A rainy day gave us the chance to leave the beach and caravan park and check out the surfing museum in Torquay. For someone like me who's not particularly interested in surfing I really enjoyed it. Lots of interesting stuff for the girls to do including kinetic sand and giant snakes and ladders. We also took a drive to Geelong.
On our last night we had take away pizza on the beach. It was a great end to our stay at Torquay. Happy to report no break ins or esky stolen.
Pack up was a little slow this morning. Had some excitement tho when they shut the beach due to shark sighting. The police had their sirens on. Girls were very intrigued and probably slightly scared that they'd been swimming in the beach the past few days. Chloe was always a little wary anyway.
Onto our last 4 days of our trip at Lake Hume, Ebden. Weather is looking fabulous so we'll be able to work on our tans and do lots of swimming in the pool instead of the ocean.
15 November 2017
On our days exploring we've been to Bell's Beach and Lorne and visited the chocolate shop on the way back.
Clint and I have been to Bell's before but I don't remember it being so underwhelming. Great view but the beach itself is pretty ordinary. I guess when it's a different time of year the surf would be a lot better.
Lorne was a little disappointing as well. We've driven through it on the weekend when it was bustling with tourists but today it was quiet and the inground trampolines we were taking the girls to were closed. Luckily our next campsite has the same or we would be in trouble.
Still have been enjoying the beautiful scenery of the great ocean road every time we drive along it. I still can't help but feel I'm in Queensland here though. It makes me stop and think all the time where I am.
We've been traveling for 18 nights so far and today was the first day we were all a little tired and grumpy. So much better than what I imagined. Only 1 week to go 😩
13 November 2017
After a record pack up at Apollo Bay (1 hr 15 mins) we drove to Torquay. We had friends visiting from Melbourne so luckily we could check in early and set up. We had a beautiful arvo with our friends however Clint was afraid to leave our campsite as apparently the 2 previous nights the site we are on had drinks and eskies stollen from them (I guess that happens when you have beach access thru the caravan park and are beach front).
Torquay has been beautiful. We've had daily walks on the beach, girls have boogie boarded daily, swam in the ocean, outlet shopped, beachfront drinks, got our sun tan on (34 degrees on Tuesday) and done a few day trips.
After our first night of no sleep worrying about our stuff being stolen the rest of our time here has been awesome. We love Torquay. If only we could remember the name of the cottage we got engaged in here so we could show the girls. Still a couple of days left here to enjoy it. I really do love being by the beach
10 November 2017
The Otway Treetop Walk definitely put me out of my comfort zone.
It's the world's tallest treetop walk (600 metres long, 25 metre-high elevated walkway). It provides a birds-eye-view of the Otway ranges. I was terrified. I couldn't look down but managed to finish it. Clint and Charli loved it. Chloe and I not so much!! Glad I did it though.
They also do a zip line tour as well. Girls were devastated we didn't do that. I'm so glad we didn't!!
7 November 2017
Apollo Bay has been so great. Being near the ocean is so nice! The girls have been loving the beach. It's funny it's such a novelty for them. Makes you realise how spoilt we were growing up near the beach. We've met some beautiful families here which we've been socialising with. One of them bought a patio heater with them. It's been lovely sitting around it at night. Girls have had a blast too. Lots to keep them busy here. We also took a wander up to Mariner's Lookout which was a fabulous view of the Bay.
Yesterday was definitely the highlight of our trip so far. We drove along The Great Ocean Road to the 12 Apostles (only 8 left now) stopping at Cape Otway Lighstation along the way. The Apostles were absolutely amazing. I can't believe this is the first time in my life seeing them. Truly amazing!!
We stopped and had a quick lunch at Port Campbell then onto our next adventure at Otway Fly Treetop Adventures.
We left freezing Ballarat to make our way to The Great Ocean Road. No record breaking pack up times today. It was drizzling with rain and we all had a bit of a sleep in.
We arrived in Apollo Bay about 1pm so just enough time to be mostly set up and watch the Melbourne Cup.
It's still pretty chilly but no where near as cold as Ballarat. Looking forward to exploring the area. We had a quick drive through town this arvo to pick up some groceries. Looks like some nice shops and cafes. So looking forward to waking up to the sound of the ocean and feeling sand between my feet tomorrow.
Love that we can see the ocean from our campsite!!
