We left home 630pm Thursday night, driving 3 and half hours to Gundagi . We arrived at Morleys Creek rest area at 10pm
630am we were up and on our way by 7am , heading for Mt Gambia South Australlia. The drive was long and fairly easy with some amazing scenery along the way, the only trouble we had was the navman took us on a detour, around in circles for a few kilometers. We arrived in Mt Gambier show ground at 7pm our camp for the night.
Up early we took a short drive to Umpherston Sinkhole, wow! This is amazing the local council have really done a great job turning this huge sink hole into a beautifully stunning lush green garden, we wandered down to the bottom of the sinkhole amazed by its size and sheer beauty.
Next stop was the Garden Caves which is in the center of town, another sink hole turned into a garden, we thought it was nice but not as nice as Umpherston Sinkhole. The locals told us there is a waterfall when it rains, I’m sure that would look extremely impressive. Next stop was the Blue Lake which is in a volcano crater, the lake was amazing and so blue, which only occurs between November to March and is also Mt Gambiers water supply.
We drove out of Mt Gambier towards Port Macdonnell , 11km out of Mt Gambier there is a pub on the left called Bellum Hotel on the right is a Mount Salt Road, We drove 3.5 km along this road to see Little Blue Lake, which is a smaller sinkhole, here you can swim, but the lake can get blue green algae so be careful. We headed back to the to Port Macdonnell road and soon took a left turn to checkout Mount Schank another old volcano. Back to the main road and onto Port Macdonnell , we drove along the coastal scenic drive stopping along the way to explore this amazing coast line and some stunning beaches and Cape Northumberland South Australia’s most southerly point. There is also a penguin colony that make the cape their home, sadly with the extremely strong wind we didn’t get a chance to see the penguins.
We headed a kilometer inland to a Clarke Picnic Reserve to have a look and some lunch. After lunch we drove easterly direction checking out the coast and looking for a camp site. 8 mile creek is a free camp, most of this area is over grown knee deep grass, but its a great spot right on the beach. We took another detour slightly inland to checkout Ewens Ponds. We decided to head back Clarke Picnic Reserve to escape the strong wind and make camp for the night.
We left the camp early and headed west to have a look at Blackfellers Cave, Pelican Point and Carpenters Rock, we explored some bays and beaches along the way and had lunch. After lunch we made our way back to Mt Gambier to stock up on supplies and fuel and started our drive to Nelson in Victoria. Along the way we stopped at Piccaninnie Ponds to have a look around which didn’t look much to me but Trish assured me it was great underwater as she has dived here.
Once we reached Nelson we explored the beach and its bay and found Kyong Caravan Park, $23 for an unpowered site, we pretty much had a huge area to ourselves. Time to relax and have dinner a few beers by the fire pit and watched the kangaroos punch on and a short nosed bandicoot rummage around in the bushes.
We got ourselves ready and drove out to Princess Maragret Rose Caves and spotted 5 emus along the way, we arrived at 1030 am and the tour started at 11am cost $17 concession and $20 full price. Lucky for us we were the only 2 on the tour, we spent 40 minutes inside the cave which was amazing , there is 68ish steps in and out of the cave, puff puff !
After the caves we drove back to Nelson and had lunch in the park by the river and the tourist information office, and a quick walk to checkout the boat sheds along the river.
Back in the van and we headed for Portland , but took a detour to Mt Richmond to search for koalas, Trish spotted 3 koalas 2 high in the tree and 1 about head high but he soon took off up the tree.
We made it to Portland and had a drive around checking out the harbour and Portland lighthouse. Then we took a drive to Cape Nelson to checkout a few look outs and see the lighthouse. We were amazed how big and noisy the giant wind mills were. By the time we got back to Portland we decided to spoil ourselves with a yummy Thai dinner at Lemon Grass, excellent food and service.
We stayed at Henty Park an RV park just behind the tram depot.
By 8am we were sipping a hot cuppa at the harbour, Trish wanted to drive out along the break wall to have a look. Then we set off to Cape Bridgewater to checkout the petrified forest, blow hole and walk to the seal colony. By the time we reached the car park it had started to sprinkle , we slipped on our jackets and set off to look at the petrified forest which is about 200 meters from the car park, we snapped a few photos and the rain came down harder. So we headed for the car and back to Bridgewater. To grabbed a cuppa at the cafe and watched the ocean for awhile . The sky looked like it was breaking up a little so we headed back to look at the petrified forest again, lucky for us the rain had stopped. This place was amazing, it was like being on another planet we wandered around just taking in the unusual rock formations . We then walked about 400 meter to the blowhole. We decided not to do the 4km return trip to see the seal colony as the weather was getting bad again.
Onto our next destination we drove 60km to our next camp at Killarney Caravan Park at Killarney.
We left Killarney and headed Tower Hill and then onto the Great Ocean Road, stopped in a Bay of Islands, Bay of Martyrs, The Grotto , and a few of the smaller bays. We headed for our camp for the night at Princetown Recreation and Campground and had an early dinner. At 5pm we headed back the few kilometers to see the Loch Ard Gorge (after the bus loads have gone) then to the 12 Apostles for that sunset photo.
We left Princetown and also left the Great Ocean Road at Lavers Hill and headed to Beech Forest to see Triplet Falls. The walk is a 2km round circuit walk with lots of steps through some amazing rainforest, when we finally saw the falls we were a little disappointed at the view but as we walked further up the view got better. We had lunch in the picnic area, which had long drop toilets and picnic tables.
Our next stop was Hopetoun Falls which was about a 10km drive , once at the falls its a 1km walk down the steps and a short board walk to an absolute amazing waterfall, the walk out really works your legs. We continued along this road which made a great detour from the Great Ocean Road. We reached Apollo Bay and stocked up on a few supplies and headed along the Great Ocean Road to Kennetts River Caravan Park. We parked the van and went for a walk around spotting koalas, once back at the camp we set up had dinner and sat in front of the fire enjoying a beer.
We left the caravan park at 11am and made our way to Hanging Rock at Woodend in the Macedon Ranges, it is a $10 entrance fee. We did the summit walk which was fairly easy, it was very enjoyable exploring all the rock caves, passage ways and great views. I felt a little uneasy here, and we both commented that the rocks seemed to contain faces.
We headed for Kyneton, and checked out the free camp and decided to go onto to Bendigo grab a hotel room and a little luxury for Trish’s birthday. Dinner was at Bunja Thai restaurant which was very yummy and great service.
We check out of the room and headed off to The Deborah Gold Mine, for a tour which took us 62 meters underground of the township Bendigo, the tour was great our guide was very informative.
After the mine tour we took a ride on a Bendigo tram through the town and a quick tour of the tram terminal.
Junee was our next stop which is about 4 and half hours away. Our camp for the night is Junee Golf Club.
We set out to explore Junee a little more, our first stop was the Licorice and Chocolate Factory, to stock up on some yummy chocolate. We grabbed a cuppa and wandered around the weekend market and the owners ford car collection. Our next stop was Monte Cristo an old homestead that is said to be haunted, as we walked around we both felt a little uncomfortable. They also have an extensive collection of antiques of all kinds. Our last stop of the day was the Round House, a railway museum that has a nice collection of engines and carriages. Then came time for the 5 hour drive home.