Day 11 - Port Campbell to Warrnambool
Trip Start Apr 17, 2012
37Trip End May 27, 2012
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Where I stayed
We said goodbye to Port Campbell and explored the surrounding area
Due to a limit on the amount of development in Port Campbell, the majority of retirees and holiday houses were in Peterborough, and since this gave it a higher population than Port Campbell we expected to find somewhere to have lunch. We drove around town but couldn't find anything. It appeared there was nothing to eat in this town. Finally we found a small general store who ended making very nice burgers so in the end Peterborough left a good taste in our mouths. We passed a few camping areas that looked tempting but we were determined to get to Warrnambool that night so we didn't let tempting camping areas stop us. Our next stop was about 10 minutes later at a lookout at Halladale Point which was a nice vantage point looking west toward the Bay of Martyrs.
After Halladale Point, we did another stop just down the road at Worm Bay and then yet another one at the actual Bay of Martyrs itself. If it wasn't for the spectacular scenery, all the stopping in carparks then walking down stairs to beaches and/or following trails to the headland lookouts would be annoying, I was getting a little bit annoyed by all the stops - but we were determined to stop at all of them and take EVERYTHING in. I would seriously hate myself if I was an ignoramus who just passes through each area only stopping for a quick snapshot then getting back in the car (unlike some fool who's blog I was reading recently....he had a photo of the Loch Ard Gorge in his blog and the quote below it said "Some gorge on the Great Ocean Rd"!! Crikeys, some gorge?? Hah! What a fool! He seemed to have missed the point and was hellbent on doing as many kms as possible in as short a time as possible. Essentially it was just a trophy trip I guess.....just to cross destinations off a list to say he has been there & done that. Each to their own I guess. The sad thing is that these people think that the only cost is in dollars, not in the greenhouse gases or C02 they produce in their oversized 4x4's - mostly on sealed roads I should add!
After the Bay of Martyrs we came to the Bay of Islands which also had a carpark and walking trails to the vantage points, one feature which stuck out to us among the rough seas was the boat ramp
From Childers Cove it was only a few more kms to Warrnambool. At this point the Great Ocean Road becomes the main road into town and loses it's magic until it finally fizzles out when it joins the Princes Highway going into Warrnambool. We used the GPS to re-route ourselves so that we could make our own Great Ocean Rd so to speak. Basically from Childers Cove you can take vaious back roads which are closer to the coast than the final few kms of GOR. This leads you in via Hopkins Point which had some nice houses and looked a little bit arty. We entered the Warrnambool CBD and had a quick look around but as it was getting close to 5pm we needed to find a place to camp
Whilst doing a quick recce of the Warrnambool foreshore, we stumbled across the Surfside Holiday Park and found it ideal - mainly becuase it was close to town and close to the Maritime Museum which I wanted to visit. It was also located on the beach so the sounds of the ocean were pleasant. The manager woman had already closed the office for the day so she told us to drive around and set up wherever we wanted. She misheard Julie's surname as GodFear so she thought it was an awesome name and we all had a laugh. As peak season was over, about 50% of the park was closed off, however the people that were there all seemed to camp on top of each other so we set ourselves up right next to the closed off area and we had about 8 acres of private enclosed grass area all to ourselves. We set up camp in a powered site then walked up the hill into town to peruse the town's culinary offerings. We saw some nice houses on the streets surrounding the CBD, there seemed to be plenty of single story Edwardian terraces and other old houses with character
We had to inspect what the whole town had to offer so we went up one side of the main drag (Leibig St) then came back down the other side before making a decision. We decided on the older style cafe restaurant that had been there for 50 years. It was in the same style as the old Paragon Cafe or the Niagara Cafe in Gundagai. We were able to get generous sized dishes loaded with food which is what we needed after the amount of excercise we had been getting running up & down all the lookouts for the past 4 days. I had a schnitzel with salad & chips which I devoured quickly. We then walked back through town to the camper. It was getting a little bit cold so we had our showers and returned to the van for some TV and relaxation. Having power meant we could run the heater to take the chill off the night. You need to embrace these luxuries whenever possible on the road.