Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Day 67 - 17 Feb 09

Finally left Genoa Campsite on Monday 16th Feb. It was still trying to rain, but what the hey. It's probably the longest I've stayed in a free camp but it is a beautiful location and far enough off the main road that the trucks roaring by in the night don't disturb your sleep.
The Genoa River flows right past the campground and there is a good opportunity for walks along the banks and in the stream bed when the water is low.
I headed for Mallacoota Inlet. I've heard about it so often that I had to take a gander. Took a quick side trip into Gypsy Point on the way, but there really isn't much there unless you have a boat, in which case it could be quite interesting.
Arrived in Mallacoota and was astounded by the size of the caravan park, somebody said it was the largest CP in Oz, in fact there doesn't seem to be much there except for the caravan park and a few shops. The weather was still pretty iffy, so the beach wasn't all that attractive but I took a trip around to Bastion Point (had to ask at the service station, no signs in the town) and went for a great walk along the rocks and around the point.
Back to the Highway and off to Cann River. VicRoads seems to be very good at posting signs for little sites that the visitor might want to see. I am in no hurry, so I turned off at a few of these. The first was Genoa Creek Falls, about 20kms from Genoa. Nothing spectacular, but a nice walk through the bush and a good photo op.
The next was a rest area called Drummer Rainforest Walk about 11 kms east of Cann River. Good campsite, plenty of room for 3 or 4 vans. Set up overnight and took the rainforest walk the next morning after packing up. It's only about a 1km loop, but there were so many things to see, that it took me over an hour. There's a box with printed guides at the start of the loop and lots of interpretive signs through the walk. Well worth the time, I'd put it on a "must see" list for this part of East Gippsland.
The signs mention that the rainforest only recovers very slowly from fire, and this area was part of the Ash Wednesday fires in 1983, but it seems to have recovered very well from what I can see.Next stop was another rainforest walk at McKenzie River, 32 kms west of Cann River. Again, lots of interpretive signs but much more sophisticated. All the walk is paved or boardwalk with a couple of swing bridges. Didn't feel as raw and close to nature as the Drummer walk. Some of the biggest tree ferns I've ever seen.
Just past the village of Cabbage Tree, I spotted a turn off featuring "Cabbage Palm Walk", so in I went. It's about 5kms in off the highway, It's a pretty rough dirt track, the walk is only about 10 minutes (if you walk slowly) and there's nothing there. Well, there are 3 or 4 Cabbage Tree palms growing among the eucalypts, but that's pretty much it.
A little bit further on towards Orbost and there's a sign on the left (travelling west) to Mt. Raymond Lookout. Blink and you'll miss it. DON'T MISS IT! ! !. The road is fairly rough and definitely not suitable for large vans (my Jayco off-road wind-up was fine). The view from Mt. Raymond towards Marlo and the mouth of the Snowy River is superb.
On to Orbost and a little shopping, just bread and milk etc. The old causeway across the Snowy River flood plain looked interesting, but I couldn't see an access road so I'll leave that for another trip.

Just west of the village of Nowa Nowa there is a sign pointing off to the right to "Historic Trestle Bridge 5 km". Worth a look. Evidently the highest railway bridge in Victoria and was still in use until 1988.
Headed down the road to Lakes Entrance and found a nice little rest area near Lake Bunga about 11 kms before LE, so I'll set up here for tonight and have a look around in the morning before heading in to LE.

More soon, Happy Travelling.

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