One observation I have made at all the caravan parks we've stayed at is everyone obeys the 10/10.30pm quiet time. Even on weekends!! No wonder we are always getting complaints when we go as a group and stay up until 12am talking 😂
5 November 2017
Ballarat has been fun. Girls were really excited to go to Sovereign Hill. Not too sure why but they said it was everything they'd imagined it would be. We also splurged and did the dinner and show option. Which was a night show at Sovereign Hill (started at 8.45pm and finished at 10:15pm). I'm so glad we did it. Both the dinner and show was awesome. Clint and the girls were wishing we could've dressed up for the whole day. Think they should've been born in the 1800's.
3 days in Ballarat was enough time to relax at the holiday park, explore Sovereign Hill and have a look around Ballarat. It's been a quick 3 days but it's also been freezing. Wasn't expecting it to be so cold in Spring. I'm so glad we didn't do this trip in winter.
We are pretty organised for an early pack up although the girls have booked the swim spa at 8.30am in the morning. (The reception ladies gave it to the for free. It's normally $10. I'm pretty sure they were sick of them being in reception asking about it 😂
3 November 2017
We had a fabulous 5 nights at The Great Aussie Holiday Park. We met some nice families and had a nice relaxing start to our holiday.
We set a record for our pack up today (1 and a half hours) And we made it out of the park by 10am. That's unheard of for us. I'm sure we'll better that by the end of our trip.
We made it to Ballarat about 3.30pm. After setting up again we went for a quick walk to find some shops. Not too much around so we drove into town. I'm glad we are only staying here for 3 nights. I think the whole of Victoria's unemployed population live here! It's a weird place. We're already had to explain to the girls what derelict means 😂. And I'm really glad we came to Victoria in Summer. The overnight temperature is 3 degrees. Apparently they had frost last night!
Girls are excited for Sovereign Hill tomorrow as am I. Will see how good my memory is from when I was a child. I'm sure it will be completely different to how I remember it.
1 November 2017
We did a day trip to Beechworth today. Clint visited years ago when he was on a course in Bandiana. We'd heard how good the Beechworth bakery was for years. Today was our turn to try it. It did live up to the expectations. However I think I've had a better pie in Darwin.
We also walked around the town and visited a local brewery (Bridge Road Brewers)
We arrived back in time for the girls to swim and relax before cooking dinner and watching the sunset.
31 October 2017
We back tracked a little to stay at The Great Aussie Holiday Park, Bowna, NSW. It's a van park we've always seen on the Hume hwy and wanted to visit. So glad we did!! It's an awesome van park right on the lake. The sunsets are amazing. And they have lots to do for kids. Our kids have swam, played in the water park, jumped on the jumping pillow, fed animals, seen an echidna, rode on the Bmx track, played tennis and bball, checked out the flying fox and absailing, played ping pong, visited the boat ramp and found some friends. And it's only been 2 days. They have lots of planned activities in the holidays. I think we'll be back. Even if it's in a poolside cabin overnight.
The only downside was our hay fever. Between Clint, Chloe and I we pretty much ate a whole box of Zyrtec. Probably didn't help we were under a gum tree.
28 October 2017
First stop was to Marlena & CJ's in Yarrawonga, VIC. We've known them since 2002 where Marlena and I worked together in Darwin. We love visiting them. They live walking distance to Mulwala Lake and they have a great size back yard. It feels very countryish.
Marlena decided to show us around the area this time and I've always wanted to visit Brown Brother's Winery. It's only 30 minutes from their house. So glad we decided to go there. They've thought of everything. It's a beautiful cellar door. They have kids play equipment, lots of outdoor area for the kids to play, outdoor seating where you can buy food and wine and sometimes bands play there. We spent hours there. And as an added bonus CJ's dad works there and got us staff discount on our wine purchases. Winning!!
On the way home we stopped in at Campbell's Winery too. They too loved the kids being there and gave them a treasure hunt to do. Who would've thought wineries were just for adults 😀.
Loved our 2 days with the Wilson's
Today we left Canberra to go on our month long holiday touring around NSW and VIC. We really missed our van in the UK and thought while Clint can take some long service leave we may as well explore our own country as well.
It's become our tradition as we pass Gundagai to sing 'On The Road to Gundagai'. Charli is never very impressed but Chloe always asks for more Aussie songs. Especially 'beer with Duncan'. I love that the girls enjoy these songs as much as we did growing up (I think Charli secretly likes them too but tries to be cool!)
I wonder how long it will take us to get sick of setting up and packing our van.