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It's the Journey, Not the Destination

AUSTRALIA | Thursday, 1 February 2024 | Views [99]

Morning on Betka Beach, Mallacoota

Morning on Betka Beach, Mallacoota

SOMEONE FOLLOWING OUR ZIG-ZAG ROUTE might think we suffer from terminal Attention Deficit Disorder. Yes, it would have made more sense to come directly from Bairnsdale to Mallacoota near the Victoria-NSW border. But Mallacoota is a popular holiday destination and there were no rooms at the inn—nothing affordable—until now.


                 We don't have ADD, honest!

Our apartment at Gowings of Mallacoota is just a few hundred meters from the Foreshore Holiday Park where we pitched our tent in 2005. It isn’t AirBnb but it’s the equal of all but a handful where we’ve stay except for one thing. NO WIFI! Luckily the public library is just around the corner.


                    Betka Beach, one of many around Mallacoota



        Pacific Reef Heron, Betka Beach

Mallacoota is a destination for beach-goers and nature-lovers. We are more the second type but we checked out Betka Beach on our way to Skeleton Creek in Croajingolong National Park. It’s easy to see why Mallacoota is so popular and Betka is just one of the many beaches in the area.


                Bush Bronzewing, Croajingolong National Park


                   Reminder of 2020 bushfires


                      Coastal Heath, Skeleton Creek

We drove at snail’s pace on the 10km track to Skeleton Creek campground, eyes peeled for birds and furry creatures. Several wallabies hopped in front of us and we managed a decent photo of a Bush Bronzewing before it took flight, our first of the species. 


                    Southern Emu-wren, Croajingolong National Park


               Common Heath Flower


                     Purple Flag 


                        Yellow Star


                    Purple Fan  

Charred eucalyptus skeletons are reminders of the bush fires that ravaged the National Park in 2020. But eucalyptus are resilient and the new growth is already three-meters high. The coastal heath was either undamaged or had made a remarkable recovery and we were able to see more than a dozen Southern Emu-wrens on our three-mile jaunt on Skeleton Creek Trail. Flowers are much easier to photograph than birds but we had to wait until we had wifi to identify them.


                    Wonga Pigeon, the last picture

We bought Connie’s Nikon Coolpix for her trip to Borneo in 2017 and it has served her well. It died on her morning walk but not before she got this photo of a Wonga Pigeon, a bird she had seen before but we never had a picture. 


                Bell Miner 


                         Angry Bird, Bell Miner

When Connie mentioned we were looking for Bell Miners, I assumed they were named by someone named Bell, like Bell’s Vireo is. These are more like Jingle-bell Miners! And despite the constant tinkling of bells, Bell Miners are hard to see—even harder to photograph when backlit by the morning sun. It took some work but we’re satisfied with the photos, our first ever of these guys.


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The Vagabonds at Cobh, Ireland

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