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The stay in the "holiday villa" was most relaxing. Mariska had her own bedroom and we enjoyed the smell of the new little villa. We went running, playing and swimming with Mariska and reorganising the campervan. There were lots of kangaroos around, They are wild kangaroos but so used to people that they share the area.. One of the employees of the caravan park asked not to feed the animals as then they become sick. But unfortunately someone lost a package of Viagra and one of the kangaroos ate that allwith much satisfaction.

We spend some time at the enormous "jumping pillow". Mariska could not get enough of it. Next favourite was the trampoline. Mariska jumped higher and higher

The internet system in the caravan park was highly advanced. A wireless network hotspot, you could buy time in an account. You could prepare everything off line and if you liked to use the internet, you simply logged on and when ready you logged off. Only the used seconds were deleted from your account. It was not expensive either, so a very good deal.

The plan was to drive to Eden, and to make a detour to the Pinnacles in the Ben Boyd Natinal Park, They date from 65 million years ago when the soft white sand and its cap of red clay were formed. In the modern times the layers were eroded.
But before we arrived we saw a big goanna, a kind of waran He made hissing noises, to warn us to come not to close.
On the way to the Pinnacles we had a nice view over the Tasman Sea Upon approaching we say the bright red top layer and then we could see the Pinnacles in full glory.On the next picture we can see more details and from slightly further we even had a better sight on the Pinnacles.

On the way back through the coastal shrub landwe saw on the Port Jackson Pine again the goanna. When we left he turned again on the tree.

Today a relatively long trip. First to Eden where you can see something of the whaler history. Here lived a pod of killer whales, chasing whales into the harbour. Whalers killed the whales then and the orca's got the carcasses. It is the only known cooperation between orca's and whalers.
We made a detour to East Boyd and always we were rewarded by something special. Not this time, it was just a road to a wood chip factory, continuously fed by trucks hauling the wood logs. A waste of time for us.
Soon we left New South Wales for Victoria. But not without crossing sign that you are not allowed to take fruit in Victoria. Not that there is in hundred of miles a single fruit tree, but just while you are in Australia. Why not making a red sign with a fruit fly in it, forbidden entry for fruitflies, fines on the spot?

The second half of the trip goes through impressive forests, to Mallacoota, on the far south east point of Australia. The area is thinly populated, and you only can hope it stay this way, as the forests are beautiful. We stay one night in Mallacoota and think the waterfront with the many black swans is interesting

When we leave next morning we see a house under construction, that gives a good insight how the houses are constructed here A wooden frame is covered with chip plates (probably made in the factory we saw the day before) and then with blue insulation. In a matter of days the house can be ready

We have seen until now many rainforests and in the south east part of Australia is another kind of temperate rainforest. Though there are eucalyptus trees, who have small leaves, turning away from the sun, here are many trees here with leaves catching the scarce sunlight, so the forest is dark
There are wonderful little rivers and poolsand tree ferns , but as well tiny leafed ferns, with a beautiful colour
Strange grasses shine bright in the sparse sun rays.. These rainforest are very efficient in recycling nutrients. All remains of living creatures are processed again and slowly an enormous inter dependent life form is established. Until the white settler comes and in short time this is all destroyed and converted to grass, as least as there is no drought. The National parks play an important role to save this beauty. Hopefully this 300 years old, giant tree will long survive. It is a Mountain Grey Gum (Eucalyptus cypellocarpa) Even when old and scarred by fire, the hollow tree is providing shelter for possums, bird, bats and insects

On a parking place Mariska met a one month younger German girl Namita. She is a very bright and sweet little girl, who already speaks real German words. They were instantly friends
Mariska is a popcorn addict and she offered the girl some of her precious treats (Isn't Mariska lovely?)
The bag of popcorn stayed very interesting.
Coincidence or not, but the same evening the campervan of Namita and her parents, Janine and Andreas showed up on the caravan park and were our neighbours for this night, in Marlo. They travel in a rather alternative campervan from the company Wicked. Their camper is decorated with graffiti and the humoristic: "Don't drink and drive, smoke pot and fly" This triggers enthusiastic reactions of other travellers.

Here in Marlo the Snowy River flows in the ocean We have seen the snowy river as a small creek high in the Snowy mountains, now he has swelled to a big river.

We stayed only one night there and the next morning we saw a nice small, wild variety of the Hippeastrum, with a very bright red colour. We followed the Snowy river from the coast to the north. On the banks of the Snowy river , along the road someone sold fresh vegetables. I had a long chat with the man, talking about our mutual hobby, growing quality vegetables. The soil was really excellent for producing quality vegetables. Interesting, as most of the area was a meadow. Due to the very high prices of vegetables, on a relative small area you easily could make a generous living of it. We exchanged some secrets about gardening and we got for a bargain pumpkin, egg plants (aubergines), parsley, parsnip, capsicum and delicious broccoli. And potatoes, digged for us from the ground. All picked and collected fresh, so extraordinary tasty, when stored in the right way in fridge.

