Current News: We are in Prince George heading North to Alaska.
Internet is sporadic and our usb stick will only work on 2G over here, we are tying to finish the Australian blogs and are nearly there.
Blog 248 Tarra NationalPark. March 2013
After leaving the lovely Wilson’s prom we headed away from the coast to a free camp called White Woman’s Waterhole. Local legend has it that in the 1840′s a white woman was the sole survivor of a shipwreck off the Ninety mile beach area (just down the road) and was held captive by the Bratwoloong tribe who inhabited this part of Gippsland. Clothing was allegedly found in the deserted camp along with a dead white child, what became of the woman is not known although there is some doubt as to the truth of this story. Some people believe the myth was perpetrated by settlers who wanted an excuse to oust the local aboriginals and take their land. Another theory is that the woman who was seen in the woods was actually the ships figurehead which was washed up.
When we showed up the camp was peaceful and we had it to ourselves for the first night. We enjoyed a short nature walk past the waterhole and watched the setting sun. We were also delighted to hear the Moorpork owl again something we had not heard for some time.
After a glorious sunrise we left most of our stuff in camp and enjoyed what seemed a relatively light bike to throw around the scenic curving roads of Tarra – Bulga National Park.
Here we found a sheltered gulley which housed a temperate rainforest, the air cool and damp from the soft leaves and fronds pumping moisture back into the atmosphere. The big rainforest trees were mostly Myrtle Beech and Southern Sassafas.
This Myrtle beech is a very old tree growing in a very old rainforest but it is a perilous existence as the rainforest conditions only occur in the valley. Surrounding it on all sides are Mountain Ash and Eucalypt forest which are the more usual Australian species. In the absence of fire the rainforest trees should outlive these. Ferns sometimes grow in the trees as they are are reproduced by spores which can land anywhere, they do not harm their hosts as they gather most of their moisture and nutrients from the air.
This great root system looked like some kind of warthog or dragon.
This is a bush robin, one of the small bird species that are found here.
The King of the Forest is the Eucalyptus Regnans which translates as reigning, royal eucalyptus and is the tallest flowing plant in the world.
Cynthia falls was a pretty spot although there was not that much water flowing as we were in the height of summer.
We followed the river for a while and took lunch here before we headed to Tarra falls. The photo of Kev is at the head of the falls.
We rode to the other end of the park to Balook a tiny village where we had an ice cream and walked to this impressive suspension bridge.
Next day we rode to the nearby Port Albert the oldest port in Gippsland and encountered this bike club called Southern Cross, they are a group of friends with various bikes who enjoy a ride out together. We ate our lunch while Sue very kindly cleaned our windscreen along with the others. Trevor had a new Guzzi California Vintage, we enjoyed chatting to the group and then went to explore the local museum.
There was a strong nautical theme obviously. Inside the museum we saw lots of shells, early life saving equipment including a rocket powered breeches buoy and boat building equipment. Esme the elderly curator was also a gem worth the small entrance fee alone, full of wit, laughter and life as well as imparting her knowledge. She came outside to view our bike before we left and said she was envious of us.
Outside was more nautical equipment, a lighthouse light, beacon and boats.
This statue is from the nearby town of Alberton.
We headed back for the last night at White Woman Waterhole tomorrow we continue onwards towards Lakes Entrance.