A Travellerspoint blog

Mornington Peninsula to Devonport

The Great Southern Journey is kicking in!

The Mornington Peninsula is such a beautiful area! We stayed in Frankston, which is really well situated for exploring the area.
The little boat houses all along the bay reminded me so much of Muizenburg, South Africa - except that these will set you back a cool K$60! And in the event of the beach eroding away under your beach house - well there she goes!!!

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Arthur's Seat is a great tourist drive, spectacular views of Port Philip Bay and Melbourne City and packed with all sorts of attractions. We went to the Motor car Museum and found so many interesting things - from Singer pedal sewing machines to a Hybrid Honda coupe! Found the tiniest Goggo mobile, Studebakers, Rolls Royce and a Ford Jeep.

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Travelling along millionaires row, Brighton and St Kilda, we made our way to the wharf to board the Spirit of Tasmania. It is quite large for a ferry - one normally thinks of a single deck, maybe 100 passengers going over to Straddie - think again. It was a pretty eventful overnight crossing for us.

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Day 1 in Tassie - Sheffield, the mural town and Railton, the topiary town. Like in Victoria, there are so many historic houses, office blocks, hotels etc, it feels like walking back in time. Right next to the park is a cottage dating back to 1880!
Seems like Saturday is the same in all of Australia: at the local Bowling Green, the red team was playing the Blue team today, and on the tennis court, aces and games to love!

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At Sorrel we stepped on to a Tassie beach for the first time - there's a penguin colony and windswept trees - gives you an indication of the weather patterns along the coastline!
Tomorrow we head off to the Tamar Valley and some more exciting places!

Posted by Johannstock 01:46 Comments (1)

Walhalla and Philip Island


View Johann & Noelene's trip to Tasmania on Johannstock's travel map.

Walhalla is a small village that was once a thriving gold mining town, from 1863-1914. 73000 tonnes of gold was mined here. In its heyday there was a population of over 3,000 people, 10 hotels, 7 churches a school with over 500 pupils and 0ver 30 shops. It has been deserted after the gold rush and ravaged by fire, but volunteers have been restoring the cottages and attractions. We took the train ride to Thomson station, population 1( the stationmaster - a volunteer!) then ambled through the village- so many grand old buildings. The historic Victoria bank burned down, and the only remains is the vault (picture attached). Walhalla became the last town to be connected to electricity in Victoria in 1998.
Travelling south-west again, we came through Inverloch, a lovely seaside town, en-route to Phillip Island. There the fearless, adventurous side of Noelene let rip in a go-kart race around the miniature replica of the Grand Prix track. It was an absolute hoot - so much fun!
The pelican Fish Co-op lived up to its good reputation and we enjoyed prawns on the deck and lovely fresh fish.
At Shelley Beach we waded through some shallow rock pools and were delighted to find a small black ray. It seemed to be a female laying eggs, cos she turned around 360, to cover every area of the pool, before she swam off to the deep again. That was one of those 'oh no- I forgot he camera' moments!!
All the little towns along the coast boast local produce, cheese making, wineries, bakeries and coffee shops. Tomorrow we will explore the little town of Wonthaggi to discover these little places.

Until next time - Cheers!

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The train to Thompson from Walhalla.

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Noelene waiting for the train journey.

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The journey.

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One of the older buildings.

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The remains of the safe from the bank.

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Meet the Race driver. . . . .

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Starting the engine . . . . .

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Ready to go!

Posted by Johannstock 00:52 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Wilson's Promontary

Furtherest southern point in Australia at 29sdegrees S.

What a blast!! What a magnificent headland! And the sun shone all day - double whammy.

Tidal River is an awesome place - camping grounds galore set amongst dense forests of gum trees and Rooikranz - - Saffies will understand how significant it is to see these trees in their natural habitat.

The beach is as flat as the proverbial pancake and longer than Burleigh Beach. All the camp sites have to be booked through the NP, but they are seriously inviting! Met a 62 year old surfer whose 84yo mum was on the beach with him - they've been coming here since he was 4yo!! Its that kind of place.

The walk along Lilly Pilly Gully was really great too. The whole forest burnt down in 2009, and has recovered majestically. Found a cicada on the forest floor - have never seen a live one, always just their exo-skeletons!

Then on to Squeaky Beach. Quite amazing how many nationalities one finds at these places - here we saw burins, yarmulkes, Koreans and the only QLD rego in the car park was ours!! Chatted to a fisherman who was hoping to catch mullet of flathead for dinner, and 5 minutes later saw him chasing a seagull that had taken off with his entire bag on bait!!!

Whisky Bay is probably named such for the colour of the stream that flows onto the beach. If you're a brit you might call it tea coloured, then again it must have been a Scot who named it Whisky bay!!

The scenery is magnificent over the whole promontory; granite boulders, moss covered boulders on the tracks, distant vistas of secluded beaches, sapphire blue ocean and many varieties of birds.

