On December 12th we repacked the car and set off for Merimbula. It's a bit over 500km from Melbourne to Merimbula so with several stops along the way (mostly of the toilet variety) we pretty much traveled all day and didn't get to our accommodation until 7.30pm. It was great though. I've never traveled along the Pacific Highway before. It was awesome. The drive up does have some pretty boring patches but also some amazing coastline. The terrain was very familiar -stands to reason - just like driving the East Coast of Tassie only a bit more stretched out! But it is BEAUTIFUL.
We stopped in Lakes Entrance for a bit. We had a bit of a look around, bought icecreams and hung out at the beach for a while.
The younger kids were keen to see the 'Welcome to NSW' and 'Welcome to Victoria' signs along the way. They were hoping to have the opportunity to stand in two states at once but unfortunately the signs are on opposite sides of the road!!
Matt and the kids were very patient with me throughout the entire first leg of the trip. If I wasn't yelling out "Stop...I need to take some photos of this", it was, "do you reckon we could find a toilet?" I have a limited bladder capacity at the best of times but it was hot and the a/c was blearing and I must have drank 3 litres of water!! Anyway I'm pleased to say that all of the public amenities were very clean and tidy - even the ones in the middle of nowhere! And for those of you wondering...yes I did squat behind a tree sometimes! When you've gotta go you've gotta go!
We stayed in a BIG4 caravan park in Merimbula and it was the best! Everything you could possibly want was either supplied or available. Apart from our awesome place on the Goldcoast it was by far the best place we stayed in.
The kids (especially Reuben) were very taken with the friendliness of these birds. I think they're Rainbow Lorikeets. They were obviously used to human contact and it was ok to feed them. You can get bags of feed for 20c at the office. So off went the last of the big spenders to buy up big!! Once the food came out so did the rest of the birds! I think we counted at least 50 of them all gathered around in a feeding frenzie. You can see from the photo that wherever you put the seed the birds would go!
Our last night in Merimbula was warm and still so we took a stroll along the boardwalk. We had fun climbing trees, taking photos, getting in the path of rushing cyclists, getting growled at by grumpy runners, and finding freaky fish!!
If you've never been to Merimbula you probably don't know that they have a family friendly theme park there called Magic Mountain. It is set on a hill behind the town and is really fun.
It boasts a medium size roller coaster (about the size of the one at Sea World), toboggan ride, go-carts, a maze, water slides, mini golf, playground equipment, super slides, and probably other stuff I can't remember.
I love this photo of Reubs, he really was having a blast.
Charlotte was a bit of a dare devil at this place going on everything, starting with the roller coaster (which I actually thought was a bit too much for her). She loved it! It was so funny watching and waiting to see her face so I could tell if she was enjoying it. At one point (you know the big dip right after the big climb at the beginning) I thought I would see tears and screaming but no, just laughs. There was one worried look but the HUGE cheeky grin she was wearing at the end said it all - she takes after her dad!
This beach was right behind our caravan park.