A Travellerspoint blog

Bruny Island

Tasmania's premier island destination

sunny 21 °C

Although we could see South Bruny Island from Southport we had to travel almost 180 kilometers by road, vehicle ferry and beach to reach Cloudy Corner campgrounds in the South Bruny National Park on South Bruny Island. Since it was a school holiday weekend we were surprised to find a quiet and spacious campsite with fantastic views of Cloudy Bay. The sand on the 3 km stretch of Cloudy Bay beach is hard and easy to travel on but the off-ramp from the beach is narrow and very rough but no problem for the Land Cruiser and the Quantum. The campsite is one of the nicest on our trip with lots of private space, panoramic views over the bay, a place for a campfire, clean pit toilet, mobile broadband coverage and I could also tune the satellite dish in for TV in the evening.

Bruny Island is actually two landmasses - North Bruny and South Bruny - that are joined by a long, narrow sandy isthmus called The Neck. The vehicle ferry from Kettering to North Bruny only takes 15 minutes to cross the D'Entrecasteaux Channel and it cost us $65 return for the Land Cruiser and the Quantum.

Both the channel that separates the island from the Tasmanian mainland and the island itself are named after French explorer Bruni d'Entrecasteaux who explored the region and discovered it to be an island in 1792. In 1773 Tobias Furneaux was the first recorded European to land on the island at Adventure Bay. Four years later on 26 January 1777 James Cook's two ships, the Resolution and Discovery stayed in the bay area for two days.

On the second day, which was a marvelous sunny day, we did a pleasurable 3 hour wilderness cruise along the spectacular coastline of the South Bruny National Park. The cruise starts and ends at Adventure Bay and took us alongside some of Australia’s highest sea cliffs, drifted up close to listen to the awesome ‘Breathing Rock’, entered sea caves, passed through the narrow gap between 'The Cathedral', a majestic sea cliff, and ‘The Monument’, a tall slender stack. The columnar dolerite sea cliffs are breathtaking in their extreme ruggedness, towering over 200 meters above sea level. At the Friars and The Sisters where the Tasman Sea meets the Southern Ocean, we drifted quietly past a large haul-out, home to thousands of Australian fur seals.

During our stay on South Bruny we visited Australia's southernmost vineyard, Bruny Island Wines, at the sleepy little island settlement of Lunawanna. They specialise in Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and we bought a couple of bottles of each. They also serve meals and we had Bruny Island oysters and Chardonnay for lunch. On the way back to the campsite we took the winding and misty forest 4WD track through South Bruny National Park.

We also visited the Chocolate Factory, Get Shucked Oyster Farm and Bruny Island Cheese Company where we were served in Afrikaans by an ex-South African.

We left Bruny Island feeling very reluctantly after our delightful stay consider it to be one of the best on our tour. We took the ferry back to mainland Tasmania and travelled north to Hobart where we will explore the capital city for three days.

Not so cloudy Cloudy Bay

Not so cloudy Cloudy Bay

Cloudy Bay beach

Cloudy Bay beach

Cloudy Corner campsite

Cloudy Corner campsite

Cloudy Bay view from Cloudy Corner

Cloudy Bay view from Cloudy Corner

Bruny Island Cruise

Bruny Island Cruise

Sea caves

Sea caves

The Cathedral

The Cathedral

The Cathedral looking up

The Cathedral looking up

Open sea cave

Open sea cave

The Stack

The Stack

The Sisters

The Sisters

Seal colony

Seal colony

Oh I like it when the sun shines in Tassie

Oh I like it when the sun shines in Tassie

Black-faced Cormorants

Black-faced Cormorants

Oysters and Chardonnay

Oysters and Chardonnay

Scarlet Robin

Scarlet Robin

Forest drive

Forest drive

Posted by KobusM 22:20 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Southport

Tasmania's Far South

all seasons in one day 20 °C

We travelled south from Mt. Field National Park, through Hobart and past the huge Huon River to Southport. In 1792 Southport was named ‘Baie des Moules' (Mussel Bay), by the French Rear-Admiral Bruni D’Entrecasteaux. Later, the English established a settlement here, first in 1837 as the seat of colonial government in the far south, then as a convict probation station from 1841 to 1848. These days Southport is a sleepy coastal village with a few holiday shacks and a small fishing fleet.

