From Here to Victoria …

Here being Merimbula, NSW.

As an aside, when we Victorians see NSW on a number plate we wonder if it stands for No Sense Whatever. In outback New South Wales they are fully aware that it stands for Newcastle, Sydney and Wollongong which is where the government expenditure goes.

The route takes us through Bega where the cheese in our lunch comes from, then Wyndham and the Robbie Burns Hotel, founded 1848 (by Robbie himself, I believe, and that’s his ute parked outside) …

On to Adaminaby and then over the hill. Given that the ski season is rapidly approaching my forward planning involved the lowest route available. As we ate our cheese sandwiches however, the navigatrix declared that a shorter route existed.

photo GHD

It was an instance when the shortest route proved to be simultaneously the road less traveled, the scenic route and the one that took the longest time. It did give us the opportunity to let the dog have her first encounter with snow. She was unimpressed … but I was. The Great Dividing Range at its greatest.

Victoria at last, we found our way to our intended campsite in the Mitta Mitta Regional Park … the Embery lookout perched high above the bright lights of Corryong.

And the first thing we did was light a nice campfire.

Merimbula …

Jewel of the Sapphire Coast, or so merimbulatourism.com would have you believe. It certainly is pretty, lots of beach, a lake. It’s surrounded by national parks. It has an aquarium. It has grown apace in recent years.

I was on the rocks at the end of Short Point as the sun prepared to rise out of the sea.

Then a long walk by the lake and around the town …

Little Wattlebird
Red Wattlebird

The red flowers of this tree which I believe is Erythrina fusca, were extremely attractive to the local nectar eaters.

Rainbow Lorikeet

Cabbages …

The subdued early light shows off the plumage of this heron to perfection.

White-faced Heron

Today we wake in the Lake Tyers Forest Park. Tonight we will be in Merimbula. The population density in the intervening country could easily be the lowest in coastal south east Australia. We will be passing some of my favorite places, the Croajingalong and Ben Boyd National Parks. These are denied to us today because we have the dog.

One spot than we can visit is the Cabbage Tree Flora Reserve. Baron Ferdinand Jakob Heinrich von Muller is credited with discovering this isolated pocket of palms in 1854. It is said to be the only patch in Victoria and it is the most southerly occurrence of any Australian native palm.

Livistona australis

They grow quite tall, 20+ metres, along the creek surrounded by the wet forest .

As well as being scenically splendid this place is usually a birding hot spot. Not this day, the only creatures flying around were the mosquitoes.

The next port of call was Eden, watch out for the snakes, the first place of note in New South Wales. There is an old joke about spending a week in Adelaide one Sunday, you can do it in a Saturday afternoon in Eden. It does, though, have a very fine harbour.

We arrived in Merimbula just in time to catch the sunset.

Merimbula, NSW