25th November – Canberra

After one night at Batemans Bay (there really is nothing there unless you like fishing or boating) drove up the Kings Highway to Canberra via Braidwood and Queanbeyan to spend a couple of nights with my daughter and her husband. Arrived Friday afternoon

On the Saturday made a brief trip into the centre of Canberra to visit the National Portrait Gallery which I had not seen before – the paintings used to be housed in Old Parliament House. Finding a parking space in the Parliamentary triangle was hell but eventually managed to find one right next to Lake Burley Griffin.

After visiting the gallery walked beside the lake and then visited Magna Carta Place next to the old Parliament House Gardens.

171125 017 Canberra National Portrait Gallery171125 007 Canberra171125 009 Canberra171125 020 Canberra171125 030 Canberra171125 022 Canberra High Court171125 025 Canberra High Court171125 033 Canberra171125 038 Canberra171125 043 Canberra171125 049 Canberra171125 053 Canberra Magna Carta Place171125 054 Canberra Magna Carta Place171125 056 Canberra Magna Carta Place171125 066 Canberra Old Parliament House Garden171125 070 Canberra Old Parliament House Garden

As you can see the day was a beautiful sunny day however in the evening  the heavens opened and hail and rain poured down. We were going to Belconnen on the other (northern) side of Canberra. Until the Woden turnoff the rain and hail continued when, just as suddenly as it started, it ceased and the roads were suddenly dry.

23rd November – Eden to Batemans Bay

Distance: 212Km
Fuel: 34L

Only about 200km to Batemans Bay so didn’t leave the Eden camp until nearly 10am. Really leisurely drive northwards, had intended to stop on the way but the few rest areas seemed rather desolate with little shade.

Found a caravan park off Caseys Beach near Batehaven just south of Batemans Bay proper and set up the camper. Poor TV reception here, they are in a slight depression, so I didn’t bother to get out the aerial especially as we are only staying one night.

171123 026 Pleasurelea Tourist Park

It was 1.30pm by the time we unhitched the car and we were pretty hungry so drove down the road to the shopping centre at Batehaven and bought the inevitable seaside fish and chips (and gravy) which we ate on the waterfront.

To be honest we saw a Thai restaurant on the way past but after turning round could not find it again, Sad smile or at least not until after we had bought the fish and chips.

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By the time we finished eating the sky had darkened and thunder could be heard in the distance, back at the park just made a cup of tea before the rain started. There was thunder and small hail  for about 20 minutes then light rain for another half an hour.

By 6pm the sky had lightened and we were able to make tea, a toasted sandwich and spend time outside before it got dark.

22nd November 2017–Eden and About

Distance: 84Km
Fuel: 51L

Explored Eden and its surrounds today – First stop was a drive to Bega to visit the cheese factory. The interesting thing is that the original ‘factory’ is inside the Heritage Centre and the Heritage Centre itself was once the factory though now it is surrounded by the modern works which employs hundreds of people (judging by the car park). Didn’t buy any cheese because Bega’s ‘Strong and Bitey’ cheese is already in the fridge.

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Had coffee and cheese cake in their cafe though.

Back to Eden and the Killer Whale Museum. Whaling ceased in 1930 but Eden originally was the centre of the east coast whaling industry. The museum contains the skeleton of killer whale ‘Old Tom’ who worked with the whalers to herd whales into Two Fold Bay in return for food rewards.

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Made a quick trip to Eden Wharf followed by an equally quick visit to the look out over looking Two Fold Bay.

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Somewhere I have never visited before is Ben Boyd Tower originally conceived as a private lighthouse by a whaler in the 1840s. It was just visible from the Eden lookout across the bay. Click on the photo for a larger version.

171122 138 Eden Lookout

It was never used as a lighthouse but was used as a lookout to see whales as they made their way up and down the coast. It gave those whalers the jump on their rivals.

