26/10 – 29/10/2015
Larry the Lobster may have seen better days but it is the sight that marks our way into Kingston and plans are afoot to restore the iconic tourist attraction to its former glory.
Larry the Lobster – Kingston
We have a lovely site just across the road from the beach and walk way which leads one way out to the jetty and the other out to Pinks Beach – we never did get to the end of it.
We head out to Butcher Gap Conservation Park for a coastal walk, which usually has water filled lakes but due to a longer than usual dry spell there is very little water in the lakes. For me the coast means lush green trees and a tropical atmosphere but here with very little rainfall the plants and terrain a very different. The walk is very well marked with good descriptive plaques along the way. Birdcalls are all around, many varieties of flowering shrubs and a wonderful surprise for us to come across an echidna intent on raiding an ants nest. A ranger stops for a chat on his way to count the ducks and asks if we have seen any snakes – we haven’t not even a track to which he replies the place is full of them – they are everywhere. In hearing that we are very pleased to be at the end of the track.
One of the more unusual plants along the way a Red Beaded Samphire
The burrowing echidna
After an extra night in Mildura we fine tune our travel plans and head to Bordertown for a night. From the caravan park to the people in shops this is a very friendly town and at the moment a bonus of a wonderful art exhibition – Tatiara Art Prize. We both come up with different paintings we love and cast our all-important vote for people’s choice.
Shane reminisces of when he was a child growing up in Kaniva driving here just to enjoy an ice cream and watch the football.
14/10 – 18/10/2015
Coming back to Mildura, three years since I’ve been back, reminds me either of our time living here for almost 7 years or being on holidays since being married and its always good to be back. We are staying at the Apex Caravan Park and our site is just across from the beach area overlooking the Murray River – just beautiful.
I can happily walk along the old paths by the river and enjoy the familiarity of the bush setting beside the peaceful wandering journey of the river.
I am now in training for the Kiandra to Kosciusko so I am carrying 5kg each time I walk trying to build up my leg and shoulder strength – so far so good.
Reconnecting with friends over wine, beers and food is always special, stories past remembered and new ones are told usually with much laughter and lots of banter in between.
Livingston National Park – not but the beautiful private property called Silver Springs.
Our usual walking numbers were swelled by 20 or so ‘ring ins’ for our walk around Livingston NP including Conservationists, Botanists, Landcare, Birdwatchers and us. A little bit of history as to why this place in particular has been so well preserved. Back in the day, 1915 it was set aside for railway sleepers/ timber for use at Junee but was never used. Flooding occurred 1949 and then some species habitating the park were identified as rare or endangered. Still it took until 2001 and one to have this area set aside. After that interesting talk the local ranger came over with some bad news – due to two men shooting at police in the area the day before we were asked if we would not walk in the park today.
Lucky for us we were invited to a private property within 15kms and walked around discovering Chocolate and Vanilla Lillies (unfortunately only the smell is chocolate not the taste), beautiful delicate ferns, many other plants I have forgotten, rock wallabies were spotted, eagles flew majestically above, strange bugs appeared on lichen covered rocks and to top it all off a very nasty little introduced plant called Shitty Weed – yes I would remember that one and yes that is exactly what it smelled like.
Our climb to the 2nd highest spot on the property was rewarded with spectacular views over Wagga Wagga and the Murrumbidgee Valley – a great day out in the end with some amazing people.
Looking out over Wagga Wagga
Tagging for Hume and Hovell 50/100 Ultra Marathon – Wednesday 14/10/2015
It is already quite warm when we arrive at the wall of the dam, 15ks from Tumut, so no time for tea and coffee the ‘fast track’ ladies set off to reach the end of the track 8.6ks in and then start tagging making their way back to the second group who will start tagging from the dam. The Hume and Hovell track is a well marked, single file and not too difficult with some nice undulating hills with continuous views of the dam.
Blowering Dam Wall
Plants are just bursting into life with the warmer temperatures with a definite mix of native and introduced plants. There are sections where the blackberry bushes hem you in from both sides which makes it hot and humid to places where the ferns take over the undergrowth which creates much cooler walking conditions.
Glycine Latrobeana – Purple Pea This curious plant surrounded us at lunch, winding its way around trees and plants, bursting in a beautiful delicate flower.
6ks in we stop for lunch and then the waiting for the other group begins – not that I minded the extended break and found out more about the interesting plant life that surrounded us.
The trek home is a much quicker walk with no tags to leave but the heat has increased so plenty of water breaks. Some are lucky enough to see a very curious echidna who nose is bent up to sniff the air as they walk passed. I was happy to get up close to this beautiful butterfly.
Could this be a Harlequin Metalmark butterly?
We finish with a cuppa at the bottom of the dam wall – a great day out.