Last day! We drove to Port Fairy for breakfast to start the day. Port Fairy is a cute little historic town with an unsavory whaling past. Nowadays it’s a tourist stop on the Great Ocean Road. The town has some gorgeous old buildings and lovely cafes. We enjoyed a delicious breakfast and took a stroll around the waterfront – around an island area that used to be home to an Aboriginal tribe.
We cut cross country to get back to the airport, stopping along the way at Tower Hill, an area that was formed by a volcano. We went on several bush walks along the crater rim and saw wild animals like emus and more koalas.
Sadly it was then time to head back to make our plane at Avalon. We had one last stop in Geelong to watch the sunset, then it was back home to rainy Sydney …
After breakfast we head off to Cape Otway Lightstation for scones and tea, plus a stunning view of the coast.
We then head on up the coast to Port Campbell National Park, where the Twelve Apostles are.
Along the way we stopped at the majestic Gibson Steps and then at the Twelve Apostles look out. The Twelve Aposltes were very beautiful, but after seeing so many photos they weren’t as impressive as the rest of the rock formations I knew nothing about.
I really loved Loch Ard Gorge (below), named after a clipper ship that ran aground nearby in 1878. We also stopped by the London Arch (formerly London Bridge until it collapsed while people were on it).
We drove out of the park until we reached our destination for the evening, Warrnambool. Nothing much to report here – it’s a great place to stop during whale season, but that’s about it. The whales have their babies right off shore, so it would be great to pass by again at the right time.
Today we planned a day of nature. We drove the long way to Otway Fly, a walk through the national park that includes a boardwalk through the trees. There were lots of people there unfortunately, which ruined the ambiance somewhat, but it was still a majestic walk through the treetops, looking at some amazingly tall trees and huge ferns.
For our first Easter weekend for just the two of us, we decided to drive the Great Ocean Road in Victoria. We flew down to Avalon Airport after work on Thursday night and spent Good Friday checking out Geelong (what’s with the weird peg people?) and then driving along the coast.
We had a quick stop at Torquay, then drove on to Bells Beach, where the Rip Curl Surf Pro was being held. We stopped off for a while and watched the grommet competition that was being run at the time. Next stop was Anglesea for lunch and a play on the beach, followed by a stop off at Airley Inlet lighthouse, which was used in the TV series “Round The Twist”.
It was then a windy drive to out evening accommodation in Apollo Bay. The road hugs the coast line so the whole drive is amazingly picturesque. Somewhere along one of the endless stretches of road we saw a few people had pulled their cars over and we standing around pointing their cameras into the bush. Being the stickybeak I am and always after a good photo, I pulled over also, and found that they were photographing koalas in the wild – right by the side of the road!
The koalas were sooo cute. Sleepy, grumpy little people. and they were really close to is – so close I could have reached our and given one a little pat if I didn’t think it might have gouged my eyes out for waking it from its eucalyptus-induced coma.
We spent tonight and the following night at a cute little BnB called Captain’s On The Bay – highly recommend.
It’s off to the National Art Gallery to see the Degas exhibition. It was definitely worth the long drive down! We joined a tour group and learned a great many things about my favourite artist.
Following the art gallery we took a walk around the Old Parliament House Gardens and had a look at the hundreds of roses that are planted there.
A visit to our nation’s capital isn’t complete without a trip to Parliament House. We had a quick look around, walked over the top, and stopped for lunch. We hadn’t intended to stop there at all, but I’m glad we did as I found it really interesting.
Last stop in the Berra before our journey home was at Koko Black, a chocolate cafe recommended to me by a work friend. It’s a Melbourne company and has yet to open in Sydney. I was a bit of a glutton and ordered way too much, but I wanted to try a few things.
I wasn’t disappointed that’s for sure! The ice chocolate I had was amazing and filled with two different types of ice-cream. Alec’s ice coffee was also great, and the ice-cream martini we shared was absolutely fantastic.
I can’t remember the full name of this, but it was a delicious caramel ice-cream made on the premises with coconut and chocolate and possibly something else.
After Koko Black we slowly drove back to Sydney … after an immensely enjoyable Canberra mini-break.
Alec and I drove down to Canberra to check out the Degas exhibition for the Australia Day long weekend.
It’s a loooong drive from Chatswood, so we drove to Warwick Farm Friday after work, and then set out this morning so we didn’t have to rush.
We arrived in the Berra around lunch time and went straight to the Australian War Memorial.
I found the war memorial very interesting – there was so much to see however, we ran out of time. A highlight was watching the lone Scot piper playing a lament at the tomb of the unknown soldier – very moving.
After a solemn afternoon we had dinner and raced to Telstra tower to catch the sunset. We were a little late and only caught the last light of the day, but it was still a great view.
Jan’s birthday called us back north to “Poo-castle”, as Alec likes to call it, so we went on a road trip that was adventure plus, but relaxation zero!
On the way up we discovered this amazing French patisserie at Lindfield, directly across from the station on the Pacific Highway. We were were driving north when we passed it, and decided to turn around to go back for cake, we didn’t think about how difficult it is to do such a basic maneuver on the Pacific Highway. It took us about 20 minutes to get back to the store – so note to anyone going here and overshooting the store, just park the car and walk back, no matter how far it is!
It was storming in Newcastle, so we stayed in most of the day, and head out to the centre of town for dinner. We didn’t book a table anywhere – BIG MISTAKE! Every single restaurant was packed, and the one we wanted to go to was booked out for the night.
Strolling back down the street we passed this little Thai place. It also looked busy, but being in the mood for Thai (or at least, I was!), we gave it a go. Even though this place too was completely packed out, they squeezed us in.
We bought a mango cake from the patisserie as well – thick slices of mango layered over cream and sponge cake. OMG so delicious.
Christophe’s Patisserie Francaise
364 Pacific Hwy
(02) 9416 3883
100 Darby St
Cooks Hill, NSW
(02) 4926 1229
Our last day on the tropical island. I hadn’t even had a swim yet so the order of the day was water play.
After asking around we found out that there was some snorkeling to be done off the pier at low tide, so we filled in the morning with other water activities.
Canoeing around the island. We wanted to paddle to the island in the distance but were only allowed to go in a certain area. Staff members on speedboats were at the ready to stop any wanders trying to step foot in the island. That’s one of the annoying things about Club Med, so many rules!
Under water. It was very cloudy with very poof visibility. I got freaked out by not being able to see anything and had to swim back to shore. I’m such a wimp!
We spent the afternoon reading and chilling out, then head off to the eighth hole on the golf course to watch the sunset.
With no obligations today, we were free to relaaaax.
I thought it would be a great idea for another bush walk – this time up to the top of the mountain on the island to admire the amazing view. It was about a 9km round trip, so it was a decent effort at exercise on another super steamy day.