Spoiled at Lakes Entrance

Trip Start Apr 28, 2012
Trip End May 11, 2012

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Flag of Australia  , Victoria,
Sunday, May 6, 2012

It's amazing how quickly the weekend goes. We pack up the following morning and head off. We stop for lunch where we part ways with Nat, Nick and Bex. They are heading back to Canberra, while we continue on our way south toward Melbourne.

Luckily Nathan feels much better today. The drive today would be a nightmare if he was still sick. The Pacific Highway becomes nicer the further from Sydney we get. We travel mainly through bush and farmland. It's a long drive, even longer than we had originally thought. I can't get over how big this country is! We take turns driving, although Nathan does the majority of it. We arrive at Lakes Entrance at about 6.30pm and grab a quick dinner before finding the B&B we've booked for the night.

The Goat and Goose was recommended by a colleague of mine. Joy, the lady who owns it, welcomes us warmly. Her house is incredible, a huge pole and beam construction. She and her ex-husband, who happens to be there when we arrive, built it themselves over many years. Despite its size, it feels full. There are knick-knacks and photos everywhere. Joy plies us with wine and sends us off to our room with the rest of the bottle. We're splurging tonight, and the room comes with a spa bath and the most comfortable bed we've slept in for a long time. Luxury.

In the morning we head upstairs and find the table laid out beautifully. Joy gives us juice and a fruit platter while we study the menu. We have poached eggs with bacon and vegetables, all cooked to perfection. Joy insists that we follow this with scones with jam and cream. As we eat we watch the birds feed on the balcony. There are many different types: magpies, kings, which are bright green and red parrots, rainbow lorikeets, and a flock of pink and grey ones whose name I can't remember. The ocean sparkles in the background. It starts off another stunning clear day, as every day has been since we left the Gold Coast, but the temperature has definitely dropped since Sydney.

We chat to some fellow guests, an aristocratic English couple who have been here for three weeks. They're nice enough, although we secretly giggle at their poshness. Just as we finish up we're joined by an Australian couple and their daughter, who have also stayed here the night. I just can't understand how Joy does it. She must be in her late sixties, yet manages a massive house. The thought of all the cooking, cleaning, serving and chatting makes my mind boggle. And she makes it all seem like it's an absolute pleasure for her. Before we leave we promise to email her a list of things to do in New Zealand that aren't the typical sites. She dreams of taking a holiday there with her ex-husband ("We're great mates," she explains). 

Lakes Entrance seems a wonderful place when we drive through it on our way out of town. You can buy seafood at the wharf, straight off the boat. It's a shame we can't spend a few hours here, but we need to get on our way. We travel over flat planes for the first bit, and I'm pleased that Nathan shows me how to use cruise control. This car is basically driving itself! All I need to do now is turn the steering wheel, and with corners so few and far between, it's not a big ask.

After an hour or so we turn off the Pacific Highway to follow the coastal route. We drive through a beautiful landscape of farmland and bush, from time to time catching glimpses of the ocean in the distance. We pass through quaint little towns. This is a lovely part of the country, and feels relatively under-discovered by tourists. We keep an eye out for wildlife but again see very little, alive that is. We've passed plenty of kangaroo roadkill in the last few days and today Nathan even spots a wombat, on his back, his wee feet sticking helplessly up into the air.

Mid-afternoon we take a bridge over to Phillips Island. Here we stop at a koala sanctuary where I finally get my koala fix. Most of them are asleep, but there's one guy, quite close to us, having a munch on some leaves. He makes my day.

After that we're on the home stretch to Melbourne. We have a bit of a stressful time working out the toll roads, then poor Nathan has to navigate the traffic to a petrol station before we drop the car off at the rental company. This is a bit tricky when we can't work out the rules for turning right. We finally arrive at 5.45pm, just in time before the rental car office shuts at 6pm. We contact our friend Esther, with whom we're staying in Melbourne, and make our way by taxi through the city to meet her.
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Fiona on

This looks like a great trip. I know what you mean about the right turns in Melbourne - they're very stressful when you're not used to it.

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