On the road again, moving slowly towards Melbourne. The weather was changing now, gone was our glorious weather we'd been having for the past 6 wks & now replaced with grey skies, threatening to rain. This was to be a pattern now for the next 6 wks of our trip before we headed home.
It's early May & every couple of days a cold front coming from the Great Australian Bight & Southern Ocean would approach & go through.
Life in the open became a little unpleasant with us trying our best to dodge some of the lousy weather.
We had grey skies & really windy weather when we visited Inverloch to Cape Patterson.
The coast line along this 20 km stretch of road is magnificent. Armed with a map of the area, we made numerous stops to take in the scenery.
We visited this area again the next day when we didn't have the caravan hitched to the car.
The weather was a little less windy, but still cloudy.
We were staying at a campground outside Wonthaggi. It was close to a wetland I wanted to visit to track down a few bird species.
This was a lunch time storm rolling in from the south-west. This storm certainly packed a punch & later that afternoon our caravan was buffeted by 70km gusty winds for about 6 hrs, side on into the caravan. We were also camped on an open area like a footy field on a hill. Our sturdy caravan survived the evening & thankfully the winds calmed down enough for us to relax & go to bed, phew.
Phillip Island is separated by a small expanse of water from the mainland. The Island is relatively small at 26kms long & 9 kms wide.
The Island is also famous for the Phillip Island Circuit, a track for motorcycle & car racing that attracts international riders & drivers.
The Island has 90 kms of coastline, much of it quite rugged & craggy.
You can see the seas are flattened by the windy conditions.
Down the other end of the Island, Summerland Beach is where spectators gather daily at sunset to watch the Penguin Parade, when Little Penguins come to shore in groups.
The Nobbles outcrop is the viewing site for Seal Rocks, home to a large colony of Australian Fur Seals.
There are hundreds of penguine nesting boxes scattered around the area & you can see several here.
Seating for the Penguin Parade. Penguins also burrow into the side of this hill sheltered by low shrubs.
The tide was quite high this day, some of it whipped up by the stormy conditions, A rather bizarre sight seeing a blow up dingy in the middle of the street.
Our next destination for 9 days was a caravan park north - east of Melbourne so we could visit relatives & explore the region. We had a couple of hours spare on our 1st afternoon, so we drove to Yarra Glen, a wine & food growing region a little further north of Melbourne. We found 1 winery that Rod thought he'd like to have some tastings amongst the few dozen on offer.
We caught trams or walked around town to check on some of the city buildings.
Flinders Street Train Station
The Yarra River near the city.
St Paul's Cathedral
We decided to take another drive out to Yarra Glen as the previous time was short & rushed.
Besides the Chocolaterie, we also visited a Cheese Factory, another winery & brewery.
We found that the chocolate factory was wall to wall chocolates.
The desert was delicious....that's more chocolate on the right side :-O
Another day saw us returning to Melbourne city as we hadn't seen some of it. We wanted to see what the Victoria Markets were like as we'd heard a bit about them.
We checked out Lygon Street cafes as recommended by family which we found interesting.
In another street we found The Royal Exhibition Building, but it was empty.
Another day had us driving around the very picturesque Dandenong region. It was a beautiful day.
We walked a street in Sassafras looking at her very old buildings.
Not far away was these gardens.
These beautiful trees are Mountain Ash, I type of eucalypt tree. They are endemic to Victoria & Tasmania. The trees can grow to a whopping 85 m tall. They are mostly found in wet forests where the rainfall is over 1,200 mm a year. The trees can live to several hundred years.
We also spent a couple of hours walking amongst the flowering beds in this place. I love looking at flowers, so have shared quite a few here. I can name only a few of the plants.
Blue Spanish Fir from
Luculia from Nepal
Maidenhair Tree....Ginkgo Biloba from China
Gordonia Yunnanense from China
We could see a very hazy Melbourne city from a lookout somewhere in the Dandenongs.
A totem pole with an eagle on top in the lookout park
Lake Eildon is a popular holiday spot & we saw many houseboats at a marina.
There are several camp grounds also.
The Lake also has it's own Hydro electric station during August to May when water flow is released for irrigators.
The houseboats are quite popular for holiday makers with many available to rent out.