We also celebrated Lorraine's birthday whilst in Southport and had dinner in the southernmost pub in Tasmania/Australia. The Southport Hotel and Caravan Park (where we stayed) provides the only grocery, fuel and eatery outlet for the area. They serve a mean seafood basket for only $20 with some nice Tassie wine for only $26.

We also did a day trip further south past Catamaran to Cockle Creek in the southern part of the Soutwest National Park. The road ends at Cockle Creek and is the southernmost road in Tasmania or Australia for that matter.

From here we can see our next destination, South Bruny Island, over the D'Entrecasteaux Channel about 12 kilometers away. We do, however, have to travel 180 kilometers by road and ferry to reach Cloudy Bay on South Bruny Island where we paln to camp for 4 nights.

Southport

Southport

Southport Jetty

Southport Jetty

Southport Tavern

Southport Tavern

Southport Bay

Southport Bay

Views of South Bruny Island from Southport

Views of South Bruny Island from Southport

Recherche Bay at Cockle Creek

Recherche Bay at Cockle Creek

The End of the Road

The End of the Road

Posted by KobusM 18:43 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Mount Field and Southwest National Parks

Tasmania's oldest and biggest national parks

semi-overcast 22 °C

We travelled south-east from Lake St. Clair, again on winding mountain roads down to New Norfolk to do some shopping before we head back into the south-western wilderness again. We drove past several lakes but Bronte Lagoon, which is at the geographical center of Tasmania, was the most spectacular.

Mt. Field National Park is well known for its spectacular Russell Falls with its three elegant tiers, framed by lush vegetation and tall trees, and smaller Horseshoe Falls close by. The walk through the tall tree area was also interesting with many 400 year old trees reaching more than 70 meters in height. The Land of the Giants campsite at the entrance to Mt. Field National Park is pleasant, next to the river, with clean amenities and half the price of the terrible campsite at Lake St. Clair Lodge.

The area around Lake Dobson in Mt. Field National Park was closed due to a major bush fire in the Lake Repulse area. I initially planned to travel deeper into the Southwest National Park to camp at Lake Pedder but were advised that the weather will change in a few days with a strong northerly wind that might cut us off to travel out of the area. We have thus decided to skip Lake Pedder as a campsite but we decided to make a day trip through the northern Southwest National Park. The Gordon River and Scotts Peak roads wind through forest, scrub and moorland, sometimes opening out onto breathtaking views of rugged mountains like the Saw Back, Anne, Western Arthur, Frankland and Sentinel ranges. The magnificent Southwest National Park encompasses over 600,000 hectares of wilderness and forms part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. The area around Lake Pedder is reminiscent of the Scottish Highlands and the campsite at Teds Beach on Lake Pedder turned out to be a great place to camp but we have to be safe and be mindful of possible fires cutting our exit route off.

We returned to Mt. Field and will tomorrow travel down to Southport to explore the southern end of the Soutwest National Park.

Bronte Lagoon at the centre of Tasmania

Bronte Lagoon at the centre of Tasmania

Russell Falls

Russell Falls

Horsehoe Falls

Horsehoe Falls

Land of the Giants

Land of the Giants

Lake Pedder

Lake Pedder

Teds Beach Lake Pedder

Teds Beach Lake Pedder

Sentinel Range

Sentinel Range

Southwest National Park

Southwest National Park

Posted by KobusM 22:45 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Lake St. Clair

Deepest lake in Australia

all seasons in one day 12 °C

The road from Strahan was steep and winding through the mountains, past the old mining town of Queenstown and over Lake Burbury. On the way to Lake St. Clair we stopped in the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park for a walk to Nelson Falls. The walk takes you through a dense rainforest with moss covered trees and man ferns, past the Nelson River to the spectacular cascading Nelson Falls.

