Notes of a traveller

Alan Dodds – photographer (among other things)

Notes of a traveller


2015 – Where did it go? Part 1

Posted on Thursday, December 24th, 2015 at 3:13 pm

Thursday, December 24th. It’s Christmas eve on a cloudy and rather humid day in Noosa. Contemplating the year just past, we undertook two journeys, but the energy for a post on the subject didn’t quite manifest at the time. Maybe I thought that the trips weren’t quite as grand as touring through Europe or India, or maybe I was just too slack! Anyway, a happy festive season to everyone and may all you wish for be yours in 2016.

In March, we heard that Tarchin Herne (visit his excellent web site at greendharmatreasury.org) was to give a retreat at friends Bill and Kathryn’s home in Shoreham on the Mornington Peninsula to the south of Melbourne. We persuade Pippa and Tara to book too, and then decide to make a trip of it and drive Cubby down the east coast of New South Wales and round the bottom corner into Victoria.

The route southwards is, by now, fairly familiar to us. Past the Gold Coast, on to Byron Bay, stops in Yamba, Newcastle and Gosford then through the traffic of Sydney until we find the hidden gem of Coledale Beach. There a small, council run camp ground sits right on the beach just south of Stanwell Park. (Stanwell Park was one of the first places in Australia to develop a spot for hang gliding).

Cubby, right on the shore of Coledale Beach NSW

Cubby, right on the shore of Coledale Beach NSW

On southwards we pause at Maloneys Beach, across the estuary from Batemans Bay and find an idilic spot to stay, right next to a no camping sign. Well, we aren’t camping strictly speaking, are we? It is a beautiful spot on a perfect afternoon.

Maloneys Beach across from Batemans Bay.

Maloneys Beach across from Batemans Bay.

Maloneys Beach and amazing rocks

Maloneys Beach and amazing rocks

Maloneys Beach in the late afternoon

Maloneys Beach in the late afternoon – fisherman and yacht placed just so!

There are extensive national parts along this coast and our next stop is in the Mimosa Rocks NP with it’s spectacular coastal scenery.

The beach at Mamosa Rocks.

The beach at Mimosa Rocks.

On down to Eden, the last town before the Victorian border, and a meeting with some archetypal Australian characters.

On a quiet lake in Eden, the extraordinary Pelicans.

On a quiet lake in Eden, the extraordinary Pelicans.

Free camping is not so easy to come by in this commercial age. Even some of the “rest areas” have large no camping signs. There is an exception, however in southern Victoria next to a large river … but get there early!

This is a popular spot but well respected by all the campers.

This is a popular spot but well respected by all the campers.

All in a line alongside the river.

All in a line alongside the river.

Size is no deterrent.

Size is no deterrent.

We turn inland and make for the Baw Baw NP to find some of the famous East Gippsland rain forest, and find it we do. Perhaps some of the most stunning rainforest that I have experienced unfolds before us after a long and winding drive along a dirt road up into the cold mountains.

Magnificent rainforest at Mt Erica in the Baw Baw NP

Magnificent rainforest at Mt Erica in the Baw Baw NP

Mt Erica, Baw Baw NP. Such luxuriant growth.

Mt Erica, Baw Baw NP. Such luxuriant growth.

Rock and moss heaven.

Rock and moss heaven.

Mushroom Rocks

Mushroom Rocks

We have arranged with Pippa and Tara for them to hire a small car, and then to swap vehicles for the retreat so that they can camp in the Beach reserve in Shoreham which is a short walk from Bill and Kathryn’s. In the meantime, we have found an  apartment right on the shores of Port Philip Bay in Rye and only a 20 minute drive for the teaching of the retreat. The arrangement works well and when the week of retreat is done we have another week to spend some time with Bill and Kathryn while Pippa and Tara return to Melbourne. The retreat is excellent and Tarchin’s teaching inspiring as always.

Jacqui does her Tai Chi in front of the beach huts at Rye. Fancy one? Got $200k handy?

Jacqui does her Tai Chi in front of the beach huts at Rye. Fancy one? Got $200k handy?

And so our trip comes to a close. A quick visit to Max and Nickie on the way back through Melbourne and up the inland route back to our home in Queensland after our month away.

Lastly, here we are at Coledale Bay … just so you remember who we are … and I’ll leave you with a few more images just to finish off.

There was another trip in 2015, so will there be a part 2? … who knows! May you all be very well indeed.

Alan

Alan and Jacqui at Coledale Bay, NSW

Alan and Jacqui at Coledale Bay, NSW

Sand pumping is all the rage in the fight against erosion

Sand pumping is all the rage in the fight against erosion

Rye beach. Port Philip Bay can be very tranquil.

Rye beach. Port Philip Bay can be very tranquil.

Diamond bay on the south coast ... out of the geology text books.

Diamond bay on the south coast … out of the geology text books.

Eroded cliffs at Diamond Bay

Eroded cliffs at Diamond Bay


10 responses to “2015 – Where did it go? Part 1”

  1. Hi Alan and Jackie. I am a bit slow off the mark. But my love and good wishes ate sent to you just the same.
    I have been reading your Odyssy. I have a feeling the Aussie month was more ‘ our style.’ But then. That is the way the way th the cookie crumbles these days. How lucky we were to start travelling when we did. I first discovered Paris in 58.,What a joy.
    I will send you an email. But I am off on my second visit to India in 10 days. A quest. a journey. Nice introductions to Indian friends. I hope and think it will.be special. Glad to see Jackie still.does taichim The grand master yang style whontaught my teacher spent many years in Perth..He is late 80 now but went back to China after May.
    Much love to both. All those wonderful photos. I still am.the painter. Charlotte

  2. Helen Lynes says:

    great rocks!

  3. Tony says:

    Dear Alan and Jacqui,
    Beauty abounds where ever you are in this world of ours and you two seem to find plenty of it on your many travels, always superbly illustrated with super photos. Well done. And your links were very revealing as well.
    Keep the wheels rolling before the bones begin to creak and the joints seize up!!

  4. Jac- Aileen says:

    Dear Alan,

    Lovely as always to view your sumptuous pics – ideal holiday replete with retreat – what karma we have!

    I am taking a couple of weeks away til the 13th Jan. St Petersburg now, then Paris.

    Love to dear Jacq xxxx

    • Alan says:

      Hi Jaq. Interesting that you should be in St Petersburg … we are expecting to be there later in the year. We must catch up when you return. Enjoy Paris! xx

  5. Elizabeth Gray says:

    Thank you Alan! A wonderful way to share the journey you and Jacqui made earlier in the year. It entices me to adventure east yet again. We are so blessed in Australia with some amazing natural wonders and such a diversity of them.

    I look forward to Part 2!

    I hope you and Jacqui have enjoyed a beautiful day in whatever way you have chosen to!!

    Thanks again and warm wishes to you both,
    Elizabeth

  6. Kenny Steward says:

    Hi Alan, Jackie,
    Fab email. I like the picture of the Minnie camper vehicle. Was it a Weenie bago ? ?

    Hope you are all having a great Xmas Day,

    Love Kenny, Jude, Niamh (in Austria working), Freya x

    • Alan says:

      Happy new year to you all over there. Our camper is not a WB … it was built by a mob in Perth. 4WD with independent power so we can go anywhere and stay for a while. Just the thing for Oz. Love to you all xx ps My screen saver has been showing me pics of our trip to Verdon Gorges in the south of France. Good memories.

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