Kianga to Melbourne (via Brisbane)

Kianga

We were in Kianga for a few days, it’s a small, old, relatively untouched seaside residential town. It’s neighbour Narooma is more well known and has a bottle shop and a nice Hawaiian restaurant. We’d be visiting both while we are here. We were staying in an Airbnb overlooking the sea. It wasn’t an unobstructed view but was a great view nonetheless.

Kianga Sunrise
Kianga Sunrise

Kianga means “Home” in the indigenous language of the region and it felt like it for us.

Duncan, the Airbnb host, provides his guests with a pair of binoculars to better observe the view of the ocean and to help spot the migrating whales. The Airbnb was very comfortable and great value. It was so good, it was one of those places we didn’t want to leave. We did leave but not until we did all of this.

Birds enjoying the sunrise
Birds enjoying the sunrise

Sunrise

The sun rose over the horizon, as it does everywhere else in the world, directly in front of the place we were staying, which it only does here, when we are here. It always rises in front of this place but we don’t stay here all the time soooo….that sentence got hard to get accurate in rewrite so I’m abondoning it and trying again.

We were greeted by the most spectacular sunrises every day.

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Birds of many sizes, shapes and colours shared the same space with us making the views and experiences even better. We came to Kianga primarily to see if we could catch views of the migrating whales which I did one day, but not from the balcony.

Migrating Whales
Migrating Whales

We try and get some exercise every day. The first day in Kianga we went for a 10 kilometre walk into Narooma along the coast. This is the route we took. As you can see we have mastered the art of walking on water. Turns out it’s quite easy. All it requires is just stepping onto the surface of the water and not falling through. Once you have mastered that you’re pretty much sorted. (Again, stolen and adopted from Douglas Adams)

10km Scenic Walk
10km Scenic Walk

Whale Watching

We had only gone 200 metres when Jenni found her socks were very uncomfortable, slipping into her walking shoes. As the walk we had planned was long-ish she nipped back to the house to change them and I wandered down to the shoreline to wait for her. Just as I got there I saw splashing far out on the horizon. I’d hoped to catch some whales on our walk so I had my big lens camera with me.  I zoomed out as far as I could get and snapped off a hundred shots. The shot above shows how far they were away. This was a close as I could get with the zoom lens.

Whales breaching
Whales breaching

A young whale calf was throwing its tail up and smashing it down over and over again. It was having fun. It lasted 2-3 minutes and then stopped, the sea was calm again. Mommy whale probably told baby whale to stop messing about and eat some fish. It was just at this point Jenni turned up in her comfy socks. She was wearing more than that but english is a very messy language and I’m sure you knew she was fully dressed. and not just in socks.

A perfectly flat ocean was all that was visible, no whales showing off any more. We saw no more whales during the time we were there. Doesn’t diminish the beauty of this place though.

Rocky Beach in Kianga
Rocky Beach in Kianga

Monatgue Island

The shoreline around Kianga is alternately sandy beach and rocky headland. We walked the sandy beaches and rock hopped the headlands where we could. Montague Island sits just off shore, believe it or not I waited for that wave to crash the rocks just like that.

Montague Island
Montague Island

Montague Island is the second largest island off the New South Wales east coast. It has been classified by the National Trust as a Landscape Conservation Area for its scenic, scientific and historical values. It has seals and little penguins. You can also book to stay overnight in the lighthouse if you are a millionaire. The island made a very picturesque break on the horizon for a lot of my scenic pictures. As we walked towards Narooma this day it shone in the sunlight.

A small sea plane buzzed around overhead giving tourists a birds eye, but remote, view of what we were experiencing close up. We didn’t know it at he time but we were to meet the plane again later this same day.

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We wandered eventually to the spot where we last visited in this beautiful place. The pelicans were still there scoffing the carcasses of the gutted fish. Judging by the bulge in his neck this greedy fella was happy.

Hard to swallow
Hard to swallow

Narooma Boardwalk

The boardwalk along the river mouth is a beautiful walk, at the other end of it there are more fish preparation stations and some nice boats and a lovely view.

