Test Drives Around Victoria

Bendigo -> Mallee -> Wimmera -> South Coast

Late last year I was awarded a grant (The Neilma Sidney Travel Fund) to do a few trips around Victoria and visit various areas to inform my next book, so we headed up to Heathcote to walk the O’Keefe trail to Bendigo, or at least a large stretch of that 50km walk, with the intention to go on to Sea Lake and Ouyen after.

The RV (a Sprinter van with a Jayco Optimum on top) handled well. We’d left the bikes and bike trailer behind, so it was nice to be a short rig of only 8m. Getting out of Melbourne without using toll roads (same fare as trucks!) meant it took even longer than it usually does, which was a pain, but once we were on the road, it handled smoothly.

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We started the O’Keefe trail early and that was lucky because it hit 40C at around 1pm and so we doubled back to the historic Axedale pub for a cold beer and a bit of shade.

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Later driving through Axedale a car beeped us over and pointed out our TV aerial which was still up and barely missing trees and power lines. We so need a checklist before we take off.

We went from there into Bendigo, then up to Sea Lake and Ouyen and the wonderful landscapes of the Mallee (complete with a mini-sandstorm at the edge of Lake Tyrell – Yay! – which currently consists almost entirely of salt – so cool – but not cooling), then we drove down to the Wimmera visiting a farm at Branxholme, and home along the coast.

Stopping overnights at lake campgrounds and seaside campgrounds to enjoy cooler evening breezes off the water was a good move in that weather.

 

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Author:

Children's, YA and SF writer, living in an RV, and travelling Australia.

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