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Explore : East Coast Tasmania

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Our adventure down the east coast of Tasmania started at the Bay of Fires, just 10km north of St Helens and finished at Port Arthur.

 

The coastline is just incredible when the sun is out. There are plenty of beach houses and abodes with a maritime theme, jetties and fishing boats, and quite a few albatrosses lingering around the beaches as well.

 

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Enjoy the drive…

 

Binalong Bay & Bay of Fires

Voted the second best beach in the world, the Bay of Fires stretches for 35 km from Binalong Bay to Eddystone lighthouse. The region is so called because the local Aboriginals used to light the beach on fire to clear the land, then drive animals to the coast and trap them in the newly open spaces. We think the red lichen on the rocks also contribute to the name.

 

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We camped to the north of Binalong Bay at Swimcart Beach. Camping is free, close to the beach and there’s lots of space.

 

St Helens

This little fishing town on the shores of Georges Bay is actually the largest town on the east coast. While there isn’t much to do, the town is a lifesaver for two reasons.

 

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Firstly, there is a public toilet down near the marina that offers $2 showers, which can be best feeling in the world, depending on how long ago you last showered.

 

Secondly, the Banjo’s Bakery next to the IGA makes ripper pies with great flaky pastry.  We recommend the beef and cheese pie.

 

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The Famous Mount Elephant Pancake Barn

We drove past the turn off and Juz’s Hungarian blood yearned for pancakes so she made Dave turn around. It was 8 km off the coast road just near St Marys, at the top of Mount Elephant. It was a cute little place in a European style cottage with wooden walls, floors and ceilings and elephants everywhere.

 

We sat down in the corner and ordered the chicken, cheese and asparagus pancake for $18.90 to share. The lady bought it out on two separate plates, which was really nice of her but the pancakes were much nicer.

 

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Filled with a creamy cheese sauce, morsels of chicken and asparagus, the pancake itself was light and fluffy with the integrity to hold its fillings. It was just enough to satisfy our mid morning snack attack, but take note – there are no EFTPOS facilities so bring cash!

 

Bicheno

This little town is both a fishing port and a popular holiday destination. You can see both of these elements as you go around town – all the tourists and all the maritime themed stuff. Bicheno has beaches, fishing, walking trails, local wildlife, snorkelling and a few cafes and restaurants.

 

If you’re passing through, our first recommended stop is the Gulch, which is actually the space between Bicheno and the rocky islands that are about 50 metres offshore. It’s a great place to snorkel and there is also a fish and chip shop – obviously selling fresh out of the ocean fish.

 

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Next up would be the Whaler’s Lookout. Park your car at the base of the hill and march up for great views of the town and the Gulch. It’s a great opportunity to stretch the legs for 20 minutes or so.

 

Lastly, go and see the Blowhole. It’s more like a gaping hole that the sea water spurts out of, but it’s still worth a look. Climb over the rocks and get right up close but don’t fall in!

 

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If you’re looking for a place to settle for lunch or cook some snags, there’s a Lion’s Park at the top of town with picnic benches, BBQs and public toilets.

 

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Freycinet National Park

We bought a Parks Pass in Bicheno for $60 to cover our entry into Freycinet National Park. Unfortunately, the pass generally doesn’t cover camping, except for free camping areas, and in this case, we could camp only at Friendly Beach or Bluestone Bay.

 

No matter – Bluestone Bay is accessible by 4WD only so we found a nice spot all on our lonesome by the beach.

 

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We did a brief stop at Freycinet Marine Farm for some oysters. We got half a dozen natural oysters for $10 and splashed them with a little soy sauce before sucking them down. They were alright, but not as good as the oysters in Coffin Bay, South Australia.

 

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Coles Bay is the closest town to the National Park and has a few conveniences such as take away outlets, a tavern and petrol station, and lots of accommodation options, including the Coles Bay YHA.

 

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Swansea

Established in the 1820s, Swansea is one of Tassie’s oldest towns. While there isn’t much to do in the town itself, the coastal drive south to Triabunna is just beautiful.

