As promised last time, as part of our recent holiday’s myself and Ghita packed the wagon for our little roadtrip to Gippsland to visit my family and see some of the things on offer up around the Gippsland region. Our destination was Eagle Point where my parent’s farm is, which is roughly 256km(about 160 miles) from home. A journey that’ll take you about 3 hours without stops. After grabbing a couple of coffee’s and a tank full of fuel we headed off. I’ve been making this trip for the last 25 odd years and thankfully the roads heading towards the Gippsland region have improved a lot over that time. There was nothing worse than to get stuck behind caravans and trucks on a single lane highway for ages while they just plodded along at their own pace. 2017 and a majority of the roads are dual lane so it’s a bit of a nicer, and faster trip. Rarely do I try to do the whole drive without stopping, with our break point being in a little town called Rosedale. There is a little petrol station there that also has a cafe and sometimes more importantly, toilets lol.
Break over and it’s time to keep moving, I wanted to try to visit a place along the way that I’d never been to before. “Den of Nargun”, I’ve seen the turnoff signs a million times but never bothered to go there. Now was the time, so keeping an eye out for the signs again, this time we turned off to make the trek to the Den. The “Den of Nargun” is located in the Mitchell River National Park north of Glenaladale. Eventually finding the parking area we started off on our walk to find the Den. Walking to the Den may not be for the elderly or those who have problems hiking and/or climbing as we found in some areas it can be a little steep and we also had to climb over boulders to stay on the track.
A Nargun, according to Gunai/Kurnai tribal legends, a fierce half-human half-stone creature that lived in the Den of Nargun, a cave under a rock overhang behind a small waterfall located in the Mitchell River National Park, Victoria, Australia. Aboriginal legend describes the Nargun as a beast entirely made of stone except for its hands, arms and breast. The fierce creature would drag unwary travellers into its den. Any weapon directed against it would be turned back on its owner.(Wikipedia)
Stories were told around campfires about the Nargun to help keep the children from wandering off and to help keep people out of the sacred cave. The cave was in fact a special place for the women of the tribe possibly for initiations and learning.
It is a pretty site to see, the water was a bit dirty looking but it doesn’t take anything away from how nice the Den looks. There is signs up asking for visitors to not go into the cave as it’s sacred to the Gunai tribe. That’s ok, I wasn’t planning on trying to get in as it meant getting wet. Ahhh no thanks, and a little respect goes a long way too. As with most of natures gifts that we’ve visited so far it’s an ok walk down but getting back up is a little harder.
The Mitchell River National Park might be a place worth visiting if you’re up that way. With facilities for camping and picnicking along with the river to canoe in plus a host of other activities for you to do in the park. If you want to know more, take a look at their Website
Back out to the highway we finally get to Eagle Point not too long before dinner. Time enough for Ghita to meet the horses and settle into the cottage where we’ll be staying for a few days. Diner that night…..Pizza, Sweeeeet! You can’t go wrong with pizza hehe.
We took a trip to Raymond Island the next day to go Koala spotting. Just south of the lakeside town Paynesville, Raymond Island is only accessible by boat or by a car ferry where we joined all the other pedestrians to have a wander around the island in the hope of spotting Koala’s. Once you’re on the island there a numerous signboards on the Koala’s on their locations and the shire has even made a spotting trail for you to follow to give you the best chance of seeing Koala’s. Did we see any? Well to start with not a lot but as we went deeper into the island we started to see more and more of them hiding up in the tree’s, mostly sleeping.
The amazing thing with the Koala’s on Raymond Island is that the island is largely residential, so for those who live on the island it’s not unusual to have Koala’s in your own yard. That’d be pretty cool I think. In fact as we were walking through the streets heading back towards the ferry we saw such a thing. As you will see in the videos below this one particular Koala, who WAS awake, unlike all his friends climbed down from the tree he was perched up in and made his way into somebodies front yard.
In 1778, koalas were found from Queensland to southern Victoria and south-eastern South Australia. From the 1800s fire, disease, clearing and hunting for fur were so devastating that by 1925 the koala was nearly extinct.
As early conservation measures, koalas were introduced to Phillip Island in 1920 and a consignment of 32 koalas was sent from Phillip Island to Raymond Island on 25 September 1953. The population has since flourished.(courtesy of raymondisland.net).
We were pretty close I think and it was awesome to see the Koala moving around like that, not really fussed about us being there. We didn’t want too get to close because we didn’t want to scare it, or maybe was it because we weren’t sure weather it was really a Koala or the Koala’s evil twin, the “Dropbear”?? Hahahaha, check out Wikipedia for a read on our Dropbears.
If you want to see Koala’s up close in the wild and you’re down visiting the Gippsland Lakes area take a stroll over to Raymond Island and go Koala spotting for yourself. The Gippsland Lakes area is a beautiful area to go sightseeing and in an upcoming post we’ll share some more of our travels with you.
Til’ next time