Lake St. Clair is in the Central Highlands region of Tasmania at an altitude of about 740 meters. It forms part of the Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park and has an area of 1,114 square kilometers, and a maximum depth of 200 meters, making it Australia's deepest lake.

We camped at the Lake St. Clair Lodge campground and experienced it as the worst and most overpriced campsite in Australia. The sites were very small, uneven and cramped together with the amenities run down, dirty and in a state of repair. They charged me $38 for a powered site although the internet price was $30 per night, but I got my $8 per night back after complaining. On top of that our showers cost us $2 per day and you have to pay the park fee as well. Not recommended!

Apart from the bad experience with the campsite the environment and the lake was magnificent. We spotted our first echidna and it was fascinating to see this egg laying mammal borrow its nose in the ground looking for ants. Later in the day I saw another echidna close to our campsite. We liked the walk along the shores of the lake to Platypus Bay but did not see any platypus. We also saw our first quolls scavenging around the campsite at night and they were Eastern Quolls, considered to be extinct on the mainland and can only be found in Tasmania.

The first two days were rainy and very cold for summer days with temperatures ranging between 2 and 12 degrees and we used the air conditioner heating in the Quantum for the first time. It reminded us of some Swedish summer days. The last day was reasonable with some sunshine and the temperature reaching 18 degrees.

From here we will travel south-east to Mt. Field National Park.

Nelson Falls

Nelson Falls

Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park

Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park

Nelson River

Nelson River

Lake St Clair

Lake St Clair

Walk next to the lake

Walk next to the lake

Peaceful

Peaceful

Echidna

Echidna

Eastern Quoll

Eastern Quoll

Platypus Bay

Platypus Bay

Lake St. Clair

Lake St. Clair

Posted by KobusM 20:38 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Strahan

Tasmanian West Coast

all seasons in one day 17 °C

Strahan (pronounced Strawn) is a delightful town on the banks of the vast Macquarie Harbour. We camped on a nice secluded spot at Macquarie Heads at the opening of the harbour to the Southern Ocean, also referred to as Hell's Gates. Ocean Beach is just around the corner which offers great beach driving at low tide. Parts of a whale's skeleton was washed out on Ocean Beach.

Typical of the west coast of Tasmania it rained every day but it cleared on the second day for a lovely sunny afternoon. South-western Tasmania is one of the wettest places in Australia with 300 rainy days and 3 meters of rainfall per annum.

We took a day cruise on Macquarie Harbour, through the Hells Gates close to where we camped, a stop at Sarah Island and up the Gordon River to Heritage Landing for a rainforest walk in the World Heritage listed Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park..

Sarah Island was a convict penal settlement between 1822 and 1833. Altogether 1300 prisoners were sent to Sarah Island for offences committed while under sentence in the colony. Ruins of the penitentiary, the bake house and the solitary confinement goal are still visible.Chained convicts had the task of cutting down Huon Pine trees and rafting the logs down the river. A thriving shipbuilding industry developed from this. It became the largest ship and boat building yard at the time in the colony. Many convicts tried to escape and the most infamous escapee was Alexander Pearce who managed to get away twice. On both occasions, he cannabalised his fellow escapees. Ten convicts decided to escape by stealing a newly launched boat and got away with it, sailing to Chile. Four of them were caught some years later and brought back to Australia to stand trial. They were convicted of piracy and sentenced to death but appealed and won on the basis that the ship entered a protected harbour which cannot be linked to piracy.

The rainforests around the Gordon River are a haven for Huon Pines which are slow growing, but long-lived trees; some living specimens of this tree are in excess of 2000 years in age. The wood is fine grained, dense but light and protected by a special oil that prevents it from rotting. This makes it an ideal wood for building ships. We visited the Morrison's Huon Pine Saw Mill in Strahan and bought some coasters.

