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Thread: Around Lake Eildon.

  1. #1
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    Around Lake Eildon.

    Jen was away at a conference for a couple of days, I said I’d miss here and had plenty to do around the house to keep me busy.

    The forecast was for improving weather and north of the divide things were even better so I decided that things around the house could wait and I would go for a drive. I decided to head off around Lake Eildon as there was a camp spot on it’s shores that I had wanted to stay at for quite some time.

    I drove north up the Hume Freeway to where just south of Seymour I branched off and into the little town of Tallarook.

    As time was on my side, I decided to stop there and “check it out”, the first building of note that I saw was St Josephs Catholic Church, a lovely bluestone building that took a fair length of time to build. Apparently a wooden church was built on the site in 1864, soon after the locals decided a more significant one was warranted so in 1866 the foundations were laid and work started on what we see today. Time has erased the exact reason why, but completion and then consecration of the new church occurred in late 1885, nearly twenty years after it was started!





    A short distance from there can be found the St Stephen’s Anglican Church. It opened for service in 1884, it was built at a fraction of the cost and eighteen years quicker than the mics La De Da one down the road a bit Ha!



    The Mechanics Institute building/complex.



    The current Tallarook Hotel (originally called the Railway Hotel) was built in 1869. A fire in 1929 caused considerable damage, during the rebuild a verandah was added and further alterations were carried out leaving us with what we have today, slightly different to the original building.





    I found this next bit so interesting, how stiff was this bloke?



    He’d had a gutful of modern society, and so decided to opt out. (it was for him modern at the time) So he lived by himself away from everyone, and when he was discovered after ten years of minding his own business, they charged him and then threw him in the slammer for 6 months giving him hard labour as well. I reckon that was a bit rough for just wanting to be left alone!!!

    I now drove north east and struck the Goulburn Valley Highway not far from where it crosses the Goulburn River. This river is Victoria’s longest at 654 kilometres long, starting in the Vic Alps not far from Woods Point it ends where it joins the Murray River near Echuca. The Eildon Dam was built across it’s waters creating Lake Eildon which I will feature later in this report.





    I now headed for Mansfield, but not by the direct route that most would take (you’d be disappointed if I did it by any other way!!) Just before I arrived at Alexandra I turned left onto the Maintongoon Road which took me up onto and along a ridge that over looked Lake Eildon. Part the way along this road there is a sign that states it is a fire access track and 4wd is recommended, it is fine but narrow in a few spots.
    The reason for taking this route was to observe the layout of my proposed camp spot later that day. My planning was to camp at a spot that would give me a possible sunset over water and a sunrise the next day, again over water. The headland in the centre of this next pic (on the other side of the Lake) was that spot.



    Another pic of it, taken further along the road (here called the Sonnberg Drive)



    That spit just to the left of the main headland caught my attention.



    In Mansfield I grabbed some grits and then before back tracking to the Howes Creek Road, stopped to check out the Railway Station Precinct. The Station itself was first opened in 1891 and now serves as a tourist information centre.





    Out the back was an historic police lockup.







    And some old carriages that make up an interesting type of museum where there is a lot more history and interesting artefacts on display.



    Just before I arrived at Gough’s Bay I came to the Delatite River. I have shown this spot before but it is a delightful picnic area so here it is again. When ever I visit a spot that I wish to photograph, I nearly always try to capture it without people or other items that may detract from the natural vision I’m trying to capture or show. I know that sometimes that can’t be helped but here is the way I overcame it this time. Right in the middle of my wished for photo was a family picnicking, now I would normally not post this pic in a report unless I had no other option. What I did was found away of showing the reader another view of the spot and if I hadn’t mentioned that family, none would be the wiser re their presence right in the middle of my shot.



    The Delatite River flowing under the bridge (with the family neatly placed behind that concrete bridge support).



    My intended camp this night was near the end of the Delatite Arm which is part of the Lake Eildon National Park. Along the northern section of the arm there are a number of Pine Plantations that were in existence prior to the Parks declaration, fortunately they are set back a bit and don’t have much impact on the overall vibe of the area. There is a good dirt road that hugs the shoreline with many dedicated camping areas found along it with toilets etc provided.



