After breakfast on Saturday morning we walked down from the lodge we were staying in to the river and walked alongside the river and up to the street. Here we found kangaroos who all stopped to look at us. This pair were about to start boxing, but ...
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Crossing the border and more...




Crossing the border


After breakfast on Saturday morning we walked down from the lodge we were staying in to the river and walked alongside the river and up to the street.

Here we found kangaroos who all stopped to look at us.


This pair were about to start boxing, but immediately stopped and looked at us.  I felt they were sayin 'what us!  no we're not fighting!'

However they started!

We drove on along the Princes Highway and crossed over the 'border' from Victoria into New South Wales.  Or should that be Whales?  In Eden we went to the Killer Whale Museum.

It seemed odd to have a museum dedicated to Killer Whales rather than whales in general but there was a fascinating story there about how the Killer Whales helped the fishermen.
The view from the museum


We continued to Tathra and the Wharf Museum.  We took a short walk on the headland.

We were booked to stay in a motel in Bermagui but drove past it to go to a small place called Combago.  The tourist guide raved about the place but sadly on a Saturday afternooon there was only one shop open.   The bushfire had gone through the village and burned a couple of  wooden buildings and this railway carriage.

The building to the left of the pharmacy had burned down.

On Sunday we continued north, stopping first in Central Tilba.  This is a heritage village and almost every shop was open.  I think if we'd realised how pretty it was, we would have found accommodation there.

We travelled on through Bateman's Bay and on to Ulladulla where we had lunch.  Then, as we had time, we went on a circular drive through St. George's Basin, Huskisson and Sussex Inlet.




The final morning of our road trip and the weather looked miserable.

However it cleared up.

We stopped off at Shellharbour.

We continued towards Sydney, arriving at our destination at Brighton-Le-Sands in time for lunch!

Thanks for joining me today
Bernice


 

Thursday & Friday

We started our drive along the Princes Highway through the state of Victoria  towards New South Wales.   Fires alongside this road in January and February had caused sections to be closed at the time, but by the time we were there the whole road had reopened.

We drove to Wilson's Promontory which turned out to be a serious walker's paradise.  I'm not a serious walker and the weather was really hot.  30 degrees celsius.

So we had a quick walk on Squeaky Beach.  So called because the sand squeaks when you rub your shoe along it.






 We eventually arrived in Metung where we saw a great sunset.  And stayed the night.


On Friday morning we drove to a small ferry which took us to Raymond Island where wild Koalas live - amongst the houses of a small village.




Then we were off to Mallacoota.  This was one of the most affected areas we saw on UK television during the fires.   We drove through the fire hit areas and were pleased to see that already the trees were recovering.


There is still work being done clearing trees and undergrowth.  Some areas were being burned back under supervision.

We reached Mallacoota and found these pelicans waiting to be fed by a fisherman who was filleting his catch of fish.

 



Thanks for joining me today.
Bernice

 

Phillip Island

We continued our road trip from Belgrave by first visiting the Puffing Billy Museum.  Lots of lovely old steam engines.  Loved it.

There was the obligatory bits of rust first:

 

 Then we were off driving across country and to the coast of Victoria.




We saw a variety of wildlife.




The purpose of our visit was to see the Little Penguins come ashore as sun sets.  We arrived at the beach about an hour before.


No one is allowed to take photos at the event so here is one downloaded from the internet.

I didn't feel we had seen many penguins come up the beach but as we walked back to the car park through the sand dunes we saw sooo many.  And they were all making such a racket.  It was well worth the wait.

Thanks for joining me today.
Bernice


 

Puffing Billy

We had deliberately chosen to stay in Belgrave so that we could go on a vintage train.  We had already deicided we would travel on it when we saw a Michale Portillo programme where he was riding the train.  I have found this great video of the journey.
 


Belgrave Station

We did wonder whether the train would be running.  By this time all flights from China were banned and this part of Australia was very dependent on tourists especially from China.

 Two engines were put on the front of the train.

The train chugged through the forest.

Across a wooden bridge.


Lots of people got off at Menzies Creek.  Half of the carriages were detached from the train and one of the engines moved to take that half of the train back to Belgrave.

We continued our journey to Lakeside Station.




 

At Lakeside we walked down to the lake and around it.


We had a drink back at the station, accompanied by this little guy.

Then we started back to Belgrave

A better picture of the curve of the bridge

The best part of travelling on this train was that because the carriages were open you got the smell  and noise of the engine.


We had eaten our lunch on the train ride back so we were able to straight away drive throught the Yarra Valley.  We also had a little walk to find a rather disappointing waterfall - it had virtually no water in it!

This is us looking at the waterfall!
 

We drove up to Mount Dandenong to see the view over Melbourne - however it was rather hazy.

Our next adventure is Phillip Island.

Thanks for joining me today.
Bernice


 

Travelling during a worldwide crisis

As I sit at my home computer in the midst of a 12 week lockdown, I am totally amazed by the fact that our trip planned last May happened at all.

I spent January and February watching the news from Australia about the fires and then the floods.  The roads we planned to drive along were shut.  Happily, they were all open by Thursday March 5th the day we left Heathrow.  We arrived in Melbourne on Friday night and had arranged to stay in a hotel until Monday, then start the drive to Sydney arriving in Brighton-Le-Sands on March 16th.   We had planned a week's stay with the Hopper Juniors and Minors, returning home on March 23rd.

The folks in Melbourne seemed totally oblivious to a worldwide virus and seemed not to realise the severity of it.  They spent the weekend at the Moomba Festival and F1 was arguing about whether to cancel the Grand Prix the following weekend.  They did eventually.

We spent our 3 days in Melbourne amidst the crowds - no social distancing!
The front door of the Cathedral

Flinders Street Station

A fancy arcade

Another view

I had particularly wanted to see the art work along the lanes in the city centre.




We visited the main market.  The fish stalls were amazing.


More art


A beautiful green lane in the middle of the city.  I could hear the birds singing.

We visited the State library with its amazing layout.

One of Melbourne's oldest trams which was also free to ride. 

A view of the city

On Sunday we walked through the very noisy festival to the tranquility of the Botanic Gardens

We saw this party - we couldn't decide whether it was a birthday party or a bridal shower.

In the evening we ate at a roof top restuarant.  This was the view - not the most appealing!

On Monday - a trip on the river to Williamstown.   The Moomba Festival had closed the upstream part of the river we had wanted to cruise on so we went downstream instead.


We went for a walk around Williamstown

And got the boat back to Melbourne.

We collected the hire car and Roger drove us to Belgrave where we were booked to stay two nights.

More adventures next time.

Thanks for joining me today
Bernice