Before heading back to Melbourne, we spent 3 nights in East Gippsland. This is not an area many people visit - mainly reserved for those who love nature, hiking, and wild vistas. The Main group stayed at a lovely bed and breakfast hosted by Glen and Sue Herbert. glen is a master gardener and enthralled the gardeners in the group. Sue served up hearty breakfasts. Chloe was the trained sheep and Pepper, the "I'll sit for food" pig. And the crimson rosella parrots and lorikeets continually sang, One day we hiked to a lovely waterfall...the next day we visited the mouth of the Snowy River as it reached the Southern Ocean. The powerful waves crashed dramatically against the rocks...beachcombing would be a major pastime if you had more time. We were finally gifted with a gorgeous sunset with gin and tonics which was a wonderful way to end our time in East Gippsland.
We left Melbourne at 8 am after too short of a time to head to the Snowy River Valley. The weather was unfavorable - overcast, cold and rainy....Jeanine Duffy, our Echidna Walkabout guide met us, and immediately warmed us up with her spirit! We have had excellent guides on this trip - knowledgeable and personable - Jeanine just takes the excitement to a whole new level. Plus she has an incredible eye for spotting every kind of bird imaginable (we identified more than 34 by sight and several more by sound).... and the whole day became a time for everyone's inner child to come out and play. Karan immediately spotted an emu and Jeanine demonstrated her skills of an old Aborginal trick of calling the emu closer. Next stop a tea break and playground where Tracy demonstrated his emu calling skills. We traveled to Raymond Island by a short car ferry ride...to be immediately greeted by a large mob of kangaroos and then a smaller family group where we practiced our sidelong crab walk to see how close we could get to them..... We all saw 3 echidnas and Janine saw 2 more from the road - a record breaking day for sure. (Echidnas look similar to porcupines and are egg producing mammals ). The day was topped off by many koalas, several with babies....It was a fantastic day!!