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.
PETAL POINT, TASMANIA
The north-east corner of Tasmania has few people and fewer facilities, which makes for an inviting prospect for caravanning and camping if you want to get away from it all. There are a number of camping spots amongst this isolation, but not all caravan friendly. We decided to scout ahead without the van, check out the camps for ourselves, and then take the ‘van and all’ plunge.
One of the camps entailed a long detour, and early in the day we had made a decision to pass it by due to the distance involved. We’d save this prospect as a ‘last resort’. As it turned out, this ‘last resort’ was the pick of the bunch for us. It was Petal Point, almost on the north-eastern tip of Tasmania. Great views, open space and we were the only ones there!!!! A short walk to a boat ramp, and another deserted beach. What more could we ask for?
Here we enjoyed four days of total peace and quiet, plenty of space, nice walks, and some whale-spotting. In spite of predicted rainfall, there was only an odd light shower, and for what is renowned as a very windy location (wind-farm being developed nearby at the time) there was mostly just gentle breeze. After setting up camp, we were visited by a security vehicle from the wind farm. Friendly guys, had a great chat and we were reassured that in spite of our solitary location, they welcomed any call for help if we struck any problems. They even offered us daily water top ups and rubbish disposal service! Thought we had really struck a jackpot here. We appreciated their snake warning – saw a few of these, but nothing to spoil the magic of this time and place.
Although we did take the boat off the Patrol, the seas were up a bit, so it didn’t make it to water. We did spend one nice morning retracing the Patrol’s tracks up and down the road in. Kym had lost the handle for the boat-topper. He was a bit embarrassed when after about an hour of searching Lyn asked him what the ‘other’ handle was on top of the Patrol! Needless to say, we don’t have a 2nd handle. We did get the surf rods out and managed to drown some bait and leave some gear amongst the rocks. The tiger flathead we’d bought earlier at Bridport were yummo but.
(Excerpts taken from Tas Adventures 1)
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 taken 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)
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