Well folks, adventuring is the game, and Andy is my name. Okay. False start. That sounded dreadful! Hi. Time for another blog and today I’ll be sharing some experiences from last November when I visited Victoria’s Gippsland region. I based myself in the Droin-Neerim South Area, which is around a 90 minute drive from Melbourne. It’s a region which is full of rolling hills, green pastures and dairy cattle, and certainly has the feel of Europe to it. It has many small towns, some with less than 100 people in their population and is the ideal region for a short getaway. Highlights include walks, water falls, nature and an old trestle bridge from the early 1900s which steam trains used to rattle across in the day. Released from lockdown in late October/early November, I was keen to get there and have a few days to myself. I booked a night at a campground called Glen Cromie, and a night in cabin on Mount Baw Baw, another 100 or so kms further on.
However, Covid then struck at my workplace. I had to cancel the trip because I was to isolate for seven days whilst my work isolated for 14. Frustratingly, the cabin I had booked refused to refund me the money I paid – although I do have a travel credit there and so I will hopefully go there for an overnight stay at some point in the new year.
I was left with few options. After a week I could return to my main work, but I wouldn’t be able to return to my other job. Because I would need to wait for the work location to be cleared of Covid, which required 2 weeks with no further cases emerging (thankfully, none did).
I made the choice to take annual leave and go away to Gippsland the following week. Frustratingly again, the cabin had been booked for the whole week so I couldn’t use the credit then nor use it on a different property. So it was to be a one night camping trip! (I’ll be honest, I didn’t fancy a second night in a tent!)
Naturally, it was a rush to leave in decent time on my first day, even though I could have had everything prepared in advance. And then when I did finally leave home, I realised I had forgotten some medication and had to detour to a pharmacy and buy some there. I hadn’t realised until I was 20 minutes from home, and if I didn’t luckily have a prescription in the car, I was going to have a serious delay!
The Monash freeway takes you out in the direction of Gippsland. It was busy and slow, they have been working on widening it and putting in more lanes for YEARS now, but the roadwork is still a barrier to getting anywhere quickly. And then I turned onto the South Gippsland Highway. Wrong! This did not take me where I wanted to go! I wanted to stay on the M1. I realised very quickly but the procedure to get back on the M1 and in the right direction was a severe detour and a half!
So eventually I pulled up at my intended first stop and place for lunch – the Robin Hood Inn. A bit of a landmark in the parts, I remember passing it when we had family holidays to the region decades ago now. If we were meeting others we would always meet there, although I don’t believe I ever actually entered the Robin Hood.
This time though, I was able to enjoy a very tasty burger and chips in somewhat dated (in a good way) décor. There were marquees up and preparations afoot, I suspect a reception was due to be held there in the next few days.
Onwards I went to Glen Nayook Rainforest Walk. Walks were the order of this getaway – pretty much everything but the food and the campsite were free, so it was a trip on a budget. Here I got pretty lost, AGAIN. So TIP: just use the bloody GPS!! I really thought I could do the whole ‘work it on instinct and road signs’ thing, but not so. The sign posting is almost as poor as my sense of direction in Gippsland!
But I found the walk. Even in Victoria we have a number of rainforests, with there ferns and the running water, and they are quite magical! And this is a short and quite steep walk that took around 45 minutes all up. I chose to do the loop to the bottom of the gully and back. The sights were beautiful, the greenery and the water following down the creek, but it was the sounds of the water, the bird and the forest that made it really special!
Climbing back up to the car park – I had the car park and the walk to myself by the way – I realised just how unfit I am. Wombat holes next to the track looked pretty fresh. The Australian bush is a wonderful place to explore!
My next stop was to be a large tree called the ‘Ada Tree’, but as I looked at my phone I realised it was a lot further away that I had thought. So I decided to see if I could see the famous Noojee Trestle Bridge. But that’s for the next blog!
Thanks for popping by today! Take care – and May the Journey Never End!