Revisiting Noojee

Last weekend we stepped back in time.

We don’t often return to the same camp spot but the historic timber town of Noojee drew us back in.

We last visited in January 2014, when we camped here with our kids, dogs and close friends.  Last weekend, at my suggestion to said same friends, we went back, braving the cold and wintery conditions for two nights.

Our campsite four years ago

Noojee is less than two hours from Melbourne, about 129kms, making it an easy destination for day trippers and overnight campers.

It’s an adventurous playground for off roaders with some seriously good dirty fun to be had, especially after rain.

We had originally planned to camp at Toorongo Falls, however the huge muddy reserve was barricaded and closed to campers, so we ended up back at The Poplars, the same campsite we stayed at four years ago

One of the highlights of a weekend in Noojee is a visit to the old timber Trestle Bridge. This bridge, spanning 102 metres and 21 metres high, is one of the tallest surviving wooden trestle bridges in Victoria, a legacy from the old railway that ran from Noojee to Warragul.

Perhaps the most popular walk in the area is to Toorongo Falls, an easy circuit of 1.5km, which leads deep into mountain ash forest and towering tree ferns alongside the Toorongo River.

Amid the lush greenery and giant trees there’s heaps to see along the path … funghi, snails, moss on rocks, frothy streams that look like rice mounds.

Little reminders to just slow down, look around and take it all in.

The track follows the cascading Little Toorongo River up a winding gully track, leading eventually to a viewing platform. There, standing near the impressive falls the drifting spray settles on your face and reminds you that you’re alive.

Onward we continued, to the stunning Amphitheatre Falls.

It was a leisurely walk, although after the rain the night before, the path was, at times, slippery.

Fortunately we all had sturdy walking shoes on, always necessary when you’re stepping into an adventure.

Looking down at the cascading waterfall is a rush in itself.

There’s something about being around water that soothes the soul (and stirs the vertigo). Much like staring at a fire, it’s hypnotic, both the flow of water and the rush of fire.

“Where there is desire there’s gonna be a flame … But first you gotta get the wood.”

Collecting firewood might not sound exciting but with us it’s always an adventure. We turned off Loch Valley Road and found ruts, and steep tracks.

This time no one got bogged, and no trees blocked our path, though Norm, our fellow traveller, had the bash plate ripped from underneath his Jeep.

Back at camp it’s chilly and time to light the fire. The biggest decision is not what to throw over the coals for dinner but what drinks to have beforehand.

There’s a track next to the flowing creek, which is nice for an amble. Despite the fact that our kids aren’t with us there’s a sense of deja vu from years ago.

There were, however, some big differences. Last time it was summer, this time it’s winter. We’ve all upgraded our campers and cars. We now have an Outback Dove and our friends, who had an Eagle, now have a ‘five star Hilton Hotel’ on Wheels.

With a kookaburra on top!

It’s not a dove, not an eagle but a kookaburra on a Silverline

Some things, however, remain the same: the flowing creek, the starry nights, the same mesmorising effect the fire has on me as I sit and gaze into the flickering of its flames.

Even though I wasn’t feeling well on Saturday night and I had a bad case of vertigo and feeling off balance, the warm campfire was soothing.

And no, I hadn’t drunk too much wine!

The fire was hypnotic, powerful and peaceful all at the same time.

With the temperature dropping below zero that night, away from the fire and inside our camper, with no power, it was arctic.

As I so passionately declared to my other half at midnight …

This van is colder than a fucking igloo.

Going off the rails at the Heritage Centre

Yes, it was mighty cold, but it was great to visit Noojee again, to check out the new Heritage Centre at the restored Noojee station and drive new tracks. Exploring the unexplored.

Memories are nice but it’s important to keep making new ones to keep the flame alive.

That’s why I love travelling. Even if we go back to the same place, our experiences are different and our perspective a little changed, as we see places through new eyes.

Seeing the world through different eyes

My real love is to go deep into nature and find a campsite by a creek. Here I can read a bit, write a little, settle down as the kookaburras eventually quieten their laughter and lose myself in the glow of the campfire.

Here I can smell and listen to the bush, as it goes to sleep, and wake up just a little bit more connected to the planet.

Tranquility and connection with nature just metres from camp

That’s if I haven’t frozen to death during the night!

Maybe next time I’ll suggest going to Hawaii.

May you all find your place of peace and tranquility.

