Bombala – Part One

It was raining when we left Lakes Entrance this morning and it stayed wet all day. We refuelled before leaving and headed towards almost the most western place that we could go in the State of Victoria. We didn’t stop at many places, not only because it was raining, but we had seen much of this area within the last eighteen months.

We drove carefully through the rain until we reached the cafe in Cabbage Tree Creek. In fact, the cafe is the only commercial place in this hamlet and it sold good coffee and some delicious date and cinnamon scones.

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Just a little while after leaving the cafe we entered an enormous area of forest that had been burned in the disastrous 2019 fires. These fires were enormous and blanketed Melbourne in smoke for weeks. The trees are now coppicing and forming new branches – some well developed and in other places, the trees were still like skeletons. This burnt area extended for kilometre after kilometre.

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Just after turning off the Princes Highway at Cann River, we came across an historic school at the little hamlet of Noorinbee. This little timber building was constructed in 1869. It first served as a church and community hall and became a school in 1906.


It was obvious that this area had received ed a good amount of rain as the Cann River was flowing strongly.


By lunch time we came cross the little town of Cann River. It has an enormous roundabout at the end of the town and most of the commercial area extends for just a hundred metres along the three roads radiating from it. The pub is the most dominant building in town.


Along the way, we kept spotting bunches of lilies growing in the forest. At first, we thought that they were domestic plants that had escaped from a garden but they extended so far along the road that we began to believe that they must be some form of local native plant. Jill knows more about plants than I do but she couldn’t recognise them either. Perhaps someone can tell us just what type of flower that might really be.

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Just before reaching Bombala, our destination for tonight, we turned left towards Delegate. I had read about how the streetscape there was well preserved. It was early afternoon, so we had plenty of time for a detour. Just down the road, we came across a Platypus Reserve with its viewing area over the Bombala River. This area is well known as ‘Platypus Country’. They are abundant in the local streams although we couldn’t see any. The stream was flowing too quickly and we were not there at the right time of day.


It turned out that what I had read about the town of Delegate was quite true. The streetscape is very old and I don’t think that one bit off maintenance has been performed on any of the buildings since about 1958. Everything looks run down except for the pub and the General Store.


The country around here is undulating and it provides some fine grazing country. I thought this view of the Little Plains River flowing across the plains was quite grand.


Back at Bombala, we spent some time driving around the town and looking at its old buildings like this National Australia Bank Building.

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Jill’s grandfather, Frederick George Ruffels served here as a police officer almost 100 years ago and I have written about a part of part of the story of his police career in Part Two of today’s post.

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