Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Kookaburra Valley Farmstay

We went for a drive along the Eastern side of the Peninsula through Merricks, Balnarring, Hastings to Tyabb. All lovely little villages with the friendliest people.
There were hay bales as far as the eye could see.

Hasting had a lovely marina.

We then went to Arthurs Seat, which was named after a similar mountain in Edinburgh Scotland in 1802. We walked to the Seawinds Gardens with it’s wonderful views a large 34 hectare park within the Arthurs Seat State Park.

A very large seat to fill at the top of the mountain. 
The park was filled with curious kangaroos.

A view from Bay Lookout.

At our accommodation at Nepean Country Club Resort these birds made a great welcoming party. 

We also went to the Famous Portsea Hotel right on the waterfront at Portsea. The end of the road atmosphere sets the scene for the million dollar holiday mansions of Portsea. Melbourne’s rich and famous have built here from the 1860’s through to the 1920’s and the buildings are statements sitting on the edge of cliffs overlooking the waters.
We had lunch at the Hotel built in 1927, seating on the terrace looking out over the bay with the most stunning views.

Looking back towards the hotel from the waterfront.
After lunch we went for a walk approx. 5 kilometres in length out along the Port Nepean Discovery Walk to the very end of the Mornington Peninsula.
During the last century in Australia with migrants arriving from all over the world it became essential to have quarantine for livestock. Many new settlers brought their own sheep, horses and goats to help settle into the new land. It was known that rinderpest and foot and mouth disease could rapidly infect local livestock so conditions had to be put in place to ensure the health of these animals. The jetty and holding yards were built at Observation Point in 1879. Later quarantine yards were established at Melbourne Zoo and Coode Island.

Fort Nepean is at the westward end of Point Nepean. The turbulent waterway between Port Phillip and Point Lonsdale is known as the Rip. Today the heads provide the sole access point to Port Melbourne. The rip is still considered one of the world’s most testing navigational challenges. Mariners of old described their passage through the treacherous currents and reefs as “threading the needle”.
Although the walk was quite long the views were well worth the effort.
The Fort Nepean & Quarantine Station from 1858 complex has tunnels and gun emplacements, the tunnels at the fort were extensive this one was going to the engine room down by the water’s edge.
This is the beach where Harold Holt disappeared.

We also drove to Lakes Entrance and stopped at Mt Barkly Lookout Kalimna.

A view of the entrance to the lakes at Lakes Entrance from Jemmies Point.

On our way to the Den of Nargun we came across this wonderful echidna going about his day.

The Den of Nargun has great cultural significance to the aboriginal people especially the women of the Gunnai/Kurnai community. Tradition has it that the Nargun lives there a fierce being of half human - half stone. The Nargun was feared because it took children who visited the rockpool. Spears thrown at it were reflected back to the thrower. The den a cave under a rock overhang once had stalactites hanging from it however visitors unfortunately took these as souvenirs. Some can still be seen today.

The Den of Nargun in the Mitchell River National Park and has the Woolshed Creek running through it.
Looking closely you can see me at Bluff Lookout where I stayed while Kevin walked down through the valley to the glen at the creek.

We drove through the park to Billy Goat Bend, where the Mitchell River has carved a natural amphitheater through the 350 million year old sandstone. The Mitchell River is the only major Victorian River that runs wild and freely from its source to the sea, starting as a series of streams from the moss bogs.

In Bairnsdale there is the most unusual Court House built in 1873 that we have ever seen.
We are staying in the Lakes Entrance area at Sarsfield on the Kookaburra Valley farm which is an idyllic cottage in farmland about 15 minutes drive from Bairnsdale. This is the view as we wake in the morning from the front door or bedroom window such a special serenity exists here no noise other than that from the birds.

The view once the fog had lifted. There is no phone signal and therefore no internet available so I am being forced to have a real peaceful time, Kevin is driving into Bairnsdale each day to work at the library and I am staying on the farm even the owners of the property go to work during the day so there is nobody around for literally miles and miles very peaceful and soul renewing.

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