Published: March 6th 2011February 28th 2011
So after seeing Gav in Sydney we made our way to Tamworth for the Country Music Festival. We didn’t really know what we were in for, but it was definitely an experience. The festival runs for 10 days and there are various country music acts that play at numerous pubs throughout Tamworth. The main street in Tamworth is more like a festival atmosphere with buskers lining the street and various stalls selling knick knacks and what not. We spent 2 nights at the festival, the first day we saw a few buskers. Some were terrible but others were great. We also went to a few pub acts. The following day was much the same but we bought tickets to a Johnny Cash impersonation act at the Long Yard Hotel. They were really good except for his stage wife that kept doing duets with “him. We were also shocked when we arrived to see the pub decked out with tables and chairs and full of elderly people in anticipation of the show. We were expecting standing room and some sort of dance floor but we were wrong. The majority of the audience were ordering coffee over the bar instead of beer!!! We
also saw Kasey Chambers that night who was fantastic and a great entertainer. We kicked on after Kasey Chambers to the Central Hotel. We saw a lot of drunk people and the cow boy hats and boots were out in full swing. It was definitely a laugh.
We headed back out to the coast after Tamworth stopping in at various coastal towns along the way. We stayed two nights at Treachery Beach near Seal Rocks. It was a beautiful beach and we had some great weather but the swell was massive and the water was freezing. We kept heading south and had a look at Nelson Bay and the various bays nearby which were stunning but the weather was cold and rainy so we moved on spending the night in Sydney. On from Sydney we did the Grand Pacific Drive that winds its way along the coast from just south of Sydney which was really cool. We even walked over a portion of it and we saw something rather interesting. The railing along the bridge had padlocks on each metal rod of the rail that were engraved with peoples engagement dates or wedding anniversaries or various other anniversaries. Along
the drive Kiama and Gerroa would have been a highlight. We ended up at Jervis Bay at the end of the drive and spent the next 2 nights there. Jervis Bay was amazing, particularly Hyams Beach which had, according to the man at the visitors centre, “probably the whitest sand in the world” and crystal blue water. It was definitely one of our top ten beaches. We even saw Little Blue Penguins feeding on fish in the water which was really cute.
After Jervis Bay we went to Murramurang National park where we took a squiz at Pebbly Beach, Depot beach and North Durra’s beach. North Durra’s was beautiful, much like Blossoms beach at Bremer Bay. We liked it so much that we spent 2 days beach going and soaking up the sun. We continued south along the coast wanting to arrive at Lakes Entrance for Australia Day. On the way we stopped in at Dalmeny, Narooma, Merimbula and Eden. All lovely little coastal towns, Narooma especially had the most beautiful crystal blue water in the inlet we have ever seen.
We arrived in Lakes Entrance on Australia Day and the weather was very miserable but we we’re super
excited because Evelyn and Joe from Perth were arriving. The rain and cold weather wasn’t going to stop us from celebrating. We were stocked up with nibbles, drinks and various yummy treats including sausages, lamb and potato salad. We had a feast, listened to the Triple J hottest 100 and were up late drinking and catching up. The next day we went exploring around Lakes Entrance which is a nice little coastal town. As the name describes the town is located on the entrance of where the Gippsland Lakes meet the ocean. That night we had dinner with Ev and Joe and got stuck into the tennis semi finals on tv. We farewelled Ev and Joe who were heading to Sydney the next day and we were off to our next destination, Mt Kosciusko National Park. So we took the road that headed north to Jindabyne and into the National Park. The road was very windy through mountainous country and at some points I thought we were going to topple of the edge of the road it was so narrow and next to it was a sheer drop to the bottom of the valley. But it was a beautiful scenic
drive and Lake Jindabyne was very picturesque.