    This is the end point of the Arm, that hill in the distance on the left is where I took those earlier pics looking down on the Lake.



    The narrow land projection that I had spied from that high ridge point, turned out to be the spot I would camp that night. You can see my car at the end of it in these next pics as well as a very photogenic tree that I would take full advantage of during my stay.







    I chose a nice spot that had reasonable views, pitched the tent and then settled in.





    Lake Eildon is big, it has a capacity of 3,334,158 mega litres and covers an area of around 13,800 hectares. In comparison Lake Hume has a capacity of 3,005,157 but covers a larger area at 20,190 hectares, what this says is that Lake Eildon is far deeper. It is filled by a number of creeks and rivers, the main ones being the Goulburn, Delatite, Howqua, Jamieson and Big Rivers, all of those will be shown in this report.

    I spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing at this beautiful spot, I’d swim, potter about, have another swim, take a few more pics, then in for another swim, you can get the gist of how I filled my time in.
    The bit of water near my camp on the eastern side is called Raids Inlet, as with the whole area around me it was very photogenic.







    Right at the end of the point there was a drop off that made a lovely place to dive into, and another one of my tent as the late afternoon light accentuated the contours of the land on the far side of the Lake.





    There were no colours at all in the sky as the sunset over the water to my west so I lit my fire and settled into marvel at the night sky as the stars became brighter and brighter. (even my baked beans tasted extra good that night)









    There were no clouds to help with the sunrise the next morning but there still were some nice subtle colour changes in the early sky as the first light indicated the birth of another new day out in the great Aussie outdoors, oh and that tree was again part of the show.











    Time to hit the road/track, the next place I’ll show you is the Running Creek Camp on the Howqua River. A lovely area with plenty of shade and the river has shallow areas as well as slightly deeper holes to cool off in. Most hadn’t risen yet when Big Col arrived!







    A couple of pics taken along the short access track to the campground from the Howqua River Road. The flowering shrub is Bursaria Spinosa, commonly called the Sweet Bursaria due to the flowers lovely scent.







    I next called into Granny’s Flat Campground just off the Jamieson Licola Road located on the Jamieson River. Another lovely area with good facilities and plenty of open areas as well as a bit of shade if required. Again not a lot of activity early but there were a few more around than that at the last campground.







    It was so nice wading in that water taking those shots, just beautiful. I now back tracked to Jamieson which was first settled in the late 1850s after gold was discovered in the nearby hills and streams. The post office was opened in 1858 and by 1861 it was estimated that between 3, to 4,000 people lived in the area. By 1866 the town had two breweries, eight hotels, 22 stores, three restaurants, three doctors, three schools, four blacksmiths and impressive churches and other public buildings. (They sure must have enjoyed a drink way back then!!!)

    It was named after George Jamieson who grazed sheep in the area in the mid 1850s,

    Here is the rear of the St John’s Catholic Church that was built in 1899, anyone can take a picture of the front of it, Ha!



    How’s this for ingenuity, when the towns bus shelter fell into disrepair and had to be replaced, they decided to build one that looked like an old miners hut. They then went a step further and extended it out the back a bit to be used as a small info centre when special events are held in town.



    The Jamieson Memorial Hall opened as the town hall and shire offices in 1883 and was used as such until 1919 when the Howqua Shire amalgamated with the Mansfield Shire . The building was then dedicated as a WWI memorial.



    The current Post Office was built in 1872.



    There are a number of other historic buildings and old cottages around town that are part of a heritage walk if your right into that sort of thing.





    Right around the edge of town the beautiful Jamieson River flows, along it’s banks there are a number of reserves with picnic facilities etc.







    The bridge in that last photo is the main road that takes you, to the left further into the hills towards Woods Point etc, and to the right is the way to Mansfield.

    The next place I stopped at was Doctors Reserve which is south of Jamieson, there right on the banks of the Goulburn River can be found is another lovely camping area.





    No matter what your needs are from a mountain stream or river, this place has it all. Whether you want a place where the kids can paddle and play in crystal clear shallow waters or somewhere with a few deeper holes to throw a line in, or something in between those, you will find it here.







