Starting The Checklist
One of the major aims of the current Grey Nomad trip is to spend some time visiting landmarks that featured in the historical events that were called the Kelly Outbreak in North Eastern Victoria in the late 1870′s and 1880.
We have completed the journey from Bendigo into Kelly country and have based ourselves at Oxley, where the Recreation Reserve is proving to be a very relaxing site.
A herd of about 40 cattle greeted us for the evening meal, and breakfast the next morning. The sound of the small birds that flit around near the caravan is very pleasant and contrast to the screeching of the Sulphur Crested Cockatoos. A little walk around the reserve also rewarded us with sights of Blue Wrens, Spoonbills, Egrets, Ducks and Kookaburras, among other birds.
From Bendigo To Kelly Country
Click the Map to see the route that we took to get to Kelly Country from Bendigo.
First Leg: To Rushworth.
We travelled over this route on our quick round trip to Shepparton and Echuca, and I wanted to go back to see if Rushworth had retained the title that I gave it on the first visit. The Town Where Time Stood Still.
We arrived in Rushworth at approximately 10:30am, and the clock on the Rotunda/War Memorial said 9:30, so yes the title still is true. It seems that someone forgot to adjust the clock for Daylight Saving.
Rushworth really is a town where time has stood still, as some of its buildings still have the feeling of being just as they might have been in the Gold Rush days.
In the wide main street we saw at least 3 places where you can enjoy a coffee or some take-away foods. It was a little early for us, so we had to give them a miss.
On To Euroa
From Rushworth we moved through Murchison and headed to Euroa for lunch.
This town has one of the significant Kelly sites that I hope to visit, the National Bank that was held up and several people were taken as hostages, before being released after the gang left town. More about that story later.
Although the original bank that Ned Kelly and his gang held-up has been demolished, there are several other magnificent buildings and places of interest to look at on the historic walk around the town.
With the imposing Strathbogle Ranges to the east of the town this was a ideal setting for a quick lunch before heading to the next stop.
Benalla: A quick visit.
On the way through to Benalla we left the freeway to take a quick drive through Violet Town, according to the sign as you enter, the first town surveyed in Victoria.
Then it was on to Benalla for a little shopping to make sure we had supplies for the next few days. Things were looking hopeful for finding a park when we saw a sign indicating caravan parking. Unfortunately the parking spaces for caravans were not long enough for our rig, so we went on short discovery tour to find some parallel parking spaces that would be big enough. Thankfully that was not too difficult and we managed to find a spot not far from the shopping precinct.
Benalla will be worth a revisit, and not just for the Ned Kelly sites. There are 4 gardens open for visitors on Sunday.
On to Oxley
From Benalla it was back on to the Hume Freeway, were we stopped to take a look at the Mokoan Rest Area, which has a great view out over the lake and has all the facilities for an overnight stay. It would however be noisy with the constant movement of trucks in and out, and the sound of traffic on the freeway.
Just past a Service Centre (there are actually 2 of them, one on each side of the Freeway) with fuel and the obligatory Macdonald’s Restaurant is the turn off to Milawa, which is the road to take to get to the Oxley Recreation Reserve, our destination for the day.
After a quick drive around the site we decided on a spot to park the van, and for the first night we had only the herd of cattle, and the many birds mentioned earlier as company. The Recreation Reserve has a creek running through the back, with an oval (obviously not used for regular sport) and some jumps and a dressage area for the local pony clubs.
For the second night we were joined by two other groups of campers, who also got to share the company of the friendly cattle.