This Cruise started out as one where we were thinking about staying in some cabins that we’d passed on an earlier trip but, for various reasons, a number of fellow travellers had to pull out and that just left two of us once again. After a lot of pondering, we decided to go to the Far East to the Davies Plains instead and, as we were doing this Cruise the week after the Melbourne Cup long weekend, we thought it should also be fairly peaceful. However, that can never be guaranteed as you can’t predict how many foreigners are doing a border crossing to Victoria to experience the good life that is denied them in the land of the cockroaches. Those north of our borders can laugh all they want about Victoria, but it still has the best and most accessible 4WDrving and camping in Australia. As it turned out, there were plenty of others about.
Our late Nov 2014 Cruise was just a three day trip that took us up to the Bentley and Nunniong Plains for a bit of a look around and an opportunity to get out. We more or less started at Ensay, where we stopped over at the Ensay Pub to have a beer, something that we don’t normally do, but we’ve always pondered stopping there and, as the weather was amenable, it seemed like the appropriate thing to do. We’d actually stopped to look at our maps and thought why not drop in while we were here and given that it was late afternoon and we weren’t in any rush, why not. It actually made for a nice break given the drive to get here and the early start. Anyway, we enjoyed the ultra cold beers and were soon on our way.
Our April 2014 Cruise was another two traveller journey which started at Morwell and took us on a long circuit to Nunniong Plains, across the High Country almost due west along tracks that eventually brought us out at Licola. From my track record, it was nearly an 800km trip, with virtually half that on dirt roads or off-road. The weather was generally very good, except at the Sentinels, with some very cold nights throughout that weekend, especially in the higher regions. On the Nunniong Plains, it was almost snow conditions, with heavy frosts in the mornings, but because of the clear skies, rain wasn’t about so neither was the snow.
Our Mar 2013 Cruise took us on a long circuit from Morwell to near the Nunniong Plains, Bruthen and then back home. It was a four day Cruise with five travellers and one other that we met for a day along the way. We started from Dargo and headed off to some tracks that we hadn’t looked at for some time. The intent was to stay off any main roads as much as possible this weekend, but the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. And so it was that at the very start of our Cruise we encountered unexpected obstacles and had to detour to more staid tracks to make headway that first day.
For this Cruise, we decided to undertake the mighty Deddick Trail in the Snowy River National Park that starts north of Orbost and ends at McKillops Bridge on the Snowy River (depending on which way you travel). It’s been on our ‘to do’ list for some time and this year we decided that it had to be done. The Deddick Trail has long been noted as a somewhat difficult and especially long trail that requires a number of days to complete. For that reason we decided to start at the southern end, as we left Melbourne early, giving us plenty of time to negotiate the track and, should time get tight, the return trip via the Gelantipy Road would be a lot faster.
Our April 2008 Cruise took us north-east to the Nunniong Plains, then to Benambra, the Mitta Mitta, Omeo and south to Marthavale, finally ending at Bairnsdale. All of our Cruises, for most travellers, technically start from various locations in Melbourne and finish once again in Melbourne. However, our start points are usually considered where we get the feeling that we’ve left the humdrum of civilisation and our finish point is pretty much where the feeling returns that civilisation is staring us in the face once again.
The June 2007 Cruise saw us on another Queen’s Birthday Long Weekend trip and it’s been an entire year between trips because of the 2006-2007 bushfires. Generally we don’t care that much for Cruises on long weekends, as it often means World + Dog will be doing the same, but when we venture to the far eastern side of Victoria, it tends to be less popular compared to those areas closer to Melbourne and therefore quieter. This trip we headed east to Bairnsdale and then to Bruthen, from where we turned north towards Ensay and about halfway between Ensay and Tambo Crossing, we turned east once again and then via a fairly circuitous route headed towards Bentley Plain.