    This next photo is the junction of the Goulburn River (on the left) and the Jamieson River on the right. In the distance it flows towards Lake Eildon.
    What a stunning spot this was and as I strolled into those waters to take the next pics I felt pretty happy and at peace for this was tranquility personified. The first pic is looking up the Jamieson and the next looking up the Goulburn.





    Click on the next pic for a short clip I took at the time.



    It was time to head for home, I took the Eildon Jamieson road through the hills and enjoyed how good it was to be on bitumen, I’d lost count how many times I had done this road, the majority when it was dirt and far crappier than what it was just prior to it being finally paved. I nearly always think of the very first time someone must have trekked or ridden the approximate course the road now takes. It would have taken weeks or maybe more, today we do it in not more than an hour or so.
    When I came to the Big River I stopped at numerous spots to check out potential camp spots, here are a few pics to show you what the river is like along the way.

    These first few were taken at Bulldog Flat.







    And these next ones were taken at Horseshoe Bend Camping area, looking up and then down the river from the same spot.





    Well it was time to put the head down and bum up and head for home seriously, as Jen was due home around 4.00 pm and I didn’t want here to think I was slacking it and not doing the chores around the house as instructed Ha!!

    However I couldn’t help myself as I drove past this quaint little church near Buxton, so I quickly dropped a youie and the last pic was in the can, so to speak. It is the St Thomas Anglican Church which was built in 1894 and dedicated the following year.



    Well that was my drive around Lake Eildon, I had left at 9.30 am the previous day and arrived home around 3.00 pm, roughly 30 hours for the trip. As Jen pulled up I was just finishing the mowing of our nature strip, how have you been she asks with a hug, pretty relaxed I say hoping like anything she doesn’t notice the dust all over my car that I had forgotten to hose off Ha!!

    After tea I let Jen know that I had gone for a bit of a drive to check out a few camp spots that I could take her in the future, she was quite interested as I explained she would love some of the places I’d been to.

    All sweet!

    Regards Col.
    Last edited by Big Col; 23-03-18 at 03:53 PM.
    Life is not a destination but a journey, make the most of it and remember, the worst day above ground is a whole lot better than the best one under it.

  2. #2
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    Beaut Trip Report Col.
    Great photos of your adventures.
    Cheers Troy

  3. #3
    Is it beer o'clock yet? outback jack's Avatar
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    Fantastic Col, your photos are great

    EVERYWHERE I GO I BRING HAPPINESS, SOMETIMES ITS WHEN I ARRIVE, BUT ITS USUALLY WHEN I LEAVE

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    Forum Fixer OffRoadDave's Avatar
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    Another great report Col, !
    Cheers Dave

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  5. #5
    Forum Enthusiast Spike69's Avatar
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    Great drive Col, thanks for posting. I particularly liked the "new" Masters Hut at Jamieson - in the modern parlance it's "fully sick!"

    Each time I see pics of the Howqua I want to go. It first came to my notice 15 years ago on an ABC series called "A River Somewhere" with Rob Sitch and Tom Gleisner. It's gradually rising up the priority list!
    So much to see, so little time.......

  6. #6
    The Boss Smokey2.8's Avatar
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    All those endless waterside options for a nice summers day! Simply breathtaking
    Cheers
    Adam aka Smokey

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    Nice report there Col
    I would love to cast a line into some of those places.

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    Thanks all,

    Wasn't that a great series Spike, the Howqua and all the other rivers in the area are just sensational. Us southerners are spoilt really for choice, so if you interstaters come down or across, you will have a ball exploring the areas that I have shown and have memories and experiences that will last you a life time.

    Col.
    Life is not a destination but a journey, make the most of it and remember, the worst day above ground is a whole lot better than the best one under it.

  9. #9
    Forum Enthusiast Spike69's Avatar
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    Yes Col, it was a wonderful series, so good in fact we bought it on DVD :-). We've really only had a few "tasters" of Vic - we had 9 days camped on the Buckland river south of Porepunkah 2 Christmases ago which was lovely, with a few nice drives included, and a week at Geehi a year before that. It just makes you want to keep going back! But there are just so many places to see, and so little time.......
    So much to see, so little time.......

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