Australian Parrots and "Galilee" in Gippsland
Galilee in Nungurner
Last month I went to Galilee for the weekend. No, it wasn't to the Sea of Galilee, although I did go there a few years ago. This Galilee was different.
In a previous hub I described the train trip to Bairnsdale in East Gippsland. After arriving in Bairnsdale, I boarded a bus to Swan Reach, a pretty country mini-town that appeared to have a couple of shops, a school and a bus-stop. My friends' son picked me up there in his ute and drove me to Nungurner, another very small place, but so beautiful, right on Lake King.
Galilee on Lake King
When we reached Nungurner the road ahead went almost right to Lake King, but just before the end of the road we swept around in a big curve to the left, turned right and began to climb a steep, short hill. We swept past a big sign that announced we were at Galilee and ended up in a parking bay outside a holiday unit.
Grabbing my overnight bag, we walked along the side of the building to the front door, which was at the side.
The door flew open and we received a lovely welcome. Once I had been shown to my room I deposited my bag and returned to the main living room. The units were fairly basic, but cheerful and quite comfortable.
The wall facing me was almost all glass, with sliding glass doors leading to a sheltered wooden deck that looked out over a delightful view of tree-tops. Beyond the trees lay the blue, peaceful lake lapping a narrow strand of golden sand and boats riding gently on their moorings. That, for me, was Nungurner.
Lunch was a delicious barbecue cooked out on the deck. We had barely settled down at the table when the King Parrots arrived, as if to say, "Well, where's our lunch?"
Bird Seed Supplied
One of the guests lunching with us was staying for the week in another unit. She went down the steps into the garden and opened the lid of a container that was attached to a bird feeding table on a dead tree. Even seed for the birds was provided. She spread some of the seed on the table and more on the flat board that ran around the top of most of the safety fence protecting the deck.
They are quite large birds and really resplendent in their mainly red and green plumage. Other birds came to the nearby trees but did not dare to interrupt the Kings at their meal. The males had red heads; the females were a little less colourful, but were still a delight.
Once the King Parrots had noisily bickered over the seed, they made sure no underlings came near until they had enjoyed their fill. At last they flew off in a flurry of scarlet and green to chatter noisily in some nearby trees.
Then it was the turn of the lesser creatures. There were swallows swooping around, catching insects, but they were not interested in seeds. Other small birds hopped around among the leaves, but did not dare to come out into the open with the big birds around.
Some Eastern Rosellas flew in, looking around tentatively. They managed to grab a few seeds, but were soon ousted by the Crimson Rosellas.
Again, there was much chatter and whirring of wings as the Crimson Rosellas established that it was their turn to feed. These parrots are smaller than the King Parrots, but still resplendent with their crimson, light blue, dark blue and black plumage. I marvelled at their lovely markings. God's creation is indeed wonderful.
I mused that the Crimson Rosellas are considerably larger and have different colouring from their outback cousins, the budgerigars, that many of us keep as pets. There are so many different kinds and sizes of Australian parrots.
It was so peaceful and pleasant sitting there, that it was a long time before I decided to do a little exploring of the surrounding area. I took the short cut and went almost straight down the hill, slipping and sliding on the narrow track. The hillside was dotted with gum-trees, wattles, small shrubs and tiny wildflowers, so I paused when I could to look at them.
Once I was down and almost at the level of the water, I found I was quite close to the jetty. Up at the unit it had been hidden from view as it was below the hill.
I decided to follow the track around in the shadow of the hill so I could walk out and see the boats.
The water was sparkling in the sunshine and there was only a very gentle ripple on the surface of the lake. It was so quiet out there. I leaned over the side, hoping to see some fish. I did, but they were just schools of very tiny fish, probably whitebait. As the water became deeper it was difficult to discern anything apart from the dark smudges that was seaweed.
Back to Galilee
As I retraced my steps in the sunshine, I realized that the hill was really steep. No wonder I had slipped and slid on my way down. I looked around to see if I could find another way up.
There was a winding track that made the climb easier. As I came out from the shrubs lower down, I soon came upon another signpost. Now I knew I was heading in the right direction and when I looked up, there was not just one of the units, but the very one I wanted to reach.
It was still steep, but a lovely walk.
When I returned, most of the guests had departed. We had a light meal as we again sat out on the deck and watched the sun sink quietly into the lake in the west.
The Track Leading Upwards
Places to Visit in Victoria
- Swan Lake, Phillip Island
On a visit to Swan Lake, Phillip Island, Victoria, Australia, there were so many water birds to be seen. It is a delight and is not so far from Melbourne; it could be done on a day trip, but do stay there, as there are the penguins to see at dusk.
- Nyerimilang Heritage Park, Gippsland, Victoria
A train trip to Bairnsdale and then a bus to Swan Reach leads to a visit to Nyerimilang Heritage Park. This park is beautifully situated beside Lake King, one of the Gippsland Lakes district, in Nungurner and not far from famous Lakes Entrance.
- Walking in Blackhill Reserve, near Kyneton, Victoria
Kyneton, in the Macedon Ranges in Central Victoria, is a delightful place for a holiday. On our last visit we discovered the bushland Blackhill Reserve and can recommend walking there. It reminded us of Ned Kelly country.
- A Visit to the Grampians, Victoria
The Grampians National Park in the Western Victorian Highlands is a great place for a holiday, especially in spring and autumn. It is noted for the lovely views and great hiking and bush-walking.