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Nyerimilang Heritage Park, Gippsland, Victoria
A Great Place to Visit
Take a drive down Gippsland way,
A lovely way to spend a day.
So many things to see and do,
Forests and lakes and cows that moo,
And if longer you wish to linger
Visit Nyerimilang Park, signed road to take
Off the highway to right beside the lake.
My Trip There
Not long ago I was invited to stay with friends who were holidaying in East Gippsland. I decided not to drive, but to go by public transport, so it was quite an adventure. Pulling my weekend luggage behind me, I left home at about 7.15 a.m., walked the half kilometre or so to our local train station. The line runs to Melbourne, but I needed to alight at Caulfield to change trains. I found I needed to change to a different platform, but it was timed well and before long I was on board and seated in my reserved window seat, right in the refreshment carriage, so it was easy to settle in with a welcome coffee after all the bustle.
Soon the suburban stations were flashing by and then we were out in the countryside and enjoying the passing farms and bushland. We stopped at some stations and hurried 'Express' through others, including Drouin, Warragul, Trafalgar, passed the beautiful green 'heartbreak hills' of the Streszkecki Ranges, stopped at Moe, Morwell, Traralgon, Sale, Stratford, and arrived in Bairnsdale in time to board the bus that left at 11.40 a.m. and arrived just before mid-day at Swan Reach. Here I was met by my friends and driven to a holiday unit in Nungurner, but more about that another time.
Getting There by Car
The next day we drove east along Princes Highway, towards Lakes Entrance, and then turned right into Nungurna Road. It's quite clearly signposted to Nyerimilang Heritage Park, which is situated in Nungurner. I guess, as a Heritage Park, it's not really so very old; the Homestead was built in the 1920s as a gentleman's holiday retreat, but it is now a lovely public park and the homestead is open to visitors, too. The Park is maintained by Parks Victoria and an enthusiastic group of volunteers called Friends of Nyerimilang.
it was a beautiful sunny day. We parked and walked towards the house, passing quaint sheds and an old water-tank built up high to get good pressure for the house. There were extensive lawns and lovely gardens, including a rose garden that was displaying some beautiful blooms.
In the distance we could glimpse the blue waters of Lake King, one of the Gippsland Lakes.
We went up the steps onto the wide verandah of the weatherboard house and walked around there to admire the view. Then we went inside.
For those times, and especially for a holiday house, it was quite spacious with good-sized windows looking out to the view across the Lake, where the water sparkling in the sunshine.
The rooms were furnished as they would have been in earlier times. The kitchen, with its range, set of scales and weights, and various utensils from a past era, was especially interesting and we loved the stained glass window and old-fashioned bath and basin in the bathroom.
We went out of a side door and lingered on the wide verandah again, to enjoy the view to the south.
Beyond the arm of land the other side of the lake, we could see the darker blue of the ocean that is the Tasman Sea. We knew that the other side of the arm of land to the west was the eastern end of the Ninety Mile Beach, a wonderful sweep of sand and dunes that stretches along the other side of long, narrow Lake Reeve.
Then we walked down the steps onto the lawn to follow one of the long walking tracks that meander through the property.
As we came closer to the lake there were glimpses of the water from between the trees.
Native Flora and Fauna
The tracks vary, as they go through both rain forest to wetlands. In the forest there are large Kurrajong trees and Grey Box trees; the gum-flowers are great for the bees.
There is a diversity of flora, as it has been collected and propagated from many parts of East Gippsland, including Paynesville, the slopes of the Great Dividing Range and the rain-forests of the Howe Range near the New South Wales border.
Much of the fauna is nocturnal, such as the delightful little Sugar Gliders, brush-tailed possums and wombats, but there were bird hides and we saw New Holland and Yellow Faced Honeyeaters, and also Black Ducks in the wetland area. We glimpsed a Black Snake but kept our distance. High up in the thermals a pair of white-bellied sea eagles were silhouetted against the deep blue of the sky.
As we were leaving we discovered the Friends of Nyerimilang Gift Shop near the entrance where we stocked up on honey, postcards and gifts for friends back home.
It would be a lovely place to have a picnic or a barbecue near the picnic tables. It is a beautiful place, placid and peaceful in the sun, but there is lots to see and do, as well.
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