Paynesville church, fish and chips and concert

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Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Bairnsdale
February 21st 2014
Published: March 16th 2014
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Cockatoos FeedingCockatoos FeedingCockatoos Feeding

One Cockatoo seems too scared to go into the feeding "house" when it see the Rainbow Lorikeet inside.
We managed to book another night OK and then went to watch the Sulphur Crested Cockatoos and Rosellas feeding on the last of our seed (plus what the manager of the park puts down). They’re a noisy lot and squabble like children all the time. We also saw the bird we thought was a pigeon again. Turns out it’s actually a Common Bronzewing. Today the sun was gleaming off the lovely bronze patches on its wing and they kept changing colour with its movement from strong peacock green to deep rich bronze. Looked wonderful.

After breakfast and making some sandwiches for lunch, we headed into Bairnsdale to get a few things, including more bird seed!

I’d been having trouble with my purple pants (trousers for the Poms) as they kept slipping down so I went into the Salvation Army Op Shop and found a belt for $2. Also had a look in an antique shop and saw a silver bracelet with enamel squares in green and purple – exactly my colours- for $20. I was so wanting to buy it but common sense prevailed – I have plenty of jewellery (albeit mostly cheap costume stuff) and we can’t afford
St Peter by the Lake Anglican Church, PaynesvilleSt Peter by the Lake Anglican Church, PaynesvilleSt Peter by the Lake Anglican Church, Paynesville

The lighthouse spire on the church.
to impulse buy any more. Must watch the pennies, unfortunately.

We came back to Paynesville and went in search of the little seaman’s church I remembered from a visit about 20 years ago. We managed to locate it but Barry was rather disappointed as he had remembered it as being bigger and so he was underwhelmed. It is “St Peter by the Lake” Anglican Church – quite small and built in 1961. The interesting features are the spire, which looks like a lighthouse with a cross on top, and the pulpit, which is like the prow of a rowing boat. There are also some small stained glass windows around the side walls with the stages of the cross. Behind the altar is a huge clear picture window looking out over trees (remembered it looking at the water but the trees now block that view). I still found it quaint and am glad we revisited it.

Next we decided it was lunch time so headed out to find a spot with a view over the water that wouldn’t blow us away. We ended up, unintentionally, driving onto Burrabogie Island that is separated from the mainland by a tiny strip of water no bigger than a stream and is joined by what looks like a normal road. We only realised we had crossed when we saw the “Welcome to Burrabogie Island” sign. It’s mostly expensive looking houses next to a village green that looks onto the marina, full of more expensive yachts. We’ve been noticing that Paynesville seems to be spending a lot of money on upgrading facilities for such a small community but have come to the conclusion that it’s worth it to attract all the wealthy baby boomers who are reaching retirement age. It’s certainly a nice place to come if you like fishing, yachting and the quiet life.

We decided to sit next to the marina and eat our sandwiches, despite not being able to escape the wind. Not far from us were a group of pelicans, also hunkered down trying to escape the cold wind; a pair of black swans, who didn’t seem to care about it; and the usual seagulls. Halfway through lunch we noticed we’d been joined by a much bigger gull that had silently landed on a lamp post near us. Another gull tried to swoop him off but he didn’t bat
Pacific GullPacific GullPacific Gull

A beautiful bird wearing lipstick!
an eyelid – just completely ignored it. Mind you, he was three times its size with a much bigger beak. When we got back to the car we Googled it and found out it was a Pacific Gull and easily recognised by its “lipstick”. It has a large yellow beak with a red end and looks like its wearing badly applied lipstick. Very majestic bird.

