West of Melbourne
Gateway to the Great Ocean Road
Peninsula Touring Map
you leave Melbourne heading down the
highway to Geelong many people must wonder
what all the fuss is about.
landscape is flat, usually dry, with little on the horizon other
than the diminishing skyline of the big city in the rear-vision
mirror and the small outline of the You Yang mountains on the horizon.
only highlight would be a visit to the Werribee Open Range Zoo,
about 32km from Melbourne, which is an excellent parkland zoo featuring
gorillas, giraffes, cheetahs, hippos, zebra, rhinos and lions.
those of us who know the area are excited by what is ahead - the
port city of Geelong, the Bellarine Peninsula, pretty and historic
Queenscliff, the western side
of Port Phillip Bay, the Rip and the Point
area freshens up your eyes before you pass through the gateway to
the magnificent Great Ocean Rd
that runs more than 300km to Portland.
is a lovely city built upon the waters of Corio Bay and the Barwon
River and is about the right size for a place to live in - about
is the second biggest city in Victoria and for most of its history
has been an industrial centre for the state.
can see the many fine brick buildings in the city courtesy of the
wool trade, shipping and being an access port to the goldfields
of Bendigo and Ballarat.
are plenty of good spots to eat in Geelong and when we were there
we had a really nice fish and chip lunch on the roof of the Geelong
Boat House floating restaurant.
weather was perfect, so was the food, and the outlook over the bay
Geelong we motored on down to Queenscliff,
which is a delightful town near the mouth of Port Phillip Bay -
a nasty stretch of water known as The
is quite lovely - lots of beautiful old buildings - and you can
catch a ferry to Sorrento on the other side of Port Phillip Bay.
you are campervanning or caravanning
there is a very nice place to stay at the Queenscliff Tourist Parks,
which is near Fort Queenscliff a brick strongpoint overlooking the
It is centred on a picturesque football/cricket oval and - if you
are lucky - you can hop over the low fence and have a bit of kick-to-kick
footy while you are there!
After an overnight stay at the Tourist Parks were ventured down
to Point Lonsdale where there is an impressive lighthouse.
the Point Lonsdale lighthouse
is a nice little pier where people were fishing from the end or
just strolling its length. You get excellent views of the lighthouse
from the pier and also get to see The Rip up close.
were there on a resonably calm day and yet you could see the wash
from Port Phillip Bay meeting the Southern Ocean in such a small
area of sea. I wouldn't like to be crossing it in bad weather.
Point Lonsdale we TikiToured through small beach communities until
we got to Barwon Heads and then sought out the Jirrahlinga
Koala and Wildlife Sanctuary.
two hectare sanctuary is in Taits Rd and provides a home for animals
injured in the wild. Jirrahlinga was born out of the fires of Ash
Wednesday back in 1983 where the forest blazes destroyed huge areas
of Victoria and South Australia.
is a pretty special place where you can get up close to Australian
are wallabies, kangaroos, wombats, tortoises, snakes, rosellas,
kookaburras, lizards, emus, a very fine looking hawk and the stars
of the show - koalas.
is a really nice place to stop and explore.
back in the campervan we buckled up the safety belts and started
on the next stage of the journey ... down the Great