Early morning start with the temperature down around 0°C which is very low, even in winter, for our part of the world.
The drive heads west from Batemans Bay along the Kings Highway up over the Clyde Mountain pass, through Braidwood and Bungendore and onto the capital.
I always enjoy the first part of the trip through the foothills of the Great Dividing Range. The scenery of the tall, straight and mottle barked Spotted Gums with the Burrawang understorey is unique to the south coast of New South Wales. It then changes into dense temperate rainforest as you start the climb.
The Kings Highway is notoriously narrow and winding and is the scene of many accidents. They are working on widening the road but the pass cut into the side of the mountain always presents problems with numerous landslips occurring, especially after heavy rain. They are constantly shoring up the mountainside. The pass section of the road is very steep with numerous hairpin bends and has quite a few safety ramps that are used by heavy vehicles which have lost control of speed or when their brakes have failed.
For a look at the road check out this YouTube video of the descent (speeded up to 40km in 7 minutes).
Note the landslip fences. For the concerned, the speed signs are in km/hr, not mph. And yes, we do drive on the 'other side' of the road.
When we got over the mountain pass the frost was so heavy it looked as though it had snowed. There was even some black ice.
Between the top of the pass and Canberra the scenery (and vegetation) once again changes dramatically with forest giving way to sparsely wooded rolling plains. This is sheep and cattle country.
It is also kangaroo country and the roadside is always littered with road kill. It can be a bit daunting driving this road at either dawn or dusk when these animals are active. Some are very large and can cause a lot of damage to a car when hit. Many of the carcasses have crosses sprayed on them as animal welfare volunteers check them out for joeys (babies in the pouches) who may be still alive. The cross signifies a check as been done. I noticed a few wombats had suffered the same fate.
Our main aim this trip was to visit the Canberra Quilt Show.
There was some amazing work on display. I liked the art quilts but many of the traditional ones had such intricate work there must have been hours (days/months?) of work involved.
The co driver has more show quilt pictures on her blog.
Then after another Chinese meal in Dickson for a late lunch it was back home down the pass 'pre kangaroo time'.