Monday, January 27, 2014

Road trip: Day 2 - Warrnambool to Robe

We spent the morning of our second day in Warrnambool, a place that I know quite well as I grew up about 70kms away and my grandmother lived there after she retired.  I've never really visited in tourist-mode though.

After a delicious breakfast at a cafe (more gluten-free fare!), we drove down to the breakwater and Stingray Bay. I didn't appreciate before that Warrnambool has such cool place names (it also has a Lava Street). In the picture below the headland in the distance is Thunder Point.

It was low tide so we poked about in the rock pools and spotted a few small fish in the channel in the picture above. I'm living in hope of finding a baby octopus.  

Before leaving we visiting the Botanic Gardens, which were designed by William Guilfoyle just after he finished work on the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne. It's a much smaller, more minimalist garden - perhaps more a park than a garden - but it's pretty. It has some fantastic fig trees - check out the roots on this beauty!

Band rotunda

Willows and waterlilies

Then we hit the road for Port Fairy. Eagle-eyed Luke spotted this ace old Ampol sign on a derelict garage along the way.

I had high hopes for seeing plenty of ghost signs in country towns, but I was disappointed. Oh well. There were plenty of other things I could point my camera at.

Port Fairy is a charming little fishing town rich with history. It was settled in about 1839, although whalers and seal hunters visited the area from the early 1800s and a whaling station was established in 1835, the same year Melbourne was founded. 

The town has more than 50 buildings classified by the National Trust as well of loads of other cute little cottages and beautiful old buildings.

We strolled along the Moyne River towards the beachfront where we saw what must surely be among the prettiest riverfront properties in Australia. Look at them! No doubt property owners are forbidden from erecting ugly modern glass monstrosities. Good!

There was a lone pelican on the river fishing. I tried to get a picture of it scooping a fish into its bill, but this was as close as I got. Haha. 

We had lunch at a combined art gallery/cafe where Luke ate two of the fattest sausages ever made, and then we were off again. We had accommodation booked in Robe, so we had to keep moving.  We stopped briefly in Portland (the oldest European settlement in the state of Victoria) and then again to take photos of the windfarm at Codrington. 

Those turbines are massive and although many say they are a blight on the landscape, they really are an arresting sight on the horizon. The sign on the gate said 'No public access' but the gate was open we went. 

 Turbines and bovines

Next stop: Cape Bridgewater. It has a beautiful sweep of pristine beach and some of the tallest coastal cliffs in Victoria (which I don't seem to have taken photos of. Here's one. I've walked to the top of it before - it's higher than it looks). 

We did part of the walk to the clifftop, but it was well into the afternoon by now so we didn't have time to go the whole way up and back, much to my disappointment. (Note to self: on our next road trip, less driving each day = more time to explore.)

A shack at the foot of the cliffs

Back on the road, we passed over the border into South Australia. 

We stopped in Mount Gambier to look at the Blue Lake...

...and then kept going until we got to the little fishing town of Robe. We had pizza for dinner at a local restaurant - I had a gluten-free one! -  and collapsed into bed. I'd been having trouble getting to sleep for the couple of weeks before we went away, but I nodded off in no time for the second night in a row. Zzzzzz.   


Andrew said...

Great post. I am more of an eastern Victoria person and I really must make the effort to go west.

Dina said...

Beautiful photos!

I think the wind things look really cool.

The pelican has a cute/funny facial expression.

Sorry you didn't find more ghost signs.

Peter Mooney said...

Great pictures. Next time try Koroit for a few old signs, though it might be too late there as well by now.