Saturday, 11 January 2014

A summer holiday

We are going on a summer holiday to Warrnamboo with a little help from the Camps App we found the Warrnambool Holiday Park and got a booking leaving on the 26th for ten days, we will be putting the Memory Map system to work when do we some beach 4 x 4, we will have a bit of a trial run with FREE internet to post, should be interesting finding places other than the Big M. There will therefore be a delay until the next posting of our Outback Adventure

I modified the one draw, the small draw they had was a waste of space, I got the plate holders from Ikea and we will install them, works well.
The caravan is once again being packed, this time for ten days, so I guess we will be using the freezer which is normally used when we are on the tracks doing some 4 x 4

Thursday 26th December
We met for lunch at around 12 PM at the Highway Lounge situated at the Werribee on ramp to the Princes Highway, after a good feed we were on the road just after 1 PM  to Warrnambool a distance of 242 Km which is South East of Melbourne on the Great Ocean Road, we used the inland road as we have traveled the sea route many times and it would have taken at least five hours travelling time.  We arrived at the Warrnambool Holiday Park around 4:30 PM checked in and had to have our electric cables ‘tested and tagged’ something new at caravan parks, at a cost of $5.00 but it is valid for a year. This is a Top Tourist Park and the staff was most helpful, two of them were at our site to assist with parking the van and to show us the facilities, we have an on suite site which is very nice indeed and well worth the extra $3.00 per day. After setting up camp we had dinned and were in bed by 9:15 PM and asleep within minuets.

Friday 27th December
After a leisurely late breakfast we set out to explore Warrnambool, first stop was Logans Beach Whale viewing platform, no whale as they visit from June to September but still a great look out. From there we made our way to the information centre via a long detour, missed the turn off so visited the outer suburbs. An interesting info centre and shop, it overlooks Flagstaff Hill and the lighthouse, we did not think that the entrance fee warranted the visit so did not go in. From there we had a light lunch and then did some shopping for the necessary, then watched some cricket at camp. At 5 PM we visited the Night Market at Lake Pertobe which comes alive with a unique shopping and dining experience, there are many stalls with free live music, it is one of the largest we have visited and was most enjoyable and was a great evening out, it is well worth the visit should it be on when one visits the area.

Saturday 28 Dec. 2013
Today’s forecast is for 30+ deg but the wind is blowing so we are visiting Allansforf Cheese World which is about 10 Km out of town, across the road from the milk/cheese factory which
was established in 1888 and processes more than 1,000,000 litres of milk a day. Did some cheese tasting and purchased some very tasty cheeses to be enjoyed over the next few days. After a cup of tea we visited the museum, most interesting, they have the largest collection of model tractors I have ever seen from the very old to the latest, also saw some equipment that I remember using on dad’s farm when I was about 5 years old, I clearly remember turning the handle of the milk/cream separator!
It was now lunch time the wind had picked up and was gusting up to 65 K/h most unpleasant so we spent the afternoon browsing the shops, then back to camp for a beauts dinner of pork chops and salad then relaxed and watched a bit of TV before bed.

Sunday 29 Dec. 2013
Today our alarm clock was a flock of Cockatoo’s purchased on the tree next to our van screeching as if there were a thousand of them so there was nothing for it but to rise and shine.
After breaky we decided to visit the Hopkins Falls which is about 10Km from town, it is one of the wildest in Australia 90 metreswide and 11 metres high and if one is lucky Platypus can be seen at the bottom of the falls, we were not lucky. Hopkins Falls is called Thangang-poonart in the Kirre Whurung language which translates to ‘eels bite the stone’.
From there we returned via the scenic route, large herds of milk cows dotted the country side letting one know that you are in dairy land. It must have been a good year for the farmers judging by the number of hay bales in the fields. We stopped off to have a look at
‘granny’s grave’, it is situated high up a hill right on the beach with a excellent view of the bay, a beautiful final resting place. The writing on the head stone was very difficult to read but we made out: In loving memory of M. Ruddlestone buried in 1848 the first white woman buried in Warrnambool. Erected in1904 by the Town Council.
We spent the afternoon on the beach and played in the shallows with the young grand kids, found out that I did not use enough sun-screen when we returned to camp and had a shower! So ended another enjoyable relaxing day.

