Down to the south coast of Victoria
2007 Victorian trip report #1
Yesterday I described how we left Canberra and headed south on our way to Melbourne. From the point where the road crossed the Great Dividing Range we began a long steady descent to sea level. We began driving through increasingly dense rainforest which was in complete contrast with the barren area on the top of the ranges. Soon we crossed from New South Wales into Victoria.
We stopped for a picnic lunch at a likely looking parking bay in the Coopracambra National Park. It showered lightly while we ate and the air was still very cold. We found several beautiful wildflowers to photograph, but the birds were very quiet and inconspicuous. I saw a single Australian Raven, about a dozen Yellow-faced Honeyeaters and two Pied Currawongs. Several Striated Pardalotes called from the tree-tops somewhere nearby. A Laughing Kookaburra called briefly and I think I heard a Grey Fantail calling from down in the gully somewhere. In all it was a disappointing lunch from a birding viewpoint.
After lunch we drove further south towards Cann River and then west through Lakes Entrance, Bairnsdale, Sale and Traralgon. The only interesting sighting during this long part of the journey was a male King Parrot sitting by the side of the road. We stopped briefly at Lakes Entrance to refuel both the car and ourselves, again sitting in the car because of the bitter wind. I did manage to add Pacific Gull to the list and I was very interested in seeing White-backed Magpies in this area.
We travelled rapidly through this area without investigating any of the national parks and the many rivers, lakes and inlets along the way. We plan an extended holiday in this area sometime in the next year or so. The region deserves our attention for several weeks at least. This was just a small taste of what it has to offer.
A major downside of the day was to see three dead wombats on the roadside.
An interesting feature of the last section of our journey that day was seeing Ben Cruachan in the distance. This is the mountain featured at the top of Duncan’s blog of the same name. I was disappointed that we didn’t have time for a detour in to meet up with Duncan. Perhaps on our next trip over that way? (Keep the billy on, Duncan.) And thanks to Duncan for confirming my wife’s identification of the wildflower shown below.