Thursday, October 13, 2011

Holidaying With Friends (part two)

This is a continuation of the previous post.  As before, if you click on each photo, it will enlarge it.

The Trip Home ...

On Friday 7th October, 8am, we departed Goolwa, South Australia, for our journey home.  We had planned to do some detours along the way, overnighting 2 nights, to arrive home on Sunday.

We stopped for morning tea at a place along the Limestone Coast, called Salt Creek ... interesting little roadhouse, staffed by a young woman who was backpacking her way around the country.

We then headed down to the beach.

From there on, we got back on the highway, going through Kingston S.E., the home of the Big Lobster.

We then headed into Robe for lunch, and a visit to the Information Centre, where we got some maps and information in order to do some beach / sand dune driving.  We chose to do the our trip through the Little Dip Conservation Park.  The guy in the information centre said there wouldn't be much actual beach driving ... well, he was wrong, there was, and it was fun.

After this, we headed to Beachport, where we overnighted.  We explored, and had dinner, which we had made that morning in the Thermal Cooker ... what we had made as a stew, due to all the shaking around in the car, turned out to be a soup ... but yummy nonetheless !!!

Next morning, another 8am start, we departed Beachport and headed to Mount Gambier.  We wanted to explore a couple of particular attractions that we had heard so much about.

Firstly, the Umpherston Sinkhole ...

After this, we headed out to the Blue Lake ... apparently it becomes much brighter blue during the warmer months, but we were impressed with the blue it was at the time.

From here we went into the centre of town, where the Cave Gardens were situated.

We decided we'd seen enough of Mount Gambier for the time being ... we will make another trip there some time in the future ... we needed to get moving.

Next stop was the Princess Margaret Rose Caves, just over the SA/Victorian Border.  They were amazingly beautiful caves, and it was a bonus that we didn't need to stoop over to enter them (just climb down a bunch of stairs, and, unfortunately, back up those darn stairs to get out again !!).

Then we headed back out to the coast, and visited Cape Bridgewater.  There was a huge windfarm there, which had me totally fascinated.  Those windmills are huuuuuge, and they make the most awesome humming noise as they spin !!!

We headed down to the Petrified Forest ...

Then over to the Blowhole Rocks area ...

From here we thought we'd better skedaddle, as it was getting late-ish, and we still had to find somewhere to stay ... we headed to Portland.  We found lovely accommodation, reasonably priced, settled in briefly, then headed to the pub for dinner.

Next morning, Sunday 9th October, was our last morning, and we were aiming to explore the Great Ocean Road briefly, before heading home.

First stop, Bay of Islands ...

Then London Bridge ...

Next was The Arch ...

Then into Port Campbell, where we visited another Visitors Information Centre (you know, there are always wonderful knick-knacks and souveniers to purchase in these places, along with all the free information and pamphlets you can acquire !).

The coastline along the Great Ocean Road is just spectacular ... my photos don't really do it justice.

Next was the Loch Ard Gorge ...

From here, we headed a little bit further down the road to see the Twelve Apostles (there are no longer 12 of them, only 8, I think).  Seems that the only way you can see them now is via a very touristy visitors centre, which more than likely demands payment to walk through it, then through a tunnel under the road, and out to a viewing platform.  We didn't have time to fight our way through the hordes of tourists that were there, and we thought that we could glimpse them further down the road.  Sigh, this wasn't the case, they were in a cove we couldn't see from where we could get in.  We will have to make another trip out this way, just to see them (I have never seen them, and have always wanted to).

From here, we headed to Apollo Bay for a quick lunch on the run, then headed inland to make a bee-line for home.  We finally arrived home at about 5.30pm.

We drove 2,611 kilometres in our car (plus another 700+ in Jack & Melinda's car on Kangaroo Island), and fortunately had no car problems.

We had a wonderful holiday, very full-on ... we were all exhausted by the end of it.  But it was worth it.  We saw some amazing places, and have decided that we want to go back and spend more time in a few of them at a later date (in particular, around the Robe area, to do some more sand driving !).

I would like to thank Jack and Melinda for their company ... they are both awesome people, and I couldn't think of anyone else I would have wanted to share this holiday with.

Anyway, enough for now ... I'm sure you are all sick of reading and looking at my pictures.  Thank you, though, if you have perservered this far.  I appreciate that you have taken the time to enjoy our holiday.

Looking forward to our next holiday ...

Take care,


Melinda said...

Connie that was great I have pinched your story for something I plan on working on over the next couple of days, I will change it maybe in a few places to make it fit in with what I am doing ! I hope you don't mind. Once again thanks heaps for asking us to join you we had a fantastic time even though as you said it was an exhausting holiday but hey just think of all the great places and sights we have seen ! Just look at your fantastic photos.

Peter said...

Hi Connie, welcome back sure sounds like a great trip.
You must be an inspiration as both Melinda and I have stolen from you... I've put the "Holties House began" dodah on my blog... thank you.

Gina E. said...

Great pics Connie! Ken and I did a similar trip many years ago (like about 30 years ago) and your photos brought back a lot of memories!

Jean-Luc Picard said...

That was a great detour. You knew what everything was. I can never remember!

Merle said...

Dear Connie ~~ Another great post with your lovely photos. I do agree
with you that there is something spectacular and beautiful all over
this wonderful country of ours. I am
so glad that you all enjoyed seeing so much - the beautiful blue lake at Mt.Gambier, the Caves, the wind farms which must be huge and all the other places you went to. The Great Ocean Road is more familar to me as my daughter and her husband have a dairy farm at Princetown and it backs on to the Great Ocean Rd.
So I have seen London Bridge before it broke, and The Lock Ard
Gorge etc etc. Loved it, and I have so enjoyed your posts and I didn't steal a thing Connie.
Thanks for sharing with us.
Love, Merle.

Meow (aka Connie) said...

Melinda ... thanks, and you are welcome ... after all, it was your holiday too !!

Peter ... thank you ... I have had that ticker doodah on my blog for years, I'm surprised it still works.

Gina ... thanks ... I'm glad it bought back memories, you'll have to show me some of your photos next time I'm over !!

Jean-Luc ... thank you ... I always keep notes on where we've been, in order, so I can put together a fairly accurate summary later, and match up the photos !!

Merle ... thank you, and you are welcome to steal or borrow anything you like !!!