 

We rested in Swansea briefly for lunch before making our way down the seaside road, admiring the Freycinet mountain range and turquoise water. We also stopped in at the Spiky Bridge.

 

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As we headed south, we deviated off the main road and cruised along the Wielangta Forest Drive. It’s a relatively easy drive and there are a few lookouts to stop at.

 

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Dunelly

Another little fishing town with a fabulous view no matter where you look.

 

We stopped in at the Dunelly Waterfront Cafe for a dark chocolate brownie with ice cream and chocolate sauce.  Boomer Island is visible from the deck of the cafe, distinguished by the large castle atop the hill. The whole island is privately s owned by a local businessman, Gunter Jaeger, who was the previous owner of the Hope and Anchor Hotel in Hobart.

 

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We found ourselves back at Dunelly later that night, when we found Fortesque Bay camp ground fully booked for the night. The Dunelly Hotel offers free camping in the back paddock, which was an absolute lifesaver!

 

Tasman Peninsula

There are a few things to see on the Tasman Peninsula. One of our favourites was the Tessellated Pavement, an unusual rock formation of rectangular ‘pans’ and ‘loaves’. Nearby rock formations include the Tasmans Arch, Devil’s Kitchen and Blowhole.

 

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On your way there, be sure to pay attention to a residential area called Doo Town. All the houses have signs out the front that play with the name of the area – toucan doo, make doo, doo n time, much a doo, just doo it, doo love it, Dr Doolittle, doo mee, doo f#%& all. It was a little funny.

 

If you need to do any grocery shopping, Nubeena is the place to do it. There is an express IGA just outside of town and a larger IGA in town, opposite the skatepark and playground where the public toilets are locked at 5pm.

 

The most famous thing to do on the Tasman Peninsula is visit the Port Arthur historic site. We did the night Ghost tour, which has been running for over 20 years.

 

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Bye NT

Top 5 Things about the Northern Territory

Adelaide River Croc Cruise

 

We spent over a year in the Northern Territory; not out of choice but out of obligation.  We had to work in Darwin for nearly a year to replenish the bank account and we got stuck in Alice Springs for three months with Troopy troubles.  In that time, we have learnt a lot about the culture of the Territory and have even grown fond of it.  Despite the unbearable humidity of the Top End during the summer months, the relaxed and almost negligent attitude towards hospitality and business, and the worst television advertisements we have seen since we left Melbourne, the NT has its perks.

 

It was great to be surrounded by so much wildlife and aboriginal culture, and the locals are always up for a drink… or seven!  In Darwin, the lightning shows during the Wet Season are incredible, and it was wonderful to feel cold during the winter months in Alice Springs.  On top of all that, we made a bunch of great friends who we’ll miss until we get to see again.

 

Oodnadatta Track

 

There is a big contrast between the Top End and Centralia.  The weather in Darwin and the Top End is hot and moist most of the time, while it is dry and dusty in Alice Springs.  While Alice is a quiet town, placid and laid back, Darwin is a little more promiscuous and is a backpacker haven.  Alice was also considerably cheaper than Darwin in terms of beer and meals when out on the town.

 

Trying to put together a list of only five things that are great about the Northern Territory was tough, but we did it and we think this list is pretty good.

 

Indigenous Presence

As Melbournians, it was unfamiliar to us to have so much aboriginal culture around us.  Whether it’s the colourful bags and wallets in the souvenir shops, the aboriginal art galleries that are probably more common than McDonald’s restaurants, or the groups that wander around the city almost aimlessly, waiting for the bottle shop to open, you can’t ignore the indigenous presence.

 

Our most enriching experiences were down near Alice Springs.  We learnt a little about the local language and their creation stories, but what really stood out was having to ask an elder for permission to stay on the side of the road overnight when our radiator split.

 

Learning about the Anangu culture when we were at Uluru was also eye-opening, and it makes us sad that European settlers interfered with that magical lifestyle with their trampling cattle and introduction of foreign plants, animals and diseases, amongst other things.

