Southeastern NSW and Victorian coast

In mid-November we took a week to mosey down the coast from Merimbula to Wilson’s Promontory before heading to Phillip Island and Melbourne. The weather was lovely and we took the opportunity to camp some of the time and see some places we hadn’t visited before or not for a long time.  Some we are going to have to visit again! First stop was Ben Boyd National Park – we explored the section south of Eden. Just loved the spectacular red rocks, beautiful coastal scenery and lush vegetation. We had a few wildlife encounters as you will see in the photos!

Then a drive down the Pacific Highway to Cann River, where we turned south to Point Hicks, the first point on the Australian mainland spotted by Captain Cook’s crew in 1770. Apart from the lighthouse it probably hasn’t changed much- a lovely stretch of coast! Drove to Marlo that evening and the next day headed inland to Buchan, famed for its limestone caves, which didn’t disappoint. We also checked out the Snowy River, flowing impressively after a major release of water from Lake Jindabyne.

On to Paynesville, from where we headed west, then southwest the next day through beautiful Tarra Bulga National Park (wonderful rainforest, thankfully spared by the 2009 bushfires, unlike the country that we drove through to get there, still scarred and bare.) Finally west and south again to Wilson’s Promontory, also just recovering from disaster, but this one a devastating flood early in 2011 that meant much of the park was still out of bounds. However the campground and beaches were accessible and we spent two very pleasant days walking and enjoying the scenery. However, we were a bit taken aback by the behaviour of a local wombat who thought it was quite OK to break into our tent at 2 am and get into our food containers. He wasn’t exactly inclined to leave, either! The next night we withdrew to a cabin. We will pay more attention to warnings about wombats in future!

We headed west to Phillip Island after that and spent quite a bit of time at the Rookery, Woolamai beach and Churchill Island heritage farm, but the highlight was the Penguin Parade, watching hundreds of little penguins returning from 3-4 days at sea, waddling up the beach in tight-knit groups and dispersing amongst the sandhills. Very cute! We were the last to leave. Unfortunately you aren’t allowed to photograph the penguins so no photos for the blog. Finally we headed to Melbourne to stay with the fam and celebrate a Significant Birthday, stopping briefly for a look at Cranbourne Botanic Garden on the way (not quite finished but very impressive!)

photo Photos

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Idyllic campsite at Saltwater Creek in Ben Boyd National Park near Eden. Some welcome visitors (there were some small unwelcome ones too!). Beach just to the north - lovely rock formations and colours. Exhausted goanna on the sand - he'd gone by the following morning. Kangaroos by the creek. View back towards the beach at Saltwater Creek. Kathy walked right past this fellow near a creek. Goanna a few metres further on - freaky! Gorgeous fringed lily. Wonderful rock colours at Hegarty's Bay. More interesting geology near Ben Boyd's Tower on the southern headland of Twofold Bay. Smiley face on the beach  :) View south from City Rock near Green Cape. Amazing orange rocks near City Rock. Splendid blue wren near Genoa (Victoria). Coastline near Point Hicks, the first part of the Australian mainland to be sighted by Captain Cook's expedition in 1770. The plaque says it all. Curious hairy rocks at Point Hicks. Wildflowers on the way out. The Snowy River near Buchan - flowing beautifully after extra water was released from the dam at Jindabyne. Gloriously green countryside near Buchan. Royal Cave, Buchan. Tarra-Bulga National Park - beautiful rainforest. Our campsite at Tidal River, Wilson's Promontory. Mt Oberon in the background. Lovely colours at Tidal River. Unwelcome guest at 2 am. He tore a hole in our tent to get at the food in a sealed plastic container!! View south towards Tidal River, hiking to Squeaky Beach. View north on the same walk, to Squeaky Beach. View to the west. Lots of flowers by the shore. Scenic spot for a drink and snack. Picnic Bay. Sunset near Tidal River. We spent our second night away from marauding beasties! Seagull feeding its chick at the rookery near the Nobbies on Phillip Island. Phillip Island - view towards the Nobbies. Famous surfing beach at Cape Woolamai, Phillip Island. Beautiful Royal Botanic Gardens at Cranbourne south of  Melbourne.

Posted on January 7th, 2012, tagged with travel

2 responses to “Southeastern NSW and Victorian coast”

  1. Ange says:

    Awesome piccies folks!

  2. Meg says:

    Gorgeous scenery! The colours are spectacular.