Whilst driving to Strahan from our campsite we were stopped by a distressed young couple who managed to get stuck with an all-wheel drive on a 4WD track close by. We came to their rescue and managed to pull them out of their misery with the Land Cruiser. They were very grateful as it was not their car but the girls’ parents’ car.

From Strahan we travelled east into the mountains to Lake St Clair.

Strahan architecture

Strahan architecture


Whale bones on Ocean Beach

Whale bones on Ocean Beach

Beach drive

Beach drive

Ominous clouds over  Macquarie Harbour

Ominous clouds over Macquarie Harbour

Macquarie Harbour

Macquarie Harbour

View from Sarah Island

View from Sarah Island

Solitary confinement goal on Sarah Island

Solitary confinement goal on Sarah Island

Bake house on Sarah Island

Bake house on Sarah Island

Lighthouse Hells Gates

Lighthouse Hells Gates

Gordon River

Gordon River

Eagle ferry

Eagle ferry

Dense rainforest

Dense rainforest

Recovery time

Recovery time

Posted by KobusM 22:22 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Corinna

In the Tarkine forest, West Tasmania

rain 17 °C

Encircled by the ancient trees of the Tarkine forest on the banks of the Pieman River, the once unruly gold-mining township of Corinna has been revitalised as a little tourist village. Some of the original buidlings are still standing, like the old pub and the butchers shop. We camped in the Corinna campgrounds on the banks of the Pieman River for a couple of nights.

The Tarkine rainforest is dense here with lots of man ferns and huon pines, resident pandemelons and Bennets wallabies. The Tarkine is the largest temperate rainforest in Australia and the second largest in the world. There are lovley walks around Corinna and we did a couple between the rain showers.

After the gold rush in Corrina, which lasted only a few years, the town was abandoned but a Swedish sailor called Johnny Arnberg stuck around and became the sole resident of Corinna for 38 years (1899-1937). The pub in Corinna and the bay south of Pieman Heads is named after him.

After exploring Corinna we took the Fatman Barge across the Pieman River and the Cruiser and Quantum just made the axle-to-axle restriction of 9 meters. From the Pieman river we travelled further south through Zeehan to Strahan on the Macquarie Harbour.

The Tarkine

The Tarkine

The Old Butchers Shop

The Old Butchers Shop

The Old Pub

The Old Pub

Old petrol pump

Old petrol pump

Hunstsman Cottage

Hunstsman Cottage

Man fern

Man fern

Pandemelon

Pandemelon

Tarkine forest flowers

Tarkine forest flowers

Tarkine wilderness

Tarkine wilderness

Forest walk

Forest walk

Fatman Barge

Fatman Barge

Crossing the Pieman

Crossing the Pieman

Posted by KobusM 19:55 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Stinking Beach

West coast of Tasmania

sunny 26 °C

The west coast of Tasmania is rugged, remote and unspoiled with a striking beauty that is reminiscent of the west coast of the Western Cape in South Africa. We camped at Stinking Beach in the Arthur-Pieman Conservation Area, just north of the tiny village of Temma. Stinking Beach gets its name from the rotting kelp washed out on the beach but it was not too pungent when we were there.

This part of the coast is referred to as “The Edge of the World” and only accessible by gravel road between Arthur River and Temma. There are a few sleepy villages along the coast, each with a few holiday homes and shacks. Temma and Cutta Rocks also have small harbours for crayfish boats.

Rebecca Creek is also along this gravel road and has an old drover hut and cattle yards, with the beautiful Rebecca Lagoon just around the corner.

So far we have not spotted Tasmanian Devils but we heard them screeching, presumably fighting at night. The last night one of my Crocs thongs was stolen by one of the devils. What is it with Australian mammal carnivores having a liking for thongs? At Myall Lakes we saw dingoes stealing thongs. I grew quite attached to my Crocs being the only shoes I have worn for the last 10 months….

From Stinking Beach we travelled further south on a narrow gravel road through the Arthur-Pieman Conservation Area and the Tarkine forest to Corinna on the Pieman River.

Kelp on Stinking Beach

Kelp on Stinking Beach

Stinking Beach

Stinking Beach

Stinking Beach campsite

Stinking Beach campsite

Temma

Temma

Sooty Oystercatchers

Sooty Oystercatchers

Pied Oystercatchers

Pied Oystercatchers

Rebecca Lagoon

Rebecca Lagoon

Black swans on Rebecca Lagoon

Black swans on Rebecca Lagoon

Drover's hut at Rebecca Creek

Drover's hut at Rebecca Creek

Cutta Rocks

Cutta Rocks

Rugged west coast of Tasmania

Rugged west coast of Tasmania

Posted by KobusM 19:48 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Stanley

North-West Coast, Tasmania

sunny 26 °C

Stanley with its striking backdrop, The Nut, quaint houses, sweeping beaches and cattle farms makes it a very picturesque little Tasmanian town. It is only 130 kilometers west of Devonport and the drive along the north-west coast of Tasmania is scenic with lots of pretty little towns, huge poppy farms, lush farm lands and magnificent views of the coastline and the Bass Strait. We also took detours to Table Cape and Rocky Cape National Park.

The poppy farms all along the coast are in bloom at the moment and the fields are spectacular. Tasmania is the world's largest producer of opium alkaloids for the pharmaceutical market.

The Nut is a solidified lava lake of a long-extinct volcano and we chose to ascend it by chairlift. From the top of The Nut there are panoramic views of Stanley, Rocky Cape National Park, the Highfield Historic Site and scenic coastlines as far as the eye can see. Yesterday was one of the hottest days on record in Tasmania and many bushfires started all over the state, including one close to Montumana, a few kilometers from Stanley.

At the Highfield Historic Site, one of the first settlements on the island in the early 1800s, there are ruins of convict quarters built in 1834 with stunning views over Stanley and The Nut.

From Stanley we will travel to the west coast of Tasmania for free camping close to Marrawah or Arthur River.

The Nut and Stanley

The Nut and Stanley

The cow, The Nut and Stanley

The cow, The Nut and Stanley

Stanley town

Stanley town

Convict Barracks

Convict Barracks

View of Stanley from The Nut

View of Stanley from The Nut

Harbour view from The Nut with bushfire in the distance

Harbour view from The Nut with bushfire in the distance

Black Swans

Black Swans

Farm with a view

Farm with a view

Poppy fields near Wynyard

Poppy fields near Wynyard

North-west coast of Tasmania

North-west coast of Tasmania

Rocky Cape National Park

Rocky Cape National Park

Table Cape lookout

Table Cape lookout

Posted by KobusM 19:48 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Spirit of Tasmania

Melbourne to Devonport

sunny 28 °C

Spirit of Tasmania I and its sister ship Spirit of Tasmania II were built in 1998 by Kvaerner Masa-Yards in Finland. They have a displacement weight of almost 30,000 tonnes and a length of 194.3 meters. We were on the Spirit of Tasmania II and it crossed the Bass Strait at a cruising speed of 27 knots which is the equivalent of 50 kilometers per hour. The 429 kilometer voyage across Bass Strait took 9,5 hours. The embarkation and disembarkation process for the Land Cruiser and the Quantum was very smooth and the quarantine officials did not give us any trouble. As it was a day crossing we did not book a cabin and settled for lounge recliners which were great to relax and enjoy the journey.

We have booked into a caravan park in Devonport for one night before we start our journey around Tasmania. We will first explore the north coast west of Devonport and stay in Stanley for a couple of nights.

Station Pier in Melbourne

Station Pier in Melbourne


Melbourne

Melbourne

Portsea

Portsea

Port Phillip Bay at Portsea

Port Phillip Bay at Portsea

Enterance to Port Phillip Bay

Enterance to Port Phillip Bay

Spirit of Tasmania I on the Bass Strait

Spirit of Tasmania I on the Bass Strait

Posted by KobusM 01:52 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Melbourne

Chirstmas and New Year break

sunny 28 °C

We stayed with Lorraine's brother Jon and his partner Ali in Melton, 40 km north-west of Melbourne, for Christmas and New Year. It was relaxing and a nice break from travelling and camping. This gave us time to give the Quantum and Land Cruiser a good spring clean and to polish most of the bush scratches out on the Land Cruiser. I also made a cover for the pantry in the Quantum to keep the wildlife out at night and to create an extra work space when cooking.

Ali has two bird feeders in the garden that attrack many birds, including rainbow lorikeets and cockatoos. We took Ali's Mustang, registered Aligta, for a drive to Bacchus Marsh to buy veggies, fruit and for a pint in the local Irish pub.

Jon managed to get us tickets for the Boxing Day cricket test, which is one of the most iconic sport events in Australia. We attended the first day of the 5 day test between Australia and Sri Lanka on 26 December, Boxing Day, which is also the most popular day with about 69,000 spectators in the MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground). The test did not last the full 5 days and it was all over in 2,5 days with Australia convincingly beating Sri Lanka.

For the benefit of my Swedish, American, Canadian and Chinese friends I copy the rules of cricket:

You have two sides, one out in the field and one in.
Each man that's in the side that's in goes out, and when he's out he comes in and the next man goes in until he's out.
When they are all out, the side that's out comes in and the side thats been in goes out and tries to get those coming in, out.
Sometimes you get men still in and not out.
When a man goes out to go in, the men who are out try to get him out, and when he is out he goes in and the next man in goes out and goes in.
There are two men called umpires who stay out all the time and they decide when the men who are in are out.
When both sides have been in and all the men have out, and both sides have been out twice after all the men have been in, including those who are not out, that is the end of the game!

Too easy!

Tomorrow we will travel down to Port Melbourne to board the Spirit of Tasmania ferry to Devonport in Tasmania. We plan to tour around Tasmania with the Land Cruiser and the Quantum for 47 days before returning to Melbourne.

MCG

MCG

Boxing Day cricket fun

Boxing Day cricket fun

Christmas lunch

Christmas lunch

Jon and Ali

Jon and Ali

Judy and I

Judy and I

Lorikeet feeder

Lorikeet feeder

Rainbow Lorikeets

Rainbow Lorikeets

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo

Aligta

Aligta

Posted by KobusM 21:54 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Phillip Island

Pleasant getaway island close to Melbourne

semi-overcast 25 °C

Phillip Island is located about 140 km south-east from Melbourne and is around 24 kilometers long and 9 kilometers wide. Its first permanent settlement occurred in 1842 with pastoralists making use of the land and eventually fishing became a predominant industry. A 640 meter concrete bridge connects the mainland town San Remo with the island town Newhaven where we stayed in a quiet Big4 caravan park for a couple of days.

Phillip Island has more penguins (16,000) than human inhabitants (10,000) and is most famous for its Penguin Parade, featuring Little Penguins returning ashore after a day’s fishing. We attended the "parade" eight years ago and although it was sweet to see them waddle across the beach, it is very commercialised with huge crowds on pavilions waiting for them. So this time we skipped this and visited The Nobbies which was closed last time.

The Nobbies, located at the western tip of the island, consists of rocky islands just off the coast which can be viewed from the surrounding boardwalks, and the famous Seal Rocks which is home to the largest colony of fur seals in Australia.

Cape Woolamai is at the south-eastern tip of the island and much of it is covered by a state fauna reserve with mutton bird rookeries and walking tracks along the coastal cliffs. The golden ocean beaches at Cape Woolamai are popular with surfers.

From here we will travel to Melbourne to spend Christmas and New Year with Lorraine's brother and his partner before we depart for Tasmania.

We wish all our subscribers a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Phillip Island Nature Park

Phillip Island Nature Park

Phillip Island coastline

Phillip Island coastline

Pyramid Rock

Pyramid Rock

Silver Gull at the Nobbies

Silver Gull at the Nobbies

Wild Dog Bluff

Wild Dog Bluff

The Nobbies

The Nobbies

Cape Barren Geese

Cape Barren Geese

Posted by KobusM 20:39 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Wilsons Promontory

Southenmost point on the Australian continent

semi-overcast 18 °C

Wilsons Promontory National Park is a small peninsula at the southenmost tip of the Australian continent and offers spectacular scenery of huge granite mountains (hence being named a promontory), open forest, rainforest, sweeping beaches and coastlines.

