Victoria

Unreported shark attacks along the south coast!

On our travels along the southern coastal bits of the country we have noticed an alarming number of shark attacks that go unreported. The evidence of these attacks can easily be found as the poor victims body parts are strewn across many of the beaches we have visited.

I have even personally witnessed one such attack in the water in Sydney and can report that luckily the victims are already deceased. The sharks are actually just doing their duty of cleaning up the dead carcasses of cuttlefish. Cuttlefish have a relatively short lifecycle usually only living 2-3 years. They breed and die shortly afterwards, providing a vital food source to any hungry scavengers. All that is left after the clean-up process is the brittle internal cuttlefish bone that can be found washed up on the beach. We have frequently found these cuttlefish bones bitten in half, or covered with shark teeth indentation marks (see photo).

Basically it is the case of nature taking its course and nothing sinister as the heading might have implied.

Victims of shark attacks

Victims of shark attacks

 

Categories: Animal Action, australia, Beach, Discover Australia, Explore Australia, Journey Narrative, Kids Travel, Natural World, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, West Australia | Tags: | 2 Comments

The Great Ocean Road icons

Categories: Adventure, Australian Outback, Beach, Discover Australia, Explore Australia, Journey Narrative, Kids Travel, Photography, Travel, Travel Adventure, Victoria | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

The Great Ocean Road – Cape Otway Lighthouse

Having been diverted off the Great Ocean Road to hunt the Black Snail we resumed the road heading for Cape Otway where Hannah’s teacher had given us maps guaranteed to locate Koalas. It was late in the day so we went straight to the Lighthouse and set up our camp there. Despite all the tourists visiting we were the only ones staying there in a very picturesque outlook just behind the lighthouse.

CapeOtwayCamp

Cape Otway Camp

We enjoyed the tranquillity so much we stayed two nights, and there was plenty to do there.

This was the first lighthouse we have had the chance to go inside and we had the privilege to meet Pat, a lighthouse man, and a dying breed now all lighthouses are automated. He was not shy sharing a few stories about peers who had been driven mad by the solitude, and one as recent as in the 1980’s who had to be subdued and tied up with ropes when he ran around the island trying to shoot everyone. On the trip back to the mainland he was strapped to the main mast to stop him terrorising the crew.

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He showed us the narrow platform they used to clean the windows from with no rails or safety gear, over 60m up. In strong winds he joked that he would make the assistant clean on the windy side. Having been the last lighthouse keeper at the Point Hicks lighthouse that we visited in Croajingolong it was fascinating listening to his stories for an hour so in the afternoon. Thanks Pat.

The next day we visited the aboriginal hut hidden in the bush and met Dale. We spent hours with him talking about traditional plants, medicinal and bushtucker, how the traditional hunting weapons were used and he gave us insight into the native countries, tribal structure, how each tribe speaks 4 languages, and how message sticks were used when entering neighbouring territory. The kids painted abalone shells and we spent many hours there. Thanks Dale for sharing so much with us. It really made the stay special meeting these people.

 

Categories: Australian Outback, Camper Trailer, Discover Australia, Explore Australia, Great Ocean Road, Journey Narrative, Kids Travel, Photography, Travel, Travel Adventure, Victoria | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments

Ballarat – home of “Gold Fever”

Time to hit the goldfields – we found an awesome camp in the forests to the north of Ballarat then hit the Sovereign Hill centre to find out about life in the Gold Rush in the 1850s.

Muskets and enfield rifles were fired, we climbed down into Red Hill mine, watched stagecoaches ride past, panned for gold, and even found a few specks in the stream (they put 3g of gold in each day for the tourists to find).

The kids were horrified watching the school kids who were participating in the whole thing, dressed in 1850s uniforms, attending classes, and raising caps to adults as we passed by. The school lesson was brilliant as a very stern teacher made year 3-5 kids recite poems over and over again until they got it right. Funnily enough I had flashbacks to my childhood and the eccentric English teachers who had similar approaches.

We watched a 3kg gold ingot get poured, boiled sweets being made and to finish an excellent day we visited the gold museum to find that we were camped in the middle of the gold area. We had noticed a handful of little tents squirreled around the hills in the forest but there is still a lot of gold fever there. One guy who had obviously had some luck drove past in a Mercedes with new caravan and license plate “TWINKL”.

Tempted we pulled out the shovel and gold pans to have a go, but soon gave up realising that thousands of people have tried before us, and we could have spent months there without finding anything. We gave it a go though!

Categories: Adventure, Australian Outback, Discover Australia, Explore Australia, Journey Narrative, Kids Travel, Travel, Travel Adventure, Victoria | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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