 

Uluru-Kata Tjuta

 

Paradise

The Top End has pockets of paradise everywhere.  Hot springs, waterfalls, pools lined with lush vegetation – places that are easy to get lost in.  We found a few of these pockets all over the Top End

 

Lorella Springs Wilderness Park near Borroloola is definitely one of our favourites.  With beautiful waterfalls, cool pools and balmy springs, it was very difficult to pull ourselves away.  The Douglas Hot Springs was another location with a hot spring that fed into a creek, and with a campground nearby, it’s the perfect place for a week-long getaway.

 

Lorella Springs

 

Other great pockets of paradise include Robin Falls, Edith Falls and Gubara in Kakadu National Park.

 

Rock Formations

If you’re keen on rock formations, you can’t go past the NT Trifecta – Uluru, Kata Tjuta and Kings Canyon.  It will take approximately three days to explore all three, and if you can catch a sunrise or sunset, then you’re in for a treat.

 

Other rock formations to check out in the Northern Territory are Rainbow Valley Conservation Reserve just south of Alice Springs, Chambers Pillar along the Old Ghan Railway Heritage Trail, and the various Lost Cities dotted around the state.

 

 

Crocodile Craze

As we headed north along the western coast, the first warnings we received about crocodiles was in Derby.  We didn’t believe it at first, but after seeing heaps of freshwater crocodiles in the Kimberley and even witnessed a suspicious splash at the Fitzroy River crossing, by the time we got to Darwin, we were well aware of the presence of these prehistoric predators.

 

Darwin uses the croc craze to promote tourism, with great attractions like Crocosaurus Cove and the Adelaide River Jumping Croc Cruises, where you can see dangerous saltwater crocodiles snap for a piece of meat within metres of the boat.

 

Don’t take crocodiles for granted.  While some businesses use crocodiles to give tourists a unique experience, it’s certainly not all just for show.  Crocodiles are frequently spotted surfing waves at the beach and crocodile attacks happen frequently, to pets and lifestock, as well as to tourists and even locals (who have no excuse to not know better).

 

Adelaide River Croc Cruise

 

Markets

The NT is market central, and we took advantage of ever market we could find!

 

In Darwin, there are so many dry season markets you’re spoilt for choice.  Our favourites were Mindil Beach Night Market, Palmerston Market, and the Nightcliff and Rapid Creek Markets, both of which run through the wet season as well.  These markets are the go to places for a great atmosphere, energetic performances, cool shopping and delicious food at fantastic prices.

 

Mindil Markets

 

Goodbye NT!  It’s been fun; it’s been swell, but after more than 15 months, the swelling has gone down and it’s time to move forward.

 

Bye NT

 

Devils Marbles

Natural Wonders : Karlu Karlu (Devils Marbles Conservation Reserve)

Devils Marbles

 

We were fangin’ down the Stuart Highway, watching everything turn yellow as the sun approached the horizon.  It had been a while since we raced the sun.  This time, it wasn’t to find camp before dark but to get to Devils Marbles before sunset.

 

Needless to say we made it.  We even had time to find a place to park, make dinner and meet our camp neighbours George and Mary who were from Shepparton in Victoria.  We sat down with them and shared the glow of their tea light candle over drinks and travel stories.

 

Devils Marbles

 

The Devils Marbles Conservation Reserve is one of the most iconic places in Australia’s outback and one of the most visited reserves in the NT.  It protects one of the oldest religious sites in the world and is of great cultural and spiritual significance to the traditional owners of the land. Karlu Karlu means ‘round boulders’ and also refers to the surrounding area.  The English name comes from a guy called John Ross, who was part of the 1870 Australian Overland Telegraph Line expedition.  He said, “This is Devil’s country; he’s even emptied his bag of marbles around the place!”

 

The shallow valley that the conservation park protects is covered with large granitic boulders that have been exposed to onion weathering, whereby curved shards of rock are peeled off to create the spherical shape.  Cracks caused by thermal stress weathering can go so deep into the boulders that they split straight in half!

 

 

 

Camping is super cheap – only $3.30 pp/night and the campground is right amongst the boulders.  It was packed out with caravans, campervans and buses but we managed to squeeze into a spot and still enjoy the amazing landscape that surrounded us.  The toilet next to camp was super smelly and scary as hell, but the toilets next to the info booth were quite pleasant.