Our next destination was the Silt Jetties, just past the Caravan Park. This is two very long arms of silt that have built up over millions of years and stick out like jetties for about 5 kilometres into Lake King towards Metung. It’s mostly dirt track and full of potholes, some very deep, so it was a rough ride. Barry was so busy trying to avoid the worst ones that he forgot about the extension mirrors used to see past the van when we’re towing. Suddenly there was a loud bang next to me and when I looked the mirror was against my door. We stopped and I unscrewed it from the mount on the door. The mirror glass was smashed but luckily it didn’t seem to have done more than deposit some rubber
Black Bream catchBlack Bream catchBlack Bream catch

A local fishing from the Silt Jetties caught a nice big bream and kept it fresh in a rock pool.
from the frame onto the door itself. There were scratches along the door, too, from the vegetation that had ripped it off but they rubbed off with a bit of spit so I think a good polish will remove them. Poor truck – more excitement for it! And the cost of a new mirror! Barry was much more careful the rest of the way.

There was a lot of scrub and grass along the track and at times it was so narrow you could throw a stone across from one beach to the other over the land. At the end of the jetty, we found a retired gentleman from Maffra, fishing. He was very friendly and was very keen to show us the very large Black Bream he had caught. He kept it cool and fresh in the shallows amongst the rocks. He said the fish would have fed about 5 people (not his whole family as he had seven kids!) While he was talking to us he hooked another, smaller one. He reeled it in fairly easily and then did something I have never seen before. He explained that he hates to see fish flopping about dying slowly
Paynesville Music FestivalPaynesville Music FestivalPaynesville Music Festival

The Silver Haired Rockers were great and so was the view from the foreshore.
on a beach or in a box so he breaks its neck and then almost tears off its head so that it dies quickly. He showed Barry how to do it.

After that we bumped all the way back down the track, without incident this time, thank goodness! We dropped the shopping off, picked up some warm clothes and the collapsible chairs and went into Paynesville to watch the opening of their Music Festival. We set up on the beach, not too close to the speakers, and I went to get some fish and chips. They were so busy that there was a ¾ hour wait. They had a great system – they took the order and you paid, then they wrote the expected time of completion on the receipt ticket (ours was 7.20pm). That way you didn’t clog up the shop and you could go and listen to the music, returning at your appointed time to collect it. One fish on the menu was “Luderick” which I had never heard of, and didn’t feel I should waste their time asking them about as they were flat out, so we had Flake.

The first group playing was the “Silver Haired Rockers” who were very good and played lots of favourites from the 50s, 60s and 70s. They were really great guitarists, too. We enjoyed all they did, although I missed the end of their set as it was time to collect my order. I still had another 10 minute wait but got chatting to a man who had retired to the area 8 months ago and was loving it. His only complaint was the lack of doctors so there was a 6 day wait for appointments – you’d better not need urgent treatment! I asked if he knew what Luderick was and he told me it was a good eating fish that grazes on sea grass. It is evidently a greenish colour and you can catch it with lettuce as bait! We’ll have to try it if I see it again.

Finally they called “53” and I took the piping hot food back to Barry. It was the best fish and chips we’ve had for years, crispy batter and chips, and tender fish, all so hot you could hardly pick it up. YUM!! The second group was playing while we ate, but they were nowhere near as good as the first. They were a classic rock cover group “Lock n’Load” and I didn’t really enjoy their music. Barry had forgotten to put his coat in the ute and he was getting cold, despite sharing my thick cardigan over our knees and wearing my spare jumper. We decided to see what the next act was like and then go back to the van if they were so-so. When they finally started it was a 3 person folk group, Mamatoto, singing too softly and very slow songs. The singer had a lovely voice but it wasn’t enough to keep us there in the cold so we left and went back for a nice hot cup of coffee.

Overall, I’m glad we stayed the extra night, despite only really enjoying one group, because we met some interesting people and had some fabulous food, not to mention our adventure on the Silt Jetties. We are moving further down the coast to Lakes Entrance area tomorrow.


24th March 2014

I think if you see something like an unusual fish on the menu you should always give it a go! That's the joy of travelling. :D I like the idea of breaking the fishes neck too, I've thought about that before. However, I should imagine it's a bit difficult as they're quite slippery. Your fish and chips meal sounds great. Hard to get a good one in England!

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