Smithsdownunder
Our journeys around Australia

     

We stayed in Mallacoota until the floods had eased further north and set out for our next camp spot at Gillards Beach.

 Gillards Campsite This was a National Parks camp site located in the Mimosa Rocks NP and was recommended by our friends in Mallacoota. It turned out to be a good choice as we had a pitch to ourselves just above the beautiful sandy beach.

There were loads of friendly creatures around including Wallabies, Potoroos, Goannas and tiny fairy wrens who would wander around our feet and jump on your lap when we were sat down.

 Female Supurb Fairy Wren
Superb Fairy Wren Of course the male is much prettier!
There were some goannas wandering around including this monster that was at least 1.5mtrs long. Large Goanna
Goanna close-up

Some of the creatures got a little too friendly for Ali's liking! This goanna joined Ali to catch the last of the sun for the day.

Ali's wallaby friend And this wallaby also came to say hello!

After a few nights we moved on to the Bendeela Recreation Area near Kangaroo Valley. We weren't sure what to expect when we got there. We thought it might be a small camping area alongside a river but it turned out to be a very large grassy area with loads of people camping there. Perhaps it was popular because it was free.

Bendeela Campsite
Hampden Bridge The nearby town of Kangaroo Valley boasts the oldest suspension bridge in Australia and was completed in 1898.

The Kangaroo River which flows under the bridge and the Shoalhaven River flows into a reservoir called Lake Yarrunga which is formed by the Tallowa Dam.

Lake Yarrunga
The Fish Lift

Tallowa Dam fishlift was added to the dam in 2009 to help native fish migrate between the lower and upper Shoalhaven River.

The fish are attracted into a chamber by moving water and are guided into a hopper. The hopper is then hoisted to the top of the dam and the fish are released over the other side.  Here is how the fish lift works
Canoe trip We rented a canoe and spent a very nice day on the river next to the campsite and the lake.
We saw loads of Water Dragons on the logs at the edge of the water. Water Dragon
Azur Kingfisher And also some kingfishers.

About Wombat Poo!

Sorry but I might have led you astray the other day when I said that Wombats pooed in cubes. Around out camp site there were quite a few wombats and we would often see them in the evenings. They are shy creatures and only come out at night so are difficult to photograph.

Ali did manage to get this picture of one though.

Wombat
Poo shoes

Anyway back to the poo. I made the fatal mistake of leaving my shoes outside the tent one night. This is not good because scorpions might crawl inside or goannas migh walk off with them. However I discovered another reason for not leaving them outside was that wombats poo in them!!

And as you can see it is not always cube shaped!!

The night that this happened there was quite a rumpus outside the tent in the unearthly hours. There was a lot of screeching and I could hear heavy things charging around outside the tent followed by a big crash as whatever it was went through the fence.

It turned out that is was a couple of wombats having an arguement and one of them crashed into the tent of a chap who was sleeping in it next door to us. The wombat ended up on top of him wrapped up in the tent!

 Our next stop was in Sydney for a couple of nights. There is a good bush camp about 15km from the city centre in a National Park. It should be quiet as on one side is the trees in the park and on the other is the crematorium but unfortunately it is also on the glide path into Sydney International airport!

We visited Parramatta and looked around the old Government House.

(Oh and Ali visited a patchwork shop. Eat your hearts out girls, look at this lot!)

Pennant Hills patchwork shop