It suits it….
Day 54/138 2022/2023 Viking Neptune World Cruise. Eden, New South Wales, Australia.
It was strange this morning waking up to see everyone back home on Facebook wishing everyone a Happy Valentine’s Day, since we already had that day yesterday! Last evening the Viking Neptune entertainment was very good. We had different people who don’t usually perform at 9pm in the Star Theatre sing songs, or play piano. Cruise Director Bruce played piano for us and he was amazing! He chose the song “As Long as He Needs Me” from the musical Oliver. It was so nice to see different people perform for a special Valentine’s Day celebration. When we got back to our cabin we had a long stemmed red rose on the bed, with our Viking Daily publication. What a nice touch from Viking to make our Valentine’s Day special! I put my rose in a water bottle since we don’t have vases in our cabin.
We woke up to this pretty picture this morning!
Eden, New South Wales, Australia.
I was anxious to get going this morning, but Richard had made a 10am osteopathic appointment with Pedro because his back was bothering him. Pedro leaves tomorrow for a month, so it was good for him to be able to get some therapy so he is not suffering.
About 11am we finally headed out to the town of Eden. We did not have much time to explore, with our back on board time set for 3pm. We had decided to explore independently since we knew the town was quite small and it was walkable. Viking had shuttle buses running into town, but we elected to walk up the extremely steep hill instead of taking the bus.
Ok. This looks a bit daunting, but we were up for it, to get some steps in today.
When we were walking up the very steep hill we bumped into our one stripe Head Waitress from the World Cafe, Christina, who always looks after us so well.
We had just spoken to Christina this morning at breakfast asking her if she would get off the ship and she said she was going to try to see Eden since she had never been here before. She went to the IGA to buy chocolate! Christina told us to walk up through the park on the left, instead of trying to walk up the road.
Walking up the hill through the park to Eden.
I spy with my little eye….the Viking Neptune!
When we finally got to the top of the hill we saw the Eden Killer Whale Museum.
For some reason today Viking did not give us any bottled water to take with us on our tour, so seeing that there was a water station at the Killer Whale Museum, was very much appreciated. Richard went in to ask where the water station was and the receptionist said there was a ‘bubbler’ outside on the left. We were not sure what a ‘bubbler’ was, but it turned out to be a drinking water fountain, so we each had some water and then continued on into the town of Eden.
Richard needed to exchange some New Zealand dollars we didn’t spend, into Australian dollars, so he found a Bank and crossed the road to change his money at the Commonwealth Bank.
While Richard was at the Bank, I wandered around the Imlay Street (the main down street) of Eden taking some photos of the charming little town.
Eden has a long history of nautical adventure with whaling ships operating in the area since 1791. The first whaling station for shore whaling was established in the area in 1828. In 1834 the Imlay brothers (hence the name of the main street), established a whaling station at Snug Harbour which was the first known building erected at Eden. Eden was named after George Eden, 1st Earl of Auckland, the British Secretary for the Colonies. Whaling finally ended in 1930. Now the town mostly relies on tourism with 25+ cruise ships arriving at the Port of Eden during the summer months of December through February. Tomorrow the QE2 Cunard ship will be in town with 2,691 passengers, almost doubling the town’s population in one day!
Built in 1904 the ‘Grand Old Lady’ of Eden ‘Hotel Australasian’ reopened in 2022 after a loving restoration. The hotel is known as the heart of the town, often bringing the community together to celebrate, connect and trade. Now the hotel is a boutique 5 star hotel, with fine dining, restaurant, bistro and cocktail bar. There are 8 boutique hotel rooms furnished with historic design pieces of the original accommodations. We looked behind the hotel and they had a BBQ/Pizza food truck set up with covered picnic tables serving food that was cooked on a Great Big Green Egg. We were quite interested in having lunch at this cool spot, but we had spied another place for lunch instead that had live music.
Orcas on the sidewalks of Eden.
Eden has a history of orcas (killer whales) helping whalers, by herding whales into the harbour and helping whalers kill them. The orcas were rewarded by the whalers by being given the lips and tongues to the dead whales to eat. Old Tom was a killer whale (from 1895-1930) which measured 22 feet and weighted 6 tons. Old Tom was thought to be the leader of the pod of killer whales which helped whalers herd baleen whales into Twofold Bay.
We finally stopped for lunch and thought we would enjoy listening to live music while we had our lunch, but the menu was not to our liking, so we walked back up through the restaurant to the cafe at the front.
