Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Phillip Island March 3-9 2010

 On the Island we stayed at the Boomerang C/park at Cowes.. We had an area of the park to ourselves for the first few days but when we went to Wonthaggi to get supplies etc we came back to find the area filling fast as other campers arrived for the long weekend.
 We had come to Cowes firstly to see the sights but also as a meeting place to catch up with my sister from Tassie. Her and her husband, came over on the Ferry and stayed in a cabin in the park next door as that was about all we could get. As the ferry was late they didn't get to Cowes till after 11pm.

 Our first day of sightseeing took us to The Nobbies where we wandered along the boardwalks and viewed the scenery and found a few Fairy Penguins tucked in their burrows and under the boardwalk.

The Nobbies

 coastline near  the blowhole at The Nobbies

 Fairy Penguin

 We initially thought the penguin above  was on his own but he was joined by his brother later on.

  My sister particulalry wanted to visit the historical farm at Churchill Island, so we packed a picnic lunch and headed back to the Island as the turn off isn't far from Newhaven which is at the other end of Phillip Island from Cowes.  Again it was an over cast and inclined to showers type of day but once again as the day went on the weather improved.

Myself. Andrea and Ron.

 After our lunch  we wandered around the Farm where there were demonstrations of milking a cow, blacksmithing, sheep shearing  and  a working dog . The old farm building which was actually only a holiday home originally had been beautifully restored . The gardens were also in prime condition and a joy to wander around.  We ere able to pass several pleasant hours just wandering around.

  The dinning room at Churchill Farmhouse

  The kitchen

The Cannon at the end of the Avenue

Cape Barren Geese
 These geese were seen all over both Churchill Island and Phillip Island.
 Highland Cattle.

 These cattle were very much in keeping with the theme of the Old Farm but could be seen in several places on  Phillip Island and in the surrounding countryside of Gippsland.

 On another day we went for a trip to see the Phillip Island Race Circuit, where the bike and car races are held. However we could only get a distant glimpse of the track without paying to get closer access. From the track we continued on to Pyramid Rock. To view the rock there was a short walk out on a board  which was very fortunate as we saw our first snake here. It was a copperhead and being a cool day was moving fairly slowly. Being on the boardwalk we could safely watch it for quite a while as it meandered  through the scrub.
  Near Pyramid Rock

 I Pyramid Rock

While we were at Cowes, Mike and Kerry (Bizwizards)joined us for an overnight stop. It was great to catch up with them and hear their news from when we had last had contact with them. Unfortunately the game of cards we had promised ourselves didn't eventuate due to the weather.

  As they were only staying the night and wanted a big site and pad to dry out various items we ended up putting them across the front of our van. This didn't worry us as we weren't leaving for another few days. Despite the cool weather we managed to have a BBQ  outside , using their van as a windbreak. The van setup at Cowes

 The next day we had planned to go to Wilson's Prom with Andrea and Ron  but the weather wasn't very cooperative at all with rain and low cloud . By the time we got to Wonthaggi the decision was made that we would go to Loch instead. We went via Korumburra where it was still raining but by the time we got to Loch it was easing and then stopped to fine up to a nice day but still very cool.

 At Loch we did some cheese tasting and bought lovely hot soup  to warm us up as we only had a picnic lunch. After lunch we visited the  Suspension Bridge at Loch. Suspension Bridge at Loch

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Gippsland Wanderings Feb/March 2010

 Mike and Jeni's place at Nerrena
 After staying at Rosedale fro a few days and geting a few things done in Tralalgon and Morwell we moved on to visit  friends in Nerrena . We had met  Mike and Jeni in north Queensland a few years ago and when we passed through Gippsalnd last year we didn't have time for a visit as we were making for Melbourne to cathc the Ferry to Tassie.  This year we have had more time to visit people and cover a lot more territory .

 Nerrena is only about 9 klms from Leongatha and is mainly a locality rather than a town. Their place is next to the local hall and cricket ground. Leongatha can be seen from their place .

  Leongatha from Nerrena.
   We only spent the weekend with them as they are both working, but on Sunday  evening after an early tea we took advantage of daylight saving and went for a drive to Inverloch, Cape Patterson and Wonthaggi. This allowed us to see some wonderful coastline and lovely inlets.

 Eagles Nest at Inverloch

Jen, Mike and Lynn at Eagles Nest.

 From Nerrena we set off to back track over some country we had skipped near Forster etc. It was a showery start to the day but the further east we went the weather improved so by the time we had reached Reeves beach it was much warmer and the rain had stopped. The roads to the beach were quite narrow and in places they were dirt roads but fortunately they were in good condition and weren't boggy just a bit dusty so that the van after the rain looked very neglected.

 shelter shed at Port Welshpool.