We spent two nights in the national park. The first day we went to Rainbow Lake which was very pretty and did another walk that was long and boring and there really wasn’t much to see. The waterfall along the way was also very disappointing. That night we set up camp and it was freezing cold but our new sleeping bags didn’t fail us, they were toasty warm (Thanks to the family for the xmas vouchers we used to get them!). The next morning we got ready for our hike up to the top of Mt Kosciusko and we were very lucky to have a beautiful sunny day. We debated about which route we should take to the top with the distances varying between 16 to 22km return. In the end we chose the 22km scenic route. The first half of the walk was beautiful but also the toughest part with many uphill hikes. The wind sweeping over the mountain tops was also very chilly and it was a case of jumper on jumper off along the whole walk as you got hot and cold depending on when you got sheltered away
from the wind. Along the way we crossed the Snowy River with its crystal clear water, and various glacial lakes that were also beautiful. The views along this trek were quite spectacular looking down into valleys and across The Great Dividing Range in sections. We also saw a bunch of crazy people running the trail. Why anyone would want to do this beats me! We finally arrived at the top of Mt Kosciusko along with every other man and his dog after a 12km walk. The view was amazing and the phone reception excellent. We even called Todd’s Mum and Dad to let them know we were at the top. After lunch on the top of Mt Kosciusko we made our way back to the end of the track. So we slowly meandered the 10kms back enjoying the rest of the views. After about 14km in total our legs were starting to get very sore and our feet were starting to blister. We had to have a few rest stops along the way and in the end we just powered it back to the car yearning to get our boots off and into our thongs. We drove back to camp
and were exhausted. We called it an early night and the next day our feet and legs felt even worse. Todd has vowed never to do a 22km walk ever again as a result. It was definitely worth the walk and we even saw patches of snow along the way on some parts of the mountains. Amazing!
After Kosciuszko we took that terrible windy road back towards Lakes Entrance and spent the night in Bairnsdale. We had gone from one extreme to the next. Kosciukzo was freezing cold and it would have been no warmer than 20 degrees during that day to Barinsdale which would have been almost 40 degrees when we arrived that afternoon. We were in a bit of struggle town with the heat in Bairnsdale. We resupplied here and then headed for our next stop Wilsons Promontory, which we had heard great things about, and it was all true. The Prom, as the locals call it was stunning, crystal blue water and white sandy beaches and is the most southern part of mainland Australia. It was just what we needed after all that mountain climbing. Also, we were excited at the prospect of maybe seeing a wombat.
The campground and the facilities were also great. We spent two nights here. The first day we arrived mid afternoon and it was overcast and a bit cool so we walked out to Norman Beach headland lookout to get a look at both Norman beach and Squeaky Beach and the various other bays on the western side of the Prom. That night we decided to go wombat spotting. We got our torches and went for a stroll along one of the bush tracks near the campground in the hope of seeing a wombat but all we saw were possums possums and more possums. After about 45 mins we decided to call a quits and go to bed. So Todd and I are in the campervan getting ready for bed and I grabbing my stuff to go and have a shower. As I open the back to door to hop out and head for a shower, who do you think strolls by less than a metre away from the back door of the car. A WOMBAT! I got really excited and yelled to Todd “It’s a wombat, come quick”. Todd grabs his camera and we follow this wombat through someone’s campsite
into the next campsite meanwhile Todd is trying to take a photo but his camera won’t focus and take the picture and instead the flash just keeps going off and in the midst of all this excitement and flashes going off I think we woke up some campers in their tent wondering what all the flashing lights and raucous was about. So we quickly ran away back to our car. We knew that this would happen, it was just like when Todd was in search of the Cassowary. That night we woke up about 3am with this disgustingly hot breeze that was so unbearable that we could barely sleep for the next 4 hours before we got out of bed. At one stage Todd and I thought there was a bush fire nearby. The wind was just so unusually hot. This day was stinking hot I reckon it would have reached the high thirties. And since we left Darwin we have not been used to this hot weather. But we were delighted that summer had reached us for one day. So we went to Squeaky beach in the morning and it was beautiful but the water still rather cold. We
then decided to go to another beach and picked up some smelly hitchhikers on the way and gave them a lift until we reached the next beach. We only had a look at this beach and then headed back to camp for a bit of lunch and a rest. Later that afternoon we decided to go down to Norman beach right in front of our camp. We were there about 20 mins had a swim and then lay on the beach for about 5mins then all of a sudden the seabreeze picked up the clouds rolled in and it was freezing cold. It looked like it was going to bucket down with rain. Everyone fled the beach back to camp expecting rain. Then within an hour it was sunny again. Go figure this Victorian weather. That night we decided not to go wombat spotting we thought no no the wombats will come to us, and in indeed they did. That night on the way to the shower I saw 2 more wombats and then in the middle of the night as I was getting out the back door to go to the bathroom I almost stepped on poor old wombat
as he was chilling right beneath the backdoor of the car. They were very cute.
