Warrnambool

Dec 13 to 16  Warrnambool is the largest city in the Great Ocean Road region. First settled in the 1840’s Warrnambool is home to many shipwrecks, a historic boathouse, a state heritage listed Lighthouse and Maritime Village which was Victoria’s most active port in the 1880s. A mysterious shipwreck buried deep beneath the sand dunes on Warrnambool’s outskirts is just one of the intriguing tales that contribute to the city’s unique history.  

A Portuguese vessel, fondly known by locals as “The Mahogany Ship” reportedly ran aground off Warrnambool in the 1500s. This local legend is supported by the discovery of old Portuguese charts that depict Australia’s southern coastline as far as Armstrong’s Bay. It is believed these charts were drawn in the 1520s.

In the 1880s, the Port of Warrnambool handled more cargo than the Port of Melbourne and was a thriving deep sea port. In 1876, planning commenced to protect the harbour utilising huge concrete blocks weighing 32 tons each. The blocks were transported to the breakwater site by a specially built railway line, and construction was not completed until 1890.

We both play in the mens and ladies golf comps at Warrnambool Golf Club and are very happy to report the extremely welcoming environment at the club, from the Pro shop, our playing partners and everyone at the club.

Port Fairy, about 30 kms east of Warrnambool is a quaint local fishing village and well worth a visit.

        

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Port Campbell

Dec 9 to 12  Port Campbell is close to the centre of the Great Ocean Road and next to some of the more well-known spots such as the 12 Apostles. We first celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary at Waves restaurant with some local seafood and bubbly.

Over the next 4 days we visit all the local sites which include the Twelve Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge, Bay of Islands, Bay of Martyrs, the Gibson Steps, London Bridge and the Grotto. Again, words fail us to adequately describe the absolutely awe-inspiring beauty of the scenery … let the pictures speak for themselves.

                       

Anglesea, Lorne, Apollo Bay

Dec 5 to 8  Anglesea lies at the eastern edge of the Great Ocean Road and we use it as our base to ‘do’ the first half of the famous tourist road. Anglesea is a particularly significant town on the Great Ocean Road as it marks the first spot south-west of the road’s official start at Torquay where it meets the coast. Patrolled surf and swimming beaches surrounded by beautiful forest and coastal scenery make Anglesea a popular tourist resort with the vast expanse of sand surrounding the mouth of the Anglesea River being a popular spot for swimmers. Other scenic spots along the coast include the rocky Point Roadknight and the lookouts off Harvey Street and the Great Ocean Road above the town’s main surf beach.

Attractive parks and gardens line the coastal foreshore and the Anglesea River, with Coogoorah Park at the end of River Reserve Road featuring a network of islands linked by boardwalks and bridges through wetlands.

We play golf at the picturesque local Anglesea golf course which is famous for its on-course kangaroo mob. Bob has a second game in the men’s comp on the following day. Ross, one of Bob’s playing partners, suggested a local pasta and we had a lovely meal with Ross and his wife Gill.

From Anglesea, we head west to Aireys Inlet, Lorne, Wye River and Apollo Bay. No apologies for the number of photographs of the 4 days spent at Anglesea. It is impossible to find the correct words to describe the beauty of this part of the Great Ocean Road.

              

Bellarine Peninsula

Dec 1 to 4  We base ourselves in Queenscliff on the Bellarine Peninsula for 4 days before embarking on the Great Ocean Road. The Bellarine is more picturesque than the Mornington Peninsula and has great wineries, seafood and gourmet produce outlets. Thirteenth Beach Golf Course has 2 x 18 hole links championship layouts with the Beach course rated in the top ten public access courses in Australia. It was a pleasure to play.

Queenscliff has a history of being the first holiday destination for Melbournians in the mid to late 1800’s. Many of the original guest houses still remain as they are protected by the National Trust. We take a walking tour with a local guide to hear the history of the town. There are also more than 20 shipwrecks around the bay from the late 1800’s to the early 1900’s. We saw the wreck of the Ozone, a famous bay steamer that used to travel between Melbourne and Queenscliff.

Geelong is the largest city of the region and only needs to be visited once !! Maybe it was because it was very cold when we visited.

See if you can spot Melbourne in the distance on the far side of Port Phillip Bay.

Can You Spot Melbourne ? : Click To Enlarge

 

            

Statistics Update

After 4 months on the road, we are interested to note the following statistics : Total Distance Travelled (Car) – 13,157 Kms : Total Distance Travelled (Caravan) – 5,739 Kms : Ltrs Fuel Used – 2,167 : Ltrs Per 100 Kms – 16.47 : Average Cost Per Night Powered Site – $29.87. We had the rig weighed before we left : Caravan – 3.16 tonnes, Vehicle – 2.84 tonnes, Total weight – 6 tonnes.

 

 

Mornington Peninsula

Nov 18 to 30  After a short stop in Melbourne when we saw the new Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, Love Never Dies (recommended), we base ourselves at Dromana on the Mornington Peninsula about 1 hour south of Melbourne. This is where the Australian Nations Vets Championships are next year so we took the chance to check out the courses. We did not play any of them but did play 3 of the other local courses, Cape Schanck, Devil Bend and Portsea.

Mornington has 200 wineries, 50 cellar doors, 14 golf courses and many art galleries. We drove to Phillip Island to see the world famous Fairy Penguins. (Unfortunately, no photos are allowed). We did manage to spot one baby outside its burrow and snapped it. Over 1300 penguins appear out of the surf at dusk and walk right past you up into their burrows for the night.

After our stay, to avoid a 200 kms drive around Port Phillip Bay to get to our next destination, the Bellerine Peninsula, we took a quick 40 minute ferry ride.

           

Farewell Tasmania

Nov 17  What great memories of a beautiful part of Australia – Tasmania. We have had a wonderful 48 days and seen and done lots of interesting things. We cannot believe that we did not see all there is to see in 7 weeks but we didn’t. We will be back. If only the temperature was 15 or 20 degs higher !! Our fondest memories revolve around the incredible history of the state, the true beauty and variety of scenery and the very friendly locals.

So we board the Spirit Of Tasmania for the overnight trip back to Melbourne. Next stop the Mornington Peninsula …