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Written by Peter Smith   
Thursday, 23 April 2009 10:39
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 Day 83: Thursday 13th December -  
Wannanba - Melbourne

Had a bit of a lay-in until 6.30am, took the tent down, had a bit of a breakfast and made a quick trip to see the sea which was not far. Left at 8.00am instead of 7.30am, because the reception was closed until eight.

We were setting off up the Gt Ocean Rd to Melbourne. The road very quickly changed into a kind of country lane with fields of harvested wheat. The landscape changed yesterday to a very continental looking environment with vineyards etc and it carried on today in a sim ilar vain.

Stopped for dinner at a famous pie shop and they were pretty good. I had a shepherd's and Anne had Chicken and Mushroom but there were beef in Guinness, Moroccan lamb, leak stilton and chicken.

The ocean road, did as it says, followed the coast and pretty spectacular it was in places but generally it was beautiful in a European way with green grass, trees and well kept bungalows neatly sitting on the hillside looking out to sea. Yvonne told me that the very modern designer looking properties sell for $1000,000, that's £400,000 plus or the price of a terrace in London. She actually thought that a million is a lot of money and that I was exaggerating about the price of London properties.

After lunch we went for a walk through a rain forrest to a beautiful waterfall called Triple Spring. There were forest Ash rising to about a hundred and fifty feet and thirty feet in diameter.

Further down the road or, to be correct, up the coast we pulled into a café called aptly Kuala Cove Café and of course the trees were full of Kaulas. Well not exactly but the first tree we came to had five, two adults and three young and in all we did see nine all lazily sitting drugged out of their mind on Eucalyptus. As we got of the bus Noreen noticed a large striped snake slithering off up a water culvert. I managed to get a poor photo of it but there was little doubt what it was. Tiger snakes are one of the most dangerous and it seems will attack if provoked. This was my second deadly snake. Far more beautiful were the incredible King Parrots which are quite big and have very red heads and breasts and green wings and swoop just at head height and adopting an ideal position in a tree for photographing before flying off before you could take one.

Back on the road the highway carried on with beautiful views of the cliffs, the rocks and the pounding waves. What I found strange was the total lack of people and traffic which gave the whole route a feeling of a clean, empty space undiscovered by tourism. However, talking to Yvonne she assured me this coast will be like a mad house just after Christmas. It seems Australians wait until after Xmas before setting off for a months vacation and this area is very popular with those around the Melbourne area.

The first sight of Melbourne was of the familiar skyline and the traffic which seemed to cause Rick the driver some problems mainly because of low bridges which the coach was unable to get under. Eventually he managed to get a taxis driver to show him a safe way to our hostel Urban Central which was very modern, spacious, in short enormous. After booking in I was once again in a room with John and just for a change Kwok who had rejoined the bus after leaving in Darwin with a badly infected foot he damaged in Bali.

After a few beers and a couple of games of pool, with John, in the very large bar we all set off to find somewhere to eat. We finished up eating in a restaurant along the road from the hostel and although it was reasonable it was quite expensive. Finished off the evening drinking and playing pool in the hostel bar again and later being entertained by the lads in the presence of Lucinda’s sister who drew them like flies round the proverbial but then drove them mad with her obsession with money and costs. Costs were not something the lads understood or wished to discuss.

Last Updated on Thursday, 23 April 2009 14:20