Wagga Wagga was not what we expected

I can’t believe this is the last day of our holiday. It’s gone so fast, yet slow at the same time. Since I discovered just yesterday that the aviation museum we’d planned to go to is closed on Fridays (how strange) Kevin had been keen for us to get our vaccine boosters (as numbers are currently going crazy with the new omicron variant just when most restrictions have been removed). We’d managed to get appointments here in Wagga Wagga for this morning at 10.15am.

I must say it was nice to have a truely relaxed morning, esp. since I’d been awake during the night and didn’t wake until 7am. I enjoyed some tea, wrote some blog posts and worked on a vlog. I also facetimed with Christy and the pups and watched some galahs trying to sit of the power lines – it was pretty funny as they kept on rolling over).A continental breakfast is provided in room so I made us some banana on toast for breakfast. 

Around 10am we drove into town to the hospital)and managed to find a parking spot. The line was out the door and looking long until Kevin happened to notice a seperate line for people with appointments. That certainly sped things up.

For some odd reason I was asked to swap out my disposable mask for a blue surgical mask. Of course, I discovered when I took it off that I’d had it on backwards !!! We checked in and got to play musical chairs. Instead of calling a number, or a name, everyone move along one chair every time someone went in for their needle. It was rather bizarre and seemed to go against covid safety to my way of thinking.

The whole thing including the waiting times took under 45mins do not too bad. We then headed to the Visitors Centre. So glad we did as we were able to pick some Christmas gifts and were given a token for a free ice cream from the van out front.

After enjoying our ice creams we drove (though could have easily walked) to the National Glass Art Museum. Not the normal thing we go to (Kevin’s not much of an art lover unless it has historical significance) but it was rated highly. When we walked in I wasn’t really sure why but the lower level has changing displays – this one was jewellery – and definitely not what I’d been expecting. However the upper level contains their permanent display and when definitely more enjoyable. Even Kevin liked a number of pieces.

After here we had a little walk around outside. This whole arts precinct is just lovely and they have to have the lowest library / location I’ve ever seen (in Australia at least). Wagga Wagga is definitely a stunning town and so much bigger than I’d expected. It reminds me a lot of Canberra. 

Next up was Wagga Beach. Not at all what we were expecting but the recent rains/floods had obviously destroyed the beach and now all that remained was mud (which quite a number of children seemed to be enjoying !!!). 

We were getting a little hungry by now by couldn’t get parking for my first lunch spot choice, however that turned out to be a good thing. We ended up at Trail St Coffee Shop and got a table outside. It was getting warmer but wasn’t too bad sitting in the shade. I ordered the cauliflower tacos made vegan and oh my word – they were one of the best things I have ever eaten – though they were rather messy to eat. Not the healthiest since the cauliflower was crumbed and fried but it was definitely well worth the indulgence. Probably good I can’t access this cafe on the regular. Kevin had corn fritters with hollumi and really enjoyed that too.

We then headed to probably our last IGA of the trip. I was wanting to get some vegan brie – but Kevin chose an IGA out of town and in the suburbs so they didn’t have many vegan options at all. I’d said to go the closest one, but he chose the biggest one. Oh well, we did find some Gardein Mandarin chicken – which we bought to take home and have for dinner back in Wollongong.

Kevin was keen to head back to the cabin now since it was getting hotter and my feet were feeling pretty swollen so I wasn’t too opposed. I had wanted to stop down by a river area we had seen on our drive in this morning but we didn’t pass the same area on our way back out of town.

The rest of the afternoon was spent blogging and finally finishing a vlog. Kevin had/tried to have a nap. Around 5pm we put some YouTube on. Later we ordered dinner to be delivered. We got dumplings – which were so delicious. We had potato dumplings (which I haven’t had before) and mushroom dumplings. So yummy.

We were treated to a lovely last holiday sunset tonight and some some cute goats way off in the distance.

We had a bath around 8pm before heading the bed. So far the only effects of the booster have been sore arms.

The next day we were up, packed and on the way about 7am.

We stopped for breakfast at Olivers (since their breakfast burgers are so good) and to charge.

There was another brief stop at the Goulburn bakery to buy some of their amazing Turkish bread, before we drove the rest of the way home

where we were very warmly greeted by the pups (& Christy). We got the car unpacked and relaxed for the rest of the day.

A big day of driving

I’d been awake during the night so didn’t wake up until almost 7am (a real sleep in for me). This meant I pretty much rolled out of the bed and into the shower (only stopping to take to pain meds). It was easy to get the car packed, and tea made. Since I was not yet ready for breakfast I just buttered the bread to take with us in the car.

Shortly before 9am we were back in Victoria and stopped in a  little town called Robinvale to charge. Where Kevin became a celebrity. While we were there a guy drove past and was quite excited to see us using the charger. Not long after a guy from the newspaper came by to get a photo and talk with Kevin. Then another guy came over and welcomed us to Robinvale. I’m thinking not too much happens in this town :-).

Once charged we headed onwards. I made Kevin a banana sandwich (but served like a sausage sizzle with the bread wrapped around the banana) and I just ate the (vegan) buttered bread.

At 11.30 we arrived into Hay. But when we got the car charging location there was a banner preventing us from entering. We stopped ,unsure of what to do since we really need to charge before continuing on, when a man came over and let us in, explaining there was going to be a town event on in the evening and they were using the small carport (hence they didn’t want anyone parking in there and hadn’t thought about the electric car charger being needed). He just told us to make sure to put up the banner when we let ourselves out.

