Ross and Jo Whitty from Sydney plan to do the lap of Australia via Tasmania and through the centre of Australia.
They have a brand new Giest 630 caravan towed by a Toyota Prado turbo diesel. Apart from two short shakedown trips they are novices.
They plan 12 months or more on the road.They leave Sydney at the start of February and head for Tasmania sailing from Station Pier Port Melbourne aboard the Spirit of Tasmania on Saturday Feb 24.Ross and Jo asked GoSeeAustralia to suggest routes for their Lap of The Block. Here is the first in the Around Australia via Tasmania series of features.
The Coastal Route is via Wollongong, The Shoalhaven, Jervis Bay National Park, St Georges Basin, Ulladulla, Durras, Batemans Bay, Tuross Head, Narooma, Bermagui, Tathra, Merimbula, Eden, Lakes Entrance, Metung, Bairnsdale, Sale. Distance varies depending on route taken after Sale. About 1038 km and 13.5 hours behind the wheel.
To find caravan parks along the route.
Click Caravan Parks on the GoSeeAustralia Home Page. Click the State or Territory being toured onthe map of Australia which appears. Then Click the destination you plan to stop at in the alphabetical listings of centres. There are about 2700 caravan parks in GoSeeAustralia's data base.
To refine the search on caravan parks and destinations.
Click Advanced Search on the Left hand side of the GoSeeAustralia Home Page.
Click Caravan Parks. A green dot will appear in the circle. Select a state or territory in the drop down box. Click it in. Now search by caravan park chain. Click the box next to the chain logo required. A green tick comes up.
Try Top Tourist parks for example. Now click the option boxes required. For example - Ensuite Sites. Click the box to add a green tick. Now go to Key word.
Key in Eden. Then click Search. Garden of Eden Caravan Park will come up.
Click the caravan park name. Now the GoSeeAustralia listing for Garden of Eden is displayed. The Garden of Eden email and website link is at left. Click it and everything about the Top Tourist Park is on tap.
This Advanced Search method will also show the 22,000 attractions and destinations on GoSeeAustralia. Just add a green dot with a click in the eight Advanced Search Options which include Information Articles, Forum Threads and Events under the GoSeeAustralia Search heading.
A Search on All GoSeeAustralia will provide everything on the site related to the search word. This can also be done from the unique Multi-Search box on the top right of the GoSeeAustralia Home Page.
The NSW South Coast experience is built around six areas:
Sydney and Surrounds extends from Stanwell Park in the south to Gosford in the North and inland to Wisemans Ferry (NNW) and Camden and Penrith in the west.
The Illawarra is from Werri Beach to Scarborough.
The Shoalhaven is from Sussex Inlet to Gerringong and Werri Beach.
Batemans Bay to Sussex Inlet. Speaks for itself.
Eurobodalla Coast Mid South Coast is from Central Tilba to Mossy Point and Rosedale. Sapphire Coast Lower South Coast extends from the Victorian Border near Eden to Central Tilba.
Sapphire Coast Lower South Coast extends from the Victorian Border near Eden to Central Tilba.
Jervis Bay NP, South Coast
The Shoalhaven's major centre is Nowra about 163 km south of Sydney. Stop at Bundanoon if you can, its the Arthur Boyd property on the Shoalhaven River, it opens on Sunday.
Entry is by ticket only. Surfers, swimmers, divers, sailors and sailboarders have their choice of 109 beaches. Mollymook surf beach, south of Ulladulla is the showpiece of the southern Shoalhaven and a regular venue for state and national surfing titles.
Hyams Beach, on the southern shores of Jervis Bay, is said to have sand among the whitest in the world.
Murramarang National Park near Durras and Mimosa Rock NP near Tathra show natural masterpieces. Sussex Inlet and St Georges Basin are unique in their natural attractions. Kangaroo Valley is different, beautiful and quirky. Montague Island off Narooma has seals, penguins, seabirds and some of the worlds best scuba diving.
Picnic lunch at Narooma
Narooma has excellent estuary and beach fishing and offshore, Montague Island is a Mecca for sports anglers.
The closeness of the continental shelf to the mainland at this point allows game anglers the chance to catch marlin and Yellow fin Tuna. February to May is the peak period.
Narooma is a South Coast gem linked to the hinterland and Wagonga Inlet. There is an annual blues festival in October.
Natural attractions include Cowdroy Creek Rainforest Walk off Box Cutting Rd, 5km to the north of Narooma. Clifftop Park lookout gives magnificent views over Montague Island and Narooma Beach.Montague Island Nature Reserve, 7km offshore, is home to seals, penguins and seabirds.
There is a lighthouse and a selection of historic buildings. National Parks and Wildlife Service guides lead tours. Fees apply. September to November is whale-watching time.
