On Tuesday the 30th we woke and packed up camp at Phillip Island. Because the camp ground was like a ghost town we took our time and didn’t leave until after 11am.
We drove straight to Morewell and stayed the night with friends, Kim, Michael and their little girl Piper. It was sooo nice to spend the day actually having a conversation with adults! The girls also had the time of their lives enjoying bulk ABC kids, Netflix and pulling out every single one of Piper’s toys haha! Koel and I were also spoilt with a roast dinner and bulk veggies, just what we needed! Thank you Michael, Kim and Piper for your hospitality hopefully, we can repay the favour one day when we finally settle.
We woke Wednesday morning, said our goodbyes and after hearing so many good things about Aldi from Michael and Kim, decided to visit for the first time.
We drove from Morewell to Lakes Entrance, Wednesday wasn’t a very nice day so we probably didn’t see Lakes Entrance in all its glory but it was still a beautiful little town. It was the last day of the caravan parks “peak season” and with them wanting over $50 for powered and unpowered sites we decided to keep driving to a little town called Nowa Nowa, about 20 minutes out of Lakes Entrance. We were one of 3 sites occupied that night, and although the park needs some TLC we had the best time in the massive camp kitchen with all the board games on offer.
Not long after we got there the bloke down the bank from us started having a pretty heated conversation on his phone about buying something for $6500 and finding it hard to believe it wasn’t still worth that. He wasn’t happy and got in his bus and took off with his massive dog. The big gun looked like he had been set up for awhile with 2 cars, a motorbike, a trailer, tent, boat and caravan all set up. Anyway he walked past our van a little while later on the way to the camp kitchen and saw Koel was reading a book about Bon Scott, it was like love at first sight and he stopped to chat about live concerts and “best day of my life” moments. Of course they were bestie’s after that (really wish there was an eyeroll button).
We ended up hooking the van back onto the bus that night so we had a quick getaway Thursday morning. We decided to drive the 220km’s to Eden which saw us cross the border into NSW. Koel has been looking forward to this part of the trip since we started, and now I can see why. The coast here is just breathtaking, and all the little towns reminds me bit of Tassie.
We soon found a caravan park to stay at in Eden which happened to have an awesome kids playground pretty much next to us! I went to the park with the girls while Koel set up, overhearing a couple next to us saying “I thought school holidays had f@#%*&g finished”. We were both pretty angry, it was 3 o’clock in the afternoon for goodness sake, are you so miserable you can’t listen to kids laughter? Needless to say there were a few dirty looks exchanged over the 2 nights haha! After Koel finished setting up we decided to go exploring.
We found a lookout and read up on some of the whaling history, deciding the next day we would drive to Boyd’s tower.
We also visited the information centre and library, the girls love collecting brochures so we got a few of them and also checked out their amazing teddy couch!
We spent that night sitting on the edge of the river watching pelicans and getting smashed by mozzies.
Our first adventure the next morning after breakfast was a drive out of town into Boyd’s National Park to checkout Boyd’s Tower. I’m so glad we went, the structure was amazing. It is a real eye opener, taking in the location and the logistics of building it way back in 1840 and even materials used, all the sandstone was bought down from Sydney!
The tower and surrounding national park is named after Ben Boyd, a Scottish entrepreneur who in 1840 built it with plans to use it as a lighthouse. This never eventuated, instead it was used as a whale spotting tower in which Ben Boyd himself would send billows of smoke out the top to alert his crews of incoming whales. It is written that he had the advantage over the other whalers because the tower was at the furthest point which meant him and his crews swathed first. He stayed in the whaling business before going bankrupt in Australia and setting sail for the Californian gold fields, I think he ended up murdered in the solomon islands a few years later.
As we were leaving Boyd’s Tower, Koel threw me the bus keys and said I’ll meet you back at the bus. He couldn’t help himself when he saw one of the walking tracks down to a cliff face lookout had a do not enter sign on it!! He just had to go for a look. Walking back with the girls was eventful, I was stomping my feet waiting for a snake to eat us and trying not to look into the bush. I heard a noise, looked over and a Goana the size of a cow was just staring at me. I took off dragging the girls, tears in my eyes with them asking “whats wrong mummy?” nothing just RUN! We got back to the bus and I didn’t even open their doors just threw them in my door and jumped in after them. We were all puffing and lucky there was a drink in the car because no way was I getting out to get one out of the fridge! Koel came sauntering out of the path 5 minutes later and told me he got some good photos and even saw a goana climbing a tree, I just looked at him and said I F!@%#&G KNOW! He says it was the size of a cat but I’m sticking with small cow. I’ve told him he can never leave me to walk through the bush on my own again!
Our next stop a few kms back down the road was The Davidson Whaling station at Two Fold Bay. Another breathtaking location, those blokes in the 1800’s just loved there prime real estate. It had a lot of information about whaling back in the day and its hard to imagine a whale carcus sitting in this pristine little bay getting cut into a million pieces. Apparently with the wind blowing the right direction the township of Eden across the bay could smell the whale blubber being boiled.
There was also a story about “Old Tom”, a Killer Whale who would heard other whales in to the bays to be slaughtered and be rewarded with the carcus! It just amazes me how smart these animals are, I watched a documentary on Netflix called Blackfish (if you haven’t watched it, do it!) and learned so much about the way the Killer Whales mind works but the stories in Eden were just next level. I am devastated we missed the museum, arriving at 3:45 when it closed! Oh well, an excuse to go back I suppose!
We headed back to the caravan for lunch and Koel was in heaven when the local seafood rocked up. They send a bloke round in one of their little flat trays with a cool room on the back ringing his bell out the window selling all the local produce (the girls and I thought it was ice-cream!). A dozen Oysters and pickled muscles later, after already eating 2 chicken burgers, he is insane!
We went for a drive in the afternoon to do a bit more exploring. The destination was another little beach the ladies in the information centre had suggested to us just around from our caravan park but by the time we got there both the girls had fallen to sleep so we decided to drive north of Eden to Merimbula which was only about 20kms away. As we drove through Koel looked at me and said what a s%$t place to live! It was absolutely beautiful, we drove to the top beach for a toilet break and just sat in the bus in awe of the outlook. We then found our way down to a little jetty which took us past some absolutely amazing homes looking out over the bay of Merimbula, we dare to dream!!
From this location we could see some very bright coloured boat houses with little jetties off the front of them on the opposite side of the bay so we made our way over, parked the bus and went for a little wander. It looked like something off a postcard, I was pinching myself at the time to make sure I was really there and looking a the photos now I still find it as breathtaking. We learnt our lesson AGAIN to ALWAYS take our swimmers, the water looked so so good and there were little kids jumping off the jetties just having the times of their lives. We walked up the beach and watched the girls jump off the start of a jetty into the sand. After a dozen attempts I got some pretty good live action shots.
We spent the last night at the caravan park in Eden eating pork dumplings for tea, a nice change from our usual travelling diet of steak, hamburgers, sausages or chicken burgers! We had barley spent 48 hours on the south coast of NSW and we were both honestly in love with the place. Koel spent the night on his phone googling construction jobs in the area! Our next stop was Tathra for 3 nights which I was going to try fit in this blog post but its just such a beautiful place and we crammed SO much in I think to do it justice it deserves its own chapter in our travels! Even better Koel has promised to write it, what a babe!