Once charging we walked the block over to the Main Street. Hay actually has a real nice feel to it. And some beautiful old buildings. Will be adding this town to our list of places to come back to and visit more thoroughly. 

Unfortunately the place that was supposed to have vegan options didn’t have any. But the place next door had a vegetarian burger (that was most likely vegan0. I had that and really enjoyed it. Kevin had a toasted wrap.

You’ll never guess what happened next? We visited the IGA to pick up some things we needed for dinner. Then walked back to the car which had now finished charging.

Another few hours driving and we finally arrived in Wagga Wagga. This was our longest driving day (since the day we left) and Kevin was glad when we got to tonights accomodation. We are staying just out of town at Country Cottages. It’s in the country (as the name implies) and is nice and quite with a lovely outlook. The cabin itself is comfortable with everything you need.

After we unpacked (Kevin loved that the car is parked right beside the side entrance to the cottage), I went and put on a load of washing (there is a laundry shed right behind us) and later I was able to hang it out on a clothesline. Since the clothes were in the sun and it was a warm/hot afternoon and there was nice breeze, everything was dry in about 4 hours.

Dinner tonight was taco wraps.

Not what we’d planned in Mildura

It was up and away again this morning. While we had a bit of a drive ahead (as we start the long drive back home), we tried just take things easy and leave when we were ready. This turned out to be about 8.30am.

Our first charge spot today was in the town of Berri. However there was already a car charging in the one spot when we arrived. I needed the toilet, so while Kevin waited with the car, I went in search of one and found it not too far away. On the way back I stopped in at a bakery and got us some breakfast. A roll with turkey, cranberry sauce & avo for Kevin and I had a Cornish pastie (which was okay).

Sometime later the other car was finished and it was our turn to charge. Luckily we didn’t need a full charge – just enough to see us comfortably to Mildura – as there was already another car waiting.

About 1pm I had phone call from the paddle steamer to say that our cruise for this afternoon was indeed cancelled as we were the only ones booked on it. Pretty sad when this was the only reason we were stopping in Mildura. But I can’t complain when so much of the holiday has gone to plan.

Luckily we didn’t have a lot of fruit left as we had to dump it before coming back into Victoria. Kevin ate the remaining grapes and we both had a banana before putting the rest in the bin.

We got to Mildura at 2pm and went straight to the charging spot as we wouldn’t be able to charge tonight. We then walked to a nearby organics shops. They didn’t have much left in the way of vegan food and I wasn’t really hungry so just Kevin had something to eat – some kind of berry cake/donut.

We then walked to a nearby IGA and picked up a few snacks before walking back to the car and then driving to our nights accommodation.

We were only supposed to be in and out tonight so I had booked a more basic place, the Seven Pines Motor Inn. It was clean and just fine for the night. 

Since we were able to park right outside the door we only took in the absolute essentials and could just duck out to get anything we had missed.

After a little bit of downtime we headed back out to drive down to the Murray River so we could see lock 11. We were super lucky here and a little cruiser had just entered the lock when we got there. So we were able to watch the gates close, the water emptied out, the gates opened and the boat pass through. Even though we’ve seen the locks in the Panama Canal at work (and plenty of smaller ones on YouTube) it was a different experience to see it operating in person.

We then drove around and could see quite a few houseboats docked by the shore.

With no kitchen in our room we ordered Zombrero to be delivered. I had the vegan cauliflower bowl and really enjoyed it. Of course, we watched more YouTube before having an early night ready for another big driving day tomorrow.

Exploring the historic town of Burra

I awoke this morning not feeling too great. Luckily we weren’t in a hurry to get anywhere so I was able to take it easy and have a soak in the clawfoot bath. Luckily I did feel better after this. Breakfast was another salad roll (Kevin had some cereal).

By 10.30am we set off to the visitors centre. It was close enough to walk but we needed the car for todays outing so we drove. The lady there was super friendly and helpful. We purchased the Burra Passport which provides a list of places to visit and a key which you gives to entrance to some of them.

We headed off. Kevin missed the turn to our first stop so we visited the old Railway station instead. They are currently turning the train into a cafe – which is a awesome idea I think. This town has such a fascinating history

We then drove back to our intended first stop – the Bon Accord Mining Complex. We watched a video explaining the history of the mine. And then walked around to see artefacts that had been collected. 

Including some amazing old fire trucks.

You could also see down into mine shaft. We all know the horrendous working conditions that miners suffered back in the day, but I was shocked to hear that the one hour descent and ascent to their place in the mine was not paid for !!!

We then drove to the mine lookout. There were three stages of the mine here. Firstly underground – in search of copper which wasn’t really found, then a small open cut mine – again not much found, then in the 70s the big open cut mine – where they did actually find significant amounts of copper. The open cut is now filled with water, which is a stunning shade of turquoise.

Next we drove to a lookout over the town of Burra.

Then finally to the reconstructed Cornish pump house (the only one of it’s kind in the world).

We walked up to the top for another view of the mine.

We then drove around to visit a number of other sights

including the Police Lock up….

And Redruth Gaol…

One of the old homes we stopped had a little sparrow(?) sitting on a window ledge singing away. It was so cute. And not fazed by us in the least.

Kevin had had enough by now so we decided to call it a day and we headed back into town. The cafe I wanted to eat at was still closed but there was another one close by that offered to make me a vegan wrap.

We had a little look in the adjoining shop

Then went back to the airbnb. Kevin always likes to have extra relax/downtime on holidays but isn’t always able to fit it in. On this trip he has been able to, which I know he has enjoyed and appreciated. We watched from more YouTube and then Kevin had leftovers for dinner while I had some potatoes with Asian Noodle Salad.