Picked Kelly up from work this afternoon and after a quick trip home to shower, re-supply and scoop up Juno, we boarded Ripley and set course south.
Stopping briefly in Cooma for coffee we descended Brown mountain, rolling out into the eastern head of the Bega valley. And on a short bit to the township of Bemboka which lies roughly 190 km south east-ish of Canberra.
Unfortunately the famous Bemboka pie shop was closed by the time we arrived so we poked around the town for a bit before moving on to Colombo Park just outside of town. This is a really cool little campsite adjacent to the local oval.
- $10 per night for an unpowered site
- $15 per night powered.
The toilet block is basic but very clean. For a small deposit you can get a key to access the shower. (There is a notice board on the toilet block with a contact number to arrange paying the fees).
There were only 3 others staying at the site when we were there. And apart from the early morning appearance of an ambience-snapping tractor that arrived to mow the grass on the adjacent oval, it was a peaceful rest spot.
The highlight of the evening was a short (maybe 1 km) loop walk down to the Bemboka River and The Platypus Gate.
This is a gem of a spot hidden away and probably missed by most travellers.
The local Bemboka Landcare Group have done an awesome job clearing away the foreign honeysuckle and blackberry bushes and other weeds in the area. They have cultivated a few neat walking routes through the grassy woodlands that include signage identifying the tree and shrub species and explaining the ecological significance of the reserve.
The actual Platypus Gate leads down to a magnificent natural rocky pond area of the Bemboka River. We arrived just after 7pm (dusk) and were treated to watching a couple of platypus (platypuses?) swimming lazily about and fossicking for food in the shallows. Platypus are classified as monotremes, that is they are part of a rare group of mammals that lay eggs instead of giving birth to live babies.
It is pretty rare to catch a platypus, these days so to to watch 2 of them in their natural habitat was a real treat.