Eden and Tathra

Trip Start Nov 18, 2009
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
camping (well, in a beach cottage!)

Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Wednesday, November 25, 2009

After our tiring night, we woke counting our new mozzie bites and with aching backs, hauled ourselves out of the swag to start getting breakfast.  But to get breakfast meant to unload all last night's stuff from the car, boil the water, wash up, swat more mozzies, make brekkie, make tea, then pack up.  By 10am we were virtually ready to go and I offered to walk the rubbish up to the rubbish disposal area.  I passed a dead snake on the road - one like yesterday's, only more dead.  A wallaby startled me as I dropped the rubbish into the stinky fly filled bins and I was glad to get back to the car and get in it!  God I'm a woos. But a brave one.
We drove out to Pulpit Rock (not bcs A likes rocks, but bcs he likes engaging low range 4wd and driving up impassable tracks to get to these rocks).  He also likes standing on the very edge of cliffs, which makes me nervous and cross.  Cross bcs I ask him not to, and he does it anyway, laughing at me, and my mind is racing ahead, thinking... cliff edge gives way, A falls to his death, and I have to learn how to get the blessed car out of low range and into normal 4wd so I can drive the 40kms out, no doubt causing my own death and that of others nearby, on the way!!
As I was pleading with A to come away from the edge I saw a lizard behind him so told him about it v calmly so he didn't turn around, see it, be startled and hurtle over the edge.  He then of course stayed on the cliff edge for a further  5 mins trying to photograph the lizard - so that's it, I'm not telling him about any more lizards I see.  Including the 2 I saw 10 mins later, once I was back in the car chatting to Fiona (bcs I suddenly have signal for the first time in days, now that I'm in a remote Nat Park!  Well done Optus yet again) and I see 2 more lizards, one a frill neck, not with his frill out, but running with his head up in the air looking like an extra from a Mr Bean episode.  Speaking of Mr Bean - we decided that you could film an excellent episode of Mr Bean down here in the park, bcs every 5 meters as you're driving the track, there's a run off that looks like a road that leads to the side of the track and goes nowhere.  It's to drain the water away from the road.  Mr Bean would drive down every single one and get v cross as he had to reverse out each time. 
We drove out of the park with A saying 'should we just pop up there' and 'I wonder where that track goes to'.  I've been v patient and let him play on the tracks - after all, we don't have a schedule really, tho at this rate we might be having Xmas in Ben Boyd National Park.  We get out of the park and drive back to Eden bcs we need a proper coffee, and we pass goannas and all sorts on the road as we leave, including a pile of glass (someone's windscreen) which wasn't there when we drove in yesterday.  A salutary lesson - these tracks are to be taken seriously.
In Eden I pop into the VIC (Visitor Info Centre) bcs I wanted to get a cross country route to Tathra, where are are heading for today.  I come out, laden with local knowledge and free maps and find A talking to a man named John who wears a big hat, with mirrored shades, and lives on his own on 120 acres, up 'Snake Track' (he had to live there didn't he, just when I'd managed to stop thinking about snakes).  He said he doesn't come into town v often, so when he does he likes a chat.  No shit Sherlock!!  Half an hour later he's still telling us about his Landcruiser. Anyway, he also tells us about Nethercote Falls which we'd never have known about as they aren't written up anywhere.  He gives us directions and then mentions Broadwater Oysters, a must at $7 per dozen - shipping anywhere in Aus for $15.  So we jump back into the car (one of us jumps up of course) and we grab our coffee, and we drive out to Nethercote Falls, the least signposted Falls in all of Australia.  We turned around maybe 3 or 4 times and retraced the road, glaring at the map, and eventually saw a Post car so stopped and asked directions.  We were sent back in the direction from whence we'd come, and found a track off to the right with a sign, facing the wrong way, 6 or so meters away from the main road.  They clearly don't want it ruining like poor Merimbula!!!  We drive down the steepest of hills in low range and park at the bottom and then walk 10 mins into the rainforest with bell birds and whip birds piping us in. There we are greeted with what can only be described as a miniature gorge, the likes of which you normally find up north - fantastic.  