Narooma boardwalk
Narooma boardwalk

Jenni stopped for a short time to check in with work while I ran around taking pictures.

Work break
Work break
Narooma
Narooma

Narooma Bridge Oysters

A little farther on we crossed the Narooma Bridge. Below the bridge sits a number of small sheds out of which fishermen sell oysters and lobsters and other fresh seafood directly off the boat. We’ll be returning here later in this blog of course.

Narooma Bridge Oysters
Narooma Bridge Oysters

Crossing the Narooma Bridge.

Narooma Bridge
Narooma Bridge

On the way across the bridge we saw this pelican had snagged a prime spot on the post in the middle of the river. He looked like he was settling down for the night. Wonder if he was the greedy fella we saw earlier looking for somewhere to rest while he digested his massive dinner.

JIM_6715

We had Rozellas for lunch

Just over the bridge we stopped at a small park for a snack to keep us going. Just as Jenni started peeling a banana I caught sight of a small number of little Rozellas sitting on the park bench next to us. I’ve been snapping these guys for months while they are flying or sitting in trees, just trying to get a decent picture. Failed every time. They are very fidgety and don’t stay still for long. Now here are 5 of them just sitting on the bench across from us. I grabbed the camera and raised it to my eye and just as I did, they flew off. But they flew around a tree and landed right on the bench we had stopped at.

We had Rozellas for lunch
We had Rozellas for lunch

I was astounded. Australia just keeps providing. They were very interested in our banana. Well, they were very interested in the idea of a banana, they acted like they would have preferred chips.

Are the chips in there?
Are the chips in there?

There was one grumpy fella who sat apart from the rest just not happy at all.

Where's the chips Jim? You're Irish, you must have chips.
Where’s the chips Jim? You’re Irish, you must have chips.

Quarterdeck

Once the Rozellas had some of our banana and worked out we didn’t have any chips they flew off to hassle some other snackers. Meanwhile we made our way to a great little bar / restaurant called Quarterdeck where we stopped for lunch.

Quarterdeck
Quarterdeck

The ghosts in the picture are as a result of the high definition photo app taking 3 pictures and trying to make a single frame out of them. I like the ethereal result so I’m putting it in the blog. Also the colours are great.

Lunch at the Quarterdeck
Lunch at the Quarterdeck

Quarterdeck is a Hawaiian themed place with cocktails served in tall ornate ceramic vessels with fruit and other stuff hanging out of them. We had seafood and a wine and beer. Quarterdeck sits right on the river with a jetty reaching out to the water with a sea plane moored to the end of it.  The same sea plane we saw earlier in the day.

Tourist central
Tourist central
View of the Quarterdeck from the Pier
View of the Quarterdeck from the Pier

We fed the fishes off the pier and there were plenty to feed. I wonder if the fish we had for lunch was in there swimming with their friends yesterday.

Feeding the fish
Feeding the fish

After a sumptous lunch and some drinks we toyed with the idea of catching a taxi back to the apartment but instead opted for the walk back to walk off the lunch.

Walking over the bridge we saw that the pelican we saw earlier had made itself very comfortable on the post in the river.

Sleepy Pelican
Sleepy Pelican

Australia Rock

Australia Rock
Australia Rock

The next day we did the tourist thing and went to find Australia Rock so called because it has a hole in it the shape of the coastline of Australia, sort of, if you have a good imagination, and squint a bit.

Not satisfied with posing in front I decided I’d try and get in the hole and, as an allagory to our Vagabonding travel plan to explore the entire continent, I’ll do this.

Australia is THIS BIG
Australia is THIS BIG

Of course the “behind the scenes” pic Jenni took show how athletic I was getting into the and back from the photo shoot.

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It was a beautiful spot though.

Lobster

A few days later we returned to the sheds under the bridge where good folk were selling some of the freshest seafood I’ve ever seen.

Seafood heaven
Seafood heaven

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We bought fresh cooked lobster (authentically wrapped in newspaper) and some prawns.

