Australia Day 33 – Do you know your platypus?

When we check into all these different holiday parks we have the opportunity to gain a  little bit of local insight.  Where to eat and what to see are the usual conversations beyond “wow, you are so brave to travel with kids so young!”.

Last nights check-in was no different.  Dan learned about a gorge that the locals are quite proud of.

After a quick Maccas Breakfast (McDonald’s for those outside Australia) we went up and then surprisingly down some very large hills just a few blocks away from where we slept.

Welcome to Cataract Gorge.

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We were greeted by several striking male peacocks (not native here and I don’t know the story on why these ones are here)

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A short walk from the parking lot will greet you with a wonderful view of the reserve.  There are several different paths to choose from with varying difficulty.  A five-minute walk will take you to the bridge and another 5 minute or so will take you back along the other side.

 

The gorge, originally discovered by Europeans in 1804 is home to the world’s longest single span chairlift. (not something I wanted to take a 2 yr old on).

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There is a lovely little play area for the kids to run around.  Naturally, Roland required that he make sure the equipment was suitable for everyone to use. (Dan had to check some of it for him)

p.s. I tried to sit on this while wearing Scarlet…not a good choice…no pictures were taken…thank goodness.

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Here is one of the hills we had to drive down to leave the gorge.  Super steep.

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Our next stop was a rather impromptu decision.  The Platypus house wan not on the original schedule and I am so glad we went.

On the way, we saw a sigh that warranted further investigation.

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A few kilometers down the road was an old bridge and a rest area.

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As we headed down the hill purely to turn the beats around we were greeted by a TOTAL surprise!!!

You, that’s right.  A peahen and a rooster.  At the bottom of a hill.  Together (who am I to judge) and super friendly…they even split up and each took a side of the camper hoping for some free food.  Weird.

Our arrival at the Platypus house had us staring at a dockyard and some warehouse looking building.  The Seahorse World is also right next door.

 

Did you know the platypus is poisonous? So this mammal with a duck-looking bill, that lays eggs and only lives here, has a venomous spur on its back feet.  And it causes serious damage too!!!

There is also a trio of Echidna.  An odd looking creature with a long tongue and backward hind feet.

 

So why the Platypus?  When we were on the Great Ocean Road, Dan and Roland played at many parks.  One of these parks Roland found a tiny plastic platypus and LOVES the little thing.  Constantly asks for it and we love hearing him say the word too.

With all this fun completed we ate some lunch at SueNaMe  http://www.suenamibeautypoint.com/

Fantastic food and prices too.  We had the $10 lunch special and it was delicious!

Now onto the “long” drive of the day.  We set a course and made it as far as Richmond.  This was a good wake up call as to the difference in driving.  Here vs. The Outback.  Her have gotten accustom to driving 110 km/h on straight roads.  We are now on roads that say you can do 100 but there is no way to do this in “The Beast”.  We frequently are going 20 km/h less than the speed limit or even less than that.  We make frequent stops to let other people by as the roads are narrow, winding and change altitude frequently.

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These are some of the mountains we drove through.  It also got darkish while driving.  Thankfully we arrived in Richmond before true nightfall.  That would have been some crazy driving.

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