For the past few days we have been seeing big groups of motor cyclists heading toward Victoria and the penny has finally dropped – the Phillip Island Motorbike Racing is scheduled for this weekend!!
The Princes Highway now had the programmable signs every 20 kilometres or so reminding motorists to be motorbike aware while the towns had large ‘Welcome to the Bikes” signs strung across the highway and outside the bakeries, pubs and cafes.
Once again our journey from Genoa to Lakes Entrance was mainly through national park and state forest. Leaving Genoa we passed through the Croajingolong National Park, Alfred National Park and the Mt Drummer Ranges. We stopped at Cann River to wander around the markets, found some lovely free range eggs to buy, but just browsed the homemade cakes and cookies, usual craft products and clothes. There was a few groups of motorbikes stopped for morning tea at the bakery and wow some of these bikes are awesome; powerful Ducati’s, BMW’s, Harley Davidson’s and you could just tell the owners were real enthusiasts. They were polishing the chrome, framework and helmets, keeping them clean and gleaming for the journey.
We continued on through the Errinundra National Park, the Bellbird National Park into Gippsland, and through the Mount Raymond State Forest to the town of Orbost. Orbost is situated on the southern edge of Snowy River Country on the banks of the Snowy River. A small, quaint town, lovely old historic buildings some maintained some not with dairy cattle in the pastures. We continued on through the Waygara State Forest, saw an echidna crossing the road – it was on a mission, probably knew the danger of its crossing. The echidna made it safely to the other side of the road, pheww :). The next small town was Nowa Nowa surrounded by the Colquhoun State Forest and on we drove to Lakes Entrance.
We found the Golden Terrace Holiday Park on the Esplanade across the road from the estuary and beach. A small park, consisting mainly of cabins and permanents, we are the only transient campers at the moment. We setup and then went for our usual walk around the town to get our bearings and check the town out. The main street was filled with motorbikes the riders and passengers decked out in their leathers, seeing some of them had travelled from Queensland the would have needed those padded seats. The drivers were cleaning and buffing the bikes and helmets, lovingly attending to their machines. In the park that night there was 8 small road bikes, there riders and passengers, night 2 another group of 3 big powerful bikes, their riders and passengers. It will be interesting to see who turns up tonight. The park manager’s husband and a mate left this morning for Phillip Island on their Harley Davidson’s, so right now the park is very quiet. We are still the only transient campers – just lovely.
The weather has been very changeable, warm and humid in the morning then by early afternoon strong cold winds with minimal rain. The winds are strong enough that we roll the awning away till next morning.
To reach Main Beach, there is a footbridge across the river and the day we walked across there was a howling southerly wind, it was bitterly cold. The SLSC building and premises are located on the park side of the sand dunes with a lookout overlooking the beach. Walking back across the footbridge the jetties and wharves are filled with fishing, commercial charter, cruise and restaurant vessels. The town is built right up to the water along the Esplanade which is a finger of land extending out into the inlet, very idyllic setting.
Day 4 we treated ourselves to a winery cruise; the 50 minute cruise took us past the Entrance and along the North Arm to Wyanga Park Winery, with an informative commentary along the way.
On arrival our lunch order was taken and then we had a wine tasting while lunch was prepared. We enjoyed a lovely lazy day with some fellow caravaners we met on the boat, Rosemary and Ken, and with whom we shared our travel stories and experiences.