While in Melbourne we headed down to a very beautiful part of Victoria to visit my cousin Liz who lives in the seaside township of Queenscliff. She had previously lived in the nearby town of Point Lonsdale and declares this area to be her favourite in Australia. Now I don't entirely disagree with her but in the dead of winter with a howling cold southerly blowing straight off Bass Strait it would be too cold for my liking. However huge waves pounding into the shore does offer a dramatic treat for the senses.
It is about personal preference but if you visit these parts regardless of the weather or time of the year it may be you are sure to be impressed.
To get to Queenscliