A Travellerspoint blog

December 2012

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)

Canberra

Capital of Australia

sunny 26 °C

Canberra is the capital city of Australia and its largest inland city; the eighth largest city overall. The site of Canberra was selected for the location of the nation's capital in 1908 as a compromise between rivals Sydney and Melbourne and construction commenced in 1913. It is unusual being an entirely planned city outside of any state and being designed as a capital city the city's layout features geometric motifs such as circles, hexagons and triangles, and is centered around axes aligned with significant topographical landmarks in the Australian Capital Territory.

We stayed a couple of days and visited the Australian War Memorial, Parliament House which is the focal point of Canberra, the National Museum of Australia and the National Film and Sound Archive where we saw The Sapphires, an Australian comedy movie about four women from a remote Aboriginal mission who are discovered by a talent scout and form a music group called The Sapphires, travelling to Vietnam in 1968 to sing for troops during the war.

The War Memorial includes a very comprehensive and very interesting museum, covering the Boer War, both World Wars, the Vietnam, Korean and other recent wars in which Australian diggers fought.

From Canberra we will travel back into New South Wales to visit Koscuiszko National Park in the Australian Alps.

Australian War Memorial

Australian War Memorial

Boer gun captured from General Christian de Wet by Australian troops

Boer gun captured from General Christian de Wet by Australian troops

The truth about the Boer War

The truth about the Boer War

First World War

First World War

Second World War

Second World War

Vietnam War

Vietnam War

ANZAC Hall

ANZAC Hall

National Museum of Australia

National Museum of Australia

Exhibition in the National Museum of Australia

Exhibition in the National Museum of Australia

Parliament House

Parliament House

House of Representatives

House of Representatives

Posted by KobusM 23:38 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Booderee National Park

Jervis Bay Territory

overcast 30 °C

Booderee National Park is not in New South Wales as we thought it was starting this trip. It falls in Jervis Bay Territory, the third and smallest territory (67 km2) on the Australian mainland, which was surrendered by the state of New South Wales to the Commonwealth Government in 1915 so that the Federal capital at Canberra would have "access to the sea". These days Jervis Bay Territory does not belong to the ACT either; it is managed seperately by the Federal Department of The Arts, Sport, The Environment, Tourism and Territories.

We camped at the popular Greenpatch Campground, which was quiet when we arrived but got very busy on the weekend. Wildlife spotted were Swamp Wallabies, Grey Wallabies and Brushtail Possums. One huge possum kept us awake at night, climbing on the roof, the awning and the kitchen, looking for scraps of food. Chasing it away did not work so I eventually had to encourage it with the brush to look for food elsewhere. There were also big flocks of Crimson Rosellas in the trees, making a lot of noise in the morning and the evening. Little Fairy-wrens amused us with their quick movements.

The beach at Hyams Beach, next to Greenpatch beach, is said to have the whitest sand in the world according to the Guinness Book of Records, but I am sure the sand on the beaches around Esperance are just as white. On the other side of peninsula is Wreck Bay and Cave Beach, which is a popular surfing spot. Another picturesque beach in Jervis Bay is Murrays Beach.

The first day was bright sunshine but the next two days were overcast and rainy, typical of the weather we have expericed in New South Wales.

This morning we travelled to Canberra for short visit to the capital of Australia.

Jervis Bay

Jervis Bay

Murrays Beach

Murrays Beach

Swamp Wallaby

Swamp Wallaby

Crimson Rosella feeding its young

Crimson Rosella feeding its young


Cave Beach

Cave Beach


Green Patch Beach

Green Patch Beach

Superb Fairy-wrens

Superb Fairy-wrens

Posted by KobusM 20:42 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 7 of 7) Page [1]