We went to Coles again. The local grocery store, to stock up on some more snacks for our cabin. We want to do a little charcuterie fun meal so we bought two kinds of hummus, olives, crackers, and some prosciutto. We also have some old cheddar cheese we picked up in Geelong. Sometimes we miss the foods we enjoy back home, like a good charcuterie appetizer tray, so by stopping at the local grocery stores, we get to explore new foods and see what the locals eat. Frankly, I probably go to every grocery store I can when I’m travelling because I’m really interested in cooking and different cuisines.
Writing out postcards from Eden for back home, while we borrowed a pen at lunch. And why couldn’t Richard tell me my collar was up? Men!
At least we could still hear the live music over lunch while we enjoyed a tasty meal!
We both had the same lunch: a delicious homemade quiche Lorraine with salad. Delicious! The pastry was very good on the quiche.
After lunch we decided to hop the shuttle bus back to the ship. Richard’s back was bothering him and he had a lot to carry!
Our shuttle bus back to the Neptune. Recognize anything familiar?
So my dot art wasn’t that off the wall compared to the bus!
Our waiting Viking Neptune in Eden Harbour.
We were dropped off by the shuttle bus a the Eden Welcome Centre where the locals were selling crafts and handmade goods. Eden is the most southerly town in New South Whales and it is located 478 km south of Sydney.
Cruise market at the Eden Welcome Centre. I know of one person who bought a beautiful sterling silver and gemstone ring at the market today! I think the locals really appreciate when the cruise ships are in town as the GDP of the town relies so much on tourism.
At this point I wanted to explore more and Richard was tired, so we decided to split up. There was no way Richard was up for the big hill climb I was about to undertake on my own!
In the distance is the hill we hiked up to the town of Eden; and the hill I’m taking photos from is very steep, and I’m not yet at the top of it!
Partially up the hill I had a great view of the Viking Neptune.
I had seen on Google Maps that there was a lookout at the top of the hill and something really interesting too that I had to find!
Finally! At the top of the hill!
This ‘caravan’ as they call them in Australia was parked in the public park and it looked like they were boondocking for the night!
The Shiralee Memorial Wall was created following the loss of all seaman on the trawler ‘Shiralee’ in 1978. The people of the town of Eden constructed this memorial wall to all seaman who have sailed from the Port of Eden that were lost at sea.
I still hadn’t found what I was looking for and I saw a sign for Rotary Park, so I followed the narrow pathway by the water, to see if I could find it.
Not what I was looking for but isn’t this coastline in Eden gorgeous!
Wow! Everywhere I turned the scenery was more beautiful than the last spot I had just photographed!
Amazing rugged coastline! This scenery reminded me of a photo I had taken in Uclulet, Vancouver Island, British Columbia in 2021.
Ucluelet, Vancouver Island 2021. Similar water, but different coloured rocks.
I kept looking and looking along the coastline and I saw such pretty sights.
Stunningly gorgeous coastline in Eden!
I saw lilies growing wild.
As I kept walking and searching I found this very cool path and I knew I was almost there..
A very neat overgrowth of branches.
I couldn’t resist turning that photo into an art photo in black and white.
I finally found it!
The view from the ‘Canadian Love Seat’!
When we were at lunch and we had wifi, I had downloaded the following map from Google Maps.
So of course I had to find this lookout! Anything called the ‘Canadian Love Seat’, had to be found by a Canadian. I have no idea why it is called the Canadian Love Seat, and my friend Mr. Google will not tell me either, but it was a cool spot to find, and I’m glad I took this hike around Eden Point lookout today and made the effort to hike a huge hill to get there.
Eden‘s name definitely suited it. Eden being defined as a ‘delightful place’. I was delighted to be able to independently explore with the short time we had today in this very quaint, small town in New South Wales, Australia.
I made it back onboard too with 16 minutes to spare! Cutting it a bit close, but we didn’t sail until 3:55pm. Richard was so worried that I wouldn’t make it back to the ship before we sailed so he couldn’t nap while I was gone! I said if I don’t make it back, it meant I fell over the cliffs, so send the rescue party looking for me!
Tomorrow we will be in Sydney, picking up the pilot at 5am and docking at 7am, with sunrise scheduled for around 6:35am. I want to be able to take some photos from the water of the beautiful Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge as we sail in. What a treat it will be to sail into beautiful Sydney Harbour!
And on that note, its time for me to shower for dinner. The HVAC guy was just here AGAIN as our AC is not working properly still and I want to shower before he comes back here to do some more work. Too late…he’s back….Yeesh! But now I think he has fixed it! The Italians from FINCANTIERI had set the heat at 23.5C instead of turning the AC on. YEESH! I guess they need to leave tomorrow so the Viking HVAC guy can do his job without the Italian guys interfering!