Sunday, January 18, 2015

New Year road trip day 2: Lakes Entrance

I woke the next day with very sore glutes, calves and quads from the previous day's exertions (as well as sunburn on the tops of my feet because I forgot to suncreen them), but I dragged myself out of bed early, ready to hit the road for Lakes Entrance. The morning was pleasantly cool and dewy. 

For non-Victorians, Lakes Entrance is in Gippsland - the southern section of Victoria that's east of Melbourne - and it's such a beautiful part of the state. It has amazing beaches, lush farmland with rolling hills and not-too-distant mountains. Despite being more than a month into summer, parts of it were still green. 

We turned off at the small town of Toora to visit Agnes Falls and there was gorgeousness everywhere we looked. And cows. It was just so verdant

I'd never heard of Agnes Falls until planning this trip, even though they are the highest single drop falls in Victoria - but they were a very impressive sight. The Agnes River was calm and glassy before tumbling into a deep, rocky gorge. 

Look at that mirror-like river 

More of the falls (not the full drop)

The wall of the gorge opposite the falls was a series of tall, rugged, rocky columns, but there were too many trees in the way to get a photo of it (damned nature!). No, wait. I love nature. The native bush smelled amazing and we saw (and heard) two black cockatoos screeching in a tree near the falls. 

 Agnes River and fallen tree

A nearby windfarm

 More verdure...and a river runs through it

 More hay rolls and green hills
 Green hill with curious cow

Next we headed for Woodside Beach, near the start of the iconic Ninety Mile Beach. At about 150km (94 miles), Ninety Mile Beach is one of the longest uninterrupted stretches of beach in the world. I was thrilled to read that sharks - including Great Whites - have been known to breed in the shallows along the beach, but we weren't there during mating season (note to self: revisit during shark sexy time). 


The Surf Life Saving Club patrol

We missed a turn and ended up in Lochsport, which sits on a skinny finger of land between two lakes, right on the coast (that triangle of blue is the ocean).   

It's home to a cousin of the Loch Ness Monster, and her baby.

Our next stop was another lakeside town called Metung. Allow me to share a snippet of the conversation as we drove along: 

Me (looking at map): Where's Metung?

Luke: In your mouth! (Laughs hysterically)

Hawhaw. It's pronounced MEE-tung, but after that we called it Me-TUNG. 

I'd heard many people sing the praises of Metung, and it was certainly pretty - a pleasant mix of water views, and a village spread across low hills covered with native bush - but I found it a little too...Portsea for my liking (i.e. a place where people with plenty of money like to take their summer holidays with their big, shiny boats).

 Rich person(s) holidaying with yacht

Lakes Entrance, named for the artificial channel (highlighted belowconnecting Bass Strait to the Gippsland Lakes, was our final destination for the day.   

We booked into a motel room for the night and then took ourselves for a walk. 

 Footbridge over lake to the beach

 Fishing boats

Some other boats

A friend had highly recommended a fish and chip shop in Lakes Entrance  - the best fish n chips EVER - so we headed there for dinner. Going on the number of patrons in the shop and the long wait for our order, it was indeed a purveyor of fine fish n chips. 

I don't eat fish, but I can say that the chips were excellent: crispy outside and fluffy inside.  I also sweet potato cakes for the first time and they were yummy (also enormous).

Then it was back to our motel and to bed. I think we were in bed before 10.00 pm (maybe even 9.30 pm) every night of our trip and I sighed with contented exhaustion every night as I laid down my weary body. Aaaaaaaah.  

On that note, I'm going to take my weary body to bed. Day three to follow...

1 comment:

Andrew said...

As a kid, I nearly drowned at Woodside Beach. I did not know it was it a shark breeding area! Lochsport memory, no electricity and millions of mozzies. Year before last we had a nice meal in the Meetung pub on a fine day looking out over the water with pelicans around our feet.