Monday - On our way to Warrnambool, we stopped over at Port Fairy. Port Fairy is full of nineteenth century cottages, great Norfolk pines, old stone churches, boarding houses and inns that line wide streets.
We arrived in Warrnambool reasonably early, as the distance from Portland is not far.
This place brings back memories for Jim as he spent many Christmases holidaying here with his family at the Surfside Holiday Park where we are currently located.
The park is situated right on the beach and would have to be the second biggest caravan park we have ever been in, council owned and privately managed it literally has hundreds and hundreds of powered sites along with many cabins and cottages. The cost is $37 2A per night, powered, off-peak season.
We went for a walk into the city centre and came across the cinema complex that was currently showing “The rise of the planet of the apes” and naturally, as everybody does, we enjoyed two hours of a very enjoyable and entertaining movie.
The council has done a superb job in building a promenade walk that meanders throughout the sand dunes of the surf beach and allows you to walk, run or ride along a path stretching from Logan’s beach where you can view whales to the other end of the bay where a huge and very robust breakwater pier exists.
At the eastern end of the promenade walk, you come across a site called Granny’s Grave, equipped with a headstone and a genuine body, albeit only bones. The person beneath was the first white woman to die in Warrnambool back in 1848. I suppose her last wish was to be buried within the sand dunes I guess.
It goes without saying Jim and I checked out the local cemetery taking in all the wonderful and old monuments and headstones that you come to expect in the old cemeteries.
Jim and I visited the Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village built on the hill overlooking the caravan park. This is certainly a premier attraction and a must do if travelling throughout this part of the world.
Flagstaff hill derived its name from a flagstaff still standing today that used to convey ship to shore communications using flags.
Along side the Maritime Village, dating back to 1887 is the Warrnambool Garrison Artillery Battery, built to defend the coast against a possible Russian invasion, which of course never happened, otherwise we would probably be speaking Russian today.
Even back then, they were looking for reds under the beds I guess.
Intermixed among the Maritime Village and the Garrison are two lighthouses, an “upper” one and “lower” one. Vessels entering or leaving the port can safely navigate the deep-water channel by simply keeping the lights in line.
Now, the interesting thing about these lighthouses are they do not have lights anymore, they use very bright blue (LED’s) Light Emitting Diodes organised in a vertical manner providing a tall vertical shape light. Technology has produced 21st century lighthouses.
Tomorrow (Thursday) we are of to Lorne.