Merimbula to Lakes Entrance

5 - 7 April, 2008

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Saturday, 5 April

Breakfast at 8 and on our way by 10am.  Stopped briefly at the car wash to clean the inner wheel rims that were still covered in dust.  Drove to Mallacoota where we had a look around – very pretty area.  Called into the local bakery to get lunch – very popular spot with a continual stream of locals. 

Drove on to Orbost where we had a look inside the Information Centre in the historic “Slab Hut”, then looked through a wood carving and art exhibition in their new Exhibition Centre – interesting but fairly small.  Had a look at the Snowy River which is passes close by.

Soon after passing through Nowa Nowa we drove down a dusty road through a gum tree forest to view the historic “Trestle Bridge” (railway) – it’s not been used since 1988 and is now starting to show it’s age as it’s now in a bad state of decay. We will be surprised if it remains in it’s entirety in another 10 years.

Arrived at Lakes Entrance about 4pm and checked in to the Tasman Motor Lodge – reasonably good accommodation.  Walked along the main street, checked out boat trips then tried to have dinner at the floating restaurant, but closed for a private function, so tried the Bowling Club but they were also fully booked (Sat night), so went to Miriam’s Restaurant – very good, both had oysters for entrée then A had prawn rocket salad with some crispy calamari on the side, G had beer battered flathead tails (fish) followed by a banana split.

Weather today has been sunny, virtually cloudless, and warm.


Sunday, 6 April

Daylight saving ended at 3am this morning, so got an extra hour to have breakfast in bed!

Went down to the local Sunday market soon after 9am – mainly crafts and second hand rubbish!

Booked a 3 hour Eco boat cruise on the “Lonsdale” for 1pm, then went to a local hotel to a get wireless email connection.  Downloaded dozens of emails as haven’t had connection since Canberra (4 days back) and spent over an hour trying to book seats for Priscilla, Queen of the Desert in Melbourne.  The Ticketec website is the most painful I think I’ve ever used – took over an hour and at the last minute we ran out of battery power!

Came back to the motel and had lunch – crackers with avocado and cheese.

At 1pm we went on the boat cruise which wandered around the islands of sand, down to Metung and back again.  Saw a lot of birds in the waterways, had a great afternoon tea of fresh scones with jam, cream, and a strawberry on top.  A very pleasant afternoon relaxing as we sat on the top deck in the warm sun with little wind.

Went to the local RSL Club for dinner – very good and very inexpensive – we wonder what the local restaurants think about the clubs that obviously subsidise the food and drinks!

Weather cloudy at first then fine, warm and calm.

Monday, 7 April

After breakfast we went for a walk over the footbridge to the sand spit (runs along part of 90 Mile Beach and Cunninghame Arm in front of the main shopping area of Lakes Entrance) to walk along the sand bar.  We walked partly along the walking track and partly along the shore line and after approx 45mins arrived at the “Entrance” (water outlet for the whole lake system into the ocean).  Had a good look at the dredge working in the Entrance, the view across 90 mile beach and walked back as far as we could via the inlet beach area as it was much easier walking than on the thick sand of the track.

Once back at our motel we had lunch and did a load of washing at no charge.

In the afternoon as we started to drive toward Bairnsdale we stopped at two of the Jemmy’s Point view points to get views of the surrounding lakes and islands and part of Lakes Entrance.  Bairnsdale had quite a large shopping area and looked inside the St Mary’s church to view the hand painted murals on the walls and ceiling.

Drove down to Paynesville – a huge subdivision was being completed, lots of quite new houses. The town of Paynesville currently appears to be expanding at a fast rate.  A vehicle / passenger ferry continually crosses between Paynesville and Raymond Island (approx 400 metres between them).

On our way back to Lakes Entrance we called into Metung and Nungurner to view the areas after seeing them from our tour boat on the water yesterday.

Had dinner at the Ferryman Restaurant (floating restaurant) – the seafood and fish was very pleasant and we were surprised with the reasonable cost of both glasses and bottles of wine.

The morning was fine with little wind – in the afternoon the wind built up and became rather unpleasant – we did the boat tour on the right day!