Parts of Victoria had been ravaged by bush fires, the heat and smoke was oppressive, our minds numb from the constant news updates and worrying. I needed to switch off for a few days and experience some clean air as the smoke-filled air had been giving me bad head aches.
East Gippsland was to be the destination, atleast it didn’t appear to be under any threat of fire. It would bring new scenery for us, and the bonus of possibly seeing and photographing some of its wildlife. Having made a couple of enquiries I drew up a rough list of places to visit and things to see in our limited time of 4 days.
Nicholson is a small community not far from Bairnsdale. We spent our first night at the Nicholson backwater area and celebrated Valentines Day morning with a cooked breakfast, followed by a stroll along the river. A picturesque spot for boating, fishing and bird watching.
Our destination was in fact Mallacoota but we broke up the journey with several quick stops for sight seeing, short beach or bush walks, a spot of bird watching or refuelling purposes. A brief stop at Lakes Entrance, to admire the picture postcard views from the lookout and a quick walk around the Marina area before continuing on our mini road trip.
At Cape Conran we enjoyed exploring around the rocks that were bathed in that golden late afternoon sunlight. A newly married couple arrived and had photos done there. Looking at the sky I didn’t think the sunset would be too promising so we motored on to our second night’s accommodation at a motel in Orbost.
Keen to get to Mallacoota we continued on the Princes Hwy, with a couple small deviations to look for certain birds. Mallacoota seemed smaller than I imagined, seems it would be a great place for fishing and boating. Our interest was in nature though and we booked ourselves onto a late afternoon cruise on which we were lucky to get great views of Sea Eagles!
White-bellied Sea Eagle seen whilst on a cruise
Discovering an intriguing place called Adobe Mudbrick Flats near Mallacoota, we made it our base for 2 nights. Almost like being on a Hollywood film set with wildlife on cue, I was overwhelmed by nature all around me.
Recycling at its best, bottle ‘art’ and mosaic walls at “Adobe”
From tiny finches and colourful parrots fossicking at feeders, to Bower birds collecting anything blue, to flighty Lyrebirds and huge Goannas strolling down to the dam. And falling asleep to the sound of Sugar Gliders.
The Mallacoota area deserved more time spent than the 2 days we had. With its inlet/waterways, forests and proximity to Croajingalong National Park it is a great area for a nature getaway or family holiday. One can enjoy numerous walks, boat cruises, the coast and the wilderness. We barely scraped the surface and we are keen to visit again!
Goanna at Shipwreck Creek, Croajingalong
The day we were returning to Melbourne we took a drive to nearby Shipwreck Creek which is known for Goannas (Lace Monitors) around its campground area and sure enough we weren’t disappointed with a couple of them basking in the sun or climbing trees. That and a nice walk through the heathland to get nice views of the wilderness coast – it was a fitting finish to our visit.
I have to mention the one little downside to our trip. On our way back to Melbourne we discovered we had a couple of ‘hitchhikers’ – a tick attached to my shoulder and my partner found one inside his shirt.
With all our walking it is no wonder we got a couple of them and one really needs to be alert, especially if you are taking dogs into the area. Take the proper precautions with repellents and so on. That way you can take home wonderful memories and hopefully no horrible little souvenirs.
Tick hitched a ride (shown much larger than actual size)
~ Cheryl Ridge
Visit my online photo galleries
tags: images, boating, mallacoota, goanna, tick, vacations, nicholson, bird watching, lakes entrance, cheryl ridge photography, australian birds, australian travel, cape conran, sea eagle, lace monitor, bush fires, nature lovers, landscape, fishing, australia, travel, nature, animals, victoria, wildlife, scenic, entrance, lakes, gippsland, east