We’re frequently asked, ‘What’s your favourite place in your Australian travels?’
We’ve listed a few below – but we really are hard pressed to narrow our favourite places down – there are just so many of them. Flicking though our memories, we realise various features and associations are tacked on to those places and times that we recollect with that sense of ‘Wow – that was special!’
We’re no mathematicians, but it’s like trying to settle on one probability when there are so many variables, and countless more combinations of them. Fortunately, the right measure of conditions and experiences have come together often.
Some natural environments take a lot of beating – those that just blow your mind with sheer expanse and beauty and calm the spirit or soothe the soul.
We’ve realised there is wonder and fascination of walking in the steps of our nation’s forefathers – the relevance of how recent our colonial history is, alongside the unfathomable concept and timelessness of our indigenous peoples.
We can’t discount close and pleasurable encounters we’ve had with both the antics and industry of our varied furred and feathered beings. Who would have thought you’d get so much out of that when you get away from the city?
Favourite places can come from unearthing a first-rate camping spot – be it the ambience, views, space…. the peace!
Last but not least, the human aspect – those treasured memories of good times had. Whether these be shared campfires, good tucker, friends gained… or at the other end of the spectrum, finding solitude and feeling like the rest of the world is lost to us for just a time.
Here’s some of our favourites. No set order, or criteria – except for excluding the more well known. These are memorable to us for any, or all of the above reasons. Some, we had the luxury of staying around a while; others were fleeting one-night stops – and some just inspirational, and unforgettable – all favourites in their own way.
NERANIE BAY, MYALL LAKES NATIONAL PARK N.S.W.
Second night out on our long journey, and we were en route from the Gold Coast to Station Pier to catch a boat – with a few days and nights to spare up our sleeve.
‘Though we had “sort of planned” where we would spend our nights on the way down, nothing was set in concrete. Myall Lakes caught our eye on the map, so plans were de-railed to take a night stop there. We loved it – great views and a peaceful ambience. There was no power or water, and a winding road in, but we thought it well worth the detour.
(Excerpt from Our Adventures – In the Beginning)
WILSONS PROMONTORY NATIONAL PARK
Our decision to visit Wilson’s Prom on our first leg through Victoria, was originally with the goal of standing on one of Australia’s extremities. The southern-most tip of the Prom is also the southern-most tip of mainland Australia.
Unbeknown to us, the tracks to that section of the park had been closed due to some serious floods earlier that year. (We have learnt the lesson of doing a little more pre-research since those days.) Despite this disappointment, Wilson’s Prom was far from disappointing. We opted for an unpowered site for a three night stay, and just relished the bird and animal life that had no qualms in stopping in, or close by. We took in several different walks through coastal and mountain terrain with some spectacular views that have stayed with us in our minds eye ever since.
‘The drive from the entrance gate to the camp ground was a memorable journey in itself – for the most part we were gob-smacked by what lay before us. We slowed at one point for a mob of emu going for a casual stroll along the road. Totally unexpected, and another first wake up to some of the hazards we can expect to encounter in this new lifestyle.’
‘The walks, views and scenery are unique. Our encounters with some of the local wildlife were quite special, and ‘close’. The local parrots seemed to show no fear and were quite happy to share “happy hour” with us. Wombats decided that our camp was a good site for dinner. Twice they dropped in for a feed. Not from us, just to have a chew on the grass.’
(Excerpts from Our Adventures – In the Beginning)
THE WALL IN THE WILDERNESS, DERWENT BRIDGE TAS
This is definitely something that can’t be compared to anything else – it is an artistic expose that is truly one of a kind. The Wall was not readily spruiked about in Tassie tourist brochures, but we were urged to stop and take a look by many Tasmanians. We were in awe of what we could only describe as ‘genius workmanship’.
‘Carved by a regular genius by the name of Greg Duncan, the wall is more than a wall, rather a collection of wide hallways, both sides lined with three-metre tall wood carved friezes that depict the history of the local region. The carvings are in relief form giving a three-dimensional effect, so life-like in detail – a re-creation of life and nature, and the actions and features of both the animate and inanimate.
The works are a continuing project, anticipated to span over ten years until 2015. The fact that it is a continuing project gives you an appreciation for how the carving and scenes emerge. No cameras are allowed in the display, but we would encourage anyone who hasn’t seen the real thing to go to the website and check it out: www.thewalltasmania.com.au – and visit when possible.’
Excerpt from Tassie Adventures 2 – Hobart to the Mid-West
Footnote: 2015 has come and gone since our visit – we’re not sure if Greg is still hard at work, or taking a well earned rest.