Nov 30, Dec 1 Second Valley is known as the gateway to Kangaroo Island with the ferry only a short distance away. The name is derived from being the next valley north of Rapid Bay which was the initial camp base on the South Australian mainland established by Colonel William Light in 1836 when he was searching for the site for the new city of Adelaide.
Nov 29 A short one night stop and a free camp at Langhorne Creek on our way to the bottom end of the Fleirieu Peninsula to catch the ferry over to Kangaroo Island for a couple of days. This free camp is a prime example of how good the Australian authorities are at providing free facilities for travellers.
Nov 26 to 28 Wrights Beach is a beautifully isolated beach just north of Robe in South Australia. At $6 per night it was great value for money, as it had lovely fresh rainwater tanks to top up the caravan water and even a loo. (Although it was our first experience of a ‘lime pit’ loo.) And this one came with its own supply of quite large spiders !!
The last 5 Kms to the site was on dirt roads so the caravan and car were in serious need of a freshen up and, fortunately, there was a car and caravan wash in Robe which served the purpose well. Robe is well worth the visit with great scenery and lots of history. Bob’s third attempt at Granny Sue’s soda bread turned out to be the best yet.
Nov 23 to 25 We settle down at the value for money camp site at the Mount Gambier showgrounds for a 3 day stay to check out the town and its history and surrounds. Mount Gambier’s location half way between Adelaide and Melbourne makes it an ideal stopover for travellers to and from Kangaroo Island, The Great Ocean Road or the Grampians, it is also a perfect destination for longer stays to enjoy the natural and cultural beauty of the surrounding region, the caves and sinkholes, coastline, rivers, lakes and wineries.
Mount Gambier has been the subject of much volcanic activity in the past. Evidence of this can be seen very close to the town, namely with the spectacular “Blue Lake’ situated in the crater of a dormant volcano. There are also may caves to explore.
We had a game of golf at the town golf club – very enjoyable course, although a little hilly to walk.
Nov 21,22 Portland is located on the far south-west coast of Victoria. It was the site of Victoria’s first permanent settlement back in 1834, with the town quickly prospering due to fishing, pastoral and agricultural industries. Portland is the only deep-water sea port between Adelaide and Melbourne, making it a major centre for sea transport of goods and produce from the surrounding areas. A large sheltered harbour provides calm waters for a marina, wharves and shipping berths.
Nov 18 to 20 We catch the Sorrento to Queenscliff ferry and head down the Great Ocean Road for a 3 day stay in Warrnambool. We stay at the local showgrounds. Again, great value at $20 per night. Having played the local course when we visited last year we decide to have a game at the close by Port Fairy club. What a beautiful golf course, right on the ocean with spectacular views. Of course, the wind blows a gale as well but that does not spoil a lovely experience. (For the Irish followers of this blog Port Fairy lies inside Belfast Cove).
The event consists of a one day event of mixed four balls at Rosebud Country Club, then the championships proper with 3 stroke rounds at 3 of the best golf courses on the Mornington Peninsula – Moonah Links, The Dunes and The National (Ocean Course). All the courses were spectacular but very tough to play. The Pelican Waters contingent did well with daily winners Matt Schlotterbach, Don Craig. Aileen Craig and Siobhan. Siobhan also finished as runner up in the Division 1 ladies event, a great effort rewarded by a golf bag and vouchers.
Nov 4 to 17 A short overnight stop in Seymour sees us arriving for a 2 week stay on the Mornington Peninsula for the Annual Australian Veterans Golfers Championships. We settle down on the foreshore at Rosebud right next to the ocean and close to town on a council owned campsite which is great value at $19 per night. The amenities are better than some caravan sites we have stayed in. There are a number of golfers attending the event from Pelican Waters and we enjoy playing some practise rounds and getting together for drinks and food.
Oct 30 to Nov 4 Leaving Nelson Bay, we stop for a night in Miranda (Sydney) to catch up with Siobhan’s best friend from Ireland, Sheila and her family. Our next stop is for a few days at Howlong on the NSW side of the magnificent Murray River. On the way we pass some interesting sites – ‘The Big Marino’ in Goulburn and a quite unbelievable site of a full size submarine in the middle of the NSW country town of Holbrook.
Howlong Golf Club is a typical country golf (and bowls) club that is extremely friendly and also helps travellers like ourselves with a cost effective membership that enables us to retain a formal handicap and veterans membership. Howlong is our adopted club and we enjoy a couple of games whilst we free camp on the Murray river.