After our fantastic time in Melbourne and our experiences on the Great Ocean Road we started our road trip to the east coast.
We tried to keep to the coast as much as possible on our trip as we love the sea. Our first stop on our tour was the town of Lakes Entrance. As the name suggests, this town lies at the entrance of a system of lakes. When we drove in the town we had a stunning view from the top of the surrounding hills. Allegedly there live estuary dolphins in the lake but we didn’t see them.
On our way further north we came across the Buchan Caves. This is a set of caves created million of years ago by water flowing through the limestone, creating huge connected holes. Millions of years later the water milled its way deeper in the ground and left the uppermost cavities empty. As (again over millions of years) the rain water dripped through cracks in the roof of the caves, stalactites and stalagmites were formed. We booked a guided tour and had an awesome experience mere 10 meters under the ground. In some places the caves are so narrow that you could not bring a backpack with you and on other occasions you almost had to crawl. Yet other parts of the cave were ten meters high. A really stunning experience. Although they were a challenge to photograph as there is only limited light, even less time (people behind you pushing) and fences around the stone formations, this is one of our highlights between Melbourne and Sydney. Also a bonus: We saw Kangaroos very closely as the region around the caves is very popular with these marsupial.
Something we realized while traveling was some kind of travel fatigue. We felt tired and weren’t as easily filled with enthusiasm as we’ve been at the beginning of our travels. After we figured out the reason for our missing drive we decided to give us a bit more time. In this spirit we stayed for two nights in Malacoota a small village which was recommended to us by our hosts in Melbourne. Malacoota boosts a population of just short off 1000 and everybody knows everyone. When we bought food in the supermarket several of the customers (and the clerk) chatted with us and gave us recommendations for our stay. When we booked our cabin at the camp ground, we realized that the owner was German. We chatted for a while and got a good price for our cabin 🙂
Although we stayed for two nights in Malacoota to relax we were still not used to the concept of “not doing anything”. We drove around the village and to adjacent beaches instead of just doing nothing. Nevertheless we liked Malacoota. Nice and very quiet.
More or less refreshed we headed to our next stop the Blue Pool in Bermagui. The Blue Pool is an artificial pool at the foot of a cliff. The pool is filled with sea water and is only separated from the pacific ocean (and the waves) by concrete walls. Quite an experience to swim next to mighty waves.
Further up north we visited two small ex gold digger towns, Tilba Tilba and Central Tilba. These cute villages, which now boasts of tourists related businesses likes cafés and shops lie next to Mount Gulaga, a place of ancestral origin for one of the aboriginal tribes.
After this trip again we granted us a small break to recover our breath. We stayed for some days in the city of Narooma in an fantastic AirBnB flat with an stunning view over the bay and the city. We really enjoyed a glass of wine on our deck while watching the sun set. It was just perfect. It was in Narooma where we tried stand-up-paddling the first time. This is an interesting experience, you can get fast if the wind goes in your direction 🙂
Our last stop before we arrived in Sydney was Wollongong. In our guidebook Wollongong was praised for its hang gliding spot. As I really wanted to try hang gliding we obviously were in for a round above the city. Actually I did two hang gliding trips: After the security instruction we took off for the first time and boy was I excited. But because of having not ideal weather (and definitely not my second breakfast…) we didn’t get enough lift. So we slowly descended to the landing site with just ten minutes into the air. We landed, wrapped the glider in and drove up the mountain again. But the second time was really a long and great flight. The lift still wasn’t ideal, yet we managed to stay in the air for 30 minutes. It’s crazy to think about, that a 30 Kg glider is capable of keeping two people in the air. I really recommend the experience of doing hang gliding!