Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Wingan Inlet & Thurra River, Croajingolong National Park

Wingan Inlet & Thurra River, Croajingolong National Park - 14-17th Feb 2009

Victoria - YEY!
Victoria Sign Australia
From Wingan Inlet - Croajingolong NP

We left a rainy Eden at 9:30 after packing everything up the night before and getting the tent away in the morning literally 2 mins before it started raining– boy were we glad!! Wet tents are no fun – as we found out in Sydney!
With a bacon roll in our tummies we were on the road to Victoria and Mallacoota – a small town that we used to supply all of our needs for the next 3 nights of bush camping. We visited tourist info and picked up our maps, we asked the lady there (from Kent) if there was a way to Wingan Inlet without going back to the main road? She said that there wasn’t and that we would have to go around.
We had read our 4x4 trip book and this had said to the contrary, so we went the 4x4 route anyway. As it happens after reading another trip backwards sentence by sentence we made it through to the camp without going back to the main road. The route was fun and OJ managed nearly all of it in just 2wd!! Good girl!! There were lots of puddles and Carl was in his element – getting the car in a mess!!

Playing in the mud
Croajingalong National Park Victoria Australia
From Wingan Inlet - Croajingolong NP

We arrived at camp, set up, ate, drank a little too much and went off to bed.

In the morning we went for a 3km walk (round trip) to the beach on the other side of the inlet that we are camping on. When we arrived at the beach we were rewarded with a close(ish) view of “The Skerries” this is basically rocks out to sea. What makes them special is that they are covered in Seals. Looking through the binoculars we could see what seemed like nearly 100 seals lying on the rocks and playing in the surf.
One issue we did have were the March flies – they are big boggly-eyed things that have a nasty bite. Lets say their population took a hit and we got out fairly unscathed (Good job we were wearing Jeans!) We also noticed Dingo prints on the beach which confirmed howling noises we heard the night before.

Wingan Inlet
Wingan Inlet Croajingalong National Park Victoria Australia
From Wingan Inlet - Croajingolong NP

In the afternoon we just went off for a drive and took OJ for some more forest 4wding. This route was a lot narrower than the previous one and there were a few fallen trees to negotiate and drive over!! The track wound on for what seemed like forever and the speeds were under 10kph nearly the whole way. After about an hour of this and not really getting anywhere but further into the undergrowth, we decided to turn around. Easier said than done! We drove another 10 mins before finding anywhere remotely possible to turn and when we did it felt like a 47 point turn!!

End of the line?
Croajingalong National Park Victoria Australia
From Wingan Inlet - Croajingolong NP

Safely back at camp we had dinner and wine and a chat. Whist here Carl heard a pattering of feet in the bushes behind camp and turned around to see the silhouette of a Dingo trotting passed. This made Heidi very nervous for the rest of the evening and we soon got off to bed. The whole place is so much friendlier in the light!

The next day we packed up (AGAIN – feel like we are packing and unpacking the whole time!) and set off for our second camp spot in Croajingolong NP – Thurra River. We took the 4wd access route once more and the track was a little easy and mundane for the first 18ks. Carl then got into drive the last bit and had all of the fun, a river crossing, ridges, etc – Typical!! As we were arriving at the campground we had to cross a long one lane bridge over Thurra River. From the bridge we could see some very high sand dunes (we planned to walk to these later).

Thurra River
Thurra River Croajingalong National Park Victoria Australia
From Thurra River - Croajingolong NP

We picked a site and were a little aggrieved to have to pay as much for this as you would for a facilitated camp site and this one only had pit toilets!!
After paying the fees in the ‘honesty’ box, we set off on the 2hr (return) walk to the dunes. It was a fairish walk until you got near the dunes, then it went uphill in sand fairly steeply. This was not too bad on the way up and we got out onto the dunes in good time - 40 mins. We wandered around the dunes for a while and found a steep downhill section. We had great fun running down it, but a mega hard slog getting back up! Your legs are moving like mad but they slip back and you don’t go anywhere. I was knackered (Carl). Never the less we went up for another charge down – great fun but for the trudge back up!

Having fun in the Dunes
Sand Dunes Croajingalong National Park Victoria Australia
From Thurra River - Croajingolong NP

After the tiring excursion to the dunes we decided that relaxing on the beach would be a good plan. The beach was 100m from out site and was really nice. We relaxed here for a couple of hours before dinner (Pasta and sauce) and then off to bed for another early night. This was partly due to seeing the Dingoes the day before but mostly because the Mozzies here were the worst I have ever experienced!! I had repellent on all exposed skin apart from my face and neck as I haven’t ever been bitten there. Until now! I was bitten on the neck, chin and one right on the forehead – not a happy chappy! (May have been their way of getting revenge after I went to the pit toilet with a can of RAID and killed hundreds of the buggers!!)

Well we are off to Lakes Entrance tomorrow via Orbost. We have had 3 days without running water and are starting to feel a little feral. A shower is going to feel Sooo good!



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