Melbourne, Geelong

Tuesday, 17 February 2004 | link | tag | / Trips / Australia / Victoria
solo australia trip
I broke camp and headed to Geelong. I'm catching up with an old friend Cheryl for dinner, and will get a hotel (shudder) in Geelong. I might also checkout the diving shops, see if any dives are going.

Melbourne hasn't changed much, its still a miserable industrial sprall surrounding an uninspiring city. (Clair, if you're reading, IMHO ;) ).

Wilsons Promonotry, Walking, Darby's Saddle

Monday, 16 February 2004 | link | tag | / Trips / Australia / Victoria / National Parks
solo australia trip
I started the day as I had it in my head last night - breakfast, prepare for walking, pay for the campsite, pickup some information on the various walks in the park, walk.

That done, I settled on the 6km walk from Darby's Saddle to Lookout Rocks and Tongue Point. Sharpes Lookout was also on this trail via a small detor. The walk took about 3 hours in total, I took it very easily. I took my small herd of marsh flies for a stroll, you might say. Damn.

The trail winds it way along the side of Darby's Saddle, through forest and heath, occasionally giving glimpses of the view ahead of islands, blue water and rocks.

The main feature of the entire park is that claim that it has many 'moods', well, I cerntainly found a taste of them on this walk. In the space of a hundred metres, the forest would change from plesant, vibrant and sun dappled carpet of ferns under splendidly large old growth trees, to gnarled and twisted trunks arching over the trail, hiding a dark and evil looking trail covered with needles from the trees. Of course the difference was what side of the mountain I was on - the more exposed side was the harsher environment.

The view from lookout rocks was abolutely amazing, I stopped to rest (it was quite a climb!), had something to eat and decided to head back. The lookout also afforded a view of the trail ahead to Tongue Point and it didn't seem to hold the same splendor this magnificent spot did.

After freezing my ass of the previous night, when I got back to camp I set off back to Foster for some supplies, and most importantly a warmer sleeping bag.

I spent the evening watching the sunset at Whiskey Bay.

Wilsons Promonontry

Sunday, 15 February 2004 | link | tag | / Trips / Australia / Victoria / National Parks
solo australia trip
Heading along the remainder of the dirt road towards Eden and Bega took me through some breathtaking countryside, amongst rolling hills and pastures, cute homesteads.

I headed generally south, with no specific objective in mind. I took the loop road that runs out to Cape Conran and Marlo before returning to the Princes Highway again at Orbost. Cape Conran offered some excellent views of the ocean, punctuated by an extremely jagged and rocky coastline. There were a couple of 45 minute walks from the car park, but I decided to give them a miss.

I stopped for lunch in M, at the M Hotel. It looked absolutely boring from the outside, and getting to the inside didn't change much. Still, the beer was cold, and the food cheap, prompt and tasty.

I stopped in Orbost for a few minutes to look at the maps and books. I spotted Wilsons Pomentory and some other national parks. I was undecided about giving them a miss and heading straight to Geelong so that I could do the Great Ocean Road fisrt thing in the morning.

After a fair bit of procrastination, I settled on a two night stay in Wilsons Prom, after reading the writeup in the Lonely Planet. I plan to do some bushwalking and drive up to the mountains nearby.

On the way, I stopped briefly at the Tora Wind Farm. I had to look twice to be sure that I'd seen a wind turbine looming over the hills as I rounded a bend. Magnificently huge and serene at the same time when viewed close up.

When I got to the Tidal River campground at Wilsons Prom, it seems almost every single surfer that owns a combi van had found it already. I was driving at 10 km/hr but it still was a bit too fast for the surfboard toting crew. The sunset made up for it, and the view of the surrounding peaks - the promise of more in the morning.

Six Mile Creek

Saturday, 14 February 2004 | link | tag | / Trips / Australia / New South Wales
solo australia trip
I drove south west from Sydney towards Canberra, but narrowly missed and continued south on the Monaro highway, and then the Snowy Mountains highway. Rolling flat grassland hills, dotted here and there with domains of boulders covered with lichen. I stopped briefly at ?? and had a poke around, found a NPWS info board and gleaned the location of a nearby campsite, Six Mile Creek, some 25 km away as my GPS put it. The road to Six Mile Creek was unsealed and a great deal of fun, it was in excellent condition and not a soul was on it.

I arrived at the campsite to find it almost deserted spare one group, mother and children down one end. A babbling creek was a constant mummer in the background if you listened carefully, but then you could, the silence was only broken by a chorus from a colony of Kookaburras and the constant buzz of marsh flies.

I wandered to the cascades, a short 10 minute walk through the rainforest. The cascades was a series of huge boulders, arranged to drop the creek level by some 30 metres. Where the water pooled at the top and ran over, it was slowly eroding the rock. A splendid litle waterfall.

It was almost unbearably hot and humid at mid day, but it soon eased to a comfortable evening and a very cool night. I woke up to the Kookaburras chorus, and enjoyed a camp bacon and egg breakfast, broke camp and left before the heat came back!

The Cave, Eden

Sunday, 25 January 2004 | link | tag | / Diving / Australia / NSW - South Coast
An absolutely magic dive. Amzing visibility, easily 25 metres. The cave was a far swim in a strong current, but the life on the way was nothing short of amaing. Numb rays, rays, old wives, nudibranchs, sea fans, eels, catfish, jellyfish and even an eastern blue devil fish.

The cave was interesting with the ceiling covered in the mirror surface created by trapped air bubbles.

Some great multi coloured sea fans - a couple of different colours had grown from the same rock and had ended up fusing together - the colours mingling together...

Tasman Hauler, Eden

Friday, 23 January 2004 | link | tag | / Diving / Australia / NSW - South Coast
The wreck of the tasman hauler was quite fun, as far as wrecks go. The huge propeller, several metres across, presents a nice swim through, even for someone like me who is not trained to be entering wrecks.

Excellent viz, and some nice growth and fish life to explore once the rusting huck of steel lost its appeal...

Henry Bolte. Eden (Night)

Friday, 23 January 2004 | link | tag | / Diving / Australia / NSW - South Coast
Deepest night dive I've done, and certainly the eariest with the wreck looming up here and there, and the lights of other divers appearing and disappearing at random through the holes in the wreck.

Henry Bolte, Eden

Friday, 23 January 2004 | link | tag | / Diving / Australia / NSW - South Coast
The Henry Bolte is a bit more broken up, but the result is lots more fish life because the wreck provides a greater range of nooks and niches for life. Still, a reasonbly enjoyable wreck with visibility this good.

Jervis Bay, Gorgonia Wall

Thursday, 8 January 2004 | link | tag | / Diving / Australia / NSW - South Coast
Compared to last time I was in Jervis Bay, this dive was a tremendous let down. It seemed that all of the marine animals had just up and off somewhere better, leaving just empty water and flies.

To make matters worse, I forgot to plug in the power for my alpha light - so i had no light to explore under rocks and crevises, which is what I usually do when the good stuff isn't just there ready to be seen.

Oh well, you get that. You also get no images ;)

Jervis Bay, Pyramid Rock

Thursday, 8 January 2004 | link | tag | / Diving / Australia / NSW - South Coast
A bit better with the light. Similar low levels of life, but if you hunted for it, it was there to be found.

I found a couple of Nudibranchs I had not photographed before. This was also my first dive with my new steel tanks.