Mt. Franklin - 24th & 25th January, 2004
Mark, Michelle, James & Liam
This was a quick little 2 day get away on the Australia Day long weekend. Michelle had heard from a neighbour about Mt. Franklin and what a nice place it was so we packed up the car and headed off.
We took the turnoff from the Midland Highway and began the ascent of this extinct volcano, passing an echidna on the road side along the way. Too slow to get a photo though, unfortunately.
The road wound along the crater wall, and then came into the most beautiful shaded campsite, that was well protected by the steep crater slopes. The place was crowded, most likely due to this being a long weekend. But I think it would be a lot quieter on a normal weekend making this an ideal weekend getaway.
A good portion of the campground was taken up by a large group in medieval outfits. Along with armies in chain mail, shields, battle axes and swords. Their tents were also in theme, with the main tent fitted out inside with candelabras! I'm sure there must have been a suckling pig on a spit as well. A few battles ensued over the day which the kids certainly enjoyed watching.
We spent some time relaxing here at the campsite, as well as driving up to the summit of Mt Franklin to see the views. We also drove into Hepburn Springs, stopping at the Chocolate Mill for some very fine chocolates along the way. At the Springs, we walked along the now dried up creek bed, and taste tested a number of the different springs. Liam sampled the Sulphur Spring, but wasn't overly impressed.
We spent a good part of the afternoon here, exploring around the park grounds, with the kids playing in the playground, and running along the many paths in the park. We then headed back to the campsite for dinner, a magnificent Spaghetti Bolognaise cooked in the Trangia. What a magnificent contraption!
After dinner, we decided to head off to Wallace for a surprise visit to Mum's. Along the way we spotted two Wedge Tailed Eagles soaring over Mt Franklin, and further along past Spargo Creek we saw another Wedge Tailed Eagle on the roadside. We headed back to camp after coffee, taking the back roads through the forest which took a good 10 to 15 minutes off our return trip. The campground was remarkably quiet given the number of people there. Even the ubiquitous Gold 104 listener, who thinks the entire campground enjoys their taste in music kept the volume down to where it could be barely heard.
After a damn good sleep in, we cooked up the bacon and eggs, and then packed up at a leisurely pace. The plan today was to see what the campground at Slaty's Creek was like, as that was our fallback option if we couldn't squeeze into Mt Franklin. We eventually found the campsite, which was nice enough though very dry and rocky, and the creek was completely dried up. With some water flowing through here it would be a lovely place to camp.
We then drove up to Georges Lake, which had a boardwalk through the trees to a lookout. Shame that there is no camping allowed here. We stopped off on the far side of the lake for lunch and then made our meandering way home through the forest (a couple of wrong turns. Thank goodness for GPS, which eventually got us back in the right direction!).