The sign tells us that the cool pools are home to snake necked turtles so I am immediately on look out duty as A gamely strips off for a swim.  Life as a boy is so different.  He walks into the water in his jocks, without a care in the world and off he goes.  I clamber awkwardly over the rocks, still on snake duty and decline his repeated invitations to join him.  The thought of a wet bra, wet pants and snakes in the water pretending to be turtles, is all too off-putting for me.  Whereas A gets out, wips off his jocks, mutters something about free balling as he wrings them out, gets dressed, hands me his wet jocks as tho I'll know what to do with them and we walk back to the car. 
It's probably now 3pm so we eat a banana as we're driving, keen to get to Tathra in time to set up camp and go and find fish and chips (even tho we have lamb chops in the fridge, we both keep forgetting that).  We decide to look for Broadwater Oysters and John's directions prove a little scatty so we rely on the advice of a 6 yr old on his way home from school, that takes us straight to the oyster shack, half an hour in the other direction.  We pull in and see a tall gangly man with a dog, locking up a shed - we call out 'You're not closing are you?' and he replies that he is.  We explain we're from the Yarra Valley and have come here on someone's recommendation, and have made big detours to get here - so he opens back up, gives us a lesson in shucking (and I hope Andrew's listening bcs I know I'll stick the shucker through my palm if I try) and he sells us 2 dozen oysters and we all leave happy.  We take an order form thinking ahead to Xmas already.  Back on the highway we've driven a few times already today I see a barn that sells wooden toys.  Andrew does yet another u-turn and I go in to find some birthday pressies for small people.  I stagger out half an hour later (it's lovely to just chat to people) with a wooden train engine and a car and Andrew obligingly finds room for them both in the back, somehow.
Righto, we really need to go to Tathra now, so we are driving along when we see a sign for some eco cabins set in the wilderness.  It's a day of U-turns.  We drive in, past two large (even by Andrew's standards) grey kangaroos and an echidna by the side of the road and we find the cabins.  The sign on the chalk board at reception says 'Cleaning cabins, 5, 10 and 18, Julie' so we drive to each of these cabins, get out, call out, honk the horn.  Nothing and no-one.  We drive back up to reception.  Still no answer.  There is a car there with it's windows down.  Where is Julie - has she knocked off early?  Or been knocked off in one of the cabins?  Is she being held hostage, hearing us driving around and wishing we'd come and save her.  Is she lying in one of the cabins, having been bitten by a snake, unable to call out?  I start to get the willies, so ask if we can leave.  Not before taking pictures of the kangaroos, in the last throes of sunlight. As we drive out onto the highway we check to see if there's a phone number we can call for the cabins but there's none on the sign.  I find one 10 mins later on the map I'm looking at and try calling.  Just a cheery voice on the answering machine.  Well Julie, I hope you're well wherever you are.
We arrive in tiny Tarthra and find the Tourist Park on the beach.  We are given 3 options of accommodation - camping, a beach hut or a cottage.  We go and inspect all three and decide to slum it, in the most expensive of options!  What are we like?  We concede that we will cook for ourselves tonight and be frugal tomorrow - the lure of air con is so great.  And how nice to have our own space and shower etc.  We unpack, shuck 24 oysters, sink a bottle of red, cook lamb, have a shower and we're in bed by 10pm - which is a late night for us these days.
Someone snores and I'm up at 5am.  I wanted to write this up and the signal is so weak I can't quite get on line.  I write it up in draft and will it send later today when we have signal.  
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Leanne on

Hey Helen,
We'll turn you into a camper yet!
Love your posts...wish I was there but I am stuck in an office dealing with complaints about our front sign and year 11 daughter wanting to go off to non-stop parties. Hmmm the idea of feshly shucked oysters sounds so appealing, can I join you.
ciao for now

Joanne on

loving your travel tales and photos. I remember Tathra and eating oysters everyday.
looking forward to your next stop.

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