Following a 5 day lockdown in Victoria that meant we had to cancel the second half of our Lakes Entrance holiday we managed to move the dates to last week. I also had a pre-planned cycle ride from Noojee up Baw Baw climb so we combined both with Michelle picking me up from Noojee and then we continued down to the coastal town of Inverloch.
Baw Baw is another one of the 7 peaks Victoria high country rides, it is the shortest but also the steepest at 6.5km and average of 11% peaking at ~21%. Most people normally start from Icy Creak (60km round trip) or Tanjil Bren (40km round trip), but this ride from was Noojee making it nearly a 100km round trip with 2600m of elevation. The ride from Noojee starts off with a hill straight out of the bat but was a beautiful ride over plenty of rollers to the base of the climb. The climb starts off at a nice 4% then suddenly ramps up to average of 11% with steeper bits up to 21% on some corners, there was one very slight reprieve around half way but that didn’t last long, the last few hundred metres does level off slightly to sprint the to the entrance to Baw Baw village.
After a coke, a milkshake and a muffin to top up the sugars we started on the decent, unfortunately my tubeless tyre came off the rim (overheated under braking and being a black wheel left in the sun while eating) so had to quickly throw a tube in which resulted in a lot of tubeless sealant being sprayed everywhere!
The ride back was tough but riding back through the great scenery made it go fairly quickly except for the last hill climb back into Noojee! Overall it was a great day out but probably not a climb to be repeated too often!
We arrived at Inverloch in the late afternoon after a beautiful drive through the rolling hills from Noojee, it was still warm and sunny so we wondered down to the beach for a bit of a paddle before grabbing a few beers in town and lots of calories for my dinner making up for the ride that morning.
The next morning the weather wasn’t as good so no beach time so we headed down the coast stopping at all the car parks to explore all the viewpoints on the way. This was billed at the alternative Great Ocean Road, it was nice and there were plenty of great views but it wasn’t quick on the same scale! We also drove around to Venus Bay on the other side of the Inlet and did a short walk around the coastline.
We did bump into a waddling Echidna by the side of the road too! They are strange creatures look like a cross between an anteater, a hedgehog and a porcupine but is actually related to a Platypus and is another egg laying mammal.
The following day we headed over to the Tarra Bulga National Park, a bit of a hidden gem, part rain forest part temperate forest. It was very dense forest with a few walking tracks through – we couldn’t walk too far as Michelle still had a bad ankle – but did managed to do a 2.5km walk listening out of Lyrebirds, didn’t manage to see any though.
We wound our way through the narrow roads out of the park past Tarra Falls – the roads were great fun but Michelle was glad she wasn’t driving! We headed back via Foster and Meeniyan stopping at the pubs on the way, they were both nice little towns but were just standard Australian pubs, nothing properly pub like!
For the final full day we drove over to Phillip Island were we stopped into the Koala Sanctuary Reserve where we were 12 from 12 spotting all Koala’s in the trees. We also stopped into the Island Chocolate factory (Panny’s) it was a fully tour with a few bites to eat as well as some arcade style games at the end which add some extra fun.
It was great to get away for a few days – it was a shame the weather wasn’t great except for the first day which meant we drove around to find things to do, rather than chilling on the beach. There were plenty of walks around that we could have done if Michelle had been able to walk more, we probably won’t rush back but there are plenty of places in Gippsland that we will probably visit in the future.