25th August, 2011
26th August, 2011
27th August, 2011

Thursday 25th August, 2011

Bridge photograph

Historic Swing Bridge, Sale, Vic

Drop Cap e slept in a bit then got up to have our complimentary continental breakfast. I am very impressed, breakfast is usually the worst thing motels do but we had a choice of orange, pineapple and tomato juice, fruit, four cereals, fresh white, multigrain and raisin bread and a toaster. Good coffee too.

Sale Basin photograph

Port of Sale Basin, Sale, Vic

Drop Cap e checked out and headed back the way we had come and discovered the Sale Historic Swing Bridge Precinct. This was an integral part of the historic Port of Sale as it allowed river traffic from as far away as Lakes Entrance to get into the Swing Basin and load and offload cargoes connecting with the railway to Melbourne. We went back later and saw the remains of the port, which is basically a decent sized basin with a lot of moorings. Apparently the Gippsland lakes and rivers are all navigable so it is a good place to keep a boat.

Beach photograph

End of the Ninety Mile Beach, Seaspray, Vic

Drop Cap fter seeing the bridge we took a triangular detour down to the coast at Seaspray, the end of the 90 Mile beach. We parked and climbed over the sand dunes to see the sea rolling in. It was lovely, another beautiful day. We returned to Sale after traversing the other two legs of the triangle and, after having a look at the port, headed off in the direction of Lakes Entrance.

Drop Cap e stopped for lunch at the picturesque little town of Stratford on the Avon River (surprise surprise!) We found a fantastic cafe called HerewegoDutch (I think) full of pictures of windmills and skaters and shelves of imported Dutch delicacies. Mac and I had prosaic BLT and B & E again but Geoff had a Dutch frikadeller or sausage in a bun, which he loved. The people were friendly and nothing was a problem. We all loved it.

Drop Cap oon after this Geoff took us on another mystery tour, cutting 60 kms off the A1 Highway and heading into attractive farm country. We almost skittled a wildlife, a small tortoise ambling across the road, but we missed.

Clouds photograph

Lowering Sky, Lakes Entrance, Vic

Drop Cap hrough Bairnsdale and Paynesville and Metong into Lakes Entrance. It seems to have grown a lot in 15 years. We couldn't get a family self-contained room in the Best Western but next door at the Comfort Inn we scored a fantastic apartment with two bedrooms, full kitchen, lounge, bathroom with separate toilet and washing machine and dryer if I wanted it, all for $313-50 for two nights. I think that is great, we even have a view of the lake.

Drop Cap e went out for some food which I will cook tomorrow night but tonight we have booked at the Floating Dragon Restaurant out on the water. Of course the weather has changed, black clouds gathered on the horizon and it began to rain. I don't know how it will be on a boat style place. Tomorrow we want to have a boat cruise, but will play it by ear with regard to the weather.

Back to Top Blue up arrow

Back to Contents Yellow up arrow

Friday 26th August, 2011

Drop Cap fter dubious skies last night it dawned bright and sunny again this morning. Our meal last night was quite good but very expensive and the weather made very little difference to the feel of the boat.

Bridge photograph

Footbridge to the Beach, Lakes Entrance, Vic

Drop Cap e went out to see if we could book a cruise but the lady there said they had no other bookings and would only go if they had six or more. So we left our name and went out to walk across the footbridge to the Main Beach (part of the Ninety Mile Beach we saw yesterday). It didn't look much different from the section at Seaspray. Lots of lovely clean sand, lots of empty ocean crashing in.

After looking at the beach we went back to the footbridge when there was a kerfuffle in the trees we were under. Two magpies chased an owl out of the tree and chivvied it away quite violently. I don't think we have seen an owl in Australia before. On thinking about it later I suppose the magpies could have had chicks in the nest. Owls are predators, after all.

Drop Cap e went and had coffee then I checked out a local bookshop (both new and used) because I have finished the book I bought at Port Fairy. I bought a second hand "Sharpe" by Bernard Cornwell and we went back to see if the boat tour was going ahead. It was - they had four more people so that made it viable. So we went home for warmer clothes - there is a sharp sea breeze - then to Macca's for lunch.

