On leaving Merimbula on Sunday morning we travelled the grand distance of 6km before we came across a roadside oyster market. It was a must stop and we paid the princely sum of $10 for 1 dozen oysters – brilliant. We would have bought more only we are limited in refrigeration space.
A further 2km south, the Pambula Sunday Markets were in full swing. As ‘luck’ would have it there a park beside the market and in we went to pass an hour or so. Nothing was bought but it was a good opportunity to look at the local craft scene and grab a cup of coffee.
Our next stop was Eden. Eden is situated on Twofold Bay in the Ben Boyd National Park. Twofold Bay is in the third deepest natural harbour in the Southern Hemisphere.
Eden is also one of only two places in the world where whales come in so close to feed that during whale season it is not unusual to see up to twenty whales on one day. Unfortunately the migratory pattern of whales led to a thriving whaling industry between 1828 and 1930. In 1931 the townspeople established the Eden Killer Whale Museum that records the history of whaling in the area. Some of the photographs are very graphic but the museum is well worth a visit.
After a day of ‘mental stimulation’ we made camp for the night at a lovely little beach at Nullica Bay and at the mouth of the Nullica River. It was another free camp and there was only one other van there – love it.
Monday morning we drove 5km south to the historical spot of Boydtown. In 1842 one Benjamin Boyd, a shipping and commercial opportunist from London, had the grand idea that the Twofold Bay area could become the capital of Australia and commenced establishing the self-sufficient township of Boydtown. Brick cottages, a wool store, a church, a salting down store and other community buildings were all part of Boyd’s grand style empire.
The principal relic of Boyd’s idealism is the Seahorse Inn. It began construction in 1843 however, symbolic of Boydtown itself, the Inn was built by convict labour and was never fully completed. It was abandoned in 1849 when liquidators were called to deal with Boyd’s failed idealism (and finances) and for almost an entire century, The Seahorse Inn was left vacant. In 1975 it was bought by a private concern who have restored it to the beautiful hotel it is today.
And what happened to Boyd you may ask? The story goes that in 1851, accompanied by a native, he went hunting on the island of San Cristobel and was never seen again.
On Monday afternoon we continued our journey south and parked up for the night on the foreshore of another beachside town, Mallacoota. I know we have said it before but if you get the opportunity to drive this coastline, get off the main highway, onto the little side roads and visit the beach towns. They are stunning.
Tuesday morning we had every intention of driving to Cann River, bidding Bruce and Lyn au revoir, turning right and over the next week meandering our way to Canberra in preparation for Xmas. However part way to Cann River we discovered a rest area that had an access road into the Alfred National Park (not on any map we had).
We hadn’t gone to far up the road when we came across a large flat grass area surrounded by rainforest and almost beside the Thurra River. On exploring the area, we found we were only a short way to the Drummer Rainforest walk. After completing a few household chores, we set off on the walk. It was worth the effort – a pristine environment and not another person to be seen.
We travelled no further that day!!! By the time we got back from the walk, took in the washing that was strung amongst the gum trees, it was time for 5 o’clockers. Another very ‘stressful’ day??
Today (Wednesday) we are really on the road towards Canberra. We will make a short deviation to visit Jindabyne and maybe Thredbo if we have time. Bruce and Lyn have continued on to Melbourne for Xmas – we may catch up with them again in February.
A wee apology around our communication of late – in some of the remote beach and forest areas we are visiting, there is no cell coverage. We are picking it up again once we are closer to towns or in some cases back on the main highways.