East Coast Victoria
Trip Start Apr 05, 2011
79Trip End Nov 15, 2012
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Our first stop was at the sleepy hamlet of Mallacoota. Turning off the highway and winding our way through the forests and into town was itself a delightful experience, the massive gum trees dominating with their thick spotted trunks glistening in the afternoon sun. It was easy to find our chosen caravan park and the site they had given us was a knock out.
The Mallacoota Foreshore Holiday Park in itself is worth seeing being that it stretches, as you would expect from the name, along the foreshore and around Captain Stevenson's Point with over 700 sites
Our days here were filled with long walks along the edge of the lakes, up through bushland and along the coast. All just delightful, offering a variety in vegetation and landscapes it was easy to retain interest.
We drove along the coast to Shipwreck Creek and took a lovely walk down to the beach where whilst strolling along casually crossing the creek I started to sink… Rod had gone on ahead and was oblivious to my calls for attention (I am yet to know if it was selective deafness!) luckily I only sunk to my knee before freeing myself only to step onto a rock and slide onto my derriere, just not my day!
At Quarry Beach we marveled at the colourful rock strata. The most amazing array of colours bounced out at us as they flowed through the rock like ribbon, it is hard to imagine this rock hard surface ever being soft enough to flow in such a way as to form these intriguing and fluid looking patterns
Whilst we enjoyed all our activities in Mallacoota our favourite was going for a paddle. We could just slide our kayaks down the slope in front of our site and into the lake. We had some delightful paddles really enjoying the scenery. On one occasion we decided to paddle across Bottom Lake and up through The Narrows to Top Lake. Whilst we hit an occasional chop on our way across the lake we were delighted to find The Narrows was well protected and just beautiful to paddle along, dipping the paddle into the water was akin to running a wafer through melted milk chocolate, so soft and creamy (that one’s for you Charlie).
It was on our way back across the lake that we found ourselves in turmoil, stroke after stroke we were being swept this way and that, it was like being in a washing machine. It goes without saying we were glad to get back on dry land and to rest our weary arms.
We had been looking into where to stay in Lakes Entrance, our next stop, and none of the parks appealed to us, and then as luck would have it on our last evening in Mallacoota a couple walking past happened to tell us about the sites at the football oval in Lakes Entrance
We could not have been more delighted with this very rustic park. We were so close to the water that the back wheels of our van were almost touching the sand on the shore of the North Arm which calmly flowed by with pelicans and black swans atop. Whilst it was raining when we arrived we managed to venture out for a walk and though we were really soggy by the end of it, it was well worth the discomfort. It was just on sunset that the sun broke through giving off an amazing yellow light, this in turn made for the most stunning of sunsets as the heavy charcoal clouds still hung from the sky and the orange and red hues bounced back silhouetting the nearby jetty.
So much did we love this little paradise that we opted not to drive off and explore the surrounding area but to just stay close, enjoy the serenity and give the Navara a well earned rest. Our days were filled with long walks and of course with the water at our door lots of paddling.
We were reluctant to leave Lakes Entrance having so enjoyed our little waterside stay, we did however want to spend a few nights at Wilsons Promontory before heading back into Melbourne, so we packed up and hit the road
We had been so thrilled with our last couple of stopovers that we were a little disappointed when we arrived at Tidal River, the Wilsons Promontory National Park Camp ground. With almost 500 sites it is a far cry from the camping and caravaning we have done in national parks previously. It felt more like a caravan park with rows of sites than a national park. In saying that the payoff was great amenities, a café and convenience store.
With 'The Prom’ still recovering and rebuilding after the devastating floods which flowed through the park just twelve months ago a lot of the walks were still closed. We did however manage to venture out on some great walks, the first of which was coastal.
We strode out across the Tidal River Footbridge before taking a short detour out to Pillar Point which rewarded us with a stunning panorama back over Norman Beach. From here we followed the track and its many switch backs down over the smooth granite rocks which formed one end of Squeaky Beach. Here lifting off our sunglasses was like exposing our eyes to a camera flash, such was the brilliance of the white sand.
Having crossed the beach we continued across a point and down into Picnic Bay where we walked along another secluded beach before having to head back as access to Whisky Bay was still closed. The walk provided us with stunning coastal views along with a great overview of the vegetation.
Fine, sunny days have been in short supply during our journey down the East coast and so whilst the sun was shining we opted to spend the late afternoon on the beach. Norman Beach is a great expanse of beach affording stunning views of Mount Oberon which dominates the skyline to one end. Being that it was low tide we could perch ourselves atop some rocks and gaze along the beach and up the mighty mountain. It really was a wonderful way to while away the afternoon.
Sitting outside in the early evening it wasn’t long before Rod spotted a wombat. Venturing over to have a closer look we could not believe how big he was. Obviously used to having people around he was in no hurry to move along so we delighted in observing him as he ate his way across the camp ground. Thrilled to see one we set off on a walk around the massive camp ground and found another, they are just such intriguing animals with their big solid heads, robust bodies and short stumpy legs
Talk about making hay while the sun shines, we awoke to a miserable day, it had been raining during the night and the rain had not abated. When finally there was a break in the weather we decided to take a walk. We once again walked out over the Tidal River Footbridge and this time went inland and across to the Lilly Pilly Circuit Track. This track led us through heathland and eucalypt forest before a boardwalk wound through warm temperate rainforest which appeared to have been all but washed away by the floods.
We continued to climb up and across the southern face of Mount Bishop, the weather by now having deteriorated. We were hot from the climb and yet the rain was like ice as it fell so it was jacket on, jacket off, jacket on, jacket off! Had it been a clear day the views would have been stunning I am sure.
As we completed the circuit and walked back toward Tidal River we had a clearing in the weather and we came to a fork in the track which gave us the option to visit the Tidal Overlook, we took that track rather than the short stroll back to camp.
This as it turned out was an epic trek, well, that may be a little of an exaggeration, however after the walk we had just done combined with the ever changing weather it made for a challenging hike. We just seemed to go up and up and up which again had it been a clear day would have rewarded us with spectacular views, however we saw more mist than anything else. Having reached the overlook we then had to traverse the exposed ridge and we could see the sheets of rain as they were blown across, there was no protection with only low growing vegetation
Safely back at our van we were freezing, we changed into warm clothes, put the heating on and got under the doona, still freezing to the point my teeth were chatting. We spent the afternoon reading, while the wind roared through the campground. Welcome back to Victoria!
As twilight dawned, glancing out the window we noticed a wombat near the van, so delighted I could not get out there fast enough. He was just so cute! A fitting end to our time in Wilsons Promontory for tomorrow we were off home to Williamstown, two weeks shy of a year and ever so eager to catch up with everyone.
Highlights of East Coast Victoria:
o Fabulous walks
o Magic kayaking
o Awesome views
- Lakes Entrance
o Camping on the water’s edge
o Pretty walks
o Scenic paddling
o Visiting swans
- Wilsons Promontory National Park
o Brilliant walks
o Gorgeous beaches and inlets