The Empty Esky Tour, Day 22 – Colac Colac

Day 22 Friday 13/3/20 Colac Colac, mid 20’s then rain

We take a leisurely drive up to Khancoban and along the way see a herd of cattle being driven along the roadsides.

Droving near Khancoban, NSW

Khancoban township was built for the construction of the Snowy Mountains Hydro Electricity Scheme* and today there is little to be seen but we do have a chat with a lady who is manning a ‘Driver Reviver’ post, providing coffee to weary drivers. She tells us of being evacuated to the army camp at Wodonga during the fires. At her direction we visit the spillway where water having been used in the generation of power finally flows into the Swampy Plains River.

Spillway at Khancoban, NSW

Continuing on up the Alpine Way, we visit the Murray One Power Station. It is here that you can feel something of the size of this scheme. Enormous pipes carry water down the mountainsides to the power station whereas in other parts the action is way below ground.

Murray One Power Station near Khancoban, NSW. We can’t help but sing “The pipes of Khancoban….” Don’t look for it on iTunes or Spotify we made it up.
Yabby sculpture by the Murray River near Khancoban, NSW

In the afternoon we return to Cudgewa. We buy melons, pumpkins and eggs from a roadside stall and have a beer on the front lawn of the Cudgewa Pub. It is a warm afternoon, a few locals are having a beer and a couple of dogs mooch about looking for a pat. We book a table for lunch tomorrow as we have something very special to celebrate.

vege stall
We’ll need more than this to fill the eskies!
There’s a dog on the veranda… The Cudgewa Pub

Talk of coronavirus is getting serious, the Prado’s son is self-isolating after fears of possible contact. Once more, happy hour becomes a circuitous discussion of whether we’re better to stay on the road or at home. Just as we give up on trying to solve the world’s problems and turn in for the night a little light rain falls.

 *For those unfamiliar with the Snowy Scheme it was commenced in 1949 and wasn’t completed until 1974. It is recognized as one of the seven wonders of civil engineering in the modern world. It was a post war project to both develop Australia and provide work for refugees of war-torn Europe. It more than succeeded on both fronts. Quoting from the information available to us: Today the scheme has 16 major dams, 7 power stations two of which are underground, 1 pumping station, 145kms of interconnected tunnels and 80kms of aqueducts. It provides power to 5 major cities. And it displaces 4.5 million tonnes of greenhouses gases from the atmosphere each year.


Accom $28.50 (stay 4 pay 3 deal)

Utilities: power, water, showers, toilets

Fuel: $45.90

Towing Kms: 0kms

2 thoughts on “The Empty Esky Tour, Day 22 – Colac Colac

  1. That is an amazing project. Jack worked on it in his 20’s, made big money back then too. He was on the cranes. I’m surprised that coranavirus was not too evident in the grey nomad circuit.


    1. We were quite aware of it and one of our number is a serving policeman another couple have family in the US. So it was certainly on our minds. At the Colac Colac park there was a lot of hand wash mindfulness and distancing. But, thankfully there wasn’t the craziness that seemed to be going on in the cities.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s