Smithsdownunder
Our journeys around Australia

3-Feb-2005
   

We have been staying in Bairnsdale for a few days with friends Margie and Rob. (Thanks for the use of the front garden Margie). We drove up into the alpine area north of Bairnsdale and stayed a night with Ronnie and Jim in Mount Beauty. This was our first night sleeping in a house since we set out in September! All of this area suffered from tremendous fires in 2003 and it was interesting to see the extent of the re-growth.

These trees survived the fires with green shoots springing from the blackened trunks. Other varieties were destroyed but their seeds, which lay dormant in the soil for years, start sprouting after a fire.

Re-growth after the 2003 fires

Regroth after the 2003 fires
Spring flowers There were also loads of spring flowers in bloom, which added a bit of colour in amongst the blackened tree trunks.
In some areas in the mountains the soil got so hot in the fire that it was sterilised and there were few signs of re-growth. Burnt Hillside
Mount Beauty

At one stage during the fires, the small town of Mount Beauty had three major bush fires visible in the mountains and approaching them from different directions at once. The town survived but homes suffered smoke damage.

Mount Beauty.

We drove to the top of Mount Hotham (1861 mtrs), which is a popular ski resort in the winter months. The views from the top were spectacular.

Ski Chalets at Mount Hotham

Ski Chalets on Mount Hotham
Mountain Gums in an alpine meadow Alpine Meadow Spring flowers amongst the Alpine Gums near Falls Creek.

After returning to Bairnsdale for a few days, we drove east towards Mallacoota via Lakes Entrance.

This is a view of the entrance to the lakes from the Bass Straits. The lakes extend for about 65kms behind 90 Mile Beach and are a popular boating and area.

Lakes Entrance.

Lakes Entrance
As we will be staying at Mallacoota for a few weeks, the updates to the website will slow up for a while but we should be on the road again in early March.