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AT LAST - We made it to Bright .. and had a SUPERB trip

Updated: Jun 3, 2021

14 May 2021

We're back!! After 36 Newport Probians (including 4 soon to be members) had the MOST fantastic trip to Bright and the Ovens Valley, Victoria. This long delayed trip (thanks COVID) owed its success to the dogged and very professional relationship built between our 2019-20 Activities Manager Liz Henderson and the owners of our base, the Ovens Valley Motor Inn, Shannon and Simeon. Liz built and maintained that relationship and the success of the trip owes so much to her endeavours and the help from hubby David.

So... the trip was simply wonderful. Our base at the Ovens Valley Motor Inn was very comfortable. Meals were good. The staff were wonderful, so much so that we were given a tearful farewell.

We travelled on an excellent modern coach from Port Stephens Bus Lines and our driver/guide Matt was outstanding - a safe, highly professional driver and an informative guide who also made life easy by doing lots of the drudge jobs like loading and unloading luggage, making tea and coffee and ensuring the coach was always clean. During the trip we explored the Ovens and Buckland valleys, beautiful areas on the inland side of the Southern Alps. The scenery was stunningly beautiful and the towns - Bright, Harietville, Porepunkah, Myrtleford, Milawa, Yackandandah and Beechworth - were full of history, elegant old buildings and delicious eateries. The Ovens Valley was full of autumn colour, although many leaves had begun to drop. Never-the-less the road into Bright was spectacular.

Highlights of the trip included:

· Each night’s Happy Hour. This was all our own doing but over drinks and the occasional nibbles members and prospective members got to know each other so much better.

· The extraordinary Verona at the Harrietville Lavender Farm. She had us all in stitches of laughter. What a character!

Verona in full flight (with our wonderful driver Matt acting as assistant)

· Many of our lady members catching Rainbow Trout at the Trout and Salmon farm, also in Harrietville. (The fish were all released.) None of our male members seemed interested but the ladies did very well.

Astride the Ovens River in Harrietville

· Yummy cheese tasting in Milawa and wonderful wine tasting at Michelini Wines in Myrtleford

Starting with the crescent shape approx east and proceeding clockwise, the cheeses were a chevre (soft goats cheese), ash-coated chevre (the ash is from burned grape-vine leaves). goat milk camembert, traditional (cows milk) camembert, brie, a washed rind cheese (very YUM), matured cheddar and Milawa Blue, something like a gorgonzola dolce.

· Exploring the beautiful Ovens Valley and nearby towns – Bright, Beechworth, Milawa, Myrtleford, Porepunkah, Harrietville and Yackandandah.

· Learning about pumpkins grown only for their seeds and tasting wonderful pure oils - pumpkin, hazelnut, walnut and others. (Little Luka wa a great help! His mum Sharon was very informative.) The special pumpkins are a variety from Slovenia.

· Eating (or avoiding) a Bee Sting at Beechworth Bakery – which depended on how much influence our driver Matt’s constant ads had!

Members learning about the historic Beechworth gaol - with razor wire to keep us all inside!! At various times, inmates included Ned Kelly, his mother and some other members of the Kelly gang.

· The visit to the deer/goat/emu/ostrich farm and the speech from the young rep of the owning family that had the highest density of double entendres ever seen in the Ovens and Buckland Valleys!

· Finally a long tortuous climb to the top of Mt Buffalo. The weather threatened showers until our last day but, fortunately, they veered around us. We climbed Mt Buffalo in perfect sunny weather and experienced superb views.

Our happy band of campers atop Mt Buffalo.

We departed on a very cool, foggy morning but nothing could detract from a truly memorable trip.

There was an excess of fun, laughter, wine, friendship, more laughter, cheese, fellowship and even more laughter. Let’s arrange many more like this.

If you'd like to see more, a Powerpoint presentation is available at The file size is almost 94Mb so be patient while it downloads.

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