This is our second trip to Wilsons Prom but the previous visit, about 8 years ago, was just a day visit and it was nice to be able to spend more time here to explore the area. We camped at Tidal River (a huge, busy campground of almost 500 campsites) for 4 days but unfortunately the first three days were cold and rainy with strong gusty winds which kept us in the Quantum, but the next day was nice and we did a number of walks. A huge wombat was a regular visitor at night. One evening we were sitting outside watching television when I felt something nibbling at my toes and was suprised to see it was this huge wombat sniffing through our kitchen area.

Squeaky Beach is a 3 km walk from Tidal River and has rounded quartz sand that ‘squeaks’ when you walk on it. The lookouts over Tidal River and from Pillar Point are breathtaking and worth the hike.

The park sustained extensive damage after a once in 300 year flood event on 22 March 2011 and some of the roads and tracks are unfortunately still closed.

This will conclude our visit to the eastern side of the Australian continent. It took us 4 months and 7,000 kilmeters to travel from the tip of Cape York to Wilsons Prom. We will travel to Phillip Island from here.

Tidal Lookout

Tidal Lookout

Tidal River

Tidal River

Tidal River wetlands

Tidal River wetlands

Squeaky Beach Lookout

Squeaky Beach Lookout

Squeaky Beach

Squeaky Beach

Rainforest

Rainforest

Pillar Point

Pillar Point


Wilson Prom coastline

Wilson Prom coastline

Posted by KobusM 13:52 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park

Ninety Mile Beach camping

sunny 37 °C

The tranquil Gippsland Lakes are a system of coastal lagoons separated from the Tasman Sea by the coastal dunes of the Ninety Mile Beach and covers over 400 square kilometers of waterways. We free camped at Paradise Beach which is behind the dunes on Ninety Mile Beach. Yes, the beach is actually ninety miles (145 kilometers) long but unfortunately vehicles are not allowed on the beach.

South of Paradise Beach the rusty wreck of the Trinculo is visable on Ninety Mile Beach. The Trinculo ran ashore here in 1879 on the way from Albany to Newcastle.

We drove up to Loch Sport on Lake Victoria, through The Lakes National Park and back through the Gippsland Lakes Coastal park, past Lake Reeve which has a Loch Sport Monster.

From here we will travel down to Wilsons Promontory which is the southernmost point on the Australian continent.

Paradise Beach campsite

Paradise Beach campsite

Ninety Mile Beach

Ninety Mile Beach

Trinculo wreck

Trinculo wreck

The Lakes Enterance

The Lakes Enterance

Loch Sport on Lake Victoria

Loch Sport on Lake Victoria

The Loch Sport monster

The Loch Sport monster

Lake Victoria

Lake Victoria

Lake Reeve

Lake Reeve

Flock of pelicans at Lake Reeve

Flock of pelicans at Lake Reeve

Birdlife on Lake Victoria

Birdlife on Lake Victoria

Posted by KobusM 20:19 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Mallacoota

East Gippsland, Victoria

sunny 21 °C

We left New South Wales and started our visit to Victoria in Mallacoota, East Gippsland, right in the north-eastern corner of Victoria. The beautiful Mallacoota Inlet, with its shimmering lakes, pristine forests and quiet beaches, surrounded by the Croajingolong National Park, makes an ideal getaway destination.

We stayed a couple of days in the Mallacoota Foreshore Holiday Park with panoramic views over the Mallacoota Inlet and the ocean. We normally don't like caravan parks but this one was really nice with wide open spaces, green lawns and lots of Australian Pelicans on the lake.

