Our drive from Canberra to Kinglake took over 6.5 hours, but we saw a sign on the Hulme Highway “Best coffee between Sydney and Melbourne” so taking the lead from Elf, we decided to stop and try it out! The cafe was in Gundagai and initially we weren’t very enamoured by the small town – especially as we saw the locals going to a wedding wearing their finest clothes but with big steel toe capped boots!However there were lots of information boards about the gold rush and how the town developed around it. The coffee however didn’t live up to expectations! We finally arrived at our fab Airbnb in Kinglake – where we chatted about the terrible fire of 2009 where nearly 200 people were killed. Our hosts were in their friends pool at 4.30 and by 5.30 their whole house had been burnt down. Mark showed us how to feed the local Lorikeets and we went for a reviving walk at Mason Falls in the National Park, which was also decimated by the fires but is well on the way to recovery now – positive news for those currently affected by the fires. A beautiful echidna (porcupine) walked across the path in front of us, giving us a good sniff! Next to the park we saw a beautiful garden and got chatting to the owner Coral, who gave us a guided tour. She too had lost everything in the fire and has spent the last 10 years building her house and garden from scratch. Finally we drove to Philip Island to see the Koala Reserve where we discovered Koalas handled by humans only live half their natural lifespans. They believe that those who survive the fires won’t have enough natural habitat they need to survive and thrive. Such gorgeous creatures.
Coral in her beautiful garden