A Travellerspoint blog

This blog is published chronologically. Go straight to the most recent post.

7 Mar Metung / Philip Island

7 Mar
Today we leave Metung and travel approx 4 hours to Philip Island. We arrived at our b&b in Woolomai Beach, we have the upstairs accommodation of a large house it's very bohemian as is our host Liz with lots of Indonesian influences

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We had a look at a some of the local beaches near our apartment the weather wasnt so good today the sea wild & windy :-( there was a wind surfing competition going on which was being filmed. This is a surfers paradise here.

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We drove in to Cowes a pretty seaside town and the hub of the Island. The island is of similar size to the Isle of Wight and shares many of the same place names.

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We planned to watch the Penguin Parade at Philip Island, well wrapped up thanks to Liz our host supplying us with scarves and a jacket. we sat and waited for the penguins to arrive home at dusk to one of the largest penguin colonies in Australia It was very windy & cold but we'll worth the wait to see the little penguins emerging from the sea, bunching together to see if it's safe to cross the beach. A few at the back decide it's not quite right and turn back to sea then the rest follow, they emerge a few mins later to try again, this goes on for some time !! eventually they all waddle up the sand to their nesting burrows and you can then walk around the boardwalk and can see them close up. Really funny to see was a wallaby bounding along the beach in the dusk, and frightening the penguins away.

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Big numbers, little penguins
Over 4,000 of the 32,000 little penguins living in the waters around Phillip Island have their burrows around Summerland Beach. Native to Australia and the smallest of their species at just 33 centimetres, the little penguins leave their burrows about an hour before sunrise and swim up to 100 kilometres each day before returning at dusk

Posted by Cvclyons 19:32 Comments (1)

8 Mar Phillip Island/Melbourne

8 Mar
Before leaving for the short journey to Melbourne we stop off at the Koala Park on the Island, we see some koalas sleeping up in the eucalyptus trees, really cute and you can see them close up as they have a raised boardwalk up in the tree canopy.

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We cover 1821km Sydney - Melbourne
We get in to Melbourne about 2.30. The city is manic, busy busy busy, traffic, traffic lights on every corner, trams, no right turns, no left turns, one way streets, hook left for trams and people everywhere, apparently it's Moomba festival, a music, film and arts festival over the long weekend and the place is heaving. We have to find the hotel (no idea) drop the luggage off, then find the car hire drop off (no idea) by 4.00. Managed both and drop the car at 4pm on the dot. We're staying at the Windsor very grand, Apparantly Australia's grandest hotel with a very distinguished guest list over the years, our room is gorgeous very grand everything is grand so it is! We go for a walk and get a feel for the city it's got a good buzz, different to Sydney a bit like London with lots of eclectic people and very young

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we have a bite to eat and a couple of beers then back to our very posh hotel, for a good nights sleep.

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A treat after B &B's

Posted by Cvclyons 19:54 Comments (2)

9Mar Melbourne

We have a good lie in, in our very grand deluxe suite. Hot sunny day 34c, We find somewhere for breakfast (elevenses) then jump on a bus to see more of the city we stop off at the impressive MCG Melbourne Cricket Ground

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We get off at harbourside, docklands it has plenty of shops, bars and cafés and swanky apartments and modern architecture.

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After a couple of hours we take another bus and get off at the Botanic Gardens, a lovely place for a stroll in the afternoon sun.

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Yes another wedding !!!! Ours is getting closer by the day !!

We walk through the gardens past the Rod Laver Tennis Stadium and back into the city for a bite and a beer before getting back late to our very grand deluxe suite in our very grand hotel!

Posted by Cvclyons 20:14 Comments (2)

10 Mar Melbourne

10 Mar Melbourne

We have a relaxing day and on the way to have a look around the centre of contemporary arts roads are blocked off for a carnival to mark the end of the Moomba Festival, there's dancers, acrobats, gymnasts, bands the lot and thousands of people. We take refuge in the arts centre escaping the heat in a cool garden

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We then take a stroll along the Yarra River

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Stop for afternoon tea and cake

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Then back to the hotel, we pack up ready for next day then back out for a nice meal

Posted by Cvclyons 16:14 Comments (0)

11Mar Melbourne/Apollo Bay

Great Ocean Road

11Mar Melbourne/Apollo Bay

We pick up the hire car first thing in the morning, it's busy as they've shut roads off for a couple of F1 cars to show ready for the start of the F1 season next weekend. We leave Melbourne for Apollo Bay and the start out on the Great Ocean Road. This part of our trip is talked highly of and a must do by all Aussies we speak to. We take the long route out of the city via the Mornington Penninsula it adds a couple of hours on the journey but well worth it for the stunning scenery and small towns we pass through. Lots of Aussies holiday around this area. We have to take a short ferry ride from sorrento a pretty town with access to the bay on one side and ocean on the other with shops and cafés in between

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Sorrento

We cross the bay of Port Phillip to start out on the Great Ocean Road. We get off the ferry at Queenscliff a classic town with some great original Victorian buildings and cute fishermans cottages

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We continue on our journey along the Great Ocean Road the scenery is amazing with endless stretches of golden sandy beaches and turquoise blue sea.

