Melbourne is near, there's no doubt of my cheer
For my brothers and father draw near
Through the blustering wind, ice cold freezing black rain
I feel no anguish nor pain
I know that the day will be clear, and blues skies will appear
And I'll be back in my hometown again
We braved the blustery and rainy weather, here in wintertime Melbourne, and hiked the beautiful beach between the lovely little hamlets of Sorrento and Portsea. These towns are located on the Mornington Peninsular which is south of Melbourne in the state of Victoria, Australia.
If one thing could be said to describe Australia in general it would be that it is a land of magnificent sandy beaches. In fact the whole country seems to be made of sand.
Our gamble on the weather payed off as, although it threatened to rain all day, it merely drizzled now and then. I would recommend walking on an Australian beach in the winter as it is a completely different experience than its summertime persona. And one that is majestic and magical.
One of my favorite cities in the world is Melbourne, in the lovely state of Victoria. This day Julia and I spent our time wondering around the magnificent botanical gardens in search of the loud and whistling bell-bird. We did indeed find them and also encountered many exotic plants on our search.
After our time in the wonderland of plants and animals we headed across the street to enjoy the Melbourne Arts Center. We did eventually visit the National Gallery and drifted by its many artistic treasures. We also saw a production of Hamlet at the Performing Arts Center. We had a very cultural time, in this very culture rich city.
While visiting the modernist Federation Square we happened to come across the David Bowie exhibition at the Australia Centre for the Moving Image. We found ourselves immersed in the history, talents, and music of this amazing artist. This exhibition was well worth the entrance fee.
Every time Julia and I come to Frankston we hike at Cape Shank. The reason is that it is just so beautiful and you have a great chance of seeing Kangaroos and Wallabies. On this visit to this magnificent coastal walk we did indeed see these strange animals. They were at almost every turn of our hike. To add to our superb experience Bush Ranger's Bay was as wild and windy as ever. Cape Shank is such a lovely coastal walk, I highly recommend it to one and all.
We decided to go exploring the beautiful southeast coast of Victoria. Our first stop was the magnificent Philip Island. This small island in the Westernport Bay is host to stupendous coastal scenery and unusual fauna. The star attraction are the Little Penguins (formally known as Fairy Penguins). We braved the freezing cold weather and sat patiently on the beach as the overdressed birds returned home to their nests in the icy evening. But, penguins are only one of the many interesting animals on this atoll, we also spotted a pair of falcons and a little brown wallaby. Philip Island is a lovely place to visit and an excellent place to hike. The coastal views are one of a kind.
Continuing our journey to the southeast of Victoria Julia and I eagerly arrived at one of the state's most popular hiking destinations: Wilson's Promontory. This magnificent national park is a granite-filled, seaside wonderland. We hiked out along a rugged coastline to the famous squeaky beach and then climbed up to the top of the granite peak of Mount Oberon. Here we took in the stupendous vistas of the entire parkland. If you like to hike this is one destination you do not want to miss while traveling in Victoria.
Otway National Park
Julia and I headed southeast on our final excursion in Victoria. The weather was freezing cold, but clear for our drive from Frankston to Queenscliff, and Wye River. We stopped to experience the glorious beaches of Anglesea along the way. Then we savored our drive along the Great Ocean Road. This drive is somewhat like driving Highway One in Northern California only the Great Ocean Road is much more spectacular.
After spending a freezing cold night in Wye River, the next morning we hiked in the green rainforests of the Otway National Park. So magnificent, beautiful, and well worth our effort. After a day in the emerald forest we returned to Lorne and spent a much warmer night there.
On our return to Frankston we stopped in at the little hamlet of Fairhaven before returning to Queenscliff and our home away from home in Frankston. Victoria, what a great place to travel.