Lakes Entrance turned out to be a place for us to rest. We were blessed with good weather for the first two days of our four-day stay so we did lots of walking and viewing of the scenic lakes and their entrance to the sea. The channel to the sea wasn’t very wide so the water swirls past the entrance, waiting patiently on the rocky banks were seals looking for an easy feed as the water rushed in or out of the channel. We did a bit of touring taking in Bairnsdale and Metung. The lakes are a massive expanse.
Another day’s drive from Lakes Entrance was to Buchan to see the lovely Fairy Cave. Great cave well worth the visit. How they discover these caves and then have the courage to enter the blackness is mystery to me especially when it was done by candlelight and who knew what you would encounter. Another great visit and this cave is different from any other visited so far.
We managed to get a feel for Traralgon in an afternoon. We completed a section of the ‘Power Trail’ and were gob smacked by the number and size of the brown coal guzzling electricity generators. The La Trobe valley supplies much of Victoria’s power. A walking tour of the town itself was highlighted by the impressive town hall and courthouse. An hour’s drive up into the mountains brings you to the reconstructed gold mining town of Walhalla. What a quaint place. It was an old gold mining town back in the 1800’s. Their buildings have been beautifully restored. Population in 2014 consists of 14 residents. Walked to their much loved cricket ground. This cricket ground was the top of a very steep hill (approximately a kilometre), which they leveled with pick and shovel to turn into a playing field. This was a sure way to beat the visiting team, as they would have been severely challenged with the walk to the ground.
The cemetery has graves dating back to 1870. Most of the headstones were undamaged with time. The cemetery like most of the town is built on a steep hillside – some of the graves are dug into the hill and the others look like a very cleverly planned terrace of tombstones. All this because the land is so hilly.
The scenic train ride on the diesel-operated train was the highlight. By the time the railway line was finished the mines had all closed down and the train was of little use. You can only imagine the blood, sweat and tears the railroad workers had to endure laying the track, not an easy task in the hilly, forested and rocky terrain. The volunteers who ran the trains were very friendly, they came from the small towns around Walhalla such as Moe and Morwell.
The Rail Line Walhalla (short video clip)
Leaving the Gippsland Area for the outskirts of Melbourne much of the television news and radio talkback focused around the ever-increasing use of ‘Ice’ in the district. A reflection on our society in general.