The Trip North

Part One: A journey Back in Time

I very recently visited my sister and brother who both live in Cobden.

They live on opposite banks of the Curdies River a few kilometres apart. I grew up not far from here on a dairy farm at Cooriemungle.

My sister and her partner are planning a trip to Central Australia later this month. I went to Warrnambool with them to pick up a few things at the local BCF. I haven’t been to Warrnambool for many years. We drove around the foreshore which had been badly hit by heavy seas the week before. The smell of sea weed was pretty intense so we didn’t stop.

The last time I had driven the Great Ocean Road from Peterborough to Princetown it had been wall to wall tourists. The pandemic has seen numbers greatly reduced. There was one other car when we stopped at Peterborough and a lone fisherperson on the beach where my brothers and I had fished as kids. Although I had always been more interested in day dreaming than fishing. The Schomburg was wrecked here at the mouth of the Curdies River, Boxing Day 1855. The Captain James “Bully” Forbes had quite the story to tell.

sea landscape sunset beach
Photo by Nicola Tsiolis on


Princetown was always a wonderful adventure when were kids. We had the place to ourselves. You would have to park and walk through the sand along the shores of the Gellibrand River to the sea. The width of the river at this spot was dependent on access to the ocean and it would occasionally flow into the sea at incredible speed. It was forever changing and was a place of wonder. Not far from here is Gibson’ Steps. Even today a long and treacherous decent to the sandy beach. For me always a place of awe and adventure.

The road that leads inland was our local road. Where the reeds grow close to the road I had seen a tiger snake there on more than one occasion. Thankfully I was in a car at the time. But I suspect there were plenty around.

A little further on is a Pony Club carved out of the bush where we rode our horses to and back. It was a long ride. We would always look forward to riding through the forest, me trotting along on my little pony, along sandy tracks and the occasional jump that even my pony could manage. It was magical and you could imagine yourself all alone in this fantastic world.

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