Monthly Archives: March 2015
As it turns out this is our last stop before heading back to Brisbane. The weather in Eden had turned rather chilly with two nights of brisk winds.
On the way up from Eden we diverted into Ben Boyd NP and took in the Pinnacles Rock formation. White sandstone, weathered as pinnacles, underline harder ironstones. Quite a spectacular formation and very colourful with the green bush surrounding it. Cloudy day, so no blue sky! But then no shadows to aggravate the photographer!
Here in Tathra we have had some warm and sunny days. No use for the track pants and tops we bought in Eden! The beach is really inviting here with wide sand shores and a smooth surf. Bit cold so the Camping ground heated pool was the best option for a dip.
We have had a trip out to Bega to check out the Bega Heritage Cheese Centre and of course the cheese. Tasted the cheeses, many of which you can buy in Coles or Woolies. There was a rather good 3 year aged ‘Heritage’ cheddar, only available at the Centre. We added a block to the fridge. On the way back to Tathra a short tour of the Bega township revealed some nice old homes sitting high on hills overlooking the Bega Valley.
In the Mimosa Rocks NP we checked out a couple of NP basic camping sites for a later trip (have to twist Homealones arm). Ran into a couple of big goannas sunning themselves.
Back at Tathra Allthego dropped a line in the Bega River, near the sea outlet, and managed to land a modest sized flathead and trevally which were consumed for dinner on our last night.
Lunch at the Tathra Hotel offered some great pub food a view over the ocean, a whale appeared on the horizon and could be seen from the Hotel window saying goodby.
Well that is all now for this trip. Will be back in Brisbane in 4 or 5 days time.
Whale of a time in Eden
Whales are a prominent tourist attraction in Eden and the Eden Killer Whale Museum is ‘the place to go’ according to the tourist info. So we did. And what a story it tells, it a quite dispassionate way. It was a colourful history, with a few characters too. Including the Imlay brothers, you just can’t get away from the Imlays. I’m not sure whether these chaps are any relation to our good friends the Imlays of Mt Ommaney. I couldn’t see any likenesses from the photos. But the Imlay boys did get around a bit……….whaling, cattle, dairy. Pretty big presence in town. There is Mt Imlay, Imlay St, Imlay Rd, Imlay memorial and so on.
There was Ben Boyd also a whaler, who built Boyd’s Tower, constructed from sandstone brought down from Sydney. Originally it was meant to be a lighthouse but in the end was used as a lookout station for whales. The Davidson’s established a whaling station where the whales were dragged ashore, cut up and rendered down for their oil. It must have been a pretty sight, the sea blood red with the stench from the rotting whales.
The Museum holds the preserved skeleton of ‘Old Tom’ a Killer Whale (Orca) that actually assisted the whalers by alerting them to the presence of whales in the Bay, guiding them and assisting in the catch. he was washed up on the shore in 1930, estimated at about 35 years old, preserved and is now on display with lots of other whale stuff in the museum.
The cemetery at Eden is situated on low ground just behind Aslings Beach. As a rule most cemeteries are placed on high ground. Many of the graves overlook the sea and tell stories of death at sea……..whaling or fishing. Fisherman ‘going down to the sea’ for the last time.
We are now finished at Eden for this time and head back to Tathra for a few days
Birds and Ninja Turtles at Eden
In our campground on the shores of Lake Curalo and just across the road from Aslings Beach on Twofold Bay there are a oodles of different types of birds. In the mornings we are woken to screeching of parrots, cockatoos and down by the lake ducks, various water birds and the Pelicans drift around.
This big old Pelican just seems to float around as if he expecting payment for posing in the suns rays as it sets across the lake.
There is even the possibility of Ninja Turtles being here. Grandson Jordan has drawn one so that we might recognize them if we stumbled across one in the drains.
Settled into the Park at Eden for 4 nights. This is right beside the lake with Twofold Bay across the road. It’s a good location with big grassy sites and some shade trees.
First off we took to the road and headed for Green Cape, not far from the Victorian border. On this trip we are not heading further south and will turn back and retrace our steps staying at different towns, before heading inland to Canberra at Bateman’s Bay.
The 23k gravel road out to the lighthouse at Green Cape is quite good despite being a bit ragged here and there. Much of the vegetation along the road had in the recent past suffered a fairly severe bushfire and is slowly recovering. The burnt out banksias and split seed pods were in stark contrast with the regrowth. Saw a few wallabies hopping around in the undergrowth.
The Lighthouse sits on a cape that drops steeply away into the sea below. There have been several ship wrecks here over the years. The cottages there have been refurbed and are now rented out to anyone who wants to stay and sort of pretend that they are lighthouse keepers for a few days. The fishing below looks pretty good.
We headed back to Eden.
Eyed off some nice deep-fried calamari the next day for lunch at a local cafe. Athomealone concentrates on fish ‘n chips, unless there are some nice prawns around. The wood chip boat had been filled up and we saw tugs heading off to ‘let her go’ , as one of the tugboat guys said. He said you could see it from the lookout, so off we went to catch the action. In all it took about an hour for the ship to clear the harbour and head for Japan full of chips.