Have a beautiful week. Keep making those awesome memories and enjoy the journey.

In light and love.


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86 thoughts on “Revisiting Noojee

  1. I have also been travelling (but not like what your doin…not even close; that’s why i so admire you)…and i agree with you totally when you said the experience/s would never be the same even if we visit the same place over and over again…

    Liked by 3 people

      1. We are curently in Malaysia and Malaysia as a country is geographically big so travelling from one state to the other takes long hours of drive too..i enjoyed the long rides Miriam..i am in awe at how beautiful nature can be…i saw mountain ranges here and experience the diversity of its culture as well as the stories behind each dish being served in a local restaurant.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Brilliant, love the waterfall and the kookaburra! I can so relate to the f..ing cold camper too, brings back memories of camping in the red centre when we would go to bed fully clothed and my kids told me I looked like a burglar 🤪

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Ahh…..Noojee. What a beautiful place and still relatively free of tourists, especially in winter. We used to live in Gembrook and the Bunyip State Forest is still one of our favourite places in Victoria. We rode our horses across it to Noojee one Easter with friends, what a great way to experience the forest close up. Whenever we are back in Melbourne we try to get back there to experience the freshness, the nature, the cold…..!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Thanks Miriam in sharing you keeping your flame alive. The whole adventure sounds wonderful with so many ways of getting in touch with your senses. All the scenes are spectacular.
    Although it is a bright sunny day today in England your posting has really cheered me up.
    Mention of the kookaburra brings back memories of primary school days:-
    ‘Kookaburra sits on an old gum tree. Merry little king of the bush is he. La kookaburra, la kookaburra, gay your life must be.’

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Ahh…, Miriam, this just looks and sounds wonderful. The waterfalls, I do love them
    and I totally agree about the soothing sound of water.
    There is not a thing on this trip that doesn’t say…I want to go. 😊 .
    I love your romantic whispering to poor husband. By the way, igloos are not as
    cold as your van was. Quite warming I am told. 🍸 .

    Miriam ( from the North )

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Actually that’s what my hub said to me tonight, about the igloo, the very same thing.
      Maybe I should have said, it’s as cold as a f——g iceberg!
      Anyway, thanks for your great comment Miriam. Hope you’re well 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I loved your photos Miriam and felt I was there – although I was experiencing it in my nice warm home 🙂 We have so much to explore in Australia and many places are only a short drive from the City. Thanks for sharing your weekend away. Hope the vertigo is better. I had a middle ear infection once that affected my balance and it was not pleasant! Have a great week xx

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oooh Amphitheatre Falls are gooorgeous!

    It’s such a shame being so cold spoiled the whole night. I hope you’re feeling better (and warmer) now!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Yeah I think I’m a summertime camper…wow that must have been sooo cold…iglooish is not my style. But oh so beautiful, I love that shot of the river, very tranquil indeed. Sorry to hear you were not feeling well…hope you’re all better now! Maybe you should have had some wine, perhaps it would have straightened you out. 😉 Interesting to visit the same place in a different season and see the changes between the two. Yes I definitely vote for Hawaii! Great shot of the bird too…love it! Big tranquil hugs xo ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Deb, my ears still aren’t right so I’m off to the doctor today to get them checked out. Might be an ear infection as I’m continuously dizzy and off balance although D would say that’s just me being klutzy! 😏 Yep, bring on Hawaii or anywhere warmer for that matter. I’m already tired of the cold gray ness of winter. Hope you’re having a great week off. Hugs back xx❤️

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Apparently my ears were clear. He suspects the vertigo may have something to do with my new reading glasses but who knows. Looks like I just have to live with it for the moment.
          Was great to chat yesterday. xo

          Like

  9. Wow, you are braver than I am! I would enjoy revisiting the location of a favorite vacation, but I don’t think I could camp without heat in that kind of cold. Still, I’m glad you mostly had fun…and second your idea that next time you should try Hawaii! (How far is that for you?)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I think next time we’ll go to a caravan park where there’s power. Better yet Hawaii, if only!
      I think Hawaii is about ten hours flight from Melbourne. We have friends going back there in a couple of months.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. This line is so beautiful, “Where there is desire there’s gonna be a flame … But first you gotta get the wood.” Very expressive that I could see the entire travel you experience unfurl in front of me. Gorgeous pictures.

    Liked by 1 person

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