Sapphire Coast, South East Victoria
Farewell to Shoalhaven. We had three relaxing days here in a caravan park. This allowed us to get the washing done and to rest up as well as have a look around the area.
We set off for the Sapphire Coast. Our first stop was at Nowra to fuel up. The Woolworths shopping dockets come in handy. We saved $36 on our purchase of 151 litres of diesel. Earlier on we had a docket for 20cents a litre off with a further 4 cents a litre with a five dollar purchase.
Heading south we travelled through Ulladulla and took these pics.
On the way south to our overnight stop at Bodalla Forest we called into Jervis Bay. Most of the land here is either state national park or commonwealth national park. In fact, Jervis Bay is a Commonwealth Territory. The Jervis Bay Territory is a territory of the Commonwealth of Australia. It was surrendered by the state of New South Wales to the Commonwealth Government in 1915 so that the Federal capital at Canberra would have "access to the sea".
We turned around at the park entrance as it gives access to HMAS Creswell and we backtracked to Hyams Beach, a small village located between the two national parks. What a find! This is a stunningly beautiful little village with magnificent views across Jervis Bay. In fact, we stopped for lunch at a beautiful little park which looked down on pristine beaches and Colleen spotted some whales out in the bay? The wife of a ranger alerted us to them.
We drove onto Batemans Bay. There were once again very beautiful bays, old bridges and lots of bird life. Colleen took these pictures of pelicans lazily floating along in the water? Here is another picture of a Pelican with a Birds-eye view atop a light pole.
Set in a valley at the junction of the Bega and Brogo rivers and surrounded by rich dairy country, Bega is a handsome, historic town with a proud tradition of cheese making. The Bega Cheese Heritage Centre, housed in a faithful reproduction of the original factory, tells the story of the cheese-manufacturing process and the company’s growth. We bought some Bega Heritage cheese which is only available for export and some Tilba pickled onion cheese. Both well worth the price.
Tathra is another family favourite, with its wide and wonderful surf beach and its historic steamer sea wharf, a popular fishing platform and the only one of its kind remaining on the east coast. To the north of Tathra is Mimosa Rocks National Park, a 17-km strip of coast where crashing waves have carved out sea caves from the cliffs and left towering rock stacks, created by ancient lava flows, stranded in the sea.
Merimbula is a popular holiday spot, spread out on forested hills around the mouth of the Merimbula River, which forms Merimbula Lake at the back of town. Visitors are drawn here by majestic beaches and a variety of water sports. Main Beach is 5 km long, while Short Point and Tura Beach are set among coastal heaths. Merimbula is often twinned with the historic village of Pambula, just a few kilometres south.
Our stop on Wednesday night was the Merimbula RV Park about 6km outside Merimbula. The owner told me about some big oyster sheds on the lake about 1.5 km away. Two dozen freshly shucked super sized oysters fitted the bill. Colleen is allergic to oysters.
Thursday morning saw us drive a relatively short distance to Genoa just over the border in Victoria. We arrived at morning tea time so we turned towards the coast to do the 23km to Gipsey Point and the township of Mallacoota. These are both really beautiful places. Mallacoota was a real surprise with its services. We did some shopping at the IGA which had prices comparable to woollies in a big centre. We used the laundromat and visited the bakery. Colleen had great difficulty in selecting some bread rolls for lunch as they had an extensive selection of freshly baked items.
What a beautiful day - clear blue skies and a light wind. We couldn't make up our minds whether to stay or go. As we thought we would have dinner that night at the 100 year old pub, I thought it best we move on. The thought of the uncommunicative barman defrosting our chicken parma was enough for me to say that we should move on.
We drove through large tracts of forest and through little hamlets before we reached Orbost. We turned towards the coast and travelled beside the Snowy River down towards Marlo where the Snowy River meets the ocean. This is another beautiful little community with superb views of the Snowy River Estuary.
We had lunch at Orbost and then decided to move west to Lakes Entrance. This town has many caravan parks and a very large fishing fleet.
This morning we called into the Information Centre. The Lakes Entrance Centre was a mine of information. Loaded with new brochures and maps, we headed off to look at the Nyerimilang Heritage Centre. The land that is now this centre was first purchased in 1884 and mostly was owned by the Stuart Family as a base for shooting, fishing and holidays at the Gippsland Lakes. Eventually, the property was purchased by the Victorian government in 1976 and is now managed by Parks Victoria. Here are some pictures Colleen took from the homestead with views to Lake King.
Late in the afternoon we walked along the Esplanade then crossed over to Main Beach via the Cunninghame Arm Footbridge.