 

Devils Marbles

 

At about 1am, Juz went for a toilet run.  The moon was waning, the night air was cool and the only sound she could hear was the crunching of gravel under her thongs.  She started to psych herself out, thinking about Bradley Murdoch and Ivan Milat.  “This is how people disappear in the desert”, she thought to herself.

 

In the morning, we listened to kids howling like dingos before getting up to catch the sunrise over Devils Marbles.  It was too cloudy to be spectacular, so we climbed some boulders and did the informative walk next to the information booth.  The split boulder reminded Juz of Monkey Magic – “Born from an egg on a mountain top!”

 

Devils Marbles

 

Wycliffe Well

About 30km south of Devils Marbles is the UFO Centre of Australia.  This hilarious attraction is worth the stop.

 

Wycliff Well

 

We met a cute little kitten at the entrance to the general store, which had a plethora of alien souvenirs.  The walls were covered in newspaper clippings of UFO sightings and they also happened to have an excellent beer selection.

 

 

As we ventured into the caravan park to check out more statues, we were amused by donkeys that were wandering about opening bins and rummaging for scraps.

 

Wycilff Well

Wycliff Well Wycliff Well

 

 

Echidna Chasm - The Bungle Bungles

Experience : The Bungle Bungles

The Bungle Bungles are located within Purnululu National Park, which is about 300km south of Kununurra.  The national park covers about 239,000 hectares of land and is relatively new.  The Bungle Bungles was known only by the local aboriginals and cattle farmers until 1982 and in 2003 the area was recognised as a World Heritage area because of its geological value and natural beauty.

 

The Bungle Bungles

 

The Bungle Bungles are made up of domes made from sandstone deposits from about 360 million years ago.   Over thousands of years, the sandstone has been eroded by creeks, rivers and general weathering to create the domes and chasms.  The domes at the southern end of the park are banded with orange oxidised iron compounds and grey cyanobacteria that protect the sandstone from erosion.  The Bungle Bungles is the world’s most exceptional examples of cone karst formations, meaning land that is formed by the dissolution of soluble rocks like limestone, dolomite and gypsum.  In other words, flimsy, crumbly rock has been dissolved by mildly acidic water to create a kooky shaped landscape.

 

The road into the park is about 50km of rocky, corrugated road that rises and falls over the landscape like a rollercoaster.  It’s slow going and there are also a few river crossings so it’s best to have a 4WD and allow around 2 hours to get to the Visitor Centre from the highway, and vice versa.

 

Entry fees apply to the park, but if you have a WA Parks Pass, you’re all sorted.  Camping is about $11 per adult per night, and while campfires are only allowed in designated fireplaces, make sure you bring firewood with you because you’re not allowed to collect firewood in a national park.

 

The Southern End

We started exploring the Bungle Bungles from the south.  All the walking trails were connected in some way so we managed to get all of it done in one go.

 

The Domes

A quick 1km loop to introduce you to the beehive domes of the Bungles. Check out the orange and black layering but don’t climb the domes – these layers are what protect the sandstone from erosion!

 

Cathedral Gorge

An easy walk into the gorge ends at a cavernous amphitheatre with a still pool.  The acoustics are wonderful and if you’re brave enough – SING!  The echo is magnificent and you will be awe-struck at the enormity of this place.

 

 

We also had a go of skimming some stones along the still water – our French mate Boris was by far the best at it, but Dave didn’t do too bad either.  On our way out, we encountered some bush passionfruit.  Check out our post on this bush tucker here.

 

Piccaninny Gorge Lookout

An 800m diversion from the track back to the car park will bring you to a platform that overlooks the Piccaninny Creek and surrounding domes.  The view would be absolutely spectacular at sunset.

 

We finished all the walks in two hours with a total distance of around 4.5km.  This gave us just enough time to get to the Northern End before midday.  If you’re an experienced hiker, you can register at the Visitor Centre to do the Piccaninny Gorge Walk, a 2-7 day hike into the remote areas of the gorge.  You have to bring all your gear – tents, food, water – and some of the track can be fairly difficult, so make sure you’re well prepared.

