After my exploration of the villages along the South Gippsland coast, I stayed at Yarram, a short distance north of Port Albert. It’s a spotless town, with the wide streets that Australian country towns have, and all amenities needed to make it, I would think, a very comfortable spot.
Various older buildings dot the main street.
My father sold petrol from one of these in his younger days, though it says litres and cents, so maybe it’s not as old as it looks.
Children from the primary school were commissioned to paint a town mural.
The major reason I left home this time was to visit the Tarra-Bulga National Park, something I hadn’t had time to fit in on my last couple of trips down this way. I hadn’t figured on the 25 to 30 kilometres of narrow, winding, mountainous roads with few guard rails to stop me plummeting into the valleys, to get me there.
Still, it didn’t take me long to relax once I got to the Tarra Valley. Enter this archway and you enter another world.
Huge Mountain Ash zoom toward the sky, with enormous ferns filling every space below.
The Mountain Ash has the scientific name (Eucalyptus regnans), meaning reigning, royal eucalypt, and is the tallest flowering plant in the world. One of these trees has been measured at 75 metres, but is still only two-thirds the size of the largest recorded Mountain Ash.
Myrtle Beech trees are slow growing plants. This one could be over a thousand years old.
I wish a photo could give some indication of the size of these trees but you really have to see them for yourself. These are the remnants of extensive beech forests which flourished across south-eastern Australia some 20 million years ago.
A few kilometres along from here is Balook, with a picnic area, and a visitor centre featuring the history of the Strzelecki Ranges and the rainforests.
There are walking tracks to suit everyone. I chose the Lyrebird Ridge track, leading down to the Corrigan Suspension Bridge.
From here, I wound my way down the other side of the mountain to Traralgon in the Latrobe Valley, to take the M1 back to the city. It was only then I realised how warm the day was and how cool I’d been up there in the rainforest.