As a bit of a treat in Jan 2023, we left Ollie with his grandma and headed up to Tumut for a quick overnight trip away. Originally we were going to stay out two nights, but a huge storm front came through on the second day so it didn’t end up worth it.
We chose to drive down the Hume Highway rather than using the shorter, but slower Brindabella Road route. Not much to say about the drive – with no stops we got there in about 2.5 hours.
We’d always planned to stay at Tumut but had never had the opportunity to do so in the past. There is a decent caravan park right next to the Tumut River on the edge of town that’s only a short walk to the town centre.
It recently flooded and needed to be evacuated, but there was no damage that we could see when we stayed there. We splashed out and got an ensuite site for about $65 per night.
When we arrived in Tumut the temperature was around 35 degrees, so we immediately went for a short walk to the river to check it out. Freezing cold temperatures, so Rosie was pretty happy, but didn’t make it under the water this time. And there was a small flock of ducklings looking for food around the swimming spot, so that made it even better.
With that, and not having set up at all, we decided to head straight to the Tumut River Brewing Co. Unfortunately due to roadworks happening on the Snowy Mountains Highway, just outside the caravan park, we were unable to walk directly there.
Instead the roadworks wanted us to head into town and then circle back. We gave up immediately (very hot!) and just headed to the closest pub that had pedestrian access. First pub was the Commerical Hotel, which thankfully had air-con cranking. We settled in for a few drinks and just missed out of winning a couple of meat raffles.
A plate of chips and gravy at around 5pm helped give us the strength to head to the next pub – the Tumut Star.
This pub had air-con as well thankfully, and a friendly lady behind the counter. Rosie got a tasty margarita, and it looked so good a regular (Rick?) ordered one as well. He came back later to tell us it was very tasty, but it knocked him around!
The third pub we wandered to was the Royal Hotel, literally just around the corner. We’d been here before pre-Ollie and knew they had a pretty good menu. A few drinks were had, along with a shnitzel with gravy and a steak sandwich. Pretty good food and quite a full house for a Tuesday night.
After the big meal we headed back to the van to have a proper swim (Rosie) and some beers (me). The baby ducks were gone, but there was a bunch of others that were quite unphased by the many people hanging around and in the water. Rosie managed to dunk her head in the freezing water this time.
After that it started to get dark, so we set up the rooftop tent and sat out the front of the van and watched caravan park life go past. Gangs of kids on bikes paraded past, we saw a bunch of bats in the sky, a huge flock of galahs were incredibly noisy and we could even hear horses in the paddock across the river. We don’t often stay in caravan parks so this was all fairly novel for us.
At about 10.30 we headed to bed. It was still a warm night, so we slept with all the windows down (flyscreens up though).
It was a fairly noisy night, with the galahs starting up every now and then, and some very big trucks using their air brakes right outside the park entrance on the Snowy Mountain Highway. Our caravan neighbours had their air conditioner running all night as well. At 2am someone’s car alarm went off. Finally, around 4am the temps started to drop and a cool breeze came through, followed by a little shower at 6am.
I got up early and pottered about. The caravan park has a coffee shop in a converted caravan near the front entrance, and I ended up going there and getting some coffee and breakfast for us both.
With a 10am check out, we started packing up (around 30min all up) and headed back into Tumut for a brief look around at the shops on the main street. After having a look around Tumut we decided to try get to the hidden gem of Tumut – the Tumut Broom Factory!
Did we say there that were roadworks near the caravan park that didn’t let pedestrians through? Well, those same roadworks prevented us from getting into the factory for a tour. We circled around at least 3 times from both ways and could not find a way to get to this stellar attraction. We saw a lot of Tumut suburban life though – they have some very steep streets.
Finally, we just got some fuel and headed back towards Gundagai. The weather was starting to get cloudy and overcast, and we figured we would be having some afternoon storms, so camping out another night probably wasn’t a good choice. BOM, as usual, weren’t forecasting rain or storms at all that day.
Once in Gundagai we stopped in at the visitor centre and paid $3 each to see Rusconi’s Marble Masterpiece. Hidden away in a back room that probably doesn’t get visited very often, we listened to a recorded voice telling us the story of a block that built a small, but intricate model out of 20,000 handmade pieces of Australian marble over 29 years. It held our attention for about 10 minutes and was definitely something we’d not seen before.
After marvelling at the masterpiece we headed into town to do some shopping at the butchers, bakery and candle shop. (Butcher, baker, candlestick maker!).
After picking up a few essentials, we headed back down the Hume Highway to Canberra. We did stop at Murrambatemen Winery though for a quick tasting, and to grab a few bottles of quality wine.
Another hours drive later, we pulled into our driveway just as the rains started, and about an hour later a huge storm came through. I’m glad we decided to pull up stumps and go home when we did as the Brindabellas seemed to get the brunt of that storm.