 

 

The Northern End

We made our way back to the Visitor Centre for a snack, a toilet break and a look at their book exchange before jumping back into the Troopy and heading for the northern end of the Bungle Bungles.  The landscape was very different to the south – the rocky outcrops lacked the bands of black and were smoother and more vegetated.

 

The Bungle Bungles

 

Echidna Chasm

We were given an insider tip that the best time to explore Echidna Chasm was at midday when the sun’s rays can stream down into the narrow corridor.  We were glad that we took the advice!  This unique experience takes you about 300 metres into the chasm and the way the light reflects and illuminates the path is beautiful.

 

 

Osmand Lookout & Kungkalanayi Lookout

On the way back to the car park is a track to the Osmand Lookout.  It provides great views of the Bungle Bungle Range and the Osmand Range in the distance.

 

We also checked out the Kungkalanayi Lookout on the way back to the Visitor Centre.  This lookout provided fantastic panoramic views of the Bungle Bungle Ranges on one side and the Osmand Range on the other.

 

The Bungle Bungles

 

We would have loved to do the Mini Palms Gorge walk or stick around at Kungkalanayi Lookout to watch the sun set but it was time for us to head to camp.  We were exhausted, the day was getting really hot, and we had a long drive back to the Spring Creek Rest Area.  This is a great spot to stay if you plan on exploring the Bungle Bungles.  It’s located right next to a little creek with picnic benches and fire places, there are heaps of places to set up camp and there are lots of people to chat with.  You might even have a bull graze through your campsite or find some buried treasure (hint hint)…

 

Rolling yellow hills

TOP 5 THINGS ABOUT SOUTH AUSTRALIA

The Schnitzels

When we left Melbourne, we believed there were two ways to enjoy a schnitzel – plain or with a parmigiana topping.  However, once we crossed the border, our minds were blown and schnitzel horizons expanded as the options for toppings became almost endless.

 

Onion gravy, creamy garlic sauce, mushroom sauce, pepper sauce, even gluten free gravy, topping options were coming out of our ears, and while SA’s idea of a ‘parmi’ is the tomato sauce with cheese – no ham – it was still tasty.

 

 

Another great thing about the schnitzels in SA is the Schnitzel Night at the local pubs.  Pay anywhere between $10 and $15 to score a golden schnitzel with unlimited access to the salad bar.  We’ve had many occasions where we’ve walked out uncomfortably full.

 

Streaky Bay Hotel Motel 

Middleton Tavern

Edinburgh Hotel

 

Free Bike Hire

We thought this service was great and allowed us to explore Adelaide in a day!  Adelaide City Bikes, an initiative run by BicycleSA, works towards building a healthier, greener city.  There are heaps of places around Adelaide where you can hire a bike for free, and if you need your bike for more than one day, you can organise a multi-day hire at a small price.

 

 

Bicycle SA is the main body that encourages recreational and commuter cycling in South Australia to promote a healthier and more active community.  They are an independent, not-for-profit association that organises biking events, tours, trail rides and free bike hire.  Membership to Bicycle SA has heaps of perks, such as discounts to all BikeSA events, discounts at supporting cycling stores, a subscription to the quarterly Cycle! Magazine, as well as comprehensive personal accident insurance and public liability.  What an awesome association!

 

Rock formations

South Australia is full of sinkholes and caves, thanks to the limestone that was formed on the ocean floor millions of years ago.  The craters and sinkholes in Mount Gambier were dressed beautifully with floral gardens while the Naracoorte Caves were filled with ancient fossils.  The breathing caves of the Nullarbor that were open for exploration and the eroded caverns along the coast of the Eyre Peninsula – we loved them all.

 

 

Wildlife

We had so much contact with animals, whether it was in the wild or captivity.

 

We always saw kangaroos hopping around in national parks and on the side of the road (dead or alive).  Emus were also common, but mainly in the scrub where they could get some cover.  Those silly bush chooks loved running out onto the road as well.  The dingos we saw on the Nullarbor were special – we had never seen wild ones before, and it was awesome when that goanna crawled through our camp at Mount Remarkable National Park.

