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  • Day121

    Daylesford - “All aboard”

    February 9, 2020 in Australia ⋅ ☁️ 22 °C

    We were lent a car to go exploring, so set off to Daylesford Market. Actually the market was less like a produce and craft market and more like a large car boot sale. However, it enabled us to buy Kerry a pink rose called “Forget Me Not” with proceeds going to the Alzheimer’s Society.

    Daylesford also has a rail line that runs to Bullarto and is kept going by volunteers. unfortunately it does not run steam locomotives but we fancied a trip and bought to return tickets. The “clickerty clack” of the wheels was quite soothing and evoked memories of train journies taken in my childhood before lines were laid with seamless joints.
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  • Day137

    The Twelve Apostles

    February 25, 2020 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C

    A “must see” stop along the great ocean road, these sandstone pillars were originally called “sow and piglets”

    “What are now universally known as the Twelve Apostles were originally named, “The Sow and Piglets.” The Sow was Mutton Bird Island, which stands at the mouth of Loch Ard Gorge, and her Piglets were the 12 Apostles.” “An English man, George Bass named the The Sow And The Piglets in January 1798 . Charles La Trobe’s map dated 1846 also shows them as the Sow and Piglets, and included a lot more than 12 stacks, including lots of smaller ones”. “When they were christened the 12 Apostles by Victorian tourism in the 1920s, there were only nine in the cluster. Now there’s eight. ... There are actually many more spectacular limestone formations along the wild coastline.”Read more

  • Day161

    The Grampians

    March 20, 2020 in Australia ⋅ ☁️ 16 °C

    We have spent a few days with relatives and we are now back on the road.

    Things have changed a great deal in a few days. We feel slightly removed from the whole event as we are not getting bombarded by constant messages about Covid19. Our niece, who has decided to quarantine her family, doesn’t think we are taking it seriously enough. Towns we travel through are certainly quieter. Campsites all have sites and cabins available. Different states are now going it alone with two states shutting their borders and others shutting schools which is against the federal government advice.

    In a few days time, if we continue to travel around, we may start feeling like social outcasts.

    I went out with Dale to deliver some straw, it’s the first time I’ve driven in a large lorry “King of the road”.

    Anyway, we are now in the Grampians and managed to get some washing done ✅. We are planning so spend a couple of days walking around this national park. There is hope that the weather will improve, having dropped from the 38C of last week.
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  • Day116

    Jacuzzi for giants

    March 1, 2020 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    The goal of the day was to visit the western coast of the Great Ocean Road and return again to the same campsite for the night. After a bit of a lzay morning we headed towards the rough coastline. The waves were very high and it was great to stand at plenty of viewpoints just watching them crash against the limestone cliffs. We saw some very impressive splashes that must have been tens of meters high. In some of these inlets or coves the ocean looked like a jacuzzi for giants.

    After some viewpoints we stopped in a Port Campbell for lunch. We parked with a perfect view of the local swimming beach. Personally we found it way too cold to go in ourselves. But it was a lot of fun watching others in the waves with air tyres and surfboards. Eventually we got really sleepy and decided to take advantage of having a bed in our trunk: we went for a power nap.

    Part two of the day consisted of more viewpoints of cliffs and waves. We actually also made it to the famous 12 apostel everyone talks about when bringing up the Great Ocean Road. It was expectantly very crowded and in our opinion not as nice as what we had seen at other viewpoints along the road. There aren't really 12 apostles anymore, it's more like 5 or 9. Not that this matters anyway.
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  • Day155

    Goodbye Bertha

    March 14, 2020 in Australia ⋅ 🌙 29 °C

    On Friday we drove back to Macedon through Melbourne. The Grand Prix is due to be racing this weekend but we drove past a large sign saying that it was cancelled. Life changes so fast.

    We stopped off and washed Bertha and then on Saturday we drove to Tallarook to meet Allan and Gaye. We found a cafe where we could park outside and look obvious, then went inside for a coffee. Allan and Gaye turned up a few minutes later so we went to hand over Bertha.

