Following our brief excursion west of Bairnsdale to Tarra-Bulga NP, Wednesday morning we headed east towards Lakes Entrance. On the way we stopped by the pretty little upmarket tourist town of Metung. The clouds refused get out of the suns way, but we got some photos and had a look in a nice photo gallery.
Lakes Entrance is a well known popular holiday spot in Victoria, especially for those into boating and fishing (though we were warned its fairly commercial in a touristy sense). As well as having a look around, we took the opportunity to do exciting travelling activities such as shopping and the laundry…. The overcast weather continued, but we did get some periods of sun throughout the day.
Buchan caves is a little to the north, and had been highly recommended to us by several people. We’ve already seen beautiful limestone caves in WA and SA though, so after looking at some pics of the Buchan Caves we decided that there are lots of similarities between them all. Though I’m sure these ones are very pretty also, we’ve seen enough this trip!
Continuing further east across the green countryside, we detoured off the hwy to Orbost. Following a sign to an Opal gallery, it turned out to be the lower level of an old blokes home. However he had lots of interesting stuff – the family used to have an Opal mine. They had not just opals and jewelery, but all sorts of interesting rocks and crystals they’d collected from various places. Friendly old bloke too – you would have really like this place George.
Orbost is located on the Snowy River, and as per all rivers down here currently it was full with dirty water from the heavy rains a week prior. Following the river south we came to the little township of Marlo, located at the mouth of the Snowy River. Here we saw a Sea Lion (that the Orbost info centre lady had mentioned), though it looked rather bloated and dead to me. Turned out not so – when some kids through stones, it lifted its head to look. So obviously not dead, just a big fat brown ugly thing!!
Friday morning we went back through Orbost to get onto the hwy, but I noticed a local mechanic garage that looked a little quiet. The motorhome was due for a service, so I stopped and inquired if they had time to do one that day. Turns out they could, but in the arvo as they had to get an oil filter in from Bairnsdale. The fees looked good – $80 / hr labour (compared to ~$200 / hr labour for Ford in Darwin!), so we booked and in the spare few hours headed back past Marlo to Cape Conran which we were told is beautiful.
Going through Marlo we stopped in to look at the Sea Lion again, and this time it was active. Still think they are ugly gross creatures though…. Just caught it growling on video, but it also made this loud dog like barking noise!
Cape Conron was pretty, but not as stunning as comments we’d heard. Perhaps the likes of the Great Ocean Road and other earlier places have spoilt us somewhat. We took the long route and rock-hopped around the cape, then came back via the walking path.
For the few hours the motorhome was being serviced, we fully explored the town of Orbost. I really like this coffee table and chairs, found in a wood gallery. The chairs were so comfy – the slats are part slung on tensioned cables, part supported by the chair frame. I should have taken details pics so I could try and replicate (I enjoy wood work, even though I don’t get much time to do it).
Saturday morning we turned south at Cann River, to have a look in this part of Croajingolong National Park. However some of the tourist maps for this area aren’t particularly accurate, and there turned out to be not much we could see without a lot of dirt road driving. We saw Lake Furnell, but in mostly cloudy weather, and with dirty water, it didn’t seem that attractive (I imagine it is very nice at other times!).
Mallacoota was to be our final stop in the state of Victoria, before heading into NSW. The sun was mostly shining by now, and just as well because it is a beautiful location. Again, a holiday mecca for those keen on fishing and boats, but also for the family. The council caravan park here is massive, spread out over several different blocks/areas, so it must get quite busy at times.
After doing some sight seeing of the local attractions, we decided to settle down for the night a little differently. We pulled over beside the recreation reserve, with its nice green oval and soccer goals, and kicked a ball around for a while and cooked and ate dinner. Then, just before Daniel’s bedtime we headed off to our sleeping spot for the night – a free campground at Genoa back on the highway. Don’t know why, but previously we’ve mostly cooked dinner wherever we intended to stay the night… The free campground at Genoa is great by the way.
Our time in the state of Victoria ended on Sunday morning, 14/12/2014, just one and a half weeks prior to our expected arrival back in Brisbane. Lots of beautiful places, and even better was the time spent catching up with friends. Next we head up the NSW coastline, but only a little before going inland again. Yes Australia’s highest mountain (Mt Kosciusko) is calling and just begging to be climbed/conquered!