Eden is a town of about 3,000 at the very southern edge of New South Wales, about a seven hour drive north to Sydney or about the same south and west to Melbourne. The reason it exists was whaling; its main attraction is the Killer Whale Museum honoring Old Tom. Old Tom was the leader of a pack of orcas that helped the whalers locate and butcher sperm whales, for which they got the lips and tongue. The tongue of a sperm whale can weigh up to 4 tons. Pretty appealing so far.
Eden is a delightful little town, with a quaint but still functioning downtown; actually on top of a hill so perhaps it’s ‘uptown’. It still is a functioning fishing town sending mainly tuna and salmon to Melbourne and Sydney. Tourism is important, with the population swelling to 12,000 during the season. And they greeted tourists differently. First, there was a town crier who greeted each boat and wanted to know where in the US he should go when he finally gets there (and he found Doré a chair while we waited for the van.)
Rather than the dock swarming with hawkers and hustlers descending on the cruisers, it was swarming with volunteers, who wanted to get you where you wanted to go and back. We wanted to go to a wildlife sanctuary about 30 miles away. Our volunteers (we had three or four) arranged for a van to take us there and pick us up when we wanted. They were a little apologetic that they had to charge us, but after paying the admission (special discount for pensioners) it cost less than half what the ship’s excursion would have. And we stayed about twice as long in the sanctuary than we would have been allowed on the bus.
The sanctuary was primarily a rescue operation of injured or orphaned animals, with cars being the major culprit for both the injured and the orphaned. They pretty much covered everything you’ve ever heard of in Australia: kangaroos, wallabies, emus, wombats, cockatoos, parrots, and a round fuzzy little animal covered with porcupine quills with a long nose and tongue for eating ants (an Echidna, aka “puggle”.)
. They did not have any duck-billed platypuses or Tasmanian Devils.
All in all, a very nice day even before we met the baby wallaby in the cafe.
[From Wikipedia] “Eden is a coastal town in the South Coast region of New South Wales, Australia. The town is 478 kilometres (297 mi) south of the state capital Sydney and is the most southerly town in New South Wales, located between Nullica Bay to the south and Calle Calle Bay, the northern reach of Twofold Bay, and built on undulating land adjacent to the third-deepest natural harbour in the southern hemisphere, and Snug Cove on its western boundary. At the 2011 census, Eden had a population of 3,043.
“The eastern coastline has rugged cliffs at the southern end and a wide, sandy surf beach, Aslings Beach, north of the cliffs. The beach ends at the entrance to Lake Curalo, a safe boating inlet of Twofold Bay. Although the urban settlement of Eden commenced in 1843 the settlement was not officially proclaimed as a township until 20 March 1885. The town’s main industries include fishing, forestry, and tourism.”
I am hopeful of finding high speed WiFi in Sydney tomorrow.