We had dinner at the local Chinese restaurant and the meal with dumpling starters, squid main course and a bottle of wine cost us $37, almost as cheap as in China. We went back there for lunch, again enjoying their Guangxi dumplings.

From here we will travel south-west to the Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park to free camp at Golden Beach.

Mallacoota Foreshore Holiday Park

Mallacoota Foreshore Holiday Park

Mallacoota Inlet

Mallacoota Inlet

Australian Pelican

Australian Pelican

Pelican parade

Pelican parade


Top Lake Mallacoota

Top Lake Mallacoota

Mallacoota

Mallacoota

Mallacoota Inlet

Mallacoota Inlet

Bastion Point

Bastion Point

Posted by KobusM 20:36 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Kosciuszko National Park

Snowy Mountains, Australian Alps

semi-overcast 18 °C

Kosciuszko is one of the best known and best loved national parks in Australia, attracting around three million visitors each year. The park is named after Mount Kosciuszko, which at 2,228 meters is the highest mountain on the Australian continent. At 690,000 hectares it is the largest park in New South Wales and the Australian Alps. The area was first explored by Europeans in 1835, and in 1840, Edmund Strzelecki ascended Mount Kosciuszko and named it after a Polish patriot.

We were looking forward to the Australian Alps and split the visit to Kosciuszko National Park up in two stays, the first at Blue Waterholes Campground in the north and the second at Thredbo Diggings Campground in the south.

On our way to Blue Waterholes we saw two magnificent brumbies (wild horses) grazing and galloping on the plain. We also briefly stopped at the Coolemine Homestead that dates back to 1883.

Blue Waterholes is a fantastic camp spot with views over Cave Creek and lots of kangaroos at dusk. The walk through Clarke Gorge, which requires wading across the creek six times, is quite striking as it passes through a deep and sometimes narrow gorge and provides access to Cave Creek waterfall. The nearby lookout has excellent views to Cave Creek and spectacular limestone cliffs. The Cave Creek Gorge is very spectacular, looking very much like a landscape from one of the Lord of the Rings movies! Blue Waterholes is a 1200 meters elevation and we were "lucky" enough to choose a day where the temperature dropped to minus 2 degrees in the morning, the coldest day on record in December!

Blue Waterholes campsite

Blue Waterholes campsite

Blue Waterholes

Blue Waterholes

Brumbies

Brumbies

Coolamine Homestead

Coolamine Homestead

Cave Creek

Cave Creek

Clarke Gorge

Clarke Gorge

Cave Creek Waterfalls

Cave Creek Waterfalls

It's a little cramped in here!

It's a little cramped in here!

Thredbo is very close to Mt Kosciuszko and we decided to hike to the summit of the highest mountain on the Australian continent. This popular 13 km return walk starts with a ride up to the top of the Kosciuszko Express chairlift. From the top of the chairlift, the walk follows a paved and raised grid footpath, passing the Mt Kosciuszko and Lake Cootapatamba lookouts, as it winds up to Rawson Pass. At Rawson Pass, the walk meets the old Kosciuszko road and Australia's highest public toilet. From here, the walk continues up the footpath and crosses a slippery snow drift to the top of Mt Kosciuszko. Although not nearly as high as the highest mountains on the other continents, it was nevertheless a pleasant hike to the summit, passing some snow drifts left from the winter. We chose the perfect day to do this with clear skies and little wind. Since we visited the lowest point on the Australian continent at Lake Eyre, it was apt to also visit the highest point.

Tomorrow we will leave New South Wales and travel down to Mallacoota, on the north-eastern coast of Victoria.

Thredbo ski lift

Thredbo ski lift

Snow drift on Mt Koskiuszko

Snow drift on Mt Koskiuszko

Lake Cootapatamba

Lake Cootapatamba

Mt Koskiuszko view

Mt Koskiuszko view

Alpine stream

Alpine stream

Alpine landscape

Alpine landscape

Fantastic views

Fantastic views

Mt Koskiuszko summit

Mt Koskiuszko summit

On top of Australia

On top of Australia

Posted by KobusM 21:42 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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