Part 1 - The Charismatic Adventures Of Henry The Hiace
Heading towards Metung River
Checking shoe size in South Durras, near Batemans Bay
Dinner time at Mackenzie Beach
A little while ago we met Sebastian and Georgie, two housemates who decided they'd leave the urban lifestyle of Melbourne behind them and explore the rest of Australia.
When we met them they were busy packing and putting together a rough plan for their adventurous road trip. Since then the adventurous duo have been on the road for just over a week; exploring the East Coast of Australia as they make their way to Mission Beach. Their trusty camper-van has been affectionately named Dr Henry Jones Jr. We've loved receiving their emails and seeing the photos of the travels, and it's only just the beginning.
Part 1 - The Charismatic Adventures Of Henry The Hiace
Waaaa ho! Week one! Dr Henry Jones Jr, the Hiace, has made it! Despite its 1977 appearance, his internals and biological age are much lower, and he has not missed a beat.
Now! Let’s see! Where did we start!?
Melbourne to The Metung River, via the Wormtastic slide was our first leg. Leaving at an uncomfortably hot and humid time was not the best, and with only 2 windows in the Van, as well as a portable 12v “air conditioner” that did nothing except make a humming sound, that you put up with only in the hopes that it gets colder, WHICH IT DOESN’T, but then you start to cry and your tears cool you down a little so everything woks out, we were HOT!
But there! Up ahead, in the distance, can you see it? Oh, you mean that lovely blanket of black sky? Why yes! That’s exactly what I mean. You know those storm people were talking about up in Brisbane? Well I think some of it was making it’s way over our Van, and we were heading into the opening scene from the wizard of Oz, “It’s a twister! Oh! Oh! It’s a twister!”
RAIN MAN! DUDE! RAIN! Heaps of it! Everyone started to pull over and we were no exception. We waited for about 15mins, then headed to roll on at a comfortable 12 kilometers per hour continuing onto the Metung River campsite, with a quick stopover at The Wormtastic slide, a 10m-ish slide that gave both Georgie and I the adrenaline we needed to fall asleep. AIY!
The campsite we stayed at was amazing though! We pulled in at night and walked across the road to the water, boats and small piers. Shining my touch to lead the way, Georgie says “Shine over here for a minute…. oh wait, never mind, I thought I saw something” I shine my torch around for awhile, then decide to turn it off and as soon as I did, we were surrounded by a neon lit river of what I have now heard is phosphorous. Imagine neon stars moving, flashing and dancing all around you in the water, blinking twice and pinching yourself to see if you are actually hallucinating as one of the effects caused by to much Wormtastic slide. The glowing dots leading into the silhouette of a sail boat, with the whole view framed by tall trees, and capped by a lid of stars that curved and joins back into the river. Was sweeeeeet as! And that was only day one!
Day 2 took us from the Metung river to Lakes entrance, allowing us to test out our first caravan powered site, We didn’t realize that we needed a 15amp electricity cable to plug into the Van but anyhow we made do by sliding a cable through the window, allowing us to watch Austin powers on our 24” Full HD PC monitor before falling asleep (just like city living). We explored the area a little bit and treated ourselves to some average fish and chips, then walked over a massive bridge to get us to the beach. Was very windy so I think it lost some of its appeal but was cool to see anyway.
Day 3 we left Lakes Entrance onto a place called Marlo, in which we camped beside the snowy river, kept a lookout for Banjo Patterson but couldn’t find him, he may have been in the river though as it was super brown and muddy.
Day 4 we left Marlo and headed north for Mallacoota to check out the Croa-jing-a-long National park. We camped the night first and stocked up on supplies, $1 mushrooms, $1 silverbeet! We were sorted. Eeeee! We woke up early the next day heading for shipwreck cove and then it was time to get our Croa-jingle ON!....I used that joke several times during the day, driving Georgie to give me multiple bouts of the silent treatment, I then adapted the joke to jing-a-long bells, jing-a-long bells, jing-a-long all the way. That also was unsuccessful; all other alterations of the word were unmemorable and not able to be recollected.
We went for a hike that took about an hour, and then headed back. While we were deep in conversation, heading down the beaten path, we both suddenly stopped and Georgie sprinted backwards approximately 10m, as we had just awoken a red-bellied black snake. It however must have gotten the same fright as we did, because it literally jumped 0.5m into the air, didn’t know they could do that! AHH Humansssssssss!!!!
We jumped back in the car and headed back to Mallacoota, then onto Narooma.
Narooma was INTENSE! This town will be one of the most amazing places you’ll see if you’re into sea life. We parked our van near a spot by the water and while I was preparing my fishing rod Georgie shouts “SEB!, COME HERE” I run and there is a huge-mongous sting ray within reaching distance, You could stare into the highway of water he was moving though and see all the marine life swimming about doing their thing. We walked further along the water to find a better vantage point for fishing, Climbed up a few rocks, threw my fishing line into the water, look down and to my left and I hear a “Raaarrrr” Yep, there was a seal about 5m away. Who needed to learn a thing or two about dental care, as his teeth were yella! Needless to say, I brought my line in and backed away. We went to sleep as it was dark and prepared ourselves for Batemans Bay. While we thought that would be it for Narooma, We got up early and did a little more exploration, we headed towards a shallow pier (you could step down and into the water) Here’s what we saw! HUNDREDS OF FISH! 4 HUGE STING RAYS! 10 OR SO PELICANS! A MORAY EEL!!! AND AN OCTOPUS!!! Cra-zay! A fishing charter had just started cleaning there catch and offered the remains of fish to anybody who wanted to feed the rays, I jumped in and followed instructions and got to feed those crazy things! Was incredible! I also freaked out as the octopus hugged my right leg, but that’s a different story. So amazing that place!
Anyway…onto Batemans Bay…Mackenzie Beach…woke up surrounded by wallabies and staring at a dolphin swimming around in the distance…blah blah blah BORING! So cool! I wanted to go out towards the swimming fin, but the only floatation medium I had was the esky and I didn’t want to rely on that just in case my eyesight was incorrect and it was actually a shark. So I observed safely from a distance.
Onto Jervis bay! Via Durras Beach in which the beach had carved out some intense rock formations. The rocks look flat when you see them from a far, but when you walk over them, they become the ocean equivalent of the grand canyon. Got into white sands beach near Jervis bay. Saw a python! Had a cold shower!
And now! As I’m typing this, whilst fighting the burden of modern technology and 10% battery power and now 7% after spell checking. We are in Kangaroo Valley, having checked out the very intimidating Fitzroy falls last night and falling asleep to a wombat scratching itself on our rear bumper bar. We plan on going for a hike and then up to Wollongong and the city of Sydney!