 

 

The animals in captivity were great to interact with, especially the greedy kangaroos at Urimbirra Wildlife Park and the Big Rocking Horse.  Curious emus pecking out of our hands were great fun and watching big salt water crocodiles gulping down chicken legs was really cool.

 

Yellow Rolling Hills

The roadside landscape was beautiful.  For most of the way, the view consisted mainly of rolling hills of dry yellow grass dotted with the occasional leafless tree or herd of black cows.  This, in contrast with the blue of the sky, was just beautiful.

 

Rolling yellow hills

Leo Cummings Monument Lookout

Top 10 Things on the Eyre Peninsula

Sunset over Perlubie Beach

SCHNITZEL IN STREAKY BAY

A great coastal town with a beautiful beach, fishing jetty and lots of oysters.  There are cafés and restaurants, but if you are truly gagging for a decent feed, go to the hotel in town on a Thursday night for the schnitzel special.  Check out our post on Streak Bay Hotel Motel.

 

The town got its name from Matthew Flinders when he explored the area in 1839.  He saw streaks in the water caused by oils released by seaweed and dubbed the area Streaky Bay.  In 1839, Edward John Eyre established a camp at a nearby waterhole to refuel during his expedition to Western Australia.  From 1850, whaling and farming were the industry before an oyster factory was established in 1870.  The town was originally called Flinders, but because everyone called it Streaky Bay, it was renamed in 1940.

 

 

A must-see when you get to town is the replica of a record breaking catch – the 5m long Great White Shark that was caught by a young local man in 1990.  The 1500kg shark is a world record catch that was caught by rod and reel with a 24 kg line. Check it out at Stewarts Roadhouse.

 

The visitor information centre is a great place to visit for maps and brochures on the area, and it also has an art gallery inside that exhibits the talents of local artists.  This is where we met Tom and Bella – and they have become great travel buddies as we travel towards Perth.

 

Australia Day celebrations in Whyalla

Check out our post on Whyalla.

 

Beach camping at Perlubie Beach

This was the first beach we had come across with shelters on the sand.  While there was a small parking area behind the dunes, you could drive onto the beach and enjoy the sunset over the horizon.  This is the most popular beach in Streaky Bay and is 2.5km long.

 

 

There are simple toilets and a cold shower available if you don’t mind a fresh one, and the sand is sprinkled with tiny pink and red cone shells that would make a beautiful necklace.

 

Coffin Bay National Park

We enjoyed both the town and the national park.  Both are named after a mate of Matthew Flinders, Sir Isaac Coffin.  The little town has a beautiful estuary and is famous for oysters.  We bought a dozen that were pulled from the water only hours earlier and enjoyed their salty freshness.

 

 

The national park is right around the corner and has some great places to camp.  Make sure you organise a Parks Pass for yourself or get a permit at the entrance.  Check out our post on camping in Coffin Bay National Park.

 

Elliston

This quaint coastal town has a population of fewer than 400 people and is located on Waterloo Bay.  The Elliston Community Hall displays a great historical mural that was finished in 1992, and it is also where the visitor information centre is, complete with op shop and book exchange.

 

 

Next to the Community Hall is a playground and skate park with free BBQs and power points.  We cooked dinner and did some serious blogging before having a Skype session with Dave’s family.

 

A few kilometres up the road is Colton Bakery – a self-serve roadside bakery. You know there’s bread available when a big OPEN sign is out and each of the wood-fired loaves are $4, payable to the little pink tin.  Choices include white, multigrain, sourdough and polish loaves.

 

PORT LINCOLN AND THE TUNARAMA FESTIVAL

Check out our post on Port Lincoln.

 

 

Talia Beach with the Woolshed Cave and The Tub

About 10km off the Flinders Hwy is Talia Beach, a long stretch of white sand next to rocky cliffs that hide a few rock formations.  The first formation is The Woolshed, a large cavern carved into the granite cliffs.  Entry can be a bit precarious so make sure you are surefooted.