From Wilsons Prom we took the coastal route to Inverloch where we visited the Shell Museum, Todd got talking to the lady that was in charge of the collection and we didn’t end up leaving the place until a few hours later. That night we ended up at Phillip Island. We visited the chocolate factory, had a look at some of the beaches and went out to the Nobbies and saw some Little Blue Penguins and some seals offshore at Seal Rock. That night we stayed on the island and the next day headed to the Mornington Peninsula, the weather once again was average so we didn’t hang around at Philip Island. We had lunch by the sea side at the Mornington Peninsula and it was really cool because they have those olden day beach shacks along some of the beaches that are painted really bright colours and people use them for storing all their beach and boating gear. After a bit of a look around we went strawberry picking. It was great fun and the strawberries were so big and yummy. They said we
weren’t allowed to eat them as we went but we did anyway and they were delicious. We ended up with 2 large punnets each and after picking them all we bought some chocolate dipping sauce and sat at the cafe at the strawberry farm and indulged! YUM! That afternoon we cruised around looking at beaches as we do and decided to stay at Shoreham Foreshore campground. This place was very strange. First of all the caretaker reeked of booze when I requested a campsite and then he yabbered on for ages and at the end of it all proceeded to tell me that we could stay the night for free! So we were stoked about that! So we drove in past the boom gate and on the way to our site we saw a heap of tents and caravans all scattered through the bush. They all looked as if they had been there a while but there was no one about. We drove further on to our site and it was much the same. We were the only people in the whole campground. Well of what we could see of it because it was really just bushland with some patches
of cleared land so that you could camp. So we sat around for the afternoon waiting for people to return from their days outings but by 6.30 only one family had come back to their camp. It was really strange it was like people had set up their stuff and then had to flee and all they had time to do was get in their car and get away. So no one else turned up that night and in the morning when we left still no sign of anyone. If it wasn’t for that family we probably would have not stayed that night! The drunk caretaker was a bit creepy!
The following day we visited Ashcombe Maze and Lavender gardens which were beautiful but once again it poured down with rain. We managed to complete the mazes in time before it bucketed with rain. We decided to leave and head off to find some fish and chips for lunch. The place we ended up going to had the world’s largest vanilla slice. It is even in the Guiness Book of World Records. Also when I found out that a guy in Canberra gets a whole tray of the slice couriered
to him to get his vanilla slice fix I thought I just had to try it. So I got a slice and it was very delicious. Check out the photos...it was massive it took me two days to eat it. Todd also got a huge donut but I don’t think that one quite made the records. We had a bit more of a look around the Peninsula, and as we were looking for a caravan park to stay in it just started to pour with rain and it would not stop. We pulled into a foreshore camping area hoping that it would stop and then we could set up camp but it didn’t look like it was going to stop. After making Todd get out in the torrential rain and go and find out where to pay for a site I decided that I would just contact Claire (an good friend from high school) and ask if we could come to her place in Melbourne earlier. That was cool with Claire so we hit the road for Melbourne and what a great decision that was. Because the night we arrived in Melbourne was when it had the flash floods from
all the rain that came as a result of Cyclone Yasi that hit the Queensland coast. I don’t think our poor campervan would have been able to withstand all that rain. I’m sure our bed would have been flooded. So began our week in Melbourne.
Before arriving in Melbourne we had decided that we weren’t going to spend much time in the city because we had been there before and instead we decided that we would do day trips out to places like the Dandenongs etc. Well that all changed when we arrived. Instead there was a whole lot of shopping on my part! I just couldn’t resist everything is so cheap!!!!! A lot of catching up with friends including Jo Pynt, Kate Scott, Gabby Howard, Nikki Jones,Claire Couchman and Sam Wetzler (Todd and him had a great time at Ding Dongs, while Claire and I partied at CQ), which was great fun – we miss you guys already!. As you all know with friends there comes a lot of drinking and eating, so I think that sums up our week in Melbourne. We stayed with Claire for the week which we are very thankful for and it was awesome
to sleep in a nice bed again and have a bathroom! Also, it was great company, and the cafe she took me to, had a chocolate mud cake to die for. Thanks again Claire and Luke for having us stay! The only hiccup during the week was that our car got broken into on the last night we were in Melbourne. Funnily enough NOTHING was stolen! We thought this to be very strange. We just could not work out why anything wasn’t taken. Well 2 weeks later as Todd was doing some mechanics under the bonnet he realised that the ID plates that are put on the car under the bonnet when it is manufactured were drilled out and taken! We just couldn’t believe it. The cops didn’t seem to care too much that they were gone so we will just have to get them replaced when we get home.
The next day we left for Tasmania and that will be the next blog. But we have had some very interesting adventures while in Tasmania, the one in particular I’m thinking of involved the SES so stay tuned. WHATS HOT
- Claire and Luke for
having us stay
- Country western hats
- Kasey Chambers
- Melbourne Markets & $80kg Brie
- North Durras and Hyams Beach
- Treachery Beach Barrels
- Seeing all our Perth friends in Melbourne WHATS NOT
- Torrential rain in Melbourne
- Car burgulary
- Sit down Tamworth concerts
- Rain on Australia Day
There are more photos below