Heading off from Lake Tyers, we drove back through Lakes Entrance and made our way to Bairnsdale. Great old towns (now more likely called cities) – Sale was another town we drove through and admired the old buildings. Bairnsdale was a real regional centre though and with some solar panel issues we found a TJM and sought some advice. Great people, helpful (maybe because they noticed we had $10k+ of TJM gear on board…) and quick to diagnose some dodgy wiring (which was a relief that the solar panel was A-OK). Some running repairs with a bit of soldering and we were back on the road. No charge just good country helpfulness.
We also found a Supercheap and bought a Rola cargo bag for the roof which will encompass all the gear on the roof cage. So instead of having to run tie-down straps zig-zagging across and hoping everything is secure – everything fits neatly in the bag and it all zips up out of the dust and weather (not sure it’s 100% rainproof if it pours but most stuff up there is ok to get damp and will dry out).
We saw on the GPS a small area of state forest just off the South Gippsland Highway near a place called Hedley. A dirt track off into the bush suggested we were likely to find somewhere to have a quick overnight stop. We decided to just use the side awning and a tent we bought which quickly attaches to the awning poles. Camp is ready in about 4 minutes which means packing up is quick too. Not as much room as the normal tent but it serves it’s purpose. I’s also going to be handy for those spots where the flies and mozzies are overwhelming as it, again, can be quickly setup and all the big mesh windows and front door allow good airflow while keeping out the bugs while you eat.
Aim found an old mine shaft which had timber shoring up the entrance but the door was barricaded. No way we were going anywhere near it but interesting to see what the area had been used for. Some old bricks suggested there was probably some sort of building associated with it too. There were wombat droppings and some prints but we couldn’t find any. Big old Bansksias ensured the birds were noisy – one wattlebird in particular guarding the Banksia closest to us with non-stop raucous squawking.