Travelling Australia - Journal 2014
12 March 2014

Omeo to Bairnsdale
We left Omeo on a calm day, there was a little cloud in a mostly blue sky, temperature outside the Pathfinder was 17°C. Good weather for travelling. Our immediate destination was Bruthen, 24 kilometres before Bairnsdale at the end of the Great Alpine Road.

Traffic through the hills was very light, a handful of sedans and 4WDs with one or two caravans or heavy transports.

Leaving Omeo the Great Alpine Road climbs fairly gently to reach the rim of the Mitta Mitta River catchment at about 720 metres elevation; then, without fanfare, the road enters the Tambo River catchment and, shortly afterwards, turns south and starts going down, and down, and down.

In the Tambo River catchment the Great Alpine Road begins a long descent through 400 metres of elevation. Not a particularly steep hill but certainly a long one through open cattle grazing land along the Tambo River and past the settlements of Swifts Creek and Ensay.

Past Ensay the road turns out of grazing land and enters bushland following the Tambo River much more closely than it did before. For most of this stretch the road runs immediately beside the river following ever twist and turn of that stream. Amid the bushland the road passes through Tambo Crossing in a few cleared paddocks before returning to a bushland setting.

South of Tambo Crossing the Tambo River turns eastward and no longer flows towards Bruthen which is the destination for this stretch of road so the road continues in a generally southward direction through apparently undisturbed bushland lasting until about ten kilometres before Bruthen when the road again crosses the Tambo River which is now entering its final stage approaching the stage where it flows into Lake King near Metung.

The character of the Great Alpine Road changes on the final stage from Bruthen to Bairnsdale. In this more closely settled area there is considerably more, probably local, traffic. There are overtaking lanes on several hills.

Entering Bairnsdale we checked in to the selected caravan park and set up on an informal grassy site set back a little from the bank of the Mitchell River.

tambo river
Tambo River between Ensay South and Tambo Crossing. The Great Alpine Road can be seen between the trees on the left. In this section the Alpine Road follows every twist and turn of the river.  
12 March 2014 - page 2
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