171122 156 Ben Boyd Tower and NP171122 163 Ben Boyd Tower and NP171122 165 Ben Boyd Tower and NP171122 166 Ben Boyd Tower and NP171122 170 Ben Boyd Tower and NP171122 178 Ben Boyd Tower and NP171122 181 Ben Boyd Tower and NP171122 186 Ben Boyd Tower and NP171122 191 Ben Boyd Tower and NP

On the walk to the tower I came across this rather nice goanna who didn’t seem at all worried by my presence. I’d guess he was a bit under 2 metres from head to tail.

171122 152 Ben Boyd Tower and NP171122 154 Ben Boyd Tower and NP

Talking of native animals the caravan park sems to get visitors just before dusk who seem to prefer the grass,

171122 214 Eden Gateway Park

21st November 2017 – Eden

Distance: 384Km

Today I was reminded why I prefer the inland to the coast. The drive from Wollongong to the far south coast of NSW probably wasn’t a bad run as these things go but I hated most of it. Far too much traffic.

Spending a couple of  days down here before visiting Katie and Geoff. Tomorrow will have a look at the attractions that Eden has to offer as well as a visit to Bega.

Quite a nice park but, like everything near the coast, perhaps a little overpriced though to be fair nothing like as much as nearby places.

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Bellbirds are happily s(r)inging away as we had an evening stroll around the park.

10th November–Canowindra to Home

Distance: 409Km
Fuel: 48L

Set off for Wollongong at about 8.30am, it was a pretty uneventful trip, drove south at first via Boorowa to get to the Hume Highway near Yass and continued on that heading north until Picton Road.

Arrived home about 1pm, unloaded the car but the camper will be sorted out tomorrow.

Filled up with fuel at the local servo – the most expensive fuel of the whole trip at $1.38/L – How does that work?

Statistics for Trip

Total distance: 2927Km
Total Fuel: 318L
Average Fuel Price: $1.30/L
Average Park Cost: $28.58/night

9th November 2017–Out and About

Distance: 166Km
Fuel: 44L

Drove to Cowra to visit the Japanese Garden – we have previously visited the POW Camp and the War Cemetery but for some reason haven’t visited the Gardens before. As they opened at about 8.30pm we left straight after having breakfast and arrived at about 9am.

They are beautifully laid out gardens over a fairly large area with a mixture of flat and hilly terrain.

171109 073 Cowra Japanese Gardens171109 004 Cowra Japanese Gardens171109 012 Cowra Japanese Gardens171109 013 Cowra Japanese Gardens171109 014 Cowra Japanese Gardens171109 018 Cowra Japanese Gardens171109 019 Cowra Japanese Gardens171109 021 Cowra Japanese Gardens171109 033 Cowra Japanese Gardens171109 037 Cowra Japanese Gardens171109 040 Cowra Japanese Gardens171109 041 Cowra Japanese Gardens171109 042 Cowra Japanese Gardens171109 045 Cowra Japanese Gardens171109 050 Cowra Japanese Gardens171109 059 Cowra Japanese Gardens

After a couple of hours walking the grounds had coffee and carrot cake in the cafeteria before setting off for Grenville the town where Henry Lawson was born.

I have visited before and it is one of those lovely country towns where time has stood still. Driving past an Enhance petrol station was pleased to see diesel at $1.22 a litre so filled up ($1.37 in Canowindra and $1.28 in Cowra). That should get us home tomorrow.

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After looking around for a while set off cross country back to Canowindra to visit The Age of Fishes Museum. Never been before… I mean fishes? Pah! Big mistake…

It was absolutely fascinating – all about fossils found in 1956 by a bull dozer driver rebuilding the road who realised that these impressions in the rock might be important. They are the fossils of fish from the Devonian Period 360 million years ago when life existed in the water but not on land, when the fish were first developing lungs as well as gills. It preserves over 3000 fish from a drying pond. The admission fee included an audio visual package which was worth taking. The visit took well over an hour it was so interesting.

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Afterwards walked around the town centre looking at the old buildings before returning to the caravan park at about 4pm.

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