Bottom left is headquarters for the Flying Fruit Fly Circus based in Albury, the only flying circus school in Australia. Established in 1979 it provides training for children in years 3 to 9 at school. Since its inception it has become internationally famous. It’s the Aussie version of Cirque du Soleil, but for kids!
The scenery we passed through was picture perfect postcard country. Herds of dairy cows grazed in the velvety green meadows and hillsides. Everywhere I looked there were bushes and shrubs of varying shades of pink from fluoro to soft pink in full bloom.
We spied our first bit of snow. Thinking that’s all we’d get, I took lots of photos of a snow capped mountain peak. As we continued further up a winding mountain road, we came across a vast area of burnt trees. Whole hillsides of stark grey with sticks of dead trees poking forlorn arms up to the sky in supplication. A huge fire had ravaged a massive area of timber country. Many stops were made to take yet more photographs. It felt surreal to see snow capped peaks behind fire ravaged trees behind huge wild ferns. This is just one spot. The road was very windy – I don’t travel well on such curvy roads. Not only were they curvaceous with stunning scenery, they were narrow with steep drops. Edges were marked with red posts and signs warning to stay on the left or right side of the post depending which way you were driving. Line markings were bright yellow instead of the usual white. This is snow chain country. We didn’t need to hire them this trip.
The stretch limo was parked next to a closed restaurant called ‘flour and water’. Another must take photo.
Below is just a small selection of the exquisitely colourful flowering trees and shrubs that dotted the countryside, filled yards and lined streets.
We wound our way to a popular ski resort called Falls Creek. Our intention had been to take a different route but Big Red had other ideas. This is where we found snow right next to the road.
I stepped on snow for the first time since the early 1970’s when we had last visited this place. TRH (The Retired Husband) threw a snowball. Although the weather was surprisingly warm, at Falls Creek we felt the chill in the air. The owner of the cafe where we had lunch told us that a massive fire passed through this area in 2003. It devastated the countryside on both sides of the resort which miraculously was spared. He said he’d never been so scared. Evacuation was impossible as there is only one access road. Both sides were burning intensely. The heat of the fire was so strong the snow gums didn’t burn – they turned white.
Our intention had been to continue on from Falls Creek. We were met by a barricaded road. It turns out that a 700 metre section of road was still under a metre of snow. We had to turn back and retrace our steps. What had been intended as a short day’s drive doubled. I started feeling queasy. TRH had to restrain his urge to slalem his way down the windy mountain roads and go at snails pace instead. Despite years of experience driving me around Australia, he still needed the occasional sharp reminder. We ended up in a very pretty little town called Bright, nestled between mountains. Having left Wodonga at 0950 we arrived in Bright at 1615 with 180km added to the odometer.
© Raili Tanska