Tuesday, 17 April 2012


    Helmy and Perran invited Doortje and I to join them for a few days at Jill Redwood's cottage, "Jacarri", at Goongerah in East Gippsland.  We went up to join them on 12th April after spending a night in Lakes Entrance on the way.  Goongerah is 70km north of Orbost, on the edge of the Errinundra Plateau National Park.  "Jacarri" is on Jill's farm.

    The farm has seventeen geese, five alpacas, five goats and three horses, including this Clydesdale.  The honking of the geese, and the bells of the goats blended with the bush sounds of kookaburras and bell miners.

    The cottage was purpose built but made of recycled and eco-friendly materials, and used wood stove and solar power, and a compost dunny.  Water is pumped from the river by a home-made water-wheel.

    The cottage was very cosy and conducive to sitting in the sun on a rocking chair or lying in the hammock.

    Some of the animals are visible in this view from the verandah, as is the net-covered orchard.

    Here we are enjoying an al fresco lunch on the verandah.

Theo was happy in a rocking chair.

    The Brodribb River ran through the valley and was joined by the Ellery Creek just below Jill's place, an ideal place for fishing.  Theo caught a good-sized trout one afternoon and it was eaten that night.

    Doortje and Theo were trying their luck but I think all they caught was a snag.

    Perran, Helmy and Harvey might be wondering where all the fish have gone.

Doortje enjoying the afternoon sun.

    Harvey helped drive the car after a trip into the hills.

    Here Helmy cooks some farm-fresh eggs which Jill supplied.  They were so orange!

    The boys had a fire to cook some marshmallows, while the adults enjoyed the onset of evening (and a glass of red).

    Doortje and I stayed on for two more nights.  On Saturday we drove up Brown Mountain and then walked into the forest to see the old growth, rain forest and leeches.  This is where Jill Redwood and Environment East Gippsland held protests to stop destruction of wildlife habitat and subsequently won a court case to prevent any further logging. (They sued the Environment Dept for not protecting the environment!)

    Based on radio carbon dating of a ten metre circumference tree which was cut down by loggers, the tree was calculated to be 550 to 600 years old!  I reckon this tree was about 8 metres round so must be very old, too, but still living.  We didn't get as far as the logging coupes further across the mountain.

    The next day we walked up the Ellery Creek Track at the back of Jill's place.  We walked to the top, which we think was about 2km of very steep going, but we took our time and were back in 2.5 hours.  This is looking back down the track.

    Sitting by the water listening to its sounds, accompanied by the bellbirds, was magic.  In 2010, we had booked to stay a week at "Jacarri" but had to cancel because of health matters, so it was great to be able to get there at last and enjoy the wonderful ambience.  Thanks, Helm and Pezz!

    If you google "Jacarri" or Jill Redwood, you'll find all the details of the place.  These photos and others we took are at http://www.flickr.com/photos/rob_james/sets/ in the "Goongerah" set.

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