Tag Archives: raymond island

Raymond Island

15 Jun

I know I haven’t been updating my blog very regularly. Life is sort of getting in the way, so I don’t have as much free time for blogging as I used to. Eventually, though, I will get all my posts up about our recent trip (well, okay, it was about three weeks ago, now, so not so “recent” anymore).

After Walhalla, we stayed the night at a great bed and breakfast in Bairnsdale, the Dalfruin Bed & Breakfast. We had the BallyVista suite and it was one of the nicest, coziest rooms we have ever had the pleasure of staying in. And by cozy, I don’t mean small. It is a very large suite. This bed and breakfast has a self serve breakfast, which helps keep the price down and is kind of nice because we could just eat in our pajamas and not have to wait to be served. Also, they have a beautiful back garden, with a Canadian maple. I really liked that maple tree, since it reminded me of home and you don’t often see them here.

We debated about whether to go to the Buchan Caves or to Raymond Island. Since we did have to make some headway up the Great Alpine Road to get to our next overnight stop, we could only do one. Raymond Island won out on account of it being less out of our way and because they have KOALAS! And anyone who has read my past posts knows that I am NUTS about koalas! Besides, we’ve seen caves before and once you’ve seen one, you’ve kinda seen them all.

It’s about a 20 minute drive from Bairnsdale to Paynesville. The island is accessible only by ferry. It’s free to cross as a pedestrian or $10 to take your car across. If you’re going to do the koala walk, leave your car in Paynesville (plenty of parking near the ferry), because the koala walk starts in the park right by where you get off the ferry. We took our car across, though, and I’ll tell you why it came in handy later.

The marina as seen from Paynesville.

The marina as seen from Paynesville.

The koala walk takes about 20 minutes on the near side of the island. You can buy a little guide from the honesty box in the park for $2, which I did, because the money goes to help sick and injured koalas. Then you just start walking and follow the signs.

Of course, koalas sleep for something like 22 hours a day, so most of the ones you see will be curled up in a tree, dreaming of eucalyptus leaves. We did find a couple that were just waking up for breakfast though. 🙂 In all, we saw about two dozen koalas.

This fella was wide awake and didn't seem to mind being photographed.

This fella was wide awake and didn’t seem to mind being photographed.

This one was so busy chowing down that it didn't even seem to notice us staring and pointing and telling it how cute it is.

This one was so busy chowing down that it didn’t even seem to notice us staring and pointing and telling it how cute it is.

I tried to convince this one to come down and let me hug and pet him, but he was more interested in scratching himself.

I tried to convince this one to come down and let me hug and pet him, but he was more interested in scratching himself.

We also saw tons of bird life, mostly noisy squawking parrots.

The lorikeets were making a terrible racket! There must have been dozens of them on this person's house and in their yard. I guess they probably have a hard time sleeping in.

The lorikeets were making a terrible racket! There must have been dozens of them on this person’s house and in their yard. I guess they probably have a hard time sleeping in.

The two birdies were cuddling each other. So cute!

The two birdies were cuddling each other. So cute!

I don't think I have ever seen this particular species before, so I don't know what it is, but he was soooo pretty!

I don’t think I have ever seen this particular species before, so I don’t know what it is, but it was soooo pretty!

But we didn’t see very many people, which was nice. The island seemed very peaceful and calm and it was just what we needed on our getaway from the city. No people, no cars, just plants and animals and a cool sea breeze.

Sometimes I wonder if these birds think humans build piers for their convenience.

Sometimes I wonder if these birds think humans build piers for their convenience.

After our koala walk, we wandered around the town a bit and then decided that, since we had brought the car across, it might be nice to drive to the other side of the island. The striking thing about the island is that most of the roads are just dirt. I’m sure that’s fun in the rain! But it does give it a very secluded feel. We drove through large stands of eucalypts and reached the far end of the island, where there were only a few houses.

If this were my commute every day, I don't think I'd mind a bit!

If this were my commute every day, I don’t think I’d mind a bit!

On the Paynesville side of the island, it is quite busy with people coming and going by ferry and all the boats going through the marina. Even though both Raymond Island and Paynesville are small towns, they are sort of holiday towns for retirees and being a weekend, there was a bit of hustle and bustle.

On the far side, there is a quiet beach and nothing else. We saw one sailboat far off near the horizon and that was it. We ended up spending nearly two hours on this beach and it was honestly the best, most perfect part of the trip. I’m not usually one for beaches, but this was nice. It really made us not want to go back home. So when we got back to Paynesville, we went straight to a realtor’s office to look at what sort of properties are for sale out there!

How cool would it be to have this for your backyard?

How cool would it be to have this for your backyard?

And yes, we’re still thinking about moving there!

 

Edit: I couldn’t figure out why this post was getting so many hits and then I found out it has been mentioned on RaymondIsland.net. So hello to all the Raymond Islanders who are stopping by! I am insanely jealous that you get to live there and I don’t. If the day ever comes when my husband and I don’t need our jobs anymore, we’ll be packing up and moving out there straight away! Until then, your little sanctuary will remain one of our favourite getaway spots. 🙂