22/3/16. On Tuesday morning we cycled the 6 or 7 km into Paynesville (without bags – bliss!) and took advantage of the wifi in the library to catch up on online things. The town itself was a pleasant residential/seaside (actually lakeside or rather saltwater lagoonside) place but there was not a lot to tempt the koala-”hunters” to dally there.
Raymond Island is about 100 yards across the water and reached by a chain ferry that can take about 20 cars at $11 a time – but at least pedestrians and bikes are free! On the short ride we saw numerous jellyfish and several black swans.
We had been told that we would see koalas almost as soon as we stepped off the ferry, this being a pest free sanctuary for them. We failed in that. There was even a road sign warning drivers to watch for the cuddly creatures.
We set off along the Koala Trail in great anticipation. Initially we went along the lake shore where we saw more swans, several pelicans (my goodness, they are BIG birds!) and some cormorants.
We must have walked the best part of a km before Christine squealed in excitement that she could see one. The anticipation had only made it more exciting. The first one was obviously catching up on some shuteye as it wasn’t moving at all but we soon saw a few more that were languidly eating some leaves high up in the eucalyptus trees.
It was quite a bizarre experience as, for most of the time, we were walking along residentisl streets (albeit streets with many tall trees in the gardens and on the verges) and here were these wild creatures.
At one point we saw a photographer pointing his lens at the ground rather than up into the trees. Looking closer he was chasing an echidna into the scrub.
Further along Stephen spotted a bird which looked like a large kingfisher but brownish rather than blue. A kookaburra. We had been told that, although you hear them “laughing” everywhere (especially at dawn and dusk), they are very shy about showing themselves.
By now we were almost back at the ferry and that completed the wildlife spotting for the day other than more jellyfish and swans as we “sailed” back to Paynesville.
After dark fell the cloudless sky gave us an excellent view of the moon and Jupiter over Lake King. We are our daughter’s parents! (She has always loved astronomy since she was small.)