We’ve made it to Perisher!
It was a long drive; it’s been a while since I’ve done a road trip that long. It was an interesting drive too.
The drive took us 14.5 hours plus stops from Adelaide’s CBD to Perisher’s Ski Tube terminal at Bullocks Flat. We left straight from work on Friday afternoon, having packed the car up in the morning. It was a nice evening because the rain had finally let up and the skies were clear. We took the M1 towards past Murray Bridge and over the River Murray just as the sun was setting. Just past Tailem Bend we turned onto the B12 towards the Victorian border through a few small towns. We stopped in Pinnaroo for dinner at the Golden Grain Hotel. It’s a good Aussie country pub. The staff were really nice and the chicken parmy was good and hearty.
After a few more hours we made it to Ouyen and our stop for the night – Victoria Hotel Ouyen. Ouyen was a good stopping point and we expected the Victoria to be basic, which it was. I haven’t stayed at a country hotel before, it was interesting. The building was quite large, with really high ceilings and a lot more rooms than I expected. I’m sure it was a beautiful building back in the day, but it’s gotten old and is in need of a little love. If you’re the type that believes in ghosts it might not be your kind of place. The rooms were all small but clean and the bed was a double. The bathrooms were shared and just down the hall. The lady we spoke to at the bar was nice – she gave us the key and told us that there was breakfast in the morning. The breakfast was cereal or toast. But all-in-all pretty good for $80 total.
Saturday was the long leg of the drive. We cut across the country from Ouyen through the New South Wales border towards Albury. On the way we went through very long patch of country-side with no towns. This part of the country is partially arid with small patches of scrum interspersed with the irrigated farm fields. The gum trees line the road and stand up solo in the fields, their thin naked limbs stretching towards the sky with leaves spreading out at the end like fans. There were also a lot of animals – most of them dead. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many dead Kangaroos in one stretch of road! We guesstimated 30 at the start then stopped counting after 120. There was a lot of live animals too. We had to slow down for several crossing our path, including two kangaroos, several Emus (travelling together), a few stubborn Eagles that wouldn’t leave the road (they were big so we had to slow), a flock of galahs (also a bit stubborn), and a herd of cattle. The cattle were particularly obstinate, they actually walked right toward the car!
Once we got close to Albury things got a bit easier – less wildlife crossings. We stopped for a quick lunch then as we headed out of Albury we started heading up the hills and gaining elevation. About half-way up the Alpine Way we finally saw snow! A quick ride up the Ski Tube and a short trip on the Hans Oversnow and we made it to our accommodation – The Matterhorn Lodge.
I am looking forward to going skiing tomorrow!