Otway Fly

I love places that challenge the popular stereotypes that many people hold about Australia – the beach, the desert, the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge, and Uluru.

Weeaproinah is one of the wettest places in the state of Victoria. Although it’s very close to the coast, this locality at the end of the Otway Ranges boasts magnificent mountain ash rainforest that contrasts lush green foliage with tall, straight tree trunks. Birds and wildlife abound.

The Otway Fly is a treetop walk and/or zipline adventure through the forest, taking advantage of different levels and heights, and allowing visitors to experience different aspects of the Australian bush.

 

 

Vermont.

Vermont is one of those places that is stunning everywhere you look, at any time of year. We drove south across the border of  Quebec at Morse’s Line hoping to see some Autumn colours and to see  some ski trails on the mountains.

We saw some absolutely breathtaking colours and scenery.  We headed through Enosburg and Montgomery, enjoying gorgeous scenery with beautiful mountain backdrops.     

  

  

 

From there, we headed to State Route 58 and into Hazen’s Notch. Incredible colours ranging from yellow-green and gold to deep red danced with the sunshine along winding gravel roads, with the scenery opening up to reveal whole mountainsides covered with vivid colour. 

  

  

 

After Hazen’s Notch, we turned at Lowell and headed up to Jay Peak, where the ski runs were lined with magnificent trees in every shad of Autumn.

   

 

We headed up to see where the Von Trapp family moved after leaving Austria. Looking at the mountains surrounding their lodge, it’s easy to see why they chose this part of Vermont. It’s safe to say that these Vermont hills are alive too! 

 

We then circled back to Montgomery and, from there, turned toward the ski resort town of Stowe via State Road 108 and Smuggler’s Notch. 

Smuggler’s Notch is even more stunning than Hazen’s.  The same kind of winding roads and trees team with rugged mountain cliffs and enormous boulders that have fallen from them to provide stunning scenery that reminds you of your relative insignificance in relation to the size and forces of nature. 

   
 

Stowe is a very attractive looking town, but you can tell it’s a playground for those with lots of money. There’s nothing about this “resort village” as it calls itself that says ‘budget family holiday’. The hotels are enormous and the condo blocks are fancy. Glossy red gondolas leave the centre of the town and carry people up the mountain. In all honesty, I was glad we drove straight through because I much preferred the surrounding scenery than the town itself. 
   

 

Vermont is blessed with a wealth of majestic scenery. It’s one of those places where there is natural beauty everywhere you look. 

LAKE PURRUMBETE, VICTORIA.

Lake Purrumbete is one of the volcanic crater lakes near Camperdown and Cobden in the Western District of Victoria. It is well known among those who love to fish, but many other people have never heard of it.
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Moorhens are common in western Victoria, nesting on the edges of lakes and farm damns.
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The Lake Edge Cafe is on the western shore of the lake. It offers lunches and a range of delicious home-made cakes, tea and coffee, cool drinks, and is licenced to serve wine and beer. There’s plenty of parking, and whether you sit inside or out on the deck, you get a great view of the beautiful lake and surrounding scenery.

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Halls Gap, Victoria, Australia.

Halls Gap is a picturesque small town nestled in the Grampians National Park, which features a breathtaking mountain range that rises sharply out of the flat land surrounding them in northern Victoria, Australia. Kangaroos, kookaburras and possums are frequent visitors to campsites and eating areas. Emus, kangaroos and other wildlife roam freely through the natural Australian bush.

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Lake Bullen Merri, Naroghid, Victoria.

Lake Bullen Merri is a crater lake just south of Camperdown, Victoria.

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You can drive all the way around the lake on local roads, but it is only the southern shore of the lake that is accessible to visitors. It’s popular for picnics, water skiing and boating.

As the sun sets, the hills that surround the lake take on a golden glow, most distinctive in summer and autumn when the grass is dry.

 

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The area is renowned for lakes that have formed in the craters of dormant volcanoes. From the northern ridge of Lake Bullen Merri, you can also see Lake Gnotuk just a little further north, nestled in farmland just south of the township of Camperdown.

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Loch Ard Gorge, Victoria.

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The Loch Ard Gorge takes its name from a ship that was wrecked off the coast nearby. Only two  of the fifty four people on board survived: Tom Pearce and Eva Carmichael. They were washed into this gorge and onto the beach, where they sheltered in a cave. Tom climbed up the cliff to get help from local farmers, who then rescued Eva.

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Roadtripping #11

The scenery is really pretty in Pennsylvania.
Once we bypassed Philadelphia, it turned into a land of neat farms and pretty barns. The grass is green and the trees are starting to grow their new leaves.
Most of my attempts to take photographs have been foiled by passing trucks or roadside trees, but that’s OK because I’m not sure quick snapshots would do the scenery justice anyway. It’s the overall image of farmland, rolling hills and pretty houses that is so impressive.
The roads are good here, too.

We have passed a couple of Amish villages. The buildings were painted pristine white, clustered neatly together with the pretty white church as the focal point of the settlement. Everything is clean and tidy. Their pride in their homes and work, and the importance of their faith, are evident just from looking at their villages.
I guess it’s true of anyone that you can see what is important to them by looking at the way they live.

I’m keen to meet a beloved friend tonight and spend some time with her over the next day or two. She is my main reason for coming to PA, but I am confident I will enjoy my visit. I love history, so there is a great deal of interest for me here. I’d like to visit an Amish village and I’d like to see Gettysburg. Seeing some of the Pennsylvania Dutch culture would be interesting, too.

We just crossed a river. Instead of taking a photo of the really nice arched bridge, I scored a shot of a graffitied hippy van that zoomed up past us on the left. Just my luck.