David doesn't fish - full stop end of story. I think he has traumatic childhood fishing memories - something to do with constantly tangled lines, 5 a.m starts and rough weather on small boats outside Sydney Heads. I have never really gotten to the bottom of it but suffice it to say that one of the world's best fathers could never, ever be enticed to take our sons fishing while they were growing up - no matter how much they pleaded.
I seem to have strayed from the point here - back to Paynesville. We thought it was such a charming town when we drove through in March that we decided to come back. This time, we stayed for a few days and it turns out that Paynesville is not just about boats.
Lakes and Canals
The Gippsland Lakes are Australia's largest network of inland waterways. Separated from the Pacific ocean by the 'Ninety Mile Beach' coastal dunes they are tranquil and picturesque. Paynesville itself has a network of canals and inlets perfect for mooring a boat or just sitting on your balcony soaking up the view. We stayed right on the water's edge in an apartment at Captains Cove. I don't often recommend places to stay because everyone's budget and requirements are different, but this place was exceptional. It wasn't flash but it was modern, reasonably new, clean and beautifully located. It also had a full kitchen and laundry - perfect when you are on a road trip.
|The view from our apartment.|
|I think this must be the cutest boat I have ever seen. It tooted on its way past us one morning.|
|I caught these reflections in a photograph taken from our balcony.|
Eagle Point Bay a few kilometres from Paynesville is a place where you can almost guarantee you will see kangaroos. Park the car at the eastern end of Bay Road and take the walking track toward Paynesville. We went in the late afternoon for a short bike ride and were rewarded with the sight of several mobs of kangaroos browsing in the paddocks between the track and the bay. Don't expect to see them in the middle of the day but we were told they were there every morning and evening.
If you don't have a car, the Burden Road entrance to the track is within easy walking distance of the centre of town.
|I just love the way kangaroos look at you when you are photographing them. It's as if they are daring you to make them famous on Facebook.|
Echidnas, black swans and koalas.
|A family of black swans lived in the canal right outside our apartment. Aren't they gorgeous! Swans mate for life. The other swan was nearby.|
|A Raymond Island koala|
Cycling and walking tracks
- The Eagle Point to Paynesville track is just a few kilometres long and perfect for kangaroo spotting in the early morning and late afternoon. Take insect repellent because the mozzies are ferocious.
- The Mitchell River Silt Jetties are the second longest in the world. Somehow we managed to miss them but it means we have a great excuse to go back to the area. They jut out from Eagle Point and are reputed to be great for biking.
- The Sunset Cove track is more of a walking track but perfectly navigable by mountain bike. We cycled it in the late afternoon and found the round trip quite tiring but we had been cycling around Raymond Island for most of the day which probably didn't help.
- The track starts at the end of Sunset Drive and runs along next to the water at Newlands Backwater. The views are quite lovely. You can circumnavigate the entire Paynesville peninsula by joining up with the Eagle Point track. Once you get to the end of the Sunset Cove track turn right at Backwater Ct and ride along Grandview Rd to the beginning of the Eagle Point track. The round trip is about 10 kms.
- The East-Gippsland Rail Trail runs from Bairnsdale, 16km north of Paynesville, to Orbost. for 95 km through farmland, forest and quaint little towns. It definitely warrants a blog post all of its own. When I have written it I will post the link here.
If you are visiting the Gippsland region of Victoria, check out the posts by my fellow blogger and Gippsland resident Mark Wyld at Wyld Family Travel. He has loads of great, local information.