At the lookout I asked one of the other nomads gazing at it “whether he thought there might be some fish on board as well?” He looked at me a bit puzzled and said “No, it was a boat that took wood chips to Japan”. I said , “Oh, I thought they might have some fish to go with the chips.” He gave me an odd look and asked if I was having a lend of him. I said, “No, just a joke.” His wife was chuckling away and thought it was particularly, funny. So did I come to think of it.
We have some light-hearted moments on the road.
We have worked our way down to Merimbula via Central Tilba Tilba and the ABC Cheese factory retail outlet. This is an interesting little heritage listed town, plenty of old restored buildings housing all sorts of ways of making money in the new age. The cheese place was pretty good and we came away with a couple of aged cheddar, none of the fancy flavoured stuff this time. The Saturday markets were on the go when we arrived and Allthego managed to pick up some expensive Tomato sauce and 6 quail eggs. He was quite popular with Homealone for these astute purchases. But the piece de resistance was a half loaf of a rather tasty bread…nuts, fruit and I suppose wheat……it was $9 for the half loaf, Homealone keeps saying it was more. But you fry this stuff and then bathe it in honey and have it with coffee and port for desert! Not bad and it helps keep you regular.
We had to leave and head for Merimbula where we stayed out on a headland with a great view over Short Beach and the rugged coastline. We met up here with John & Lyn Aubrey our old friends from Sydney days. They have moved down here from Sydney as the retirement sea change, John is going to do a ‘bit’ of work to keep his hand in.
We had a great few days catching up on news and being shown around the town and surrounding areas. The food scene in Merimbula seems to be quite vibrant, with restaurants and cafes abundant. A ‘Eat Merimbula’ festival was on and we wandered around this sampling some calamari and a local wine for lunch. It was a show case for the local foodies and seemed quite successful.
We have headed off for Eden. This is a big drive as it is about 20k down the road so we got away early not wanting to be late!
We cut short our stay at Tuross by one night and have now caught up on our timing, apart from losing that hour due to daylight saving in NSW. Don’t get me going on about daylight saving, the afternoon just goes on for ever and you don’t know when to stop happy hour as the sun is still up.We don’t have this problem in Queensland of course.
Tuross was a very pleasant if short stop. Camped right on the beach front. It is a strip type set up along the beach line. Only problem was that we were right at one end and it was about 300m to get to the amenities. Homealone had to time trips carefully, Allthego was able to be a little more pragmatic, particularly in the early morning hours.
Had a great lunch at the Pickled Octopus Cafe overlooking Tuross Lake. The fresh Tuross Lake oysters were something special; Allthego is generally not really into oysters.
Apart from the natural scenery there is not a lot going on here at Tuross. A quiet peaceful town. But two tourist highlights standout. One, the stone cairn and plaque commemorating Mel Gibson’s grandmother Eva Mylott who was born here The other a grassy mound in which a whale is buried, washed up on the shore it found its final resting place under earth and grass.
Our last night here saw a full moon rising over the ocean behind One Tree Hill and in the west the sun was setting in a red blaze. Quite spectacular sunset and moon up!
After our couple of nights here we set off for Merimbula intending to stop in Central Tilba Tilba to taste some cheese, the fridge is in need of topping up.
Cheese and Church
We headed off from Depot Beach for Tuross Heads. Along the way we paused briefly in Moruya to have a look at the old quarry that supplied the granite facing and other materials for the Sydney Harbour Bridge and a couple of other buildings in Sydney in the late 1920s. After this it closed when work dropped off due to the depression. Nothing has happened since. There is a small park that commemorates the work and some river footings for the wharf that was once here. We added to our rock collection with a piece of the Moruya granite, the back of the truck is filling up.
We travelled past the Tuross turnoff to call in at Bodalla a few kilometres to the south.. The van fridge had run out of cheese and we needed to refill. The Anglican Church at Bodalla is the most prominent building in the town, sitting up on a hill overlooking the Princes Hwy. It was built it appears from funds provided by the Mort family, prominent agriculturalists and pastoralists from the mid 18 century onwards, as a ‘memorial’ to them. As you did in those days it seems. It was made from local granite, the interiors are oak, the organ from England along with stone parquetry inlaid in the floor. Mort family members are recognised on the walls. I think these Morts are the ones, who among others, formed the big pastoral and trading group Elder Smith Goldsborough Mort Ltd. Now it is Elders Limited, a small shadow of its former self.
Enough of this! The real reason for coming here was to get some cheese. And we did. After having a cheese plate for lunch. They have a big range of aged cheddar, many were those flavoured sorts with herbs and spices. These are not my cup of tea normally. But these ones were good. Particularly, the sage and thyme one. We ended up with a round of that as well as a 3 year vintage cheddar.
After having a stroll around the town looking at these usual run of over priced ‘in’ shops……candles, wood carvings, old wares and bright coloured clothing…we turned back and headed for Tuross.
