Sunday, 22 March 2015


Fishing is a foreign place to me, but, for those who have 'the knowledge' Mallacoota is a major drawcard.

Pelicans and Silver Gulls know all about fishing as well. Or, at least, they know where fishermen clean their fish.

Pelicans at Mallacoota
Crested Terns and Silver Gulls dodging waves at Shipwreck Creek.
The gulls and terns at Shipwreck Creek were behaving more naturally, edging up and down the sand to keep their feet dry as each wave advanced. The creek, full of tannin, enters the sea at this delightful little sandy bay but it is named after the ship 'Schah' wrecked there in the 1837. The survivors of the wreck survived by walking north for five days along the coast to Twofold Bay at Eden!

Shipwreck Creek
Closer to Mallacoota we visited the astonishing Quarry Beach. The rocks here are 445 million years old, layers of different coloured sandstone now folded and faulted and eroded. It's a beautiful stretch of coastline that we will explore more thoroughly if we revisit this area.

A crab hiding between two of the eroded layers.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Tathra wharf

The wharf at Tathra is historic and tourists are drawn to it, especially now that it has been restored and a cafe established in the old wharf shed. After a number of years in the doldrums it has a new lease of life. Parking is in short supply and must be impossible in peak season but it's within walking distance of the beach and nearby streets.

Friday, 20 March 2015

Spotted Gum at Nelson Beach

In praise of Spotted Gum Corymbia maculata (Syn. Eucalyptus maculata).

Spotted Gums trees may be the dominant trees in many forests in eastern Australia but not where I come from. So to my fresh eyes they are a stunningly beautiful addition to the already beautiful coastline environment north of Merimbula.

No two are alike - the spots and colours caused by the flaking bark are individual. The trees near the coastline have been shaped by the wind whereas those just a few kilometres inland stand tall and straight. We found these on a drive out to Nelson Beach.

Sacred Thong Tree
Nelson Beach
Nelson Beach and the beautiful Nelson Lagoon were well worth a visit - we spent quite a while exploring the vegetation, the headland and the lagoon. The Bellbirds, King Parrots, friarbirds and whipbirds were all calling constantly and a Sea Eagle checked us out before flying off over the lagoon. Again the geology defeated me. The rocks seem to be a real mixture of different eons.

Perhaps by now you will have noticed that during our stay at Merimbula we didn't actually spend much time in Merimbula.

Picnic Point, Wapengo

Each of the tidal inlets along the Sapphire Coast supports an oyster farm industry. I know nothing about the requirements for such an industry but presumably the water quality has to be pretty good. I don't actually eat oysters either.

We visited Picnic Point at Wapengo. To get there the road skirted the north shore of Wapengo Lake so we were able to see several oyster-industry sheds as well as the patterns of the farm structures in the waters of the inlet. The inlets are also lined with mangroves.

Mangrove abruptly bordering farm pasture.
Mangroves at Wapengo Lake
Oyster farming
Wapengo Lake bordered by mangroves
Oyster-farming boxes
Oyster-farming equipment
Tending the oysters
At Picnic Point the rocky headland is very pretty and the rock platform intricately patterned. It would be interesting to know what the geological history of the area is. Phil was very careful to stay away from the edge of the platform - he broke his arm last year when washed off his feet by a wave on a rock platform.

Picnic Point, Wapengo