    The bank transfer took a bit of time because there is usually a $5,000 maximum for these transfers, but Gaye had been into the bank and increased it to 30,000. Unfortunately, no one had told her online banking. After 30 mins the transaction went through, but will take a few days to show up in Bun’s brother’s bank acc. We take some pictures and let them go on their way.

    Kerry arrived to drive us back to Macedon. Next task is to rent a car.

    We booked a Hyundai i30 for collection on Sunday with the intention of setting off again on Monday morning. When we arrived to collect the car we were told that it hadn’t returned yet, but should be back at “any time”. Another walk and cup of coffee and two hours later we drive off.

    We feel distinctly vulnerable in a small car. Yes it may be an automatic, have good a/c and cruise control, but we are about 3ft lower than we were in Bertha. The large road trains appear massive as they come towards us. Somehow, this isn’t a road trip in a small Korean car, should have booked the convertible Ford Mustang.
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  • Day153

    Agnes Falls and our last night in Bertha

    March 12, 2020 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    The deposit for Bertha has come through and we meet on Saturday to hand her over. Time has flown by so fast.

    We set off for Agnes Falls, but decided to stop at Squeaky Beach for a paddle as the weather was warmer than yesterday. Squeaky Beach is named becuase the sand squeaks when you walk on it. It’s also a great beach to learn to surf at. The poster showing a fisherman being swept away does highlight a big problem here. Some popular places have hooks bolted into the rock so that fishermen (and women) can secure themselves against being swept off by unexpected freak wave. Quite often it is tourists who disappear.

    Over the past two days we’ve become aware of horse flies the size of bumble bees. They stealthily land, bite and suck blood. The bite is really painful so the fly doesn’t get much chance to suck and is usually punished with death. The resulting welt remains swollen and itchy long after the bite. The number of these bombers swarming around us on the beach was sufficient to curtail our paddle and head off to Agnes Falls.

    Agnes falls was probably one of the highest falls (At 59 metres, Agnes Falls are the highest single span falls in Victoria.) we have seen, but, because the waters falls in a number of stages, maybe not the most spectacular. It was difficult to see the entire falls as there isn’t a good viewing platform, but it was worth the detour to see it.

    We decided to camp at Corinella where there is a campsite on the foreshore so we should be able to see the sun go down over the sea. On the way we stopped at Loch, famous for its pedestrian suspension bridge. We stopped and marched across it and then back again and then drove on; maybe not the most memorable stops on our holiday.

    The campsite is very small, only 4 sites and we are the only ones here .... except the “permanents”. We look over the bay and can see the pier in front of us. The boat ramp is just along the waterfront and a steady flow of boat trailers go down to collect boats, we hope it won’t be a too early start when they return in the morning.
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  • Day4

    12 apostles/Great Ocean Road

    November 17, 2019 in Australia ⋅ ☁️ 14 °C

    This is the home to the 12 apostles, several extraordinary gorges and on yesterday at least witnesses at every turn. 7 of the original 8 limestone rocks still stand out of the ocean 160 feet high. Also we visited a waterfall inland a ways, which required a terribly steep climb in the wet rain forest.Read more

  • Day106


    February 20, 2020 in Australia ⋅ ☁️ 16 °C

    Last night we noticed signs hanging around the hostel buildings with a warning for people that needed to go to the airport in the early morning. The president of Israel was flying in for a visit and that meant the roads to the airport would be closed between 5 and 7. Our flight was at 8 though so it didn't matter too much, but we did arrive quite early by taxi just to be sure. We had breakfast at an airport café and then waited for the flight. Then we discovered that while Fiji welcomes you with songs and flowers, on the way out they quite literally leave you high and dry. Right before getting onto the plane they stole everyone's water bottles, which was quite mean for a 6 hour flight. Unfortunately our 'window seat' couldn't put the smile back on our face either. But at 12:30 local time we landed in Melbourne, and after 9 days in high humidity and airco's we were able to breathe in relatively normal air, so that made us happy.

