The Big Lap - Sale, Bemm River & Mallacoota



I would describe Gippsland as wild beaches and misty lakes wilderness. 

Victoria so far was living up to it's reputation as being 4 seasons in one day, therefore we crossed it out as a place for us to settle down.  Of course it doesn't help that the rest of Australia apart from Western Australia is experiencing a non-existant summer thus far and we are in February!  Really?!

Anyway, here's our story of the south-eastern region of Victoria called Gippsland.



We headed off from Loch in the hills to Sale near Lakes Entrance.  The distance was quite a way so I looked for a cheap place to spend the night along the way as I didn't want hubby to be driving too long through the tight windy mountain roads here.

I like the web site Country Pub Camping for these sort of situations and found Boolarra Hotel.  Free camping as long as you avail yourself of an ale or 2 and a good pub meal.  Didn't have to ask us twice, so we headed towards Boolarra.

It was with great disappointment that the Publican advised us that they weren't taking anyone in the camping section at the moment as they had to pass some regulation that was just a matter of paper work.  He said that there were a couple of free camps us the road.  I said that was a shame because we were looking forward to having a meal and a few beers here as I had seen all the great reviews on Google.  Well turns out that he immediately recognised us as 'old friends' and said we could park ourselves on his property out back.

😉  🍻  😉

We shared a great meal, had a couple of beers and settled in for a quiet night.  Needless to say, I rated the pub itself a 5 Star rating and didn't mention the other bit, just in case.

The little town of Boolarra is cute.  There is a beautiful peaceful park in town with playground and gas BBQ's.  Accross the road is a general store and cute Post Office.  All very well looked after.



Whenever I viewed Sale or a place in Sale on Google Maps I got tricked every time.

Oh look!  They have Maccas!   'for sale'.   Hey, they have a 2 dollar shop!  'does it have a sale?'

No of course not.  Silly me.  We are IN Sale.  haha.

Who calls a place Sale?...  lol.


Sale showgrounds where we stayed was a caravan hive of activity.  There were quite a few staying here.  And no wonder as the caretakers were lovely, the price was very reasonable and the amenities were lovely and clean.   Sorry,  forgot to take pix.

Sale itself had a nice shops and cafe strip that was very well looked after.  It also had a marina that they called the boat harbour with a lunch cruise that you could take up the river.  Sale is located around a stack of rivers and lakes.  Quite pretty indeed.

Next day we drove up the road to Stratford to receive our COVID booster shot.  I had finally found this place way back on the western side of Victoria and booked us in.  At that time there was a shortage and they had just brought forward the booster shot so everyone was trying to book in everywhere.  We arrived early, but they didn't bother.  They just gave us the shot, easypeasy.  Now why is it so easy in some places and painfully difficult in others?... 




The local beaches from Sale.  We didn't know why they called it Paradise Beach.  It was far from paradisiac and most definately not a paradise like the other beach of the same name that we visited in Coral Bay,  WA.

From there, we drove along the spit, past all of the seaside camp areas.  There were 18 of them and all numbered.  The beach was one side of the road and a river on the other.  

We ended up at Seaspray Beach which was a pretty beach with a lagoon turning into another river.

Golden Beach

Seaspray Beach



Paynesville is a scenic place.  There is a little island there that has a ferry service over to, but the cost was rediculous so we didn't do it.  Instead we parked along the foreshore and checked out the boats.

We had heard a lot of good stuff about Lakes Entrance.  I didn't book us into anything there as it is popular and expensive.  So we drove there one day to check it out.  Well, to us it is overrated and not nearly as nice as many beachside towns that we have visited.  It was busy so we drove through and back across the bridge to Bullock Island where we found a Fishermen's Co-Op and bought fresh prawns to have back home on rolls with lettuce.  Yuum!  So no pix of Lakes Entrance, sorry.



Bullant Brewery at Bruthen in the country had rave reviews so we decided to take a detour and visit.

Turned out to be well worth it, and although they were out of a few brews on tap for tastings, the ones we chose were pretty good.  The cost for a paddle of tastings was good, lovely surroundings on the big verandah and the staff were so nice and welcoming to everyone.   Teamed with a fantastic wood fired pizza and fresh yummy chips, who could ask for more?  5 Stars!  Yuuum!

