We left Cooma in the morning and the plan was to cross the snowy mountains again, this time from the east to the west. We noticed that in the mountains isolated area's are that have all a different character.

Initially the road was along agricultural area's and still the fields looked nice with a haze of green. We soon entered the National Park and soon the landscape differed significantly. Boggy plains lined with snowgums.
The trees were nice and indeed soon we saw very interesting flowers, a kind of paperflower. The flowers have a brilliant yellow colour, are crispy dry and feel like paper.

The road leads us to the Kiandra Gold fields. In 1859 gold was discovered here and 15.000 men soon flocked the area. Everywhere the traces of diggings can be seen. Initially lots of gold was discovered but soon the easy retrievable alluvial gold was depleted and came the hard work, getting gold from deep quartz reefs. That is industrial mining. A few hundred people remained and mining was terminated in 1930. Life was hard at 1440m high and now Kiandra is deserted. They tried to do some skiing but other area's were better.

Stories in gold fields are always nice. So the story that newcomers were intentionally send to the area without a chance to find gold, but once newcomers were send to an area which turned out to be the richest fin, here in the background. The machinery is still here, a huge hammer system to crush gold bearing quartz.

After this interesting visit we checked out one of the biggest Australian skiing fields, the Mount Selwyn Snow fields, with 12 lifts operating.. If we understand the trail map well, there is only a height difference of about 50 meters, so enough for beginners. You must be desperate for skiing to travel to Mount Selwyn!

Enough travelled for today and it's time to look for a camp site. In the pristine area of Three Miles Dam we spend the night, free camping along the lake. On arrival we meet a man who just caught a big trout and who showed that proudly. He gently released the lucky fish.

We inspected the site, situated at an altitude of 1437m and enjoyed the sight of the lake .The clouds reflected in the water. All snowgums lined the lake and here it becomes clear why the tree is called snow gum, as he releases lots of gums if damaged.

We enjoyed the cool evening dinner at lakeside and could make a picture of those amazing bright red and white/blue parrots

Mariska invents her own games: she climbs on a table, falls forward, trusting we catch her,and is then swung over the head.

After the children's playtime it's time to make the first run again after the dive accident in Tasmania and the lungs look OK again. So time to leave for the coast for another dive adventure.

When we left next morning we enjoyed the high level landscape. Snow gums around treeless valley. In the valley usually in winter the coldest air accumulates, killing the trees. The plants however are protected by snow.

From now on we only descended and we ended the trip at the Tumut river. We passed close to the biggest power station of Snowy Hydro, the Tumut3. We saw indeed that only a few turbines were operating, other in maintenance as we saw in the real time display in Cooma, a day earlier. Lots of water came out the power station that caused hefty swirls in the crystal clear water. From here on the fields were brown again, without a trace of young green.

On our way to Tumut we saw the big Blowering Reservoir lake, almost empty and with a nice green lake floor.

In Tumut we chose a caravan park along the river Tumut, a very fast flowing river with clear water. The end product of the Snowy Hydro Scheme which shows that smart designing and clever resource management still gives lots of energy and water, even during the heaviest drought in history.

The next morning, Saturday we leave for Yass. The first part we follow a touristic route, through steep, dry hills. In the valleys the clear and fast flowing Tumut river is meandering , we stop here for a break. The second half of the trip we follow the freeway to Yass, fast but not very interesting. Everything is in a way interesting for us but it is soon more of the same. Here we saw area's with lots of European trees. They did it remarkably well in the drought.

As we are close to Canberra we make a visit to this magnificent town. It is build with lots of green parts and over an enormous distance. And all in a perfect condition.

The Parliament is an impressive complex, crowned with a glass pyramid and the famous 80m high flagpole with much symbology in the design. In total 4000 rooms are in the complex. It is democracy at work, as you can attend meetings of the Parliament. The question hour we attended, showed the Prime Minister Howard attacked by the opposition,as an opposition should do. But he and other members of the government, especially the Minister of Defence, had very good responses. The Parliament is far more impressive than the pictures, you usually see, show. The political system is very democratic,and it is not much changed since implemented in 1901.

Being in Canberra it is a good opportunity to meet the Ambassador from Hungary in the Hungarian Embassy. He is the former Hungarian Chief of Defence Staff, general Fodor Lajos.
We were greeted with Hungarian hospitality by the Ambassador and his charming wife Éva. General Fodor proudly showed the Embassy and his Residence, built according the Hortobagy tradition and perfectly suited as Embassy. In a few months General Fodor will retire to Hungary and we promised to meet again after he is settled again in Hungary, somewhere in September, in Magyargencs.

You seldom see wildlife as they are nocturnal animals, but now we are lucky and we here in the dark an animal moving. It was a possum, a marsupial with big eyes, refecting the flash, while upside down in a tree.. Another possum could be surprsed when he was on the ground. We stayed one day in Canberra. It is not only the centre of government, but as well the knowledge centre of Australia. We visit the CSIRO, the research institute. It has a permanent exhibition in which many themes are displayed, usually in an interactive way. It goes about the climate change, renewable energy, gene technology, medical research, agricultural research and themes like the drought, salinity nature preservation and much more. It is really a bank of knowledge and one day is not enough to see all the interesting items. The next visit was the War Memorial. It is a world class war museum as well, dedicated to the 106.000 men who lost their lives in the wars. More than 68.000 died in the First World War, not only on the western Front but in the Middle East as well. The heroic but tragic battles against the Turks near the Dardenelles is engraved in the memory. But the coverage of the Second World War is impressive as well. Flashing light shows with thundering noise show heroic events like the bombardments of Germany to cripple the aggressor. More than 3000 Aussies died during the campaigns. Other events are the attack of Japanese midget submarines on the harbour of Sydney in May 1942 and the first victory of the Australian Navy, the cruiser Sydney destroying the German raider Embden. Lots of equipment was shown, like this Japanese Zero fighter Unfortunately the museum closed before we could see all. The impressive structure resembles that of the AZAC memorial in Sydney, but in Canberra it is much bigger.
From the Memorial you can see directly the Parliament in the distance. Canberra indeed is a Capital with Allure. You can spend weeks there, but unfortunately, these interesting museums and exhibitions are not interesting for Mariska, but she spend her time charming other visitors.
BR> We left for Quenbeyan and spend the night there, where during a hefty thunderstorm hail drummed on the campervan.

Now we are heading for the East coast. We missed this part some 5 years ago and it's time to see how this area looks. The trip through the Dividing Range is magnificent. Nice cool and lots of impressive forests.
We discovered an area with many ground palms. They are very decorative and would be the centrepiece of a luxury, classy patio.
We hit the coast at Batemans Bay, at the Tasman Sea and fell so well here, that we decided to spend another day here.

Click on a picture to enlarge The pictures you see after clicking on the small thumbnail pictures, are shrunk to 5% of their original dimensions

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Back to Homepage
Click on a picture to enlarge The pictures you see after clicking on the small thumbnail pictures, are shrunk to 5% of their original dimensions

If you like to see a picture in full glory, send an email!

For pictures click here Back to Homepage