Mystery Bay - Eden - Lakes Entrance

  Following on from our whale watching expedition at Narooma in the Oct 2019 edition, our next stop was Mystery Bay, just out of Narooma, before heading on to Eden on the far south coast border of NSW and is half way to Melbourne from Sydney on the Pacific Highway.

  Mystery Bay, once called Mutton Fish Bay because of its plentiful abalone (mutton fish), is named after the curious mystery of the fateful day when the discovery of a holed fishing boat on rocks at Mutton Fish Point (also called Corunna Point) on Sunday, 10 October 1880 and the disappearance of the three men aboard who sailed in it from Bermagui, who were never to be seen again. The mystery has never been solved nor the men’s bodies found!

  Just a short distance off the highway you will find this tiny community of about 200 people, whose homes surround and hide a beach with the most beautiful crystal clear azure waters, jagged rock pocking out of the sea, in this small bay where dolphins jump, dive and play together in the frothy waves, without fear of human danger. This is probably the closest place to heaven, as you imagine it to be, that you will ever find anywhere. There are no shops, no commercial premises and although there are quite a few houses, we didn’t see any other soul while we were there enjoying this amazingly pristine, natural cove with clear, fresh, aquamarine-coloured water and brilliant white, glowing sands. This is definitely a hidden paradise!

  Ben Boyd National Park’s Traditional Owners and Custodians, the Yuin people, have lived in the area for thousands of years. On the Pambula River Walk you can see ancient Aboriginal sites — one midden has been proven to be over 3,000 years old. At Twofold Bay, the Yuin people had a special relationship with the killer whales. The killer whales drove humpback whales into shore, the people used spears to kill these whales then the killer whales and people shared the meat. The Aboriginal people later taught European settlers to work with the killer whales during the shore based whaling days of Twofold Bay. Find out more about this fascinating history at Davidson Whaling Station Historic Site and the Killer Whale museum.

  

Rounded Rectangle: GOING PLACES-MYSTERY BAY TO LAKES ENTRANCE

 The first shore-based whaling station on mainland Australia was set up at Twofold Bay in 1828. Benjamin Boyd established a competing business and built a private lighthouse, Boyd's Tower, and a township, Boydtown, before being declared bankrupt. The rugged coast is the site of many shipwrecks.

  ‘Green Cape Light Station’, a heritage listed lighthouse, is the southernmost lighthouse in New South Wales, situated on a northern side of the peninsula of Disaster Bay projecting from Ben Boyd National Park, 22 kilometres south of Twofold Bay, Eden. The Lighthouse was the first cast concrete lighthouse tower in Australia and at 29 metres it is the state's second tallest light where it sits on spectacular rugged coastline; a great place for whale-watching. The Lighthouse commenced operation in 1883 but shipwrecks continued, including the Ly-ee-moon that sank in 1886. You can pay your respects to some of the 76 victims at a graveyard a short walk from the lighthouse. There are also regular guided tours of the lighthouse. The Assistant keepers’ quarters have been converted to holiday rental accommodation which can sleep up to six people.

  The original Chance Brothers revolving lantern was fuelled by kerosene and mantle, and produced 100,000 candelas for a radius of 34 kilometres. The light was electrified in 1962 and upgraded to 1,000,000 candelas in 1967. The tower has since been replaced by the latest automated steel lattice tower with a solar powered light and is still lit on special anniversaries. Access is via unsealed road and a four wheel drive may be required in wet weather.

  There are a few great easy walks in this area which lead to two lookouts that make ideal spots to view the fascinating Pinnacles formation – a spectacular erosion feature that consists of cliffs of soft white sands capped with a layer of red gravel clay. It was deposited during the   Tertiary geological period  & is estimated to be up to 65 million years old.

 

If you walk across the landmark bridge which crosses the inlet, you can walk along the popular Ninety Mile Beach (patrolled by lifesavers in the summer months) experiencing the sand dunes and windswept coastline of Bass Strait; a 5km return walk, or explore the sparkling waters of the lakes in a kayak, boat cruise or hire a paddleboat. .

  Lakes Entrance is the base of one of Australia’s largest fishing fleets so it is a must to visit ‘The Fisherman’s Co-op’ which is located on Bullock Island and sells a variety of freshly caught seafood.

There is also a wide range of camping spots that surround the beautiful lake waters and the shoreline of Ninety Mile Beach to set up home and do a bit of your own fishing

  Arriving at Lakes Entrance, situated between Bairnsdale and Orbost which at a man-made channel that links Bass Strait and the Tasman Sea with a 400 sq km network of inland waterways, you will find the Gippsland Lakes which meets the Southern Ocean. The lakes network has amazing photographic opportunities with flora, fauna and the rustic, continually changing coastal scenes.

  ‘The Esplanade’, lined with sculptures and carved out old tree trunks representing images of Australia at war, runs along the shoreline of Cunninghame Arm inlet where you will find marinas and beautiful gardens on one side and shops, restaurants and accommodation on the other.