Saturday, May 19, 2012

2010_12_26 Around Mt.Gambier and along the Great ocean road day 5

Woke up to a cloudy morning!!! 
And we had a good exploration of the old Mount Gambier gaol which is small but quite interesting!!!
This Gaol cum hostel is definitely one of the highlight of the our trip to Mt.Gambier!!!
The sinkhole and cave garden were the other highlights of Mt.Gambier!!! A garden in a sinkhole was certainly creative and unique!!! 

I was pretty happy that we made our way to Portland and to Cape bridgewater.
The big long stretch of beach was simply breathtaking!!! Wished we could stay longer, but the time was ticking, All the time we were racing with the clouds, trying always to stay a step ahead. The petrified forest was on the other hand so so, if no one said it's a petrified forest, I would have thought of them as weird rock or land formation, haha. I love Cape Nelson lighthouse too, haha, I guessed by now one can tell I'm a fan of Lighthouses!!!

There's many town to stop by on the Great ocean road, and my colleague has been bragging bout how she enjoyed Port Fairy, a quaint fishing town which was once a whaling port. So we visited this township though we kinda really didn't spend enough time there to perhaps appreciate the town much. But it's definitely a relaxing place and an ideal place to retire with your own yacht here. 
Warrnambool was just another bigger town where we stopped by for lunch and fuel. 

Pretty much from Warrnambool onwards, is where the Great Ocean Rd gets interesting!!! It's a long winding drive snaking along the coastline. We made our way all the way to Port Campbell and then camped at a caravan park in Princetown. 

Well, contrary to many beliefs and the great promotion, the twelve apostles was a bit disappointing. Maybe the sun light wasn't enough, but it was definitely not in its glorious days anymore. What you saw in most pictures and postcards were old pictures reprinted before more and more of the rock stacks collapsed. However, the Victorian tourism did a GREAT job in luring the crowds to come and see them!!! There were so many people and cars that evening we were there. I really wondered what was on their mind??!! 
Most people only join the tour or drive to see the twelve apostles and a bit around the area from Melbourne (~5hrs drive one way along the coast), which I reckoned is definitely great but the Great ocean rd has a lot more to offer than just the twelve apostles!!! Of course, you can't do it in a short time you are here unfortunately. 

However, we did saw a lot of other cooler attractions least promoted along the drive which my friend and I agreed is MUCH better than the twelve apostles!!! LOL. 
Among them are
Bays of islands, the Bay of Martyrs, the grotto and the London Bridge.
Don't miss these places if you visit the Great ocean road which are just a little bit further down than Port Campbell!!!
Oh, I must say that my pictures really don't justified well the beauty of the Great ocean rd as well as our JOY when we saw these spectacular coastline!!!

One of the smaller courtyard in the Mt.Gambier Gaol/hostel. At the far end is the entrance to a bigger courtyard which is used by the women.

The living room next to the little courtyard, free internet access which is just what we need to read the weather forecast. Here after dinner, I met a girl from Victoria?? and chat a long time...she was a bit of a troubled girl and her ex-bf in jail in Mt.Gambier.

Interestingly, here I learned tea can mean dinner too from her!!!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

2010-12-25 Around Limestone coast day 4

The limestone coast stretches along the southern coastal from Fleurieu peninsular all the way to Mt.Gambier which is our destination of the day. Pretty long drive all the way from Newland Head conservation park (bout 5 hours ish), and the highlights are mostly at the end of the road trip today. Pity that I'm not driving a 4WD, so we did not assess the rugged limestone coast which is said to be very pretty!!! 

There were two surprises for the day:

Firstly, I did not foresee that we have to cross the murray river via ferry at Wellington, and I was like "oh FCUK!!!" what if the ferry wasn't operating since it's Christmas!!! Luckily it's operating, otherwise we would have to make a huge detour to cross the river which adds another 1-2 hours drive. Got to thank whoever was still working during Christmas!!!

Another surprise was our backpacker hostel in Mt.Gambier, it was so much better than what we thought and we were invited to join the backpacker hostel's family Christmas dinner!!! He told me on the phone months ago, but to be remembered and invited was so kind of them. They know it's hard to find food during Christmas!!! How good is that??!! Free food, haha.

oh by the way, I must say my eyes were drooping midway, trying hard to stay awake, luckily nothing happened, haha. 

Dennis hut "window"

The popular surfer's beach - Parsons beach 
It's quite amazing to see how much fog were there!!

Walking along the bridge (causeway) to Granite island just off Victor habour