We planned the night stop in Lake Entrance, the biggest fishers harbour and a prime holiday destination. We were lucky to get a powered site for the night. We are not too much interested in busy tourist destinations, so we stay here only one night. We can buy a baby stroller for Mariska and she has no time to eat now, the baby pusher is for the time being the centre of her life

We discuss how we will go further. To the West we have seen already extensively some years ago. To the North is only one road, the Great Alpine Road, we have seen as well, be it from the north. Now we will traverse the Great Dividing Ridge from the south. Then we will go to the west and end our holiday in Melbourne. Still nine days to go.

Today the sky is clouded in Lake Entrance tis tourist ic centre.
On leaving Lake Entrance, clouds break and that's a good opportunity to make a picture from the harbour entrance. A dredging boat is ejecting sand in the middle of the picture. We hed from here a nice view indeed. Then we first we pay a visit to Metung, a village surrounded by lakes. A centre for aquatic sports and if Lake Entrance is the holiday centre for the working man, Metung is for his boss, or even the Director. The village is lined with classy, well guarded villas and dream boats are anchored in lagoons. In stead of caravan parks here are are luxe villas and clubs. The lake is shielded from the sea.

We take the route north in to the Victorian Alps now. We follow the Tambo river, which has nicely churned out the riverbed out of sandstone, forming nice cliffs. The area is nicely still green

We continue to the north. Here enormous area's are destroyed by fire. Luckily enough many trees did survive and many fresh green leaves are already visible. We are now slowly climbing. The area is here dry again and bright sunshine makes it a lovely drive. There are few tourists at the Great Alpine Road. We planned to stay for the night at Omeo. An old village from the gold rush time, but well maintained and renovated. The caravan park is situated in a lush river valley.

When we get up the sun shines bright, a perfect setting to visit the goldmines of Omeo. These were the longest operated alluvial goldmines in Victoria. The gold finds date from 1850.

Alluvial gold is eroded from the rock which it contained and deposited in beds of sand and gravel. The alluvial deposits here were at least 30 metres thick. Initially the gold containing material was mined by hand and the gold was panned by hand. Later the hydraulic sluicing method was used. Water was brought in with water races and canals, some 50 km long. The water was led with water pipes to a nozzle. The high water pressure was used to wash down the walls gold bearing gravel from the walls. The mud flowed through canals and wooden sluice boxes. The heavy gold was the collected from riffles and holes in the boxes that trapped the gold. This area produced one and a half ton of gold.

Vast amounts of soil were washed down the mountain and caused lots of problems. We followed the path of destruction of the mine. Work must have been very heavy. Many people were refugees looking here for their fortune, after the failed revolutions in Europe around 1850. Many miners came from China what had a period of unrest as well. Some just escaped poverty or the repression in Europe and hoped to make their fortune here.
Mariska enjoyed the walk but after some kilometres she became tired and wished to be carried.

But mining has many associated problems as well. The area turned into a moon landscape and even after 150 years the damage is clearly visible, but nature slowly reclaims the area and it even looks nice now.
We saw interesting things, like a shining white snow gum tree, showing in full beauty against the blue sky
The area was infamous for the lawlessness. Many men found it easier to steal gold from the miners than mine it themselves.

We saw unusual ants, They made a sort of pyramid with a hole in the top, probably leading to their nets. Or was it just the beginning of a giant anthill? We saw more canals used for gold mining and crossed the creek
We even saw a part of the mining equipment, the nozzle of the sluicing operations. You just can continue the gold mining here, as most likely there is enough gold left. You get only very dirty and there are easier ways to get your money nowadays. After this interesting visit we left for Dinner Plain, a holiday resort, close to ski centre Hotham. We asked there for information about campervan sites, but there were none.
Hotham is next and this is a very well developed ski area, for Australian circumstances. But we saw a few nice runs. The snow is variable in winter and snow guns make up for the required balance.

Interesting is that Hotham is a pure winter sport resort. In summer hardly any activity. It is situated on the top of the mountain, with a nice view over the region, including the Mount Kosciuszko on the horizon.

The alpine region was hit by a severe bush fire , it must have been short after we were here in 2002. The results are clearly visible, but the nature is regenerating quickly. The young sprouted trees are more than 2 meters high now and in hundred years it looks like before the bushfire.

We hear that during the bush fire strange things happened. The bush fires started with a lightning strike but soon after the initial bush fire many other areas were on fire. People have seen man with jerricans entering the forests. You must be very sick to do that. We heard the same stories about the fires this year.
After the top the Alpine road went quickly winding down, through burnt forests, and we ended the day in a roomy and shady but rather run down campervan site in Harrietville.
It was warm down in the valley and Mariska continuously wanted to play on the rather high slide . She was so exited that it took a long time before she felt asleep.

Click on a picture to enlarge The pictures you see after clicking on the small thumbnail pictures, are shrunk to 5% of their original dimensions

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For pictures click here Back to Homepage