Ride Bairnsdale to Wodonga via Omeo Highway. Total distance
Pakenham to Bairnsdale and ride to Ensay via Bruthen. Lunch in
Bruthen and freeze dried for dinner at Ensay. Overnight in Ensay
recreation reserve in hike tent. 80km
to Anglers Rest via Swifts Creek and Omeo. Morning tea in Swifts
Creek, lunch in Omeo and dinner in Anglers Rest Hotel. Overnight
in Anglers Rest camping ground in hike tent. 80km
Rest to Mitta Mitta via Omeo Highway. Morning tea near Glen
Willis, lunch on side of road on Omeo Highway and freeze dried
for dinner. Overnight at Mitta Mitta camping ground in hike tent.
Mitta to Wodonga via Tallangatta. Morning tea in Eskdale, lunch
in Tallangatta and dinner at Chinese in Wodonga. Overnight in
Train Wodonga to Melbourne.
Two mountain bikes each with two
panniers loaded with provisions and sleeping gear.
country around Anglers Rest and the beautiful green Mitta Mitta
The Tambo and Omeo valleys were also lovely but a
bit dry. See this
photo of the Mitta Mitta valley
at Anglers Rest. Chicken Parmigiana and Vegetable Pastie sitting
outside on the balcony. See these photos of Rick
long steep climb between Swifts Creek and Omeo. Rick could not
ride any more so decided to push his bike. Only walked 300m and
around a corner was the top where Noel was waiting. He had been
waiting there 30 minutes and would have come looking for Rick in
another 10 minutes. Rick had run out of water and very thirsty.
Drank Noel’s last bottle of water. This
photo is at the top of the hill
climb on Omeo Highway about 20km from Anglers Rest.
last 60km through Tallangatta and into Wodonga we rode into a
headwind. Not very pleasant.
Omeo Highway about 30km from Mitta Mitta.
Downhill for about 15km on a made road.
Riding alongside the Mitta Mitta river we
encountered numerous thick clouds of small black insects a bit
like thrip. Sunscreen on arms and legs caused them to stick
there. Biggest problem was they got in your eyes and mouth.
each about 300m. If you get tired, it is probably a good idea to
walk and push your bike for a while. Up a steep hill the speed
difference is not much.
Everyone wants to talk to you when you are on
bikes loaded with all your gear. Met some interesting people.
Wills which is about 20km from Omeo. See this
photo. A bit of surprise seeing it in excellent condition.
Discovered later that a
firm of bridge builders were constructing a new bridge over the
Mitta Mitta river at Glen Valley. The mother of the bridge
builders (of Italian descent), was visiting her sons and was
amazed that there were no crosses in the Cemetery. Before leaving
the area, they built a large cross on a square slab and promised
that one day they would come back and erect crosses to
commemorate the grave sites. This they did in the summer of 1991.
As there is no plan of the actual sites of the graves, they were
placed in a double row consistent with the two graves visible.
Mitta Mitta camping ground. We placed our tent
near the newly erected camp kitchen. Covered tables and cooking
facilities. Very nice. However, in the shower block, the clothes
dryer would not work and the showers and toilets were a bit
grotty but it was great to have a shower after 3 days riding.
Rail trail from Tallangatta to Wodonga
has a rocky surface and difficult to ride on. Also, signs
indicated the trail could be traversed across Sandy Creek where
there was once a rail bridge over the creek. However, it was
poorly signposted, very rough and we had to lift our bikes and
gear across an electric fence. Not worth the effort. Eventually,
we gave up and took the road.
About 1200m on the Omeo Highway.
Creek bakery. Fruit pie and cappuccino. See
Chinese restaurant in Wodonga. Very dirty. Had
to ask for toilet paper and there was no hand towel for drying
20km out of Anglers Rest you pass over the Mitta Mitta river but
it appears to be flowing the wrong way. Discovered later that it
sources near Mt Hotham and flows SE for a while then swings
around and flows North towards the Murray.
guy on the train to Bairnsdale suggested we have dinner in the
Ensay hotel but we could not find it. Found the Ensay South
hotel which has been converted to a gallery.
the 5km sign to Wodonga. See this
On the Omeo Highway. Only three vehicles
proprietor of the Hotel at Anglers Rest told us about the 2003
bushfires where the CFA abandoned them and he and his brother
were left to save whatever they could. The fire swept over them
at 100km/hr and all their vehicles and some outbuildings were
burnt but they saved the original hotel buildings. A terrifying
proprietor of the Mitta Mitta store told us about the 2006
bushfires where the CFA was initially told to save the historic
hotel in the main street and ignore everything else. He
explained to them that he had 20,000 litres of fuel stored in
tanks and if his building caught fire and the fuel went up the
whole town would be blown up. They went away for a while and
must have spoken with a higher authority because they came
back and had decided to protect his building. As it turned out
the fires did not descend on the Mitta Mitta township but got
Noel had flat tyre near Tallangatta on the bike
What drivers tell you about the steepness of the
roads ahead. Whenever we stopped and spoke with locals we asked
about any steep ascents ahead but the information was always
wrong. It seems that when you are in a car you have no concept of
the steepness of the roads.
fuel stove. Boiled water very quickly. See
how high up Omeo is. About 700m.
Rick - 12 to 13km/hr. Noel - 15km/hr.
20's every day. No rain.
we should not have done
Ridden 110km on the last day. It
was too far, particularly as we struck a head wind for the last
Difficult was the Ride