Back into town and I found the local Arts and craft shop - oh yes!!! beautiful big buttons to finish off the new little projects I am working on. Now to start off the next smocking project - not enough hours in the day.

We are so blessed to be here. Loving every day.

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Tidal River beach.

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Lunch on Squeaky Beach

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Walking in Lilly Pilly Gully

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The entrance to Whisky Bay

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Board Meeting on the Rocks @ Whisky Bay

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When last have you seen one of these scales? still in use @ Fish Creek Home Centre!

Enjoy! See you in the next blog.....

Posted by Johannstock 01:30 Comments (0)

Onto the Victoria South Coast, and Gippsland.

Travelling form Cooma we traversed yet another mountain pass with beautiful forest and rolling hills. The steep trip down played havoc with the breaks of the van - the service in Coffs had set them way too low - and so we had to stop for the usual morning coffee break, but also to allow the smoking car breaks to cool off. Needless to say Mr Fixit has been under the van since and has sorted out the break settings!
From Merimbula to Eden is farmed oyster area - everywhere you look! At Eden we watched a tall ship sail in, and also a cruise liner - passengers brought on shore with small craft. The nicest swim in the sea so far was also in Eden - in a lovely man made rock pool that is continually washed by incoming waves.
Next we stopped at Marlo, on the river estuary. Here we had the privilege of meeting an elderly couple, well they are both 82, who arrived for their 40th annual visit to the same park, on the same spot, under a tree they planted with their friends 30 years ago. It only took us two minutes to realise these folks would not be putting up their annex by themselves, so we rigged it all for them. Gotta love the longevity of campers!!

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Camping by the Snowy River

At Lake Wellington one of us got up early enough to see the sunrise - and what a beauty it was! God's painting in the sky.

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Sunrise at Lake Wellington

While we are loving the evening twilight, with dinner often happening as late as 8:30, we would gladly trade these grey clouds and rain for some of the Brisbane sunshine! Its been more that 2 weeks since we had some real hot days - even our solar panel is not getting enough rays to charge the van batteries - hence we are out of the bushes and into the commercial world of a powered site in a caravan park in Foster!!
The wind farm at Toora was quite spectacular - the towers are 67m high and each blade is 33m long. The farm generates enough electricity to supply 6000 homes and makes such good sense in this windy area.

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Wind farm in Toora.

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Agnes waterfall - longest in Victoria.

Tomorrow we will explore Wilson's promontory and then head off to some inland lakes again.
Dessert tonight is pears in red wine, simmered in star anise, cinnamon and cardomom...

Posted by Johannstock 18:26 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Cooma and the Snowy Mountains.

Some photos in the Snowy Mountains in summer.... there is still some snow!


View Johann & Noelene's trip to Tasmania on Johannstock's travel map.

We are staying in a quiet little town called Cooma, the capital of the Snowy Mountains.
On the map we spotted a town called 'Frying Pan' and decided to go there. the trip led us to a lake with an unpronounceable name, some lovely 4x4 tracks and rocky outcrops. We ended up in Adaminaby, where we had our lunch in the Lions park. Quite a large trout farm there that must be doing amazingly well breeding them fish if you look at the photo below!! :)
Yesterday we explored Mount Kosciuszko NP and what a glorious experience that was. Travelling via picturesque Jindabyne one could clearly see the alpine vegetation and slopes of the Alps. Thredbo itself is a tourist village only. Lots of cabins and chalets and everything geared up for the ski season.
Noelene had read about Eagles Nest being the restaurant with the highest altitude (6600 feet, or 2000 meters ASL) in Australia, so that's where we headed. Up the chair lift, which reminded us very much of the luge in Rototua - this one is a tad higher though!
Looking down from the chair lift we saw many cyclists traversing the bike tracks - a new addition to the summer activities at Thredbo. When we win that illusive jackpot we will send our grandson up there with all his friends!!
Mount Kosciuszko itself is a steep 13 km on the walking track, so us oldies made it only to the lookout to Mnt K - all on metal tracks and beautiful alpine vegetation along the way. Thredbo had its heaviest snowfall for years and very late too - the last snow fell at the end of October, so we were spoilt to be able to reach the last vestiges of snow. the mini-glacier formed the most interesting over-hang and it had been many years ago that we had our hands in snow. (It was in fact in Ceres in the Cape with our dear friends Brian and Teunie). So it was a real treat.
On the way down we stopped at Crackenback Resort on its own beautiful lake. So many activities on offer for the all ages - including Day Spa, mmm....
the bookend to our trip was passing the signpost to Iron Pot! So from frying Pan to iron Pot we hoped we wouldn't land in the fire!!

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Unpronounceable name Lake at Frying Pan.

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The big Trout

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Chair Lift to the top!

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Mountain Bike Track.

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The Eagles Nest and the walks to Mount K.

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The lookout to Mount K.

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Snow...

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The way down.

Until next time, Stay safe!

Posted by Johannstock 12:27 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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