Backpacking Pensioners travel blog

Bombala Main Street

These sites are taken

The beach at the campsite

The beach and campsite from the lookout; spot our van

Ready for a rock scramble

How many kangaroo's can you spot?

Their favourite morning spot

Our walk on the beach; are we nearly there?

Tea is ready

The lake at Merimbula

Pam and George at Marimbula

Merimbula and the lake

The Orchid Show

A walk in the goldfields

The walking group

Sylvia's Comments.

Before leaving Bombala we drove into the town to stock up on food then we took the back road through the small communities of Cathcart and Wyndham. It was a lovely sunny day with bright blue skies, and the countryside looked great. Our journey took us through the South East Forest National Park and over Mount Darroch, another twisting road. I feel the driver will probably have difficulty on long straight roads as he has not driven on many of those recently. We did get some nice views when we went through gaps in the trees but mainly we were driving through the trees.

We were heading back to the coast to the Merimbula/ Pambula Beach area. When we had been visiting the lighthouse at South West Rocks in July we had met a couple called Pam and George who invited us to call in when we were passing their town. The arrangement was to call in at the tourist office, where they worked on a Thursday morning. However, now we had forgotten which town they lived in, we had remembered it began with an M and was close to the State border. On looking at our map we saw Merimbula just above the border in NSW and Mallacoota, just below the border in Victoria. So we will start looking for them at Merimubula.

Arriving at Pambula Beach we found a caravan park close to the beach, but we were not sure if there was any sites left as over 30 plus kangaroos were hogging the sites. With such a good clientele this must be a good place to stay, so we booked in for two nights. Once we had set up we went down to the beach and walked along to the rocks, then up the steps to the lookout at the top of the headland. After stopping to catch our breath, take some photos and admire another lovely view we carried on along the path which brought us to the next bay. Here we walked back along the beach and scrambled over the rocks, dodging the waves and returned to the site's cafe for a coffee. Tonight the restaurant was open and offering a special deal so we decided to treat ourselves to a meal out. Before this we explored the site and discovered a lot of amenities. There was a children's craft club and the organiser invited us in to have a look and we were impressed by the activity of the little ones working away on painted models. It took me back to play school days with Kieron and Richenda. The site is decorated throughout with hand painted tiles done by campers in 2006 and it makes it bright and cheerful. Our next stop was at the crazy golf and it was difficult to concentrate on the game as kangaroos came hopping by, sometimes stopping to watch us. We cannot have been very good as they did not hang about much.

We enjoyed the evening meal and washed it down with a bottle of Vanvino, the house wine, a nice Shiraz from South Australia.

Friday morning we set off in search of the tourist office to track down Pam and George. We had been told it was not far to walk along the beach to Merimbula, but it was not easy walking. The beach had quite a slant on it and the sand was very soft, so we were much slower than we had envisaged, mind you we did stop to rescue a small fish that had got washed in by the waves. Once we got to our destination we realised there was an outlet from the lake to cross and that we would have to walk inland and around to the bridge. By this time my left leg was suffering from walking a couple of inches higher than my right leg, so I lead a sit in at the nearby café and insisted we get a bus back. Luckily for us the next one was due in 20 mins, I say luckily as it only runs every two hours.

The bus dropped us off outside the campsite café, so we nipped in to buy a couple of nice cakes to have back in our van with a coffee. We then took the shortcut back across the site which we realised was a mistake, when I was surrounded by kangaroos interested in what was in the paper bag I was holding. Without thinking I raised my hand up over my head, but Kangaroos can stand up at least six feet, much taller than me. I managed to get away without loosing my cakes, but have been told that kangaroos have taken food away from people and can get quite dangerous.

On Saturday morning we drove around to Merimbula, parked our van and walked in to the town and enquired at the tourist office if Pam and George were volunteers there. We had got it right and the staff contacted Pam and George and we walked around to their home and had lunch with them. They then took us for a ride around the town showing us the lookout points which would give us a good view of the town. Before dropping us off they invited us to join them and their walking group tomorrow on a bush walk to some old gold mines. We visited the Merimbula orchid's grower's show, before returning to the van, the display was stunning. Having said good-bye to our neighbours this morning they were quite surprised to see us back again as we had chosen to return to the same site.

Sunday morning was a nice lazy time and after lunch Pam and George collected us and took us to join the other nine walkers. We enjoyed our walk through the bush and leant a little about the history of the gold mining in the area. The shafts are still there and in some places some of the machinery is still on site; our guide told us that it was gold powder that was mined here. We enjoyed our afternoon with the group and everyone made us feel very welcome. George returned us to our van and we said good-by and thanked them for their hospitality, however we may see them again, as they will be in New Zealand next Easter and we may meet up with them there.

We enjoyed our stay in the area but it was time to move on once more, assuring our neighbours that we really were going this time, but it seems they are travelling back home to Melbourne and are going in the same direction. So they may find themselves camped next to us somewhere a long the way. Some people never have any luck.

NB In my last account of Canberra I said we had been told that there were six capital cities built for purpose. Alasdair e-mailed me to say that he had looked on Wikipedia and discovered there are 18 such cities. Thanks Alasdair.

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