Travelling Australia
Wayne & Pam BENTLEY

Monday 25th April 2005 to Wednesday 27th April 2005

Monday 25thApril 2005

Who hijacked the sun??? Whilst 'One of Us' continued to count sheep and produce many Z's from the bed, the 'Other One' climbed out from under the covers long before the sun even thought about rising and quietly snuck about getting showered and dressed in preparation for the Anzac Day Dawn Service in Warrnambool.

It was only a fifteen minute brisk walk to the form up area for the veterans march up the the War Memorial so whilst 'One of Us' slept on peacefully, the 'Other One' made his way up to the form up area and stood around for a while. Then an old mate from the Vietnam days, Colin (Porky) Parker arrived and each recognised the other. From then it was just a quiet conversation about what had happened since we saw each other last. It was like it was only the other day we were talking together, not eighteen years ago at the Welcome Home March in Sydney during 1987.

The march was only a short one up the hill to the memorial where a brief service was held in the dark, just before the sun started to light up the sky. Once the service was over we moved in to the RSL Club right next to the memorial and participated in a few light ales, a 'Gunfire' breakfast and a chat with a number of other 'Old Blokes' about everything from the local fishing spots , the great town of Warrnambool and a few brief mentions of our past service. This all came to an end at about 8:30 when it was time to return to the caravan for a while before the Anzac Day Service March commenced at about 10:45am.

The Main march was well attended, with the weather being great for the occasion. Although not a huge number of marchers, there was a good attendance of spectators and well wishers, including a large number of children. The March, Service and Wreath Presentation was very thought provoking, particularly as there was a considerable number of children from schools present and three of the local high schools had students making presentations during the service. This is a day that should bring back memories to those who participated in previous conflicts and also a day for all others to reflect on the privilege of the freedom that we all take for granted.

After the march and service, 'Porky' and his mate spent some time in the local RSL club together before moving off to another hotel for a short time, eventually returning to the caravan at about 4:30pm where, after a short chat, both went there own way.

Whilst this was going on, the girls walked around the town and had lunch at one of the local restaurants before returning and relaxing in the caravan in preparation for the 5:pm drinks at 'Booze O'clock'. A great day was had by all.

After 18 years two old mates meet again

The centre of attention
Warrnambool War Memorial

Tuesday 26th April 2004

We woke up this morning to an overcast sky and a cool feel in the air, however by mid morning the clouds had gone, the sun was out and it turned into another glorious day.

With pre purchased tickets in hand, we went to the Flagstaff Hill historic village display that is situated at the top of a hill overlooking the harbour, ocean, and the city of Warrnambool. Arriving just after 10:am we had very little time to wait before being ushered into the first part of the display, which was a split large screen video presentation of the journey out to Australia on board an old sailing ship. This was very interesting and informative and given through the eyes of a passenger on his way to Australia with his wife.

Once this video presentation was over, we ventured into a large area with numerous displays, covering the 'Shipwreck Coast, many of the ships lost and a range of artifacts recovered from a number of the wrecks.

From here we walked out into the old village scenario which consisted of reconstructed buildings such as a bank, printing shop, school room,church, coopers shed, blacksmith shop and many more like these. There was a person working on stained glass window in one shop and there were some older women in period costume spinning wool and knitting in another, however most buildings were purely displays without staff in attendance.

Within the 'village' is a small lake which represents the waterfront and has a few boats floating on it. One of these boats is named Rowitta and is open for people to view this vessel as it was back in the early 1900's. We then followed the lake around and the girls returned to the entry point to browse in the visitors shop whilst the 'Other One' found another area that was a defence fort with large muzzle loading guns and a view right over the harbour.

Then there was another cottage that displayed some more artifacts from some more of the sunken sailing ships that hit the coast. It also has a section that was set up as the lighthouse keeper residence.

It was time then for the 'Other One' to find the girls and make sure they were leaving something in the shop for other visitors to the area. This was completed successfully, however as soon as we departed the car park, directions were issued to find the nearest and biggest shopping centre available in Warrnambool. Again this was achieved and in we went into several of the stores, including BI-LO, Brumby's, a muffin shop and K-Mart. Having stocked up with items to make sandwiches for lunch, we had to buy a Breville Maxi Sandwich Press to toast the sandwiches and also to keep up with the Pajich's...

With all this in hand we returned to the caravan where they were combined to make a tasty lunch, if it could be called lunch because it was after 3:pm before we started preparing it. The rest of the afternoon was spent on more domestic issues and a bit of resting in preparation for our attendance at Flagstaff Hill again at about 7:30pm to watch the laser show called 'Shipwrecked. The girls are not sure how they are going to manage to get through the night because this means that 'Booze O'clock' will have to be a very shortened version due to having to sit through the show after dinner.

The Bank Maam - in period costume

The waterfront - Flagstaff Hill

Wednesday 27th April 2005

Last night was our visit to the Flagstaff Hill Light and Laser Show called 'Shipwrecked'. This was in some ways similar to the 'Blood on the Southern Cross' show that Sovereign Hill displays, however although it wasn't as long, the laser show was far more sophisticated and could only be descried as brilliant, The whole show was very good, starting off with a twin video display on the journey out to Australia on a sailing ship called the 'Loch Ard'. This set the scene for the next part of the show which required a short carriage ride through the Flagstaff Hill village to a gallery looking over the small lake in the village. It was from here the last moments of the 'Loch Ard' after over three months without seeing land, then running into the cliffs of the Great Ocean Road at a location now known as Loch Ard Gorge.

We would highly recommend this show to anyone passing through Warrnambool at any time in the future.

This morning we took our time setting off from Warnambool on our way to Apollo Bay as it was only about 160 kilometres to travel. Prior to departing, whilst the girls made out they were waiting, the 'Other One' had a very welcome short farewell visit from his old army buddy, 'Porky' Parker, then we pulled out of the park by about 9:30am.

The Great Ocean Road between Warnambool and Apollo Bay is a magnificent part of the coast line that is made up mostly of cliffs, gorges and apparently a lot of old wrecked sailing ships that didn't quite thread the 'Eye of the Needle' into Port Phillip Bay.

We first stopped at lookouts for 'the 'Bay of Islands' and 'Bay of Martyrs before passing through Peterborough. Our next stops were at the Grotto, London Bridge, The Arch and Two Mile Beach before driving through Port Campbell. From here we went to the Loch Ard Gorge lookout parking area and spent about three hours. Although this included having lunch, there was an amazing number of visitors lookouts over a huge range of cliffs and gorges, including the cliffs that the sailing ship 'Loch Ard' crashed against and sunk, killing all but two people on board.

Next we called in to the Twelve Apostles but the sun was getting low by this time and it was difficult to see them properly due to the mist from the sea and the sun shining into our eyes. By this time we were running quite late as it was about 5:00pm and we still had around ninety kilometres to go to get to Apollo Bay and out caravan park.

The rest of the days journey was spent driving through some rather steep hilly country away from the coast and it was almost an hour after dark before we arrived at the caravan park. This was too late to get any website details entered and uploaded so we just settled down for the night and prepared for the second part of the Great Ocean Road in the morning. However although we were well after 'Booze O'clock' the girls still managed to get a good session in before it was time to retire for the night.

The Bay of Islands

London Bridge has fallen down

Last resting place of the Loch Ard