    The Melbourne Airport SkyBus brought us to St. Kilda, where we were picked up by Geoff, our AirBnB host for the next 4 nights. He's a friendly guy who also immediately made sure we'd get a transportation pass. Once at his home, we got a tour of the house and got to know that he really doesn't mind sharing everything including his guitars, books and food. Despite being very tired from the journey, our stomachs were begging for some proper food so we walked to the nearest supermarket through the rather nice Chapel shopping street. It wasn't hard to fall asleep after that.
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  • Day137

    Cape Otway Lighthouse

    February 25, 2020 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    “Cape Otway Lighthouse is the oldest surviving lighthouse on mainland Australia and considered the most significant. Built in 1848, the lighthouse known as the ‘Beacon of Hope,’ sits 90 metres above the pristine ocean of Bass Strait. Hundreds of lives were lost along this shipwreck coast – a sad but fascinating history which led to the building of the Lightstation on the cliffs edge. For many thousands of 19th century migrants, who spent months travelling to Australia by ship, Cape Otway was their first sight of land after leaving Europe, Asia and North America.

    The site of the lighthouse tells the history and why it was so significant. In short, ships left America and Europe, headed due south to “the roaring forties” (winds at latitude 40 degrees that are very blowy), skirt around Antarctica, nip north east up to south Australia through the Bass Strait between the south coast of Australia and Tasmania and then on to Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane etc. Getting through the Bass Straits was known as “the eye of the needle”. Ships had not seen land since leaving home, three to six months earlier and chronometers were not so accurate, plus cloud cover made using sextants intermittent. The gap they were aiming for was only about 75km wide (although the distance is greater than that, Kings Island sit mid way between the mainland and Tasmania. 75km was less than the errors that might occur over the time taken to get to Australia .... hence shipwrecks along the coast. After one wreck resulting in the loss of almost 400 lives, something had to be done, so Australia started on a programme of lighthouse building around 1845. Cape Otway Lighthouse was often the first site of land after leaving Europe or America, hence its significance.

    There is also an aboriginal heritage centre where we learnt about bush tucker, warrigal greens, lemonade bush, yam daisy and pig face. Our diet has now changed.
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  • Day107

    The Australian puzzle

    February 21, 2020 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    Before going on our world trip we left a goodbye present for our nephew Morris: a puzzle of the world. Australia is one piece of his puzzle, but for us today Australia seemed like a puzzle of a thousand pieces. The locations on our wishlist seemed impossible to combine within budget and time. We were starting to be OK with going a bit over budget knowing that except for Fiji we had stayed below the whole time. But the next problem wasn't far. We learned that single vehicle accidents were simply not insured with any van rental company that had an open office in Alice Springs or Broome before April. So that meant our original plan of three weeks Melbourne-Alice Springs and then three weeks Broome- Perth was simply not possible because Alice Springs and Broome had closed offices. Next we considered making it one big road trip Melbourne- Alice Springs- Broome- Perth. Then we learned that sealed streets between Alice Springs and Broome could very well be flooded until the end of March (explaining why most van rental offices there are closed until then). So if we didn't want to repeat our Fjordland experience from New Zealand, this wasn't really the way to go either. We ended up researching 8 different route scenarios with estimated kilometres and costs. In the end we had one favourite option: 1 week van rental to travel the area around Melbourne, a flight to Perth, 3 weeks van rental to do a round trip north of Perth and then a final flight to either Adelaide or Alice Springs to rent another van traveling the way to the Ayers Rock, Olgas and King's Canyon. We weren't entirely sure about the exact dates yet. So we decided to let it sink in a bit and have a nice evening walk to clear our minds after hours of tough research.Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

State of Victoria, Victoria, VIC, Vitória, Виктория