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Showing posts from 2015

Waterways and Whales, Warrnambool

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Just out of Warrnambool, Hopkins Falls is worth a look. Situated amongst lush green farmland, it's a short walk from the carpark to the viewing area. In late Spring/early Summer, young eels begin their long journey from here, as they head to the Coral Sea for spawning. Warrnambool River Cruises take you up and down the Hopkins River, looking at properties either side and giving a full commentary along the way.  I think Oddball the dog lives along here, as I read that he fell in the river recently and had to be rescued by a passerby.  Thinking he's a penguin, maybe? Just kidding.... Speaking of Oddball, the sheltered and often shallow water at the mouth of the Merri River is great for a splash on a hot day, with Middle Island as your backdrop. You can do tours to the island at low tide. The foreshore has patrolled beaches, good for riding the waves and soaking up some sunshine. Further along, over Hopkin's River, Logan's Beach is the perfect s

Tower Hill, Warrnambool

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Between Port Fairy and Warrnambool is the volcanic crater, Tower Hill. After suffering much destruction, it became Victoria's first National Park and a State Game Reserve. It has been repaired, revegetated and reinvigorated over the years and is now a wild wonderland to explore. The drive in is gorgeous, with basalt cliffs, forests and a lake along the way. The wildlife welcome you - drive very slowly to ensure their safety and to appreciate the scenery.  At the Visitor Centre carpark, picnic tables sit under tall gum trees, where we usually spot a koala or two, doing what koalas do best. Sleeping. On one occasion we noticed two koalas in the one tree, both fast asleep. Then one woke up, realised he had a house guest - and went B-A-N-A-N-A-S.  SERIOUSLY. I've never heard a koala make a noise. Any kind of noise. I've never seen a koala move fast. Or even kind of fast.  Until now. The angry koala was angry. Like turning Hulk Green angry. Growling loudly, he wen

Portland to Port Fairy

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Leaving Portland and heading to Port Fairy, we drove to the Fauna Park   first. You can't enter the park, but the animals are visible through the fence, so we took a walk around the outside.  *I think this is where the Six White Boomers live, when they're not travelling around Australia with Santa.   **may or may not be true. We've visited Port Fairy many times over the years. It's a gorgeous little village - great for walking, Saturday markets, fishing, boats cruises around the port, historic buildings, beaches.  But I seem to have lost all my Port Fairy photos in the Great Photo Cull of 2015. Nooooooooooooo..... *cries* Here's a few that survived "Photogeddon". Because they were filed under 'Warrnambool'.  Because I am apparently rubbish at filing. Lucky. What: Port Fairy Where: Port Fairy When: Daily Why: picturesque fishing village How Much: FREE to walk

Cape Nelson Lighthouse

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Just a ten minute drive out of Portland and we found ourselves at Cape Nelson Lighthouse.  We took a walk around the grounds, admiring the Lighthouse Keepers's Cottage whitewashed walls and red chimney tops. The Assistant's cottage is available to rent as holiday accommodation.     The 32 metre tower was built in 1884, after many shipwrecks occurred along this coastline, and served to light the way for ships entering Bass Strait. It is still used as a maritime navigation aid, not only at night, but during the day the tall tower can be seen to indicate location. Tours are held at 11am and 2pm daily. We had missed the timing of the tour, so instead we explored the rugged coastline around the lighthouse. A 3km walk took us around the grounds, where wallabies, echidnas and many birds were spotted. Nearby is a Gannet Colony and the lighthouse is a popular whale watching area, both in Winter and Summer. The area is part of the Great South West Walk , a 250km loop

Portland Historic Tram

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We jumped on the Portland Cable Tram mid-morning on a chilly day. We had barely taken our seat, when one of the kind staff (ALL volunteers) suggested we grab one of the lovely hand-made rugs from the pile on a corner seat - which we gratefully accepted.  All settled in, cosy and warm, with our nanna rugs in place, we sat back and enjoyed the ride.   The historic trams,  some from Melbourne's cable tram network of the early 1900's, have been lovingly restored or replicated to create a wonderful way to get around Portland. The hop-on-hop-off journey allowed us to see a big part of Portland, from the  Botanical Gardens to the wharves and all along the waterfront. The volunteers gave a running commentary of the history of the town and the sights we were seeing. We were amazed at the huge logging industry at work, and seeing ships dock in th e deep water port to load up on woodchips and sa wdust. The turning point for the tram is the World War 2 Memorial Tower, w

Cape Bridgewater

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From Portland, it was a 20 minute scenic drive to Cape Bridgewater. We stopped for lunch at Bridgewater Bay Beach, before heading up to the lookout for a better view of the 4km stretch of surf beach and to watch seals frolick in the waves. From the carpark at the Blowhole, we were greeted by the whoosh whoosh whoosh of the 29 huge wind turbines on the wind farm next to it. We walked the short distance to watch the waves crash onto the volcanic rocks at the Blowhole... ...before heading in the opposite direction to explore the Petrified Forest. The forest looks like uprooted trees turned to stone, but is actually hollow limestone tubes, eroded over the ages by rainfall. The strange landscape is made all the more eerie, by the Triffid-like turbines towering over the barren land.  Whoosh. Whoosh.. Whoosh... *nearby is Stony Hill, the highest clifftop on Victoria's coastline. Also, Tarragal Limestone Caves and Bridgewater Lakes. I'm adding them