OZ and Tassie travel blog

King Valley

15 December

A swift call at the supermarket to top up and we were off. Back up north again to rejoin the Hume Highway all the way to Benalla. We drove the country roads south, through Moyhu, where we had camped on our very first camping trip with our new Cub Camper back in 2016. On down the road where I spotted an echidna shuffling through the fallen leaves at the roadside. By the time we stoped and walked back it had snuggled down into the leaf litter and almost disappeared from view. On again to Whitlands and Gentle Annie’s Campsite. There was Chris and Jan properly set up, overlooking the river alongside their friends John and Jenny.

It was great to meet up again and to meet their friends over a cold beer. The unpowered campsite was a just a field by the river, the showers and toilets were across the field in the caravan (powered) site. The facilities were old and tired but it all worked. Chris lit a fire ready to cook the evening meal, saw a black snake slide across the corner of the field, so we kept an eye on the corner to make sure it didn’t head in our direction. A cheeky little blue wren hopped in and out of our camp, such a pretty bird.

Ruth had prepared some chicken, Jan brought out sausages and we opened the red while everything was cooking. Great to be cooking over an open fire and it tasted so good. Long, long chat over the red wine and finally decided it was late and we ought to go to bed.

16 December

No noisy birds this morning; a clear sky and beautiful sunshine. We slowly got ourselves breakfasted, showered etc before setting off to explore the King Valley wineries. Most of the wineries are run by people of Italian descent, they having switched from growing tobacco (for which King Valley was very famous) as the market dried up, to planting vineyards and making wine. Most of the wines produced are from Italian grape varieties and their latest drive is to produce Prosecco (having won the battle with Italy over the use of the name!). A lovely drive south along the valley to a smaller vineyard run by Francesco, who emigrated from Italy 55 years ago. We tasted and bought a few wines before moving on. We visited other wineries, tasted (and bought); Chrismont, Politini, Pizzini and Dal Zonto. All very nice wines (Chrismont had Petit Manseng, a French-origin grape we hadn’t seen before) Stopped at a pub for lunch before heading back to the campsite for a cup of tea!

It had rained while we were away, but fortunately had been dry long enough for our tent to dry out, so we packed it up and reluctantly bid our farewells. We agreed to meet up with Jan and Chris after Christmas.

So headed north to the Hume, we spotted another echidna wandering along the roadside and this time we were lucky enough to be able to watch it for a while as it rooted through the leaf litter looking for food. Some nice photos! A straightforward drive back to Kilmore. We arrived, parked up, had some dinner, bed. A great weekend.

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