Arrived at Depot Beach and settled into an unpowered campsite in Murramarang NP. This is set back from the Beach in a very shady and pleasant environment. Plenty of bird life among the tall spotted gum trees and a rather large Goanna wanders around keeping us company.
There is a big rock platform here with numerous rock pools and what appeared to be great fishing spots. Allthego took the opportunity to cast a line from various vantage points in search of dinner. No luck. It was a bit like throwing two dollar coins in the sea with each piece of bait disappearing along with the hook and sinker being caught on snags. Subsequently I tried from the beach, but the moon and tides were all wrong and the fish stayed in the sea. Depot Beach is about 15k north of Batemans Bay and the fish shop there was a more certain landing and so we took off and picked up some prawns. These were later enjoyed on the beachfront with the sun setting and the last waves of sunshine washing across the sea.
At a nearby beach there is a very interesting rock platform with unusual structures. Ironstones have weathered to form lattice like formations and sandstones are honeycombed and from a distance look like fishing nets or spider webs draped over rocks.
Great swimming here and whilst the water was a bit cool on the initial plunge, after a bit of splashing around you got used to it. Allthego managed a few selfies in the surf and one of the best is shown here.
After here we are heading off for Tuross Heads.
Fossils in Ulladulla
These fossils are definitely not Allthego and Homealone, although we did pass through Ulladulla on the way to Depot Beach. The fossils I am referring to are the world-class Permian age shallow water marine invertebrates, mussels and clam like things. They left an impression in the rock strata. Also seaweed type things. They go back about 280m years thereabouts.
Anyway we just had to go and have a look for these things on the rock platform in the Ulladulla Harbour. First up we went to the wrong side of the harbour and had to traipse across the other side. These things have to be seen at low tide, we were ok for this. Homealone soon spotted some fossils in the rocks and as we wandered around more and more of these things appeared all over the rock platforms. Quite impressive really. Homealone revealed her true fossil hunting skills as she sat on a grassy patch turning over rocks and found a specimen which we have put in the back of the truck to bring home. Most interesting hour or so on the rocks.
On the way we also passed by Pidgeon House Mountain, so named by Cpt Cook on his way up the coast because it looks like a pigeon house (or so he considered). We went for a bit of a drive on a sidetrack to get closer to it, the road got a bit ragged so we turned around. Some 8000 people climb the peak each year. We were not to be among them. The last section of the climb is up steel ladders attached to the face of the cliff and we probably would have given these a miss as we hadn’t brought our ropes with us.
In conclusion, I might retell a little story about nomads. In our last stop Allthego was off to the amenities block in the early hours. There was a bit of rain around and I remarked to a fellow camper that “it was a bit damp this morning” he responded “Mate, you have to worry when it’s not damp”. Now I had to think about that for a while……….
What happened in Husky?
I’m back after a few days of continuing internet issues. We are long gone from Husky and are now in Merimbula. Part of the internet problem along the way was due to being based in Murramarang National Park in what was a dead internet place. More of this place later. Back to Husky for a catch up on what has been going on.
We were in a campground a few metres back from Huskisson beach on Jervis Bay. Good little spot. Spent some time in the Jervis Bay Maritime Museum. The major attraction is the Lady Denman Sydney Harbour Ferry. It was built in Huskisson in 1911 and was finally retired in 1979 from its Harbour duties. Various plots were conceived to return it to Huskisson and finally it was illegally towed in 1981 down the South Coast to its current resting place where it has been restored in a covered dry dock.
There is a lot of other sea-faring memorabilia here and is well worth a stop. Numerous wooden boats were built in Huskisson from the early 1800s through 4 generations of boat builders. Sadly there is no more wooden boat building here.
Pt Perpendicular, the north headland of Jervis Bay, is a major attraction and from here one can overlook the area where the aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne collided with and sank the destroyer HMAS Voyager in 1964. Australia’s worst peace time naval disaster. The old lighthouse built in 1899 also stands on the headland together with an assortment of heritage stone buildings.
Nearby at Currarong we stopped in at Zacs, overlooking the beach, for a lunch time feed of fish and chips. Pretty good fish and chips!
The weather at Husky was pretty good, cloudy mornings giving way to warm sunny afternoons. Suffered a savage thunderstorm late one afternoon with heavy rain and a southerly buster, it flattened our side annex but no damage.
After 4 nights here we headed off to Depot Beach in Murramarang NP.
Along the way we were listening to Macca’s ‘Australia All Over’ and one can truthfully report that you just have to love those travelling nomads, particularly the ones from Queensland. One poor soul from Queensland rang in and indicated that she had lost her lower dentures and asked that if any listeners happened to find them could they hand them in at a local police station. She thought she lost them in a shopping centre after putting them in her handbag during a movie because she couldn’t chew her popcorn. After having this bite put on him Ian Macca was a bit bemused and quickly cut to the news. I must check in at the dentist on our return to Brisbane and try to keep my teeth.