The Road to Melbourne

Trip Start Jan 06, 2010
Trip End Mar 12, 2010

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Flag of Australia  , Victoria,
Wednesday, February 17, 2010

P.S. from Adelaide

Cliff Richards and the Shadows were fantastic, I wish I knew his secret; he looked and acted like a man half his age! The Shadows were fantastic, and did their own thing half way through; Hank Marvin is just as good as he ever was. They started at 8:15 and played for an hour, then there was a short intermission and then they continued until 10:50, we certainly got our monies worth.

Friday 12th February 2010

Started out after breakfast and drove to the small town called Hahndorf which is a German community town and even has its own Gästehaus selling draught German bier and bratwurst. They even speak German with an Aussie Twang!

On through Murray Bridge, Tailem Bend, Meningie, Kingston with its giant lobster and arriving at Robe, my destination for the day at about 4 p.m. Robe is a small sleepy coastal town with a nice beach and some nice cliff top walks.

Total distance travelled 342kms.

Saturday 13th February 2010

I left Robe at 0900 and headed for Beachport which is a very pretty seaside town with some great beaches and scenery. Next was Southend, which is a bit like ours, once you've been there you wouldn't bother going back again! Next place was Millicent which didn’t have much to offer either, except for a good cup of coffee!

I arrived at Mount Gambier at about 1 o’clock and found the Jubiliee Motor Inn, a chalet type motel which was a bit run down, but it was clean and functional and it’s only a bed for the night. I set out to have a look round the area, and ended up climbing up Mount Gambier, it was a bit steep in places and I was puffing by the time I reached the top, but it was worth it for the views. I also paid a visit to the Blue Lake, which is in the crater of a volcano, and because of the minerals in the rock it turns bright blue in the summer months when it warms up.

Today's distance 243kms (Total so far 585kms)

Sunday 14th February 2010

Had a bacon and egg muffin at Hungry Jacks for breakfast and set off at about 0830. It was a bit showery and only about 21C, It was pleasant driving as there was very little traffic on the road and the scenery was nice. I crossed into Victoria and passed through places like Casterton, Coleraine and Hamilton. I stopped at a couple of waterfalls (Wannon and Nigretta Falls) to get some photos but because it has been so dry there was no water flowing over them! I also saw an Emu, but by the time I had turned the car round it had disappeared back into the woodland! The other observation was a flock of Cockatoos very noisy they are too. I arrived at Horsham at about 1 p.m. and put my watch forward half an hour, so now we are 11 hours ahead of UK. I had a walk along the Wimmera river, its supposed to hold some massive catfish but I only saw one person fishing and he was fast asleep!

I went to the Royal Hotel for a Sunday Roast (Pork), and very nice it was, washed down with a glass of VB.

Today's distance traveled was 273kms (Total so far 858kms).

Monday 15th February 2010

I set off before breakfast, as I wasn't to hungry, and drove to Halls Gap and had my bacon and eggs there. Halls Gap is the gateway to the Grampian National Park. The scenery is one of mountains and woodland. I saw 3 Emus and managed to get a couple of photos of them. I also saw lots of Kangaroos today, one that crossed the road right in front of me! I went up to Mount Reid lookout and took a few snaps, but it was a bit cool and cloudy up there! Further South I went up Mount Rouse which was cloud free and had some good views.

I arrived in Port Fairy just after 1p.m. and booked into the Best Western motel, which was very nice and comfortable. Port Fairy is a small seaside town with a very nice harbour and nice beaches. I went for a walk to the lighthouse which is on Griffiths Island and only connected by a footbridge which means a very pleasant walk of about a mile.

Today's distance traveled was 252kms (Total so far 1110kms).

Tuesday 16th February 2010

The Great Ocean Road starts just South of Warrnambool and the first spectacle is the Bay of Islands where the sea has eroded the cliffs to leave several small islands. It’s a bit like Durdle Door in Dorset but 10 times better. This was followed by places called The Bay of Martyrs, The Grotto, London Bridge, The Arch, Loch Ard Gorge and the Twelve Apostles. All of them fantastic sights, and stopping at each one made for slow progress, but worth every minute of it.

In the afternoon I made a slight detour (12kms) to Cape Otway. I am glad I did because the road is lined with Eucalyptus trees and I saw about 6 Koala Bears, the first I had seen in the wild. At Cape Otway there is a Telegraph station and lighthouse (photo taken for BC). Can any of you ex naval types tell me what the message hoisted on the halyards says? (A beer for the first correct answer).

My last nightly stop was at a pretty seaside place called Lorne where I had a seafood basket of Blue Grenadier, a local fish, which looked like cod but tasted like plaice, calamari, king prawns and mussels washed down with a pint of Melbourne Bitter!

Today’s distance traveled was 248Kms (Total so far 1358kms).

Wednesday 17th February 2010 Set off on my last leg to Melbourne. It was nice scenery to start with, including another lighthouse at Split Point, but it soon deteriorated into multi-lane highway. I passed through villages called Anglesea and Torquay!

The Memorial Arch at the end of the Great Ocean Road is to remember the Australian Forces from the First World War. 330,000 volunteered to go to war, of which 60,000 were killed and 160,000 were wounded. Those who were fit to work on their return, and didn’t have jobs to go to were paid by the state to build the Great Ocean Road. The current Memorial Arch is the forth to be erected. Fire, storm and road widening removed the previous three.

I arrived in Melbourne at 11:30 and soon got totally lost! I asked directions and soon got lost again, so I stopped for a coffee down by the Yarra River and got new directions. I eventually found Queen St., but couldn’t find the Bay View on the Park hotel, so I asked a cab driver and he says, "You don’t want Queen Street mate, you want Queen’s Road", so off I set again with fresh directions and found my hotel!

Today’s distance traveled was 144Kms

Total mileage was 1,502Kms

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