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Published: January 24th 2006
Lunch stop at Lakes Entrance..
Leaving Katoomba and the Blue Mountains behind, a two hour train ride saw us back in central Sydney where we picked up a Hyundai Getz from the EuropCar offices. A neat little car much like Lins Clio with air-con, and a CD player. (The only CD we had was a dodgy 80's hits compilation i'd picked up from a charity shop!).
Driving south we stopped at Cronulla, a suburb on the edge of Sydneys rail network, and hit the beach for a few hours of sunbathing and messing about in the surf. 250kms of driving on the Princes highway saw us arrive at Batemans bay YHA where luckily they had two spaces left in their dorm rooms. The next day, Lin drove us to Pebbly beach and managed to get breathalized by the local cops on the way. Just a random check after the saturday night before so no worries there.
From the carpark, we walked for two hours around a lake and through the bush to Depot beach, then a further half hour along the sand and over the rocks to Pebbly beach. This was where we'd been assured of seeing wild Kangaroos on the grassy banks behind the beach
Grand Prix Track
Mountain bikes start from the back of the grid!
but unfortunately none appeared. Dusk may be the best time to view them.
It then took two hours to make the long walk back to the car... tempting to hitch in the hot weather but we eventually made it unassisted.
Drove onto Merimbula and the Warrahah lodge, another YHA with not quite so friendly management! We hired a body board here for a morning mess about in the waves which was loads of fun even though we both got dumped a few times, then drove down to Eden.
This was the home of the Killer Whale Museum. An interesting attraction with the full skeleton of 'Old Tom' the head of a Killer whale pack which used to assist whalers by herding whales towards them which once killed would be tied up so that the Killer whales could claim their prize of the whales tongue and lips.
From here it was a long drive to Lakes Entrance, just past the border of New South Wales and Victoria. Stayed at the Riviera Backpackers YHA and went for a walk around the Lakes Entrance loop track which brought us out to the ocean where we saw a dredger working hard to clear
..a great place to emigrate to?? Just joking mum!
the channel into the lakes of mud and silt. Walked 2km back along the beach which was part of a stretch of ninety miles of pristine beaches.
Another 350km later, we arrived in Melbourne. Once checked in at the Ritz Backpackers in St Kilda, I braved the city traffic to return the car to the Airport. Slightly rushed i had no choice but to follow the signs to the airport which included going over a toll road, controlled much like the London Congestion charging by cameras. $10.40 lighter, I grabbed the last seat (the floor) of a shuttle bus heading back to the city.
I spent our first day in Melbourne sorting out our washing (new man me!) then taking one of the Hostel bikes for a ride around the Albert park Grand Prix Track and the Aquatic and Tennis centres, whilst Lin went on the Neighbours tour to 'Ramsay Street ' otherwise known as Pin Oak Court. Lin has a picture of herself underneath the Neighbours street sign and at the fictitious Erinsborough High School!
Picked up at 1pm, we went on a trip to Phillip Island, stopping at a vineyard for lunch, and a Wildlife
sanctuary to see Kangaroos , Koalas and pet a dozy Wombat...very cute.
Crossing the channel to Phillip Island we had a quick dinner then drove out for a walk at the 'Nobbies' then onto the focus of the trip, the Penguin Parade! This was an amazing sight, sitting on concrete grandstands at sunset and watching hundreds of 'Little penguins' walk out of the sea 10-15 at a time, huddle together, then make a dash for the safety of the dunes and up through the bushes to their burrows and waiting offspring.
Walking back to the coach along the boardwalks, we could still see the penguins walking underneath and hear the youngsters calling out to their parents in anticipation of being fed.
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