 

The Tub is a little further down and is a large crater that is about 50 meters wide and 30 meters deep.  Entrance to the Tub is via a log propped up against the lip with footings carved into it.  There is a tunnel connection to the sea and beehives in the overhanging alcoves of the limestone.

 

 

At Talia Beach, there is a monument to Sister DB Millard, who drowned there in 1928.  This has been erected a few meters from the cliff and provides gorgeous views of the beach and cliffs.  We were on our way down to the beach when it started raining, and after being thoroughly impressed with the Woolshed and Tub, we decided that we didn’t want to spoil the stop with soggy underpants.

 

 

Murphy’s Haystacks

About 40km southeast of Streaky Bay is a hill topped with worn granite boulders, grey, pink and orange.  The formations are caused by uneven weathering of pink granite and are about 1500 million years old.  In the 1800s, an Irish agricultural expert was travelling via mail coach and saw the landmark while passing the property owned by Denis Murphy, thinking they were haystacks.   The technical term form them is inselbergs, which means island mountains.

 

 

We had a great time walking around the big, rounded rocks, and Dave even got on top of a few of them.  Because the rocks are on private property, entry is by gold coin donation at the honesty box.

 

Leo Cummings Monument Lookout

This gorgeous lookout commemorates Leo Cummings, a young 23 year old man from a pioneering family in the Sheringa district who drowned while out on a crayfish boat with his friend Barry and Barry’s father, Eric.

 

In 1959, the “Wangaree” got into troubled water when their buoy line got tangled in the propeller.  They worked hard to free the propeller but lost the anchor and were smashed against the rocks.  Barry made it to shore but went back into the water to help his dad.  Unfortunately, by the time he returned to help his friend, Leo had disappeared and his body was never found.  The monument offers breath taking views of the ocean and salt lakes further inland.

 

 

Lock’s Well

This beach is not made for leisurely swimming!  The ocean is furious but the beach is great for salmon fishing.  Descend 120 metres via a staircase with 283 steps to get to the beach down below. At the top of the stairs is a platform with toilets, picnic benches, parking and a panoramic lookout.

 

The landmark is named after a driller who tried to make a well. He dug down as far as 150 feet and didn’t hit water.  These days, a bore supplies water from 200 feet.

 

Triplet Falls

Top 5 things on the Great Ocean Road

We checked out most, if not all of the tourist attractions along the Great Ocean Road and these five things stood out the most and have found themselves in the Awesome Bucket.

 

Triplet Falls, Great Otway National Park

We got lost trying to find the Triplet Falls.

 

After taking a few wrong turns, we ended up in the middle of the Otways with no reception, no sense of direction and less than a quarter of a tank of petrol.  While we didn’t end up finding the falls, there was a happy ending – we spotted a pair of deer, leaping and bounding into the forest.

 

Our second attempt was far more successful and after a brisk walk through lush green forest, the roar of the Triplet Falls was upon us.

 

 

Lorne

Of all the towns along the Great Ocean Road, we think Lorne was the best.  Relaxed and youthful atmosphere, beautiful beaches, and a foreshore park with playground and facilities.

 

 

Teddy’s Lookout, Lorne

Just outside of Lorne is a visual treasure – Teddy’s Lookout.

 

It’s a quick drive outside of town and there are two lookouts to choose from.  The upper lookout is the first one you’ll arrive at and it provides spectacular views of the George River mouth and the Bass Strait.  The lower lookout has a more southerly view and is a better viewpoint to the river and picturesque valley to the west.

 

 

Loch Ard Gorge

Loch Ard Gorge is named after the ship of the same name, which got caught by the strong winds and current along the coast in 1878.  Knowing they were in trouble, the Captain ordered the sails to be lowered and the anchor to be dropped.  Unfortunately, the anchor didn’t catch on anything along the seabed and ended up being dragged along the sand.

 

In a final attempt, they cut the anchor and raised the sails again but to no avail, and the Loch Ard became shipwrecked against the cliffs.  There were only two survivors, Tom and Eva, who were swept to shore into the gorge.

 

Star jumps at Loch Ard Gorge

 

 

The Grotto

This stunning geological formation was formed when sinkholes in the limestone met with the receding cliffs along the coast.