 After spending the night at Reeves Beach and being dissappointed that acces to the beginning of Ninety mile beach was so difficult. You had to climb steep dunes of very deep sand and still be about 400 meters from the beach. We then started to make our way back towards Phillip Island. We called into McLoughlin's Beach  and were pleasantly surpised to see aa lovely quiet community on a pretty inlet with quite a long jetty which was a popular fishing spot.

 We stopped for morning tea at Port Welshpool and came across this interesting shelter shed and an old bouy. The shed had a very interesting mural relating to the maritime history and natural history of the area.
 Part of the mural inside the shed.

 Our next stop was at Toora which is again a lovely quiet place but has more historical buildings . After a quick stock up on supplies here we continued down the road a little way to the Franklin river reserve where we camped for the night. It was a lovely day and with nice mown grassed area the reserve was an enjoyable place to stop.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Sale and 90 mile Beach Feb 2010

 From Marlo we wandered along with stops at Lake  Tyers , where we got our first glimpse of 90mile beach and Lakes Entrance where once again it was raining, but we did have time between showers to wander around the boat harbour and bought some fish for tea. We had been very fortunate to miss all the flooding they had  on the lower NSW coast and around Mallacoota.

Boat Harbour at Lakes Entrance Lake Tyers with 90 mile beach in the back ground

 We wandered along to Sale for our next stop. We  set up camp at the Sale showgrounds for a few days to allow us time to catch up on some shopping and Lynn needed to see a Dr.  The people at the showgrounds were very helpful in providing the information we needed to get around and get things attended to.

 After 5 days at the showgrounds we went to Paradise Beach by way of Seaspray and Golden Beach. As we thought we may have camped at one of the twenty odd spots between Seaspray and  Golden Beach  but most of them were too small or over grown for large vans.  At Paradice Beach we were able to set up a great bush camp as a traveller who was moving on the next day gave us their pile of wood, so Lynn got our fire bucket going and we cooked most of our meals outside.
 We still had more rain and were able to collect rain water from the awning for the washing machine.
 Our morning tea stop at SeaSpray.

Our camp at Paradice beach with Lynn having a Poppy nap


 The Port of Sale. We didn't visit here on our first trip in to Sale but found it on a weekly shopping trip. It was a very pleasant place to stop and refresh with nice lawns to sit on and other facilities but almost in the centre of town. It is connected to the river by a 5 mile long canal .
The Swing Bridge is another historic icon around Sale . It has been restored and is again operational at weekends and on some other days too. The surrounding area has been landscaped so that it is a nice walk or ride from Sale being only about 5 klms away.These story boards tell the process that was involved in the Restoration of the bridge.

 While were at Paradise beach we saw lots of birds , both different types of parrots and various seabirds. As we were there for nearly 2 weeks we saw lots of other campers come and go , but most days John the tourism officer was around with his packs of brochures and lots of infromation about the local area.
 Red Rosellas at Paradice Beach

Anne, John, Lynn and Colin at Paradice Beach

 Offshore at Paradice Beach/ Ninety Mile Beach there are quite a number of Oil and Gas rigs. The closet to shore that I could see on a clear day was the " Barracuda" but on one afternoon that was particularly clear I counted 4 rigs . The "Barracuda " is apparently lit up at night but it was hazy the nights we went to look so didn't see it . While we were at Paradice on a rainy day wiht nothing better to do we drove up to have a look at Loch  Sport and aslo visited the beach there but the view was the same as back at camp.

 Ninety Mile Beach at Paradice Beach

 Paradice Beach

Lynn at Loch Sport /Surf Beach at Ninety Mile Beach

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Marlo - South Gippsland 3rd February 2010

 Marlo was our next port of call, but we went via Cape Conran and Cabbage Tree Road. It was sealed all the way but once we passed the turn off to Cape Conran the road ran along the back of the beach with no views of the sea until we were almost at Marlo and there there was a large inlet with a very narrow entrance . After making a quick check of the facilities in the town we headed out to the banks of the Snowy river  and found the first of the riverside camping areas, where there was already some campers so we set up too.

The weather was not brillant by any means as it was over cast and blowing 20-30 knots, which meant that we weren't comfortable sitting outside.

 The next day although the weather was not any better we decided  to take a trip  up to Cape Conran , so we packed up morning tea and headed off.  East Cape was our first port of call and I walked out towards the Cape on the baordwalk while Lynn wandered along the beach doing some beachcombing .

 After M/t at East Cape we moved along to Cape Conran and Salmon Rocks.
Although I had seen a seal in the Water at Cape Conran it wasn't until we were here that we saw a clear view of a seal that had hauled out on the rocks..
 There were also a number of Cormorants and other birds sunning themselves on the rocks.This white faced Heron was at East Cape and just froze when we started walking along the beach, so it was easy to get good pictures of him.

the inlet on the way back to Marlo.

 Once back at Marlo we took a diversion down to see the PS Curlip which is an old paddle steamer which used to work on the Snowy river.