Monday, December 14, 2015

Raymond Island

We arrived at Paynesville Jetty around 9am, to catch the ferry across to Raymond Island. The ferry, carrying vehicles and foot passengers, chugs nonstop back and forth across McMillan Strait from around 7am to midnight. 
Vehicles pay around $10, but for foot passengers and cyclists, it's a free ride on the 5 minute journey.
Raymond IslandWe met a lady on board who has lived on the island for many years. She'd just popped across to the shops at Paynesville for some groceries and was heading back home.  She seemed to fit the profile of a Raymond Island resident and I felt a twinge of envy at the relaxing life she must have, living on this beautiful island, surrounded by nature. 
We were here to meet the other locals, though -  the 300 odd koalas that also inhabit the island. I'm not sure if they nick over to the shops or not, but they must live a pretty good life here, too.
Raymond Island
In the 1950's,  a resident of the island sent a letter to the Fisheries Dept, asking for koalas, please. 32 koalas were sent here from Phillip Island in a bid to help the numbers increase, and bring them back from the brink of extinction. The numbers are now carefully monitored, to manage habitat and maintain a steady population on the island.

Raymond Island
We followed a bit of a Koala Trail from the Ferry, meandering through residential streets before heading through parklands. We spotted about 20 on our walk through the bushland areas.
Raymond IslandRaymond Island
The beach terrain changed from pebble covered sand...
Raymond Island a million tiny sea shells crunching under our feet.
Raymond Island
We caught glimpses of sailboats on Lake Victoria...
Raymond Island...before hitting the winding boardwalk back to the Ferry, to arrive back in Paynesville in time for lunch.
Raymond Island
Raymond Island
What:  Raymond Island
Where: from Paynesville

When:  Daily
Why: koala conservation, nature
How Much: FREE 

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