Monday 30 Dec 2013
Well I finally did it this morning, I locked the key in our on-suite and had to wait until the office opened at eight to get the spare so we could shower.
After a late breaky we decided to trundle down to Port Fairy about 30 Km down the coast, nothing much on there, it was a fishing village in days gone by, we trundled around the town then stopped at Clonmara Tearoom for a delicious lunch then back to our camp site to prepare for some 4x4ing tomorrow at Portland tomorrow, so it will be early to bed as we will be up at 5AM

Tuesday 31 Dec 2013
Up early, had a good breaky and on the road by 7:30 AM, first stop the Big M for Nathan and Maryleen to have brekkie then on the road to Portland which is about 110 Km, I had marked 
the route on Memory Map as per the Portland Dune Buggy Club’s instructions on their web page which in my opinion were rather inadequate. I entered the address on the Garmin but not having a number entered the first, no problem it showed the turnoff at the first garage – just what we needed to fill up @ $1.60 ! ouch! We then continued to Telegraph Road as per the Garmin, turns out we needed the end of the road so had a pleasant drive on the edge of the mount Richmond National Park (there looks to be a few tracks in there that could be fun) and finally found my marker at the turn off to Swan Lake where the Dune Buggy Club is located. About a kilometre from the Club we came across a Koala walking down the road, it continued on its merry way as we drove slowly past.
We arrived at the Club area at about 11 AM and the camp was just coming to life, to drive on
the Dunes you have to become a Club member at a cost of $50.00 for a four day membership! A bit over the top in my opinion if one only wants to spend a few hours there. Eventually we found the correct person, completed the forms and paid our $50.00, lowered out tyre pressure to 18 Lbs and hoisted our desert flags, then it was onto the Dunes and what a pleasure it was. We first went West and it was not long before Nathan crested a bit too far to the left and bogged in the soft stuff I had to find a way around so I could snatch him out – no problem the Terracan came to the rescue and we were soon on our way, we went as far as we could then turned East and headed back to the river mouth and onto the beach. Back onto the dunes and further East then a stop for lunch and continued for quite some distance then had to back to our start point as it was getting late and time to make our way back to our camp.
It was great fun the Dunes are very white with many soft patches, one enters a valley and all that can be seen in any direction is white dunes, quite spectacular. All to soon we were back at the parking area at the Club, packed the flags away and pumped the tyres back to their normal pressure then back on the road arriving back at our camp at about 6:30 PM after a great day out. I wish we had had more time to explore the tracks in the Richmond National Park but no such luck, I think it calls for a return visit – perhaps Australia day weekend?
We did not stay up to see the New Year in as we were bushed after a long day 4x4ing and were asleep by about 10:30 PM.

Wednesday 1 Jan 2014
Happy New Year!
We woke to the sound of rain, so decide it was a day to ‘vege’, just resting and did a bit of reading. Watched the T20 cricket, then to bed.

Thursday 2 Jan 2014
The weather was a bit better today so we decide to visit the state heritage listed precinct, Flagstaff Hill’s Maritime Village, entrance fee is $12.50 for seniors. It is set on 10 acres and shows how the pioneers of the 1870’s ports lived. 
On entering one walks through the Great Circle Gallery where one can read accounts of the many ships that went down on the Shipwreck Coast, in the centre the priceless Minton earthenware statue, the Loch Ard Peacock, Australias most valuable shipwreck relic. It was being transported on the Clipper Loch Ard in 1878 from England for display in Melbourne’s Great International Exhibition of 1880 when she ran aground, the life size Loch ArdPeacock was washed ashore in a packing crate just days later. We then walked around the village having a look at the Doctors house, Dressmaker shop, school, bank, sail makers and shipwright. We then climbed the Lady Bay Lighthouse which is still in operation, a great view of the bay and ocean.

View from the Lighthouse

After lunch at the Big M we decided to do the 200 Km Costal Village Tour taking in the Tower
Hill Reserve , a dormant volcano where a lake has formed, which supports many bird species and wild life, we saw a pair of Emus. Not far from Macarthur the road passes through the centre of the wind farm and one can get close to these monsters, most were still and there must be a few hundred, I counted fifty in one paddock.
We got back to camp had dinner then went to watch the sunset with Nadeen and family, a perfect end to a most enjoyable day.

Friday 3 Jan 2014
Overcast with a cold wind blowing so we decided to just walk around town for a while window shopping the veged for the rest of the day reading and watching TV

Saturday 4 Jan 2014
It rained last night and is cloudy and windy, our time here is coming to an end we leave for home tomorrow. Kathleen and Nadeen have decided to do some shopping so off they went. Once again it was raining (on and off) so watched the cricket. Packed most of the gear after dinner then to bed.

Sunday 5 Jay 2015
We packed up and left for home about 10:30 AM  stopping at Colac for lunch arriving home at about 2:30 PM. We did a total of 1,167 Km at an average of 15.4 L per 100 Km (best 11.6 worst 17.7) average cost $1.57 per L.
All in all a most enjoyable time away, rather sad that it had to end but looking forward to the next weekend away in March.

Until next time.....................relish small pleasures

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