Coming back to Australia, our dry and ancient home, after four months in Canada living on a diet of fish and fish…we have begun a quest to spend time by fresh and/or saltwater and catching our own food here in Victoria.
This Summer has been the coolest for 20 years with unusual amounts of electrical storms and rain. It is now early March and we can hardly believe that our rain water tanks are full.
Our first little sojourn was five hours to the east of where we live – to Eastern Gippsland staying in a cabin on the edge of Lake King. No fish caught but lots of beautiful black swans, pelicans and straw-necked ibis who obviously found enough to feed themselves.
The Gippsland Lakes are a system of coastal lagoons separated from the Tasman Sea by the coastal dunes of the Ninety Mile Beach.
Seven rivers terminate at the lakes – the Latrobe, Avon, Nicholson, Tambo, Mitchell, Macalister and Thomson rivers.
This weekend just past we travelled in the opposite direction three hours to the west, to a place called Yambuk between Port Fairy and Portland. A little known place where two rivers, Shaw and Eumerella, meet to form a lake before they empty themselves into the Southern Ocean.
We stayed two nights in a tent – the first night was a tempest with rain pelting down, but we stayed dry…. and the next day we caught a fish! A 31 cm bream. Sweet meat. The Southern Ocean has a mighty roar here as the strong current pulls the waves back from the shore with a pounding, regular beat.
This island in Portland Bay is a 7.8 million year old extinct volcano – now that’s ancient! Known as Deen Maar to the local Gunditjmara people who have a spiritual, traditional and contemporary connection to Deen Maar (also known as Lady Julia Percy Island).. Bunjil, the Creator, left this world from Deen Maar, and the adjoining mainland and wetlands are also of great spiritual significance.
- Deen Maar is home to one of Victoria’s two largest Australian Fur Seal breeding colonies, a rookery for the Common Diving Petrel, and a breeding habitat for many species of birds including the White-bellied Sea-eagle and Fairy Prion. The island is also a Great White Shark feeding area, and may serve as a breeding area for these endangered sharks.
- The adjoining mainland and wetlands are home to many wildlife species, including the endangered Orange-bellied Parrot. About 20 of the parrots have been discovered in the Deen Maar Indigenous Protected Area, representing around 15 per cent of all the parrots surviving in Australia.
A very special place which should be declared a protected marine sanctuary.