Travelling Australia
Wayne & Pam BENTLEY

Thursday 28th April 2005 to Saturday 30th April 2005

Thursday 28th April 2005

Overnight the wind came up and buffeted the caravan and was still howling through the caravan park in the morning. It continued for most of the day, only abating mid afternoon.

The first thing before leaving Apollo Bay Miss Bossy B. (Navman) was set up to take us to the caravan park in Healesville. We managed to get under way by about 9:00am and headed off along the last part of the Great Ocean Road. This took us up and around a great number of mountain sides on steep and reasonably narrow road with brilliant views out over the ocean.

We continued along this scenic highway through Lorne, Aireys Inlet and Anglesea before turning North just prior to Torquay to get onto the M1 highway through Geelong, on the way to Melbourne.

Once we reached Melbourne we left it up to Miss Bossy B to show us the way, so she took us over the Westgate Bridge before ordering us into the City of Melbourne. We found ourselves in Bourke Street whilst towing a 25 foot caravan behind the Patrol. We are not sure if she really knew what she was doing but we followed her instructions (at times with difficulty) and eventually found ourselves coming out on the east side of the city on the Eastern Freeway with 'One of Us' only 'almost' a nervous wreck and the 'Other One' having survived one woman's voice (Miss Bossy B) telling him what to do and the other two wanting him to drive around the block a few times whilst they get out and do a bit of shopping in the city centre.

After all that we arrived out at Healesville around 2:00pm after sitting in the Patrol non stop for about five hours. As we slid ourselves out of the vehicle at the Caravan Park Office, the owner waltzed out of the building and welcomed us just like old friends. We had booked in previously but the service and friendly welcome was second to none. He walked us to our site and provided blocks to level the caravan on the site and offered anything else we may need.

Once we settled in the afternoon was spent getting the last two days of information together and photographs on the web site. Needless to say the girls were quite happy to enjoy 'Booze O'clock' whilst the 'Other One' wore his fingers to the bone in the computer keyboard (and of course he wouldn't have had a beer while doing the web site!!!).

Looking along the Great Ocean Road
to Apollo Bay in the distance

Just another twist and turn
on the Great Ocean Road

Friday 29th April 2005

Another full day of winding roads, steep hills and beautiful scenery!

The first task undertaken this morning was to get the satellite dish set up as we hadn't turned on any Western Australian channels since we left home. This took a little longer than expected as we could get a strong signal, however there was no quality showing at all and therefore no picture. After some fiddling about getting the strongest signal it was discovered the receiver in front of the dish had turned in it's cradle a little. When straightened up all was fixed, with a great picture from GWN, WIN, from Western Australia along with SBS and ABC from all states of Australia.

Once that had been sorted out, we set out from the caravan park at about 10:10am but our first call was at a Mobil Fuel Station where the Patrol said thanks for more than 90 litres of diesel we took on.

From here we headed north on the Maroondah Highway up into the mountains and wound our way through some beautiful tall timber with views through the trees out over the valleys. This took us past the Maroondah Reservoir and on to a little village in the mountains called Marysville. Just out of Marysville we visited a waterfall called Steavenson Falls which is in a gully full of rain forest and tall trees. This is quite a spectacular location and very photographic.

After viewing the water fall we drove back into Marysville where the girls instructed we park in front of a Patisserie and they raced inside before the motor of the Patrol was turned off. Once inside we enjoyed a great meal with tea and coffee (the girls didn't see the wine list and I didn't tell them).

From Marysville we continued up into the mountains along another very winding road before turning off to come down out of the mountains into Warburton and then back to Healesville via many other small towns.

Once back in Healesville, the girls needed a shopping 'Fix' so we stopped in at the Coles Shopping Centre where the second most important item (food) was purchased, along with their most important requirement, more wine!

It was then time to rush back to the caravan park as it was almost 'Booze O'clock' (5:00pm) and that couldn't be missed or someone would have been in trouble and it wouldn't have been 'One of Us' so that only leaves the 'Other One'...

Maroonda Resevoir - Healesville

Armstrong Lookout - Mountain Lake Road

Saturday 30 April 2005

A cool start to this morning with the thermometer only showing 10 degrees at 7:15am and the sky was overcast, however it hadn't rained during the night. The girls had made up his mind that we would visit some of the wineries around us in the Yarra Valley today.

We left the caravan park at about 9:45am and headed West through Healesville and on to Yarra Glen. From here we climbed up into the hills (mountains?) to the West of Yarra Glen and wound our way through Christmas Hills and on to Sugarloaf Reservoir where we stopped for a visit. This is obviously a popular picnic spot when the weather is warmer, however we were the only people there on this cool morning. Whilst there we were able to photograph some red parrots that were enjoying a feed of berries from one of the bushes in the parking area.

After leaving the reservoir we made our way through Watsons Creek and then visited the Memorial Tower on a hill at Kangaroo Ground. This tower was built just after the 1914-18 World War to commemorate the sacrifice made by so many men. To get to the top of the tower it is necessary to climb many steep steps, however once up there the 360 degree panorama provides views from Melbourne City to the mountains of the Dandanong Ranges.

Next we turned North through Panton Hill and Smiths Gully before stopping in St Andrews to walk through a local weekend market. It was very difficult to find somewhere to park because there were cars in every available space prior to the town limits, in every town street and on the road out of town. As there were things to buy, the girls were off out of the Patrol before the 'Other One' could find somewhere to park. Once he had parked up, he then had to make the long walk back to the market and find the girls. It was a rather alternative type of market place and the smells that wafted through the air were not all from legal incense to be sure.... It was a little bit of a struggle to get the girls back to the Patrol after they had been standing there enjoying the 'atmosphere'.

On leaving St Andrews we wound our way through some very winding steep roads through to King Lake, then headed South along Melba Highway as far as De Bortoli's vineyard. Here we checked out the restaurant but found it was booked out so we were unable to enjoy their fine dining, however the girls did sample a touch of the white wine before we moved on.

Our next stop was at Henkells Winery where Judy tried to wheel away a large wine barrel on a trolley but then she decided it may not be cold enough, so we ventured inside the wine cellar and restaurant. Judy then shouted lunch for us all, which was quite sumptuous. Prior to lunch the girls test tasted a couple of white wines and liked the Muscat Traminer so much they had to have a bottle with their lunch. In fact there had been four bottles of it purchased before we left the restaurant.... It's a good thing that the 'Other One' was driving and only drank water!!!!

By this time it was time to head back to Healesville and the caravan park so the girls could manage to sleep off some of their earlier indulgences so they can start on the next bottle at 'Booze O'clock'. We arrived back at the park at about 3:15pm and the girls took it easy whilst the 'Other One' prepared the web site and other preparations for the last night we have Judy with us on this trip.

Melbourne in the distance - From Kangaroo Ground Memorial Tower - zoomed 10 times.

Where are the girls???
The markets at St Andrews

Lunch at Henkells Winery
Booze O'clock started at lunch time