Free camping, and Koalas

Our stay in Robe ended up only being a one nighter. We were awoken around 2 this morning by the loudest clap of thunder and the most electric sounding bolt of lightening I’ve ever heard. Both struck at once, so I guess that means the storm was exactly overhead. For the next couple of hours the rain, thunder, lightening and wind was almost constant, and I don’t know how the awning managed to remain attached. The caravan felt like a small boat at sea in a storm, and I lay awake wondering if we were going to be capsized.

Morning came, and everything had remained in tact, apart from some towels which had blown to the ground and were sodden. It looked like the rain was in for the day, in which case we would have either been confined to the inside of the caravan or wandering the retail centre of town. We decided instead to move on a day earlier than planned. Robe is definitely on the agenda though for a return trip.

It was still wet and dismal as we headed through Mount Gambier so we didn’t stop to look at the Blue Lake there. It’s apparently amazing, so another place to see on our next trip to the area.

We’re now free camping in a lovely wooded area near Fitzroy River (Victoria), 25 kms north east of Portland. We pulled in and the rain stopped. After three months of caravan parks, it’s sheer bliss. We can hear the birds, the nearest campers to us are at least 20 metres away, and the nearest to them would be at least couple of hundred metres further away. Theres not a screaming child or scooter in sight. We’re happy. Mental note to myself: We must take advantage of more free camp spots, they’re good for the budget, but even better for the soul.

Free camping - the road less travelled.

Free camping – the road less travelled.

We made ourselves a coffee and then went for a walk. The smell of gums here is amazing. A few hundred metres up the track, a fellow camper told us there are Koalas around, so back we came for our camera. He was right. We found four, each one looking sleepily down in on us as we took some lovely snaps. Apparently it’s mating season, so come night time we’ll likely be kept awake by their mating antics.

What a cutie.

What a cutie.

Sleepyhead.

Sleepyhead.

Being from Western Australia where there aren’t any Koalas in the wild, it’s exciting to finally come across some. We’ve seen road signs warning of their presence, which has had me craning my neck out the car window to try and catch a glimse of one. Apart from one that caused a traffic hold up as it crossed the road a few car lengths in front of us, these are the first we’ve spotted, so we’re thrilled. If they keep us awake at night I don’t think we’ll mind in the least.