Seal colony sitting on rocky outcrop of Montague Island Nature Reserve
Cruises are available to see the whales, enjoy some fishing, visit Montague Island or take in the beauty on Wagonga Inlet.
The Lighthouse Museum, on the Princes Highway, is part of the tourist centre.
The original lighthouse mechanism taken from Montague Island when the light was updated is part of the museum.
Central Tilba, the National Trust Village, south of Narooma is outstanding in its history lesson. Umbarra on Wallaga Lake, south of Narooma has Koori guides for indigenous tours.
Cowdroy Creek Rainforest Walk is off Box Cutting Rd., 5km north of Narooma. There are great golf courses, take your choice.
Whale watching, Merimbula, NSW
Whales, dolphins, fishing and river cruises should be considered. The fishing is world class with many excellent fighting and table species.
Batemans Bay, Moruya and Narooma, are said to be among the best seaside holiday destinations in New South Wales.
Moruya, a bustling rural town on the picturesque Moruya River, is a good base to explore the Nature Coast and the gateway to scenery of the Deua National Park and the Araluen Valley.
North of Moruya Heads, Broulee is a place to relax, swim and stroll on the shores of Broulee Bay.
The Eurobodalla coastline includes a magnificent escarpment and forests which stand tall down to a coastline of white beaches and craggy headlands.
Stretching from Bermagui to the Victorian boarder and west to Brown Mountain, including the Bega Valley Shire, the Sapphire Coast is a rare find in the NSW South Coast mix of natural and developed attractions. Edens Killer Whale Museum is a legend in itself.
The South Coast drive from Tathra to the Victorian border is one of the nations outstanding touring experiences.
Unspoilt beaches of Merimbula
There is a Mediterranean feel about Merimbula.
Local restaurants and the food underline it.
The 5km Main Beach attracts surfers, wave sailing and swimming. Canoeing is popular in the sheltered waters in front of the town.
Main Beach Merimbula invites visitors to surf, fish or stroll, while Short Point and Tura Beach are pristine with tea trees forming an intricate web of growth among flowering heaths and banksia trees.
Dolphins make regular visits to the Pambula River.
Tathra Wharf is the only remaining Sea Wharf on the East Coast.
Fur seals and Fairy Penguins from the Montague Island colony often drop in and dont mind people joining them.
Tathra Wharf Museum, Tathra, Sapphire Coast
Tathra Beach is protected from southerly winds and is popular with board riders and sailboarders.
Launching facilities at Kianinny Bay give access to the sea. Surfers have many choices including Beares Beach, Moreheads Beach, Haywards Beach and Cuttagee Beach. The Cobargo Folk Festival is held in February. Bermaguis Seaside Fair celebrates food and country living in
March. April is Eden Game Fishing Tournament time.
Meet a white lion cub at Mogo Zoo
For something really different to do with your day go and see endangered species like tigers, snow leopards and red pandas at Mogo Zoo.
Mogo's gold rush days can be relived at Old Mogo Town just behind the town, or pan for gold on a goldfields tour.
The roads are excellent and the gentle hills of the coast and its hinterland produce consistently varied vistas.
Bega in the hinterland if famous for its cheese, and the wine is good too.
Bega is the rural centre of the Sapphire Coast, set at the gateway to the rolling pastures of the lush Bega Valley.
Taking it easy near Central Tilba and Tilba Tilba
Country life includes lazy creeks winding their way through paddocks of picture-book cows, and horses grazing against a backdrop of the darkly forested mountains.
It is prime dairy country, famous for Bega Cheese and home to the Heritage Centre detailing the legacies of culture and history.
Cheese and wine go together, and Bega has the best of both. The Family Museum records the story of the region.
Just 19km north of Bega is the Brogo Dam, which is contained within the Brogo wilderness area and the southern section of Wadbilliga National Park.
The park protects rugged coastal escarpment and plateau areas surrounding the Wadbilliga, Tuross and Brogo Rivers.
On the Princes Highway, north of Bega, Cobargo was 'The Junction' as the township first began to develop in the late 1860s at the junction of the Narira and Bredbatoura creeks.
The surrounding landscape merges into wilderness areas that are incorporated in the Wadbilliga National Park.
Bemboka is a quaint rural village with a backdrop of the Bemboka National Park towering over the township. There are scenic views of the Sapphire Coast from Pipers Lookout.
The viewing platform and visitor information is an introduction to the South East Forest National Park. Bemboka has a reputation for fine pies and a friendly laid back lifestyle.
At 886m Mount Imlay towers over seaside Eden and the shores of sheltered Twofold Bay and Ben Boyd National Park to the east.
