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New Year Trip

Tom Groggin, Moscow Villa Via, The Poplars, Limestone Creek - Victorian High Country - Australia

By Darren McRae

As usual, the McRae’s were late to the meeting spot for our trip over the xmas break, but we were soon away and made up good time on the hwy, until GC needed to take the longest nature break known to man whilst on a turnoff to check himself for some fresh nuts before arriving at Bright.

Whilst travelling over Mt Hotham on Boxing day, we got to drive through falling snow. A rare sight in summer, before taking a couple of rooms at the Colonial B&B in the main St of Omeo to get well rested before heading out again next day.

We headed to Benambra and on to Tom Groggin station, about 3 hrs drive from Omeo, meeting with TJL at the bushman's hut camping ground on the Vic side. TJL had brought 3 semi loads of flies across with him, as the NSW river bank was packed enough as it was, and they had a total fire ban on 100m away on the other side of the river.

The other NSW participants [Flemings & McDougalls] were also allowed to cross the river by our border patrol. They arrived around 5pm and we all made jokes about the Pajero family who came to camp near us while downing a few drinks before cooking tea.

The next day we headed across Tom Groggin station to Mt Pinnibar, checked out the view, and did a loop which saw us returning to camp after lunch for an extended happy hour at camp.

Next morning we headed for The Poplars as Davies Plain was closed until 14th Jan 2002, so we took the alt route, and like wild dogs we circled camp about 4 times before deciding where we were going to lay down, slightly spread out, between the Murray and the toilet block, but some good laughs were heard round the fire…till someone yelled “ARMAGEDDON”

Which I believe is a signal to say they have had enough……..  

Next day's travel toward Moscow Villa saw us go through some great camping areas on our way to Moscow villa hut for new years eve, we even did a huge side track detour looking for the elusive brumby rocks down brumby rocks track, but in typical brumby fashion, they were too clever to be seen. We managed to double back around us as we tried to catch a glimpse. Luckily the Brieses stayed in the original turnoff and were able to point out their direction to GC before the GPS got him totally lost trying to find the BRUMBY ROCKS….  

We were a day early to Moscow Villa, but this would ensure a great spot near the hut, as it did, with time for showers, well set up camps, and the kids to practice a play for entertainment on new years eve.

Everyone was well rested and late up this morning, knowing a late night coming and no camp to shift,  some time was spent in camp throwing the footy, and GC and TJL spent some time doubling the output of TJL’s vehicle [the black out the exhaust, not the HP] before calling it quits and joining the rest of us watching the seasoned campaigners, and the newbies cook a roast for tea in their respective ovens….

I never knew that the amount of people watching equals the amount of cooking ideas available to newbies, but I saw it with my own eyes that day.

9pm saw the adults having to make their way to the Hut for the kids play, which was very well done - except don’t crowd 6 car loads of people in a hut in the dark when someone has a severe case of baked beanitis…

New year's eve saw many fearful vegies, some great music, some attempted bomb building with party poppers, and some great jokes well suited to after midnight, before the last went to bed around 2am.

New years day saw the Couyants head home, the McRae’s to Dargo, and the Brieses head home Also, leaving the rubbish burning, fly carrying, NSW people to their own devices now they were no longer under the watchful eye of the Vics for the last day.

I'd like to thank all who attended for a GREAT TIME, the kids for the best 2 days water fights with my new water pistol, and their play, and the adults for a top week of company.

Till next time



Click here for pictures from the trip

Click here for track file