We ate our lobster and prawns on the balcony of the apartment overlooking the sea, it was pretty idyllic.

Lobster by the Sea
Lobster by the Sea

It was bloody delicious, set a very high bar for any future lobster meals.

The Rozellas must have passed on the message to the magpies that Jimmi and Jenni were good for a few scraps. This guy turned up to help us finish our lobster.

Hey Jim, any chips?
Hey Jim, any chips?

The sunrises over the ocean every morning were beautiful.

Sunrise in Kianga
Sunrise in Kianga

Even on mornings where the weather wasn’t perfect. The views were dramatic.

Monyague Island, stormy morning
Montague Island, stormy morning

Both Jenni and I found Kianga a most relaxing place to work. I think it’s one of those places we’ll return to. It was time to leave, from Kianga we high tailed it to Melbourne, dropped our bags off at our housesit and jumped on a plane back to Brisbane.

Brisbane Women in Technology Awards

Jenni was nominated for an award and had made finalist. We were off to Brisbane to attend the final awards ceremony.

Woment in  Technology Awards
Woment in Technology Awards

From a long list of nominees Jenni made it to the top two.

Women in Technology Finalist
Women in Technology Finalists

In Jenni’s own words, let say she came second. The nomination and finalist achievement shows just how respected in the industry Jenni is. All of us in Systar are very proud of her.

Women in Technology Final Award Picture
Women in Technology Final Award Picture

Melbourne

After a short overnight for the awards ceremony we flew back to our housesit in Melbourne where we will be for the next 4 weeks. We’re in Williamstown near the beach. Although its a bit too cold for swimming one chap thought he’d go for a deep paddle. Too cold for him to take off his hoodie though.

Swimming in a hoodie
Swimming in a hoodie

Mystery Animal

I need some help solving this mystery. While walking along the shore last night, apart from mad swimmers, we spied a small dark shape in the water. All we could see was a dark shape and a pointy tail, originally we thought it was a sea snake but it wasn’t. It looks like some sort of water rat as yet unidentified. If anyone knows what this is I’d be very pleased to hear from you.

Australian fishing mammal (or marsupial)
Australian fishing mammal (or marsupial)

We’re very near a nature reserve and black swans fly around us in abundance as do many other birds. Its a very pretty sight

Black Swans
Black Swans

Although our walk tonight missed the best of the sunset judging by what we have seen so far it could be a great place for both sunrises and sunsets.

Fishing boats at dusk
Fishing boats at dusk

Our first night in Melbourne bodes well for the next 4 weeks. Plenty more fun to record in the next blog.

Till next time everyone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 Comments

  1. Hi Jim,

    Love your work (doesn’t seem like it’s actually work though). Interested to see you are in Williamstown Vic. I grew up there. If you are into steam trains they have a good museum in Champion Road (I used to work on them when I was a kid). Very historical place in terms of seafaring and the mechanics institute has a nice little museum. An old firm was still running when I was a kid – H. F. S. Morwicks. Sailmaker to the old square riggers and latterly tents. Old photo’s of the sailing ships in the museum are from Morwicks, they are the ships the serviced. Williamstown has less Pubs than it used to being a seafaring port but still a few. We used to do a “walk against thirst”. I leave you to imagine what that might entail. Another interesting place is Blunt’s boat shed in Nelson Place. Many generations of Blunts built and worked on wooden boats. I believe they still do, Colin is the present family member and I went to school with him. It’s worth a visit as I think it’s still pretty much as it always was. Then around the corner for a beer (2+) at the Steam Packet Hotel. Very old pub (in Australian terms).

    Jim Ramsay

    Like

    1. Hi Jim, thanks for this. It may not surprise you to discover I’ve already discovered the Steam Packet hotel. Their Guinness is perfect, best I’ve had outside of Ireland
      I’ll look out for the places youv’e mentioned. We’re on the ferry to Tassie next month, and plan to be there till March so keep in touch and we’ll plan a hook up.

      Like

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