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We arrive at our apartment in Apollo Bay early evening due to stopping repeatedly to admire the scenery

Posted by Cvclyons 03:47 Comments (1)

12 Mar Apollo bay

After yesterday's long drive we have a lazy lie in, then head off to nearby Lorne, another lovely seaside town (pick anyone really)

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They have an art exhibition on show throughout the foreshore

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This was titled 'The Man In The Grey Suit' selling for 65,000 AUD really !!!!!! Not bad for four panels of chain link and some paint!

We then spent the rest of the day at Apollo Bay

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Posted by Cvclyons 04:02 Comments (1)

13 Mar Apollo Bay/Port Fairy

Back on the road to Port fairy, It's a three hour drive but it takes us six. This is the last leg of the Great Ocean Road and there's plenty to see as we travel along the shipwreck coast, the Ocean battering the soft limestone cliffs, creating gorges, grottoes, arches sculpting the rock into famous landmarks - The Twelve Apostles, London Bridge, Loch Ard Gorge. There are walks throughout the area focusing on the shipwreck, geology and Aboriginal history of the site

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We stop off at Warranambool for a picnic, a large smart town with a great beach, walks and parks.

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We finally get to our b&b at Port Fairy a very big and old original house circa1848i

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We get familiar with the town, a charming and sedate village, with quaint old houses The naming around town suggest a strong Irish influence, it used to be a whaling town. It has a very pretty wharf which we have a good look around, then take a walk around Griffith Island an important ecological site linked by a walkway to the mainland, full of wildlife and history

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Posted by Cvclyons 03:46 Comments (0)

14 Mar Port Fairy/Halls Gap

We leave the ocean and Port Fairy to travel inland and northwards for Halls Gap in the Grampians. A vast National Park teeming with wildlife and rich in Aboriginal history

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The view from our apartment

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Some local wildlife

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Posted by Cvclyons 04:22 Comments (0)

15 Mar Halls Gap/Adelaide Hills

15 Mar Grampians/Adelaide Hills

Left Halls Gap one day earlier than originally planned, we had seen what we wanted to see and decided to 'Head for the Hills' before going to the Barossa.

We travelled for miles & miles & miles, miles, miles, miles, miles, miles, ..........................miles, and miles the scenery was the same throughout, flat and open farmland bit like the song "the long & winding road" without the winding bit! We stop at two towns for a coffee break, bearing in mind it's a Saturday afternoon, both places are dead, deserted nothing happening, the only movement we detect is the odd bit of tumbleweed rolling down the street, strange. As we approach Adelaide and the Hills, the landscape starts to change its greener, hills & valleys.

We've travelled for around 8 hours and reach the picturesque Adelaide Hills, we stop at Hahndorf a beautiful town, and is Australia's oldest surviving German settlement.

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We stopped to check out some accommodation only to get back in the car and it wouldn't start. Another 3 hours later, after roadside assistance to change a battery, we can now only find a motel out of town so will have to explore the town tomorrow

Posted by Cvclyons 15:49 Comments (0)

16 Mar Adelaide Hills/Barossa Valley

We wake up in the beautiful Adelaide Hills, and get back in the car to explore some of the many villages

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Mt Lofty, Crafers. Views over Adelaide

We spend a good few hours strolling around the very pretty Hahndorf, a bit touristy but hey. We spend most of our time in a small museum and a few galleries, really interesting. The restaurants are full and everyone seems to be eating huge plates overloaded with different kinds of meats, sauerkraut and potatoes. One chappie is dressed up in lederhosen and playing the accordion, you'd think you were in Germany.

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We head off to for our next stop at the Barossa It's only a short drive, just north of the Hills but all one area really. The hills, valleys and scenery are stunning and full of vineyards, it's a lovely area, we arrive at our b&b the Blickinstall Barossa Valley Retreat in the afternoon. It's just five mins outside the small quiet town of Tanunda. It's in a fantastic setting really peaceful, with stunning views. It's on a plot of 20 acres, 10 acres of vineyard, with sheep, cows,, 2 alpacas, 2 friendly dogs and loads of visiting birds. We're greeted with a late afternoon tea, very nice

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Posted by Cvclyons 15:12 Comments (3)

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