I was looking for a rose garden to capture a rose for my weekly photo challenge called 'fill the frame'.  I am a member of a photography site called Photography Forum.  Across the road here, there were rose gardens.  Perfect!  It was a challenge due to the wind.  Photo below.



I need to find us a location in between Sale and Mallacoota as the distance was too far.  So as I do, armed with Google Maps and Images I started to search places in between.  I also had in mind that hubby wanted to do some fishing and I was looking forward to the beach.  The pictures of Bemm River looked nice so I booked us into the caravan park there knowing that it was going to cost $40 a night.  Worth it I thought.

Well most times I get it right, but this time I got it wrong.  Bemm River is a little fishing village at the end of a very windy road through the rain forest.  It seemed to be more for people with boats as there is a big bay lake and river.  The beaches a little further up the road are difficult to get to and the weather wasn't the best, so consequently we didn't really enjoy it here.  The caravan park is way over priced for what it was.  $30 would have been more realistic.  At least they had fire pits and fire wood left by other people that we could use.

There is a pub and we had lunch there.  Hubby fancied the flathead tails.  We have only had whole flathead fillets and I was thinking, sheesh....  must be huge flathead to only sell the end bit.  Plus the cost was $10 more than the shark that I fancied.  Anyway, I grinned... groaning inwardly and paid.  

Mmmm, yes it was nice, but to me if I pay that much, I want something to rave about.  Unfortunately this meal didn't get a 'rave' review.  

Oh well, the misty lake was good for photos.  There were a ton of black swans here and every time we lifted our cameras for a photo it seemed that they ducked their heads into the water.  lol. 



This was our last stop in Victoria before crossing the border into NSW.

We stayed at the Shady Glen Caravan Park just out of town.  The price was right, we had a lovely spot under a tree and they had a pool.  We could only use it the one day which was rather hot.  The rest of the time we were there, the weather was unpredictable and cool.  

There were some nice beaches along the coast line.  Great surf spots too.  We also stumbled across a fantastic lookout where the sea below clashed and formed whirlpools.  It was rugged and a bit scary.

In town, we visited the pub.  I felt like a wine but the only one I knew was a NZ one.  They tend to be a bit passionfruit strong, so I asked to have a sip of the Reisling.  No problem.  I took off my face mask to taste if.  Not too fussed, so I got the NZ one and a beer for hubby.  The young lady serving asked me to put my mask back on.  Mmmm, ok.

Then when we were seated, three steps away from the bar and finally able to take our masks off, I noticed that she had moved her mask down underneath her nose.  Mmmm.  Then.... a big burly bikey dude  come in from out the back and ordered from the same young lady at the bar.  And guess what?  Yep, you guessed it.  He didn't have a mask on and she didn't ask him to put one on.  Needless to say,  I saw red!


Hubby had to plead with me not to go over and tell her what for.  lol.  So when we finished, I put my mask over my chin and walked out.  

Yeh, childish I know.  But I got a bit of self satisfaction out of it. 


 Bastion Point

Quarry Beach


Betka River Estuary



I was sad for hubby that the weather wasn't conducive for fishing.  Lucy's to the rescue.

Hubby loves Asian food.  The Google reviews of Lucy's Cafe in town were awesome so we dropped in for lunch.  I don't need to say any more.  The food pix below say it all.  And they had Tiger Beer!  The place was indeed popular and filled up quick after we got there early for lunch.  

Eating out on the verandah on wooden tables and chairs with our Tiger Beers reminded us of the many places that we have eaten in Asia.  And it didn't phase us at all that they were out of quite a few dishes.  The ones that we had were great.



We took a drive to Eden in NSW, our next stop.  More about Eden on my next page.  

On the way back we dropped into Gipsy Point which we had heard was worth a look.  

Gipsy Point is very scenic and quiet.  There is a resort here for people that like to get away and enjoy nature.  Plenty of birdlife and no doubt bush walks too.  It is nice for photography. 



I was looking for some sort of circular shot for this week's Photography Forum photo challenge so I got my fisheye lens out and took a couple of photos.  They were nice, but I wanted a little something different.

I ended up transforming one of my photos above instead into a Tiny Planet photo using the free photo software called PhotoScape X.  See photo below.



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