What an amazing part of the world

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The beach was great, but the pebbly sand and steep entry made it pretty harsh on the feet. We checked in to our room. We pioneered dishes, buying whole yellowfin tuna from neighbouring Ulladulla harbour, and in winter introduced red snapper fished out of the waters in front of the hotel. Also on the old steamer wharf by Tathra Head is The Wharf Locavore, a weatherboard shack which keeps everything local except for the Ona coffee roasted in Canberra.

The whole area is becoming a gastronomic destination. Bel slept through the whole thing. They suggested I keep it low-key. Hopefully we will be back one day. The truth is I zoned in on it because of the extraordinary seafood.

Linner and exploring

Linner and exploring complete we made our way back to the hotel via the road this time and checked out the shops that are all tucked into the stairways and alleys as you walk up. The Gippsland radar is situated on the coastal plain at the airport about nine kilometres south-west of the city of Bairnsdale. This location provides good coverage of nearly all of the catchments of rivers flowing south from the Great Dividing Range. These echoes usually occur as isolated, stationary patches along the Great Dividing Range, the Strzeleki Ranges and the peaks on Wilsons Promontory. Both places are great food producers and wineries, as well as having fabulous beaches and good walks.

There were lemon tree orchards everywhere, terraced into the mountain side. It gives me another reason to return. And then final drinks on our balcony. Back at the hotel we had a drink at the rooftop bar. Summer thunderstorms that develop on the surrounding hills and mountains may be observed in detail.

The Gippsland radar

These echoes may be distinguished from rain as they do not move with the wind and end abruptly at the shoreline. After about two hours we reached Positano and our hotel. Ouch, I could feel the blood trickling so went to the bathroom to patch myself up. There were also lovely local kingfish, blue-eye trevalla and John Dory, plus squid so fresh it was sometimes still alive when it arrived and, of course, Sydney rock oysters.

Some might think of Australia as only parched grassland or red desert but, actually, much of southern New South Wales and Victoria is pastoral interspersed with thick eucalyptus forest. In advance of my road trip, I asked a couple of friends, the Australian food journalists Jill Dupleix and Terry Durack, to fill me in. We walked down, booked a front row beach bed and settled in. And sometimes, for summer lunches, they have jazz bands in the garden.