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  • Writer's pictureJane Ritzenthaler

Exploring More Australian Landscapes and Villages

Updated: May 29

Australia continues to amaze me. Today we traveled south of Thirroul and experienced the coast, switchback roads up into the heavily forested mountains (which my motorcycling friends and family would love!), quaint villages, and rolling green hills and valleys dotted with cattle and dairy farms.

But nary a kangaroo or koala. How can it be that I’ve been here nearly two weeks and haven’t seen any? And we even drove through Kangaroo Valley today. Sigh. Victor told me that kangaroos typically are seen early in the morning or at dusk - rather like the deer in our woodlands in America. And the koala, even though some live in the Morton National Park where we were today, are quite elusive. And their gray color helps disguise them.

We first visited Berry, having a coffee and enjoying live folk music, then wandered around the village and shops a bit.

Before I describe the second village we visited, I want to discuss real estate in the coastal areas. In towns within a half hour of the beach, homes, however small, begin at about $800,000 Australian. That would equate to about $530,000 at the current exchange rate. Below are beautiful cottages, most dating to the early 1900s,

Although it’s hard to read because of the glare, this 3 bedroom cottage built in 1869 sold for $1,450,000 Australian, or just north of $960,000 US. Guess I won‘t be shopping for a vacation home anytime soon.

Our next stop was in Kangaroo Valley for lunch. Victor asked me if I’d had an Australian pie yet, and I said no. He smiled and led me into Authentic Pies and Pastries. I chose the mushroom steak. Flakey crust, and definitely yummy!

After lunch, we headed out of town and crossed Australia’s last surviving wooden suspension bridge of the 19th century and climbed up the mountain on a narrow winding road with numerous switchbacks. It emerged in an area of incredibly green fields and farms of cattle and sheep. Our last stop was at Morton National Park, which has a spectacular waterfall. Fitzroy Falls, which descends 262 feet to the valley floor.

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