Seals photograph

Seals at Lakes Entrance, Vic

Drop Cap fter lunch we went back to the cruise dock and went on board the "Lonsdale", an ex-ferry with a checkered career. Apparently, before the current owners bought her and did her up she had been languishing under arrest for several years in Cairns after being used as a drug and gun runner. She was perfectly fine as an eco-cruiser and we had a great three-hour cruise.

Drop Cap e saw seals (Australian fur seals) lolling over the piles of a jetty not far from port, we saw crowds of seabirds from white fronted sea eagles and pelicans to pacific gulls , cormorants, silver gulls, terns, egrets and especially dozens of pairs of black swans. Some nesting, others shepherding little groups of cygnets. We saw a couple carrying cygnets on their backs, like the white ones we saw in Scotland.

Seabirds photograph

Seabirds on the Sandbar at Lakes Entrance, Vic

Drop Cap n the way back we went into the Entrance, an artificial opening cut and maintained by dredging which is the opening to the sea which makes Lakes Entrance viable as a fishing and freight port. There were about 8 - 10 seals fishing in the opening, and we sat and watched their antics. No dolphins today unfortunately but the seals made a good substitute.

Shacks photograph

Holiday Shacks at Lakes Entrance, Vic

Drop Cap e went by several communities like Metung which looked very well-heeled and others which were just groups of holiday shacks. We saw lots of kangaroos on an island and I saw a wombat in the sandhills. It was a lovely cruise but it has clouded over again now.

Back to Top Blue up arrow

Back to Contents Yellow up arrow

Saturday 27th August, 2011

Picnic photograph

Picnic Place with Historical Detail, Vic

Drop Cap e left Lakes Entrance at about 10 a.m and continued on our way towards New South Wales. Geoff picked up some lunch and morning tea in a bakery in Lakes Entrance so we stopped in a picnic spot for morning tea. It was a place with historical information about the aboriginals of the area in a most intriguingly designed little shed. The locals were not very well treated - from numbering a couple of thousands before European settlement, within 20 years they were down to 80. That amounts to genocide. Even those supposed to "protect" them did more harm than good. But in 1971 the Victorian government gave them the land their reservation was on and lets them live and support themselves in more traditional ways (like making surfboards!)

Palms photograph

Cabbage Palms Walk

Drop Cap fter this we continued along the A1, through forested areas until we saw a sign pointing into the forest which said "Cabbage Palms Walk", so we pulled in. It was on a fairly rough gravel track but it did eventually lead to a delightful stroll among the forest trees and lots of bird life to the last remaining stand of Cabbage Tree Palms in a floral reserve. There was a creek running through it and there were picnic tables at the carpark end. Apparently the local shire council voted to reserve this area for the palms back in the 1870s. Quite unusual for those days, I would think.

Drop Cap fter this interlude we rejoined the highway until Cann River, where we stopped for our picnic lunch in a pleasant, if waterlogged park. Then we went off up the Imlay Road, towards Bombala and Canberra and drove through some awe-inspiring forested areas, both commercial forests and rain forest. This was by way of being a detour, just to get away from the Princes Highway for a while, but there was a lot of traffic, including large trucks, to my surprise.

Eden photograph

Twofold Bay, Eden, NSW

Drop Cap nyway, we returned to the highway not far from Eden and set about finding accommodation for a couple of nights. The newest motel in town had no vacancies, the second one we tried only had upstairs units which we can't be doing with, but the Halfway Motel, a Golden Chain, had a two bedroom unit with kitchen facilities and a spa bath available for $140 per night, so we took it.

Drop Cap n settling in, I noticed on the map that we were quite close to Pambula, where Graham and Maureen Roberts now live, after moving from Blaxland. We rang them and they were very keen to have us call in so we will do that tomorrow.

Drop Cap he restaurant here is full tonight and not open tomorrow, which is a pain, but we will get some pizza tonight and find somewhere for tomorrow, even if it means the Fisherman's Club.

Back to Top Blue up arrow

Back to Contents Yellow up arrow

Orange left arrow Back to Previous Page Forward to Next Green right arrow