South to Mystery Bay ... almostJanuary 31 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 33 °C
We set off to visit Batemans Bay not really sure what to expect other than it had an information centre that we wanted to visit to sense-check our plans/options. We are heading to Melbourne and want to take in Canberra. One option is to visit Mystery Bay and then travel up to Canberra and along the main road to Melbourne. Another option is to go to Canberra and then back to the coast and go via the coast roads. Google maps shows one road closure in the south, so I was pretty sure that wouldn’t be a problem. The lady in the info centre suggested we download the Victoria State Roads app. When I did this I could see a mass of red closed roads around a lot of the south east corner that will make the coast route to Melbourne impossible. We were also told tat there is a fire outside of Canberra, the temperature is heading to over 40c and fire risks will increase. Frankly we’d prefer to be on the coast during high temperatures so our plan of going further down the coast road to Mystery Bay and then up to Canberra when the temperature drops appeared the best option. We went for a wander around to get some food and a coffee.
Of the little we saw of Batemans Bay it was tired with many shops empty and up for lease. It was difficult to find a cafe (first world problem) that wasn’t part of something that deep fried everything. We eventually found one and Bun had a lemon curd and almond slice that she enjoyed so much she didn’t get around to taking a photo of it! 😂.
Most of the main A1 Highway that we travelled on went through burnt forest and bushland.
We continued down the coast and stopped at a small beach called Lilli Pilli. We stopped for no other reason than we loved the name. We walked onto the beach to be told that there were blue bottles in the water and on the beach 😡. We didn’t paddle, just looked around and set off to find a beach facing a different direction where the NE wind hadn’t blown the critters in.
A mile or so further on we came to. McKenzie Bay, a lovely beach where there were many people swimming. We went In for a swim to cool off and emerged unscathed from jellyfish.
We continued south to head for Mystery Bay. We found the info centre in Narooma, a large town about 10km before mystery bay but it was shut with a sign saying it would be open on Sunday 2 February, all enquiries to “the evacuation centre”. Would Brexit celebrations incapacitate them for that long? We drove to where we thought the evacuation centre was but were waylaid by a seal in the harbour so we stopped to watch it and chat to the fishermen.
Apparently we have driven into a high fire risk zone and Mystery Bay (being a campground in the bush) has been evacuated to Naroomba. There are also between 200 and 400 Rural Fire Service firemen being accommodated in Naroomba to either go out and fight the fires or defend the town, it all depends upon the wind.
The weather f’cast is for temps to exceed 40c and the wind to change from NE (blowing the fire back to areas already burnt) to westerly. Blowing the fire onto unburnt areas. If the wind strengthens then embers will go ahead of the fire and start more fires. Oh well, all part of the adventure.
We found a camp ground that had a significant RFS presence with two fire truck parked next to our pitch, it was like having our own personal fire brigade.
Let’s see what tomorrow brings.Read more