Time for tourist mode!

On Tuesday we were up and about early (by early I’m talking 8:30) because the Hall’s Gap zoo were coming to the caravan park. The girls trotted off at 9am with Koel, I stayed back and did some jobs because of course they were showing snakes.

They had a great time meeting “Bobby” the dingo and “Anna” the carpet python. They both wanted to hold Anna but Koel convinced them to just have a pat.

Because we were up at a reasonable time we skipped the morning swim and hit the road heading to Stawell. I had my head in the laptop working on our budget (more on that to come) and about 10 minutes out of Stawell Koel saw a sign for an Alpaca farm. Because the girls had fallen in love with Allen at the Brownhill caravan park in Adelaide, we called in.

The owner greeted us and was such a lovely guy, he was just a wealth of information. He told us he bought his property in the 90’s, originally spending time establishing his organic garden. He was a chef and recently retired, now selling his produce to markets and the local cafes. I mentioned to him about how surprised I had been with the amount of accomodation in Hall’s Gap and he said there isn’t enough! That some weekends they have over 10,000 people visit!

Him and his wife came across Alpacas at the local show, they bought a heavily pregnant female and have bred from there. Because of how dry it is and has been for the last couple of years they have stopped breeding, he said its not possible having to buy in hay 10 months of the year!

Local sheep farmers lease some Alpacas off him during the lambing season to stop the foxes from killing the lambs. It was obvious the alpacas are just like his children, he knows everyone by name and said he had been their for the birth of majority of them!

After having so much fun and learning so much new information we continued on to Stawell. Unfortunately the Stawell Gift Hall of Fame was closed but the ground was open so we went for a walk around the track.

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We drove around Stawell and both admired the beautiful old buildings, then headed to The Pickers Market. There was soooo much to look at it here and the girls had a ball spotting all the toys they are apparently getting when they turn 5!

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After a quick lunch we cruised back to Hall’s Gap and spent some time in the pool, before heading to the grocery store for some essentials. We stopped at the local cricket (could be football aswell) ground on the way back to look at the kangaroos, its no wonder the local team trains in the nets!

I spent two hours last night brushing the girls hair. Eventually all the knots were out and the tears we dry, but Lila-Rae and I both skipped tea mostly due to stress! I cant believe how much their hair has grown in the couple of weeks being on the road, I told them that because they are watering it, it is growing haha.

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The nights have cooled off and this morning I wore a jumper to the showers! I put makeup on for the first time in about a week and the girls were put to work back at the van.

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It soon warmed up and we headed out to see some more destinations on what is our last full day in Halls Gap.

Our first stop was the Venus Baths, I was a nervous wreck walking the 900m in on a track that would just be a haven for snakes, Koel was just powering forward while I was envisioning one of us getting eaten. In the end it was well worth the walk and the girls had a great time running in and out of the baths. The rocks were so slippery, Frankie ended up soaked and had to take her dress off to dry.

We went from the Venus Baths to Silverband Falls, which was bit of an anti-climax after visiting Mackenzie falls.

After another 1.6km round trip on foot the girls were exhausted so we stopped in town for a Timboon ice-cream (yes we found Timboon Ice-cream in Hall’s Gap!!). We then set off to the “Balconies” and Reeds lookout. The sign said it was a 1km walk into the Balconies so the girls and I decided to wait at the lookout while Koel ventured off on another walk. The scenery was beautiful and there were lots of tourists and even a bus tour while we were there.

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We are now back relaxing at the caravan in beautiful 25 degree heat, if it stayed like this for the rest of the trip I would be happy!

Its our last night in Hall’s Gap and I cant even put into words how nice it has been to relax for a few days, however I’m also glad we stayed this long to be able to see alot of the sights!

As I mentioned above I have been reviewing our spendings, and my next blog post will detail how much we have spent, eek!

Before leaving on the trip we were hoping to spend around $1000 a week, including everything, accomodation, food, fuel etc. How do you think we have gone? Under or over?

We have been on the road exactly 3 weeks today, keep your eyes out for the budget blog tomorrow!

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