The Sapphire Coast- Eden

Below are photos from Eden’s Harbour and foreshore area. The cruise ship just looked to big to be out there! They are currently spending billions to upgrade the big wharf to take cruise ships.

We are camped on a hobby farm on the Towamba River in Kiah just south of Eden. It is a sort of a B and B, farm stay, river camp and the owner also breeds chickens. He also has a Maremma dog to guard his chickens. On our last night he sent his daughter down to the camping area with a movie for us to watch called Oddball. It was a kids movie but the true story was nice about the Maremma dogs they currently have protecting the Penguins on Middle Island near Warrnambool. M

Kiah campsite
Kiah farmstay. Keddie way down the hill in the distance on the river.
red browed finch
Red Browed Finches on the fence behind our caravan 
Towamba River near Kiah
The Towamba River in Kiah-full of jumping fish
Towamba River with Maddy
Towamba River Camp Kiah

We drove into Eden and did a few walks taking in the harbour area and some of the beaches along Two Fold Bay. Eden is a nice town which started as a whaling town with the history that goes along with it. We are glad those days are over but we always find the history of these towns interesting. It is one of these towns with a lot of hills that you need to spot whales. It is a bit like Albany in W Australia, so it has great views from many places. There were a few whaling companies here but the Davidson family were the longest running and had a shore based whaling station and a house at the mouth of the Kiah Inlet.

One day  whilst in Eden, I took a walk up Mt Imlay – a 800m peak that rises behind Eden.   While my 20 year old guide book describes it as having great views, it seems the scrub has grown up a bit around the summit, so now you only have some glimpses through the trees on the approach to the summit.  The one of the right below shows Twofold Bay with the town of Eden on the bit the juts out in the middle of the bay – hence the name “Twofold”.  S

However I did manage to get some good bird photos as well as a new species for my list: the White Eared Honeyeater. S

We took the “guppy” up the Towamba River one morning to the mouth of the river to the inlet and had a look at the what’s left of the whaling station (not much) and the cottage the Davidson family with their 6 children lived in. It was lived in right up until the 1950’s having been bought by a retired Dr and his wife. The Ben Boyd National Park now manages the site. It was very interesting visiting this beautiful site and hard to imagine the carnage that took place all those years ago. M

steve in the guppy
The river was very shallow in places, so Steve is navigating using a google map to see the shallow areas from above as it was hard to see them at times.

 

We saw kangaroos on the beach, black swans and soldier crabs marching on the way.

Photos above show the old home owned by the Davidson family “Loch Garra” in the Whaling Days of this area. Built late 1800’s. The Whaling station was used until the 1930’s. The house was lived in until the 1950’s. In the old kitchen area we found a possum sitting on a box on the shelf. We had woken it up and it looked a bit dazed. It was the rangers job that day to get it out and block up it’s doorway in.

There is not much left of the whaling station tryworks but some big pots used to boil the blubber to extract the oil which apart from the baleen, was the only part of the whale used! The Davidson family for more than 3 generations had Australia’s longest running shore based whaling station. There is probably a very good reason for this. I think it was due to the orcas!

The really interesting thing about Eden and it’s whaling history was, it was unlike anywhere else in the world, in that the whalers were helped by killer whales (orcas) to bring the baleen whales to them. A pod of killer whales used to herd the baleen whales into the bay and signal the men with tail splashes and breaches etc. The men would get in their boats and harpoon the baleen whales and give the tongue and lips to the orcas, which were the only parts of the whale they ate in nature.wharf heritage sign

The first time I heard this story years ago I was just amazed. I was surprised because white man generally has never been that good at communication with animals, particularly at that time. How did they get the whales to do this I thought? Only NOW they are admitting that is was the Aboriginals long-standing relationship with the whales that showed the whalers how. The difference was that the aboriginals pre white settlement only killed what they could eat and use. They also used to use dolphins to help them catch fish and rewarded them for this behavior also. They made the best Whalers on the white mans boats too, due to their skills at (spearing) harpooning.aboriginal whalers

Above are photos from the bad old days of Eden. The second photo shows Old Tom the killer whale (they had names for each whale in this pod) on the outside with the humpback whale between it and the whalers boat. They said there were often times when the whalers would be thrown out of the boat and would be floating in the water for some time before being able to get back in. The killer whales used to circle them but nobody was ever touched by one. Interesting! They are smart animals!

killers sign

old tom board 2old toms teeth

The above photos tell the story of Old Tom and show his skeleton that washed ashore in 1930. This showed missing teeth from an incident a number of years before and worn teeth from pulling the whalers ropes. It was thought that he may have starved to death as he would be unable to eat properly with such teeth but who would know. No whales showed up in Eden after Toms death.

In the northern part of Eden lies Lake Curalo, which has a 3.7km walk going around it.    It goes through several different vegetation zones including beach, estuary, suburban gardens and forests so the bird life was equally varied.   I got a few good photos, but only one new species for the list – the yellow thornbill.  S

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s