Beechworth - November Cup Weekend 2003

Saturday 1st November

Kids on top of the heaviliy eroded Spring Creek, with the tunnel exist just visible

Having passed through Beechworth on our return home from the High Country Trip, we decided this would be a great place to visit for the Cup Long Weekend.  So we packed up the extended family and headed off.

After Morning Tea at a very crowded Wangaratta McDonalds we arrived in Beechworth where we found our respective accommodations and settled in.  Shaz, Michelle, Arthur and Glenda spent the afternoon looking through the shops and galleries in the town while I took the kids up to Woolshed Falls.

James, Shannon and Liam at Woolshed Falls

The falls themselves where worth the trip, with plenty of water flowing over the cascades and over the larger drop into a deep pool.  We also went on the historic walk along Spring Creek where the creek was diverted for mining the richest gold field area in Victoria, and could see the diversion tunnel within the diversion, made to prevent the creek banks from collapsing as the water continued to undermine the heavily eroded soils.

After visiting the falls, we drove along the Gorge Scenic Drive, enjoying the views across Kelly Country, the Powder Magazine and spent some time exploring the granite tors.

Kids by a rock pool under Spring Creek Bridge

We relaxed a while underneath Spring Creek Bridge with the cool waters flowing through large rock pools on it's way towards the cascades.  These were quite magnificent, well worth the walk down from the road to a viewing area near the bottom of the cascades. 

After a very full day, we met up for dinner at Beechworth pub to celebrate Shazzy's Birthday.  From the balcony we could see the thunderstorms coming through as we swapped stories of our day.  The girls apparently having the pleasure of watching a Buck's Party evolve on the streets, with a couple of the guys running up and down the main street in their jocks.

Sunday 2nd November

After breakfast, Michelle, Shaz, Glenda and Arthur went off on the gourmet deli trail to Millawa, while myself and the kids headed off for a walk to Lake Kerford.

We started at Lake Samba, which is the result of beautification works on the area after extensive sluice mining.  The walk took us past many mineshafts and tunnels as we made our way through the regenerated forest.  Some of the shafts were very deep, and venturing away from the path isn't really recommended.

We passed Silver Creek Caravan Park, which was were we were staying and continued along the trail to find the Heaven and Hell mines.

We were not successful in our search for Heaven and Hell, so will need to get better directions next time we head this way.  We continued past Patterson Dam and on to Lake Kerford through quite and scenic bush, with lots of evidence of the long gone gold mining along the way.

Tiger Snake at Lake Kerford

We ate our lunch on the shore of the Lake, having a good relaxing break before having to make the return walk.  As we packed up to leave, we saw that we weren't the only ones enjoying the sun on the bank of the lake.  A decent Tiger Snake was also sunning itself, just a few metres from where we had been sitting.

One of the mine shafts near lake Samba

We continued back pretty much along the same path we had taken, though we took a number of dead end paths off the trail, still looking for the Heaven and Hell mines, again to no avail.  We explored some of the mines closer to Lake Samba and then headed back to catch up with the others.

Monday 3rd November

James and the magpies

We had a lovely breakfast with the magpies before all of us headed up to Woolshed Falls, as Michelle, Shaz, Glenda and Arthur hadn't visited here yet.

Shaz and Shannon near Woolshed FallsWe gave the historic walk a miss this time, but walked up to the viewing area over the falls, which we didn't do on our first trip here.  After the Falls, we left Beechworth and drove across to Bright, where we had lunch by the Ovens River.  From here the others made their way back home whilst I took all the kids off into the bush to camp over night.

Lake Buffalo

We drove back through Myrtleford and then headed down to Lake Buffalo.  The dam wall was open to traffic, not like the last time I drove down this way!  We drove across the wall and down past the back of the Lake with beautiful views to Buffalo in the distance.  We drove on through Dandongadale and followed the Rose River to the Bennies.  We tried a spot of fishing and gold panning in the Rose River, but both were unsuccessful.  The Bennies looked a really nice place to camp, and was completely deserted.

We drove up Lake Cobbler Road, and headed 4WDing at Wild Horse Gap.  Wild Horse Gap track was a very enjoyable drive, with some challenging steep sections and glorious views back to Bogong and forwards to Buller, both covered in snow.  There also were great views of Mt Cobbler along the track too.

Dinner at Pineapple Flat

We descended down to Pineapple Flat on the King River were we set up our camp.  After gathering firewood for the evening, we settled down to dinner and a lovely campfire.

Tuesday 4th November

Kings Hut

The kids spent the morning playing in the river, making dams and water races with the gold pans.  Liam got bitten on the neck by a nasty bull ant, which put a bit of a damper on the morning, but when we picked up the pans that the kids had been playing with we found a number of flecks of gold!  We must go back and try some real gold panning.

After breaking camp, we drove along King River and it's many river crossings to Kings Hut.  The kids thought the river crossings were fantastic.  Nobody was camping at Kings Hut, though it was likely that some had been earlier and had left by the time we arrived, as we passed a couple of groups of 4WDs along King River Basin Road.

Snow on the Monument

We drove up to Craig's Hut, where we met up with a guy who had just bought a Hilux and was trying it out.  He joined us as we drove up to the Monument which was covered in snow.  The road across to Stirling was closed, and there was no way I was driving down Monument track in the snow so we retraced our steps down Clear Hills Track and made our way back home.