Ken and Sheena - Living the Dream! travel blog

Outside the van on the first night - cold but thankfully not...

Views of the Entrance leading into the Gippsland Lakes


This is where we are heading


Nyerimilang Heritage park - amazing views


Can you just imagine yourself in this beautiful room

Even the bathroom was beautiful

The managers cottage

The kitchen in the cottage - pretty basic

Part of the grounds around the homestead

Black swans and their chicks at Mutung

We had a lovely drive down from Canberra crossing over 2 borders (ACT into NSW then into Victoria). We stopped off for coffee at Cooma where we went into the Tourist Bureau and discovered just how close we were to the Snowy Mountains. We were very tempted with the idea of driving in to Thredbo but after being told there would be very little snow around – just slush – we decided against it. Yet another thing to add to the ‘must do later’ list! We continued down to Cann River where we had contemplated staying for the night but decided to go that bit further to Lakes Entrance. Once we got there we were really glad we made this decision as we found it to be a cute little seaside town where the Bass Straight passes into the Gippsland Lakes through a man made canal. We went for little drive around town finding a few little spots that gave some beautiful views over looking the lakes and then walked across a footbridge and out onto the 90 mile beach. Next day we had hoped to go on a cruise up the lakes but unfortunately the company that offered the only cruise that seemed worthwhile did not run on Sundays – thought this was a bit weird given it is very much a tourist town and most people would head here on the weekends.

Instead we decided to explore the surrounding area. First stop was the Nyerimilang Heritage Park. This is a homestead that was originally a private holiday residence built in the late 1800’s. During the 1930’s the son extended the house, developed the gardens and lived there in style with his family complete with housemaids and a gardener. After a few changes in ownership it was finally purchased by the Victorian Government in 1976 and is now managed by volunteers to provide a place for people to come and view the house and enjoy the gardens and the many walks the grounds have to offer. We just loved the homestead and I could just imagine myself living here. Nearby however was the cottage where the farm manager and his wife had once lived which showed the vast difference between their living standards. This was a much smaller residence with very basic facilities (a bedroom, tiny living room and very basic kitchen. There was a document here where we read about a time that a very large fire threatened the main house. All the men were away at the time and the managers wife knew that the women of the main house would have no idea of what to do. She risked her life to go over to the house where, sure enough, she found the women in a panic with all the doors and windows open and crying with fear. She raced around the house closing everything up and advising the women to remain in the house. Whist she was busy rushing around, unbeknown to her a boat had been sent up the river to rescue them. The women of the house rushed down to the boat, boarded and set off leaving the managers wife behind on her own. When her husband returned from his business in town he proffered his resignation stating there was no way he would work for a family who would treat his wife in such an abysmal way. Good on him I say!

We then drove into Metung (another small seaside town) but by this time the wind had really picked up and it was becoming very uncomfortable to be outside. We decided to head back to the van where it got windier and windier. This wind unfortunately spoilt the rest of the afternoon for us as it was just not nice to be outside and we were confined to the van where we just filled in the time reading and watching television.

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