Travelling Australia - Journal 2008b
24 July 2008 - Rutherglen to Yass
Location map Another cold night with a clear, sunny morning. When I saw ice covering the windows and roof of the Territory I was glad I had wound down the caravan television aerial last night in case it was frozen this morning. The ice had pretty well gone by the time we moved off just after nine o'clock heading along the Murray Valley Highway towards Wodonga on the Hume Highway. Rutherglen is a pretty place with a narrow main street lined with many shops retaining verandahs with posts. Maroon and cream is a popular colour scheme; this is a welcome relief from the brunswick green and cream which seems to be the colours of choice for "traditional" or "colonial" buildings elsewhere. The caravan park is only a block from the main street so staying at Rutherglen again is attractive, especially with the bread, cheese and wine of Milawa so close. Leaving Rutherglen we passed several more wineries with well-known names.
Rutherglen Rutherglen main street.
Part way between Rutherglen and Wodonga we passed a sign telling us we were leaving the fruit fly exclusion zone. We had entered the zone just before Boort a couple of days ago and had seen no signs indicating the existence of the fruit fly zone extending over the fruit growing area from South Australia to Rutherglen. The zone has been established to stop people carrying fruit and vegetables known to harbour fruit fly from entering the fruit growing area; fruit fly is a most undesirable pest and would cause serious economic damage to the industry if it got loose. We had heard complaints in Mildura that visitors were ignoring the zone and putting the fruit industry at risk. But, if our experience is any guide, the management of the zone is poor; we entered the zone on a public road and saw no signs informing travellers of the existence of the zone or of the limits it imposes until we left the proclaimed area. The contrast with Western Australia's quarantine where each vehicle entering at the border is thoroughly checked and searched could not be more striking.

Approaching Wodonga we joined the Hume Freeway which took us north into New South Wales along the Albury bypass which has been opened since we last drove this way. It was very pleasant to drive past Albury at freeway speed instead of having to negotiate the winding route through that urban area. Then we were on the part of the Hume Highway which is a series of new, duplicated carriageway sections and the old single carriageway with a lot of work going on to complete the duplication. We wondered how Holbrook and Tarcutta will react to being bypassed as both places seem to rely on highway trade.
Submarine at Holbrook The submarine (former HMAS Otway) at Holbrook.
After Tarcutta we were pulled over for a random breath test. While I was getting out my licence the policeman did a walk-around of the Territory and EuroStar caravan; he didn't say what we was looking for but he did compliment me on the towing mirrors and the way they were clear of the car sides; much better than many mirrors he sees. I had spent a lot of effort getting the right mirrors and setting them up so I was pleased to hear his comment. I would like to know what else he was looking at but didn't think to ask.

After leaving Albury the Hume Highway enters slightly hillier terrain as it negotiates the lower foothills of the Dividing Range. Past Gundagi the road becomes hillier as it climbs along the Southern Tablelands reaching an elevation of 650 metres at Conroy Gap 21 kilometres before Yass, then descend to 510 metres at Yass. A gusty wind coming up at this time reduced average fuel consumption from a good 19.7 litre per 100 kilometres at Gundagai to be 20.7 when we stopped at Yass caravan park for the night. Not only does the terrain become hillier as we moved into New South Wales, it also became drier. No longer were we passing through green crops with large number of sheep grazing we had been used to along the Murray River. Now the paddocks were dry and few stock were in sight from the road.
daily map