Towards the Victorian border the forests protect rare creatures like the Tiger Quoll. Eden offers a window on our whaling past. Killer Whales once formed a strange partnership with the Eden whalers.
The partnership is recorded in the Eden Killer Whale Museum.The skeleton of Old Tom, last of the hunting pack makes a big impression on visitors. Davidson Whaling Station at Kiah Inlet, Boyds Tower and Boydtown stand memorial to a dream long gone.
Fur seals and fairy penguins are also part of the seascape.Check Eurobodalla Nature Coast Tourism 1800 802 528 or www.naturecoast-tourism.com.au. The council site is also worth a look to get the rules right www.esc.nsw.gov.au GoSeeAustralia likes to share this kind of info with all our site users. Have a look at the NSW South Coast Feature in Information Eurobodalla Means Anglers Heaven.
For further information on accommodation and activities within the Sapphire Coast please contact Sapphire Coast Tourism 2/163 Auckland Street Bega NSW 2550 Telephone: (02) 6492 3313 Fax: (02) 6492 3920 Freecall 1800 633 012 Website: www.sapphirecoast.com.au Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgMerimbula
Editor's Note also see:
Visitor Information Centre Beach Street Merimbula NSW 2548 Telephone: (02) 6497 4900 Bookings: (02) 6497 4901 email@example.comNatural
Mallacoota offers pure peace and water activities, access is through Genoa. Lakes Entrance is home to Australias biggest fishing fleet. The local Fishermans Co-op sells direct to the public. It is on the left as you head out of Lakes. Look for the sign. In the hinterland Buchan and its famous caves is a true natural national icon.Keep an eye on the current CFA and DSE bushfire alerts if you plan to visit.
Just out of Lakes Entrance on the back road to Metung is Nyerimilang Homestead, great spot to see the way the Gippsland Lakes gentry lived from 1890.
Metung, on Bancroft Bay, is an authentic Gippsland Lakes Village with all the mod cons. Bairnsdale is the commercial hub, linked to the Gippsland Lakes Chain by the Mitchell River. St Marys Roman Catholic Church in Main St has interesting murals.
It is also the turn off for a Great Australian high. The Great Alpine Way via Omeo and Mt Hotham to Bright and Wangaratta. This is not a good caravanning road at the best of times. The current Victorian bushfires make it even less so.There are road closures current. Check the Department of Sustainability and Parks Victoria web sites for details.
Bairnsdale Holiday Park has accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets, as well as a large variety of shady sites for caravans or tent. Facilities to enjoy run from relaxing in the spa, to catching a ride on the tractor to help feed all the animals in the fauna park, play tennis, watch a movie or play table tennis in the games room.
Sale, 214 km south east of Melbourne, is the Wellington Shires admin centre. Like Bairnsdale it links to the Gippsland Lakes, which are best appreciated from a boat. From Sale the choices include; The South Gippsland Hwy through coastal and country scenery.
One of Australias oldest and most interesting National Parks, Wilsons Promontory can be accessed via Meeniyan or Foster. Booking ahead is essential. This is via good bitumen road through undulating country.
Or The Bass Highway Coastal route which leads to popular Inverloch and its sheltered beaches to former coal town Wonthaggi and then offers the further option of Phillip Island and its world famous Little Penguin colony.
Part of the drive from Inverloch to Wonthaggi can be compared with the magnificent Great Ocean Road from Anglesea to Port Campbell.
With 10 separate National Parks between Berry and Eden and many centres and attractions there is plenty for visitors to do and see:
Visit Jervis Bay National Park and the waterways of St Georges Basin and Sussex Inlet.
Spend some time at Bundanoon, Arthur Boyds property on the Shoalhaven River.
Walk shingle beaches in the Murramarang National Park, near Durras.
Surf, fish, snorkel and bird watch at Mimosa Rocks National Park near Tathra.
Taste salt and fresh water lakes at Bournda National Park, a little further south.
Go to a wilderness. Nadgee Nature Reserve is the only coastal wilderness in New South Wales and stretches to the Victorian border near Eden.
See endangered species like tigers, snow leopards and red pandas at Mogo Zoo.
Catch marlin and Yellow fin Tuna. February to May.
Join Indigenous cultural tours at Umbarra just south of Narooma.
Scuba dive at Montague Island Nature Reserve off Narooma.
Meander through Kangaroo Valley or the arts and crafts centre of Berry, north of Nowra.
Get historic in the National Trust village of Central Tilba, south of Narooma.
Club it. The South Coast has fine clubs, entertainment and golf courses.
Cruise. There are whale or dolphin watch cruises, offshore fishing charters or river cruises.
Learn of an unusual partnership between men and whales at the Eden Killer Whale Museum.