We packed up early with a very hot day ahead. 42 degrees + for Melbourne so we decided it was a good travelling day in the air con. We only jut got out of the national park and we hit our first traffic jam – a few hundred sheep being herded along by the farmer in a Polaris type vehicle with the kelpies jumping off the back to round up any strays or slowies. The flock blocked the narrow country road and the front car in our traffic jam couldn’t find an opportunity to part the sea of wool. Finally a gap emerged as the sheep spread out and we carefully pushed through.
We used the GPS to guide us through Melbourne and the boys were amazed at the hectic traffic and tall buildings. The west gate bridge was pretty impressive too. But the sooner we got through and out of there the better. Interesting how the grazing country coming into Melbourne goes right to the beach. And not far out of Melbourne, definitely within sight of the CBD – there is great areas of cleared land – rapidly being filled with houses and high-rise apartments. We drove past some massive subdivisions on the freeway heading north like whole new towns being built.
Hoping to escape the coastal crowds we headed out to Bacchus Marsh for a quick stop for shopping and then out to Lerderderg State Park. Bacchus Marsh was a great little town fringed by market gardens and orchards of apples and strawberry farms. Lots of roadside stalls and cafes and “pick your own” setups. Considered commutable down the freeway to Melbourne it has a real mix of city and country people and those in between. And good diesel price $1.29 which was the cheapest we’d seen.
We stopped at O’briens Crossing where we planned to camp but the stagnant pools of water (where we hoped to swim on reading about the “great swimming and fishing”) and a campsite already dotted with people made us think twice. An information sign with photos of a flash flood that went through the place definitely put us off and they are actually closing the campground in February due to the risk that flash flooding poses. A new campground had been established about 10 minutes away and we chose that as our camp. There were only a few people there and we found a good spot for ourselves down near a creek – but again the little bit of water was stagnant. In the heat, we instead turned to the ice old water we had put in the freezer this morning and Aim opted to put her feet in a bucket of water to cool down.