Category Archives: Melbourne and around

From Airey’s Inlet to Melbourne

If this is Wednesday we must be getting near Melbourne.  The Cockatoos were back for breakfast but worked out pretty quickly that it wasn’t for sharing.  As we drove East from our overnight stop at Airey’s Inlet through Anglesea and Torquay the character of the area started to change – rather less quaint and rather more ‘big money’; this is obviously where the wealthy of Melbourne have their beachside houses and apartments.

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After a brief visit to the Bellarine Peninsular, where we had coffee overlooking the entrance to Port Phillip Bay, we stopped off at the State Rose Garden at Werribee which (for the non gardeners amongst you) is rather more interesting than it sounds.  Dozens of different varieties of roses (surprise) and most exciting of all…. fruitbats!  With a wingspan of  2 to 3 feet, not something you’d really want to encounter on a dark night.

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Port Campbell, up the Great Ocean Road to Airey’s Inlet

OK, so today was just a teensy weensy bit warm.  Just as we thought we were getting used to the warmth of the Australian summer it decided to throw in a hot one; 41 degrees on the thermometer and a warm breeze blowing from inland – the effect was like putting your head in an open oven at regulo 5!  Still, given a choice of this or a light covering of snow in the Cotswolds, its got to be a no-brainer hasn’t it? (Sorry Claire).

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Just for a change the Great Ocean Road which took us from Port Campbell up to Airey’s Inlet was quite busy, so we took our time and soaked up the sunshine and the scenery.  Most of the traffic was, like us, happy to coast along – not that we had much choice in the matter (note to self; if ever we decide to buy a small car be sure to avoid the Hyundai i20 which has marginally less power than Denise’s sewing machine).  Still, it didn’t matter too much as around every bend we stopped, either for a swim or to snap some more photos of the fantastic coastline.

 The Twelve Apostles are one of Australia’s most famous landmarks – the only problem is that from time to time coastal erosion does its bit and one of the apostles falls into the Southern Ocean.  I think that at the last count there were ten; but no matter – they are , simply, stunning.

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Now, believe me, in the course of my life I’ve seen a cockatoo!  But when the bloody things sit on your veranda and demand to be fed that’s another thing altogether.  Just goes to prove that no living creature can resist the smell of freshly cooked bacon!

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Hamilton up the coast to Port Campbell

No shortage of spectacular scenery today.  The drive from Hamilton down to the coast at Port Fairy was the usual wonderful combination of empty roads and stunning countryside displayed in the largest imaginable number of shades of brown with vivid splashes of green.  Port Fairy itself is a pretty little town with a number of historic buildings and a small quayside – the adjectives ‘historic’ and ‘scenic’ tend to get used quite a lot over here.  In reality of course virtually nothing is truly historic, but absolutely everything is scenic.

A quick walk around the bird sanctuary at Griffin Island should have produced sightings of Mutton Birds, but they seemed to have taken the day off – however we did spot a Blue Tongued Skink which produced a predictable reaction from the female half of this partnership.

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Driving up the coast towards Melbourne we joined the Great Ocean Drive which has enough scenic (that word again) viewing points to satisfy even the most enthusiastic ‘snapper’.  Stopping every ten miles or so to take more pictures brought us into close conflict with the Australian Fly!  If you’ve ever wondered why tourists in this neck of the woods tend to wave to each other quite a lot, the reality is that they’re actually executing the Aussie Salute.  Frustratingly its all to no avail because there are so many of the little buggers that no sooner have you swatted one but ten more are making a bee-line (or should that be a fly-line?) for your salty bits!

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Stopped overnight at Port Campbell and after supper popped up to one of the ‘scenic’ viewpoints to watch the sun set slowly over the Southern Ocean.  Lovely.

Sunset from 'The Arch' Port Campbell
Sunset from ‘The Arch’ Port Campbell