Smithsdownunder
Our journeys around Australia

21-Jan-2005
   

It was good to get back into the country after the bustle of city life in Melbourne. The City seemed a lot busier than I remembered from previous visits. Toora on the other hand was a very sleepy town located on the South Gippsland highway about 130 kms south east of our last stop.

We were hoping to camp on Wilsons Promontory, which is a large National Park at the southern most tip of mainland Australia, but the camping area was full. We did spend a day there and the place was packed with people and campers so perhaps we did better by staying elsewhere. It is a beautiful area and it's large enough to be able to get away from the crowds.

Wilsons Promontory National Park

Wilsons Promontory
The 'Wales Mouth', Tidal River.

We stayed here about 8 years ago and if you have visited our house you might recognise the picture below, its a large rock on Tidal River known as the Whales Mouth. There is a photo of it hanging in our hallway. The river is a bit strange in that it flows the wrong way - inland, away from the sea!

That seagull has been sat on the top of that rock for 8 years, it's in the last photo I took!

'The Whales Mouth' Tidal River, Wilsons Prom

We spent a couple of day touring around the Streslecki hills just north of where we were camping. The area is mostly a State Forest but one part of it is a National Park called Tarra-Bulga, which is the oldest in Victoria. The Park contains an area of rain forest which is home to some gigantic Mountain Ash trees and deep fern gullies. The suspension bridge in the Tarra Bulga National Park This suspension bridge takes you across one of the deep fern gullies. Tarra Bulga bridge
Mount Ash log The mountain ash is supposed to be the tallest flowering plant in the world and the picture below shows Ali standing at the end of a fallen one being used to protect the edge of a track through the forest. We reckoned that it was at least 50mtrs long and dead straight.

It was quite a hot day and even the trees started to melt!

We spent few days in Toora before moving on to a place called Paradise Beach, which is in the middle of 90 Mile Beach. This is a stretch of sandy beach running from the coast near Yarrum up to Marlo. Apart from a couple of places, the beach is a continuous stretch of sand. The campsite only had a basic toilet block but it was free so we stopped there for a few days. There was fishing competition on the beach over the weekend with 1300 anglers taking part. (Usually there are over 3000 but they have changed the date of the Australia day holiday!). There wasn't a lot being caught but one chap caught a hammerhead shark just off the part of the beach we had been swimming in the day before. It was only a small one though! (I must remember to send the navigator in first next time we go for a swim). We had more trouble being bitten by March Flies which seemed to be in abundance. They obviously didn't know it was only January

Dripping Gum Tree
90 Mile Beach wreck This is the wreck of an iron barque called the Trinculo, which went aground in a heavy gale on 90 Mile Beach in 1879.

We have seen a few echidnas while driving along but we haven't been quick enough to get a photo. They move quite quickly and bury themselves before you can get to them. This one didn't run fast enough!

They are a bit like hedgehogs in the UK but these are much bigger and have very thick spines. I think this one must have been a youngster.

A young echidna.

Echidna
The Passengers

Ahh yes, the new passenger! Pricilla and the three bears would like to introduce you to their new friend Gabby, the guardian angel. Cynthia and Bruce in Melbourne gave her to us and she keeps watch over us sat in the car alongside Pricilla.

Its nice to have a smiling face, I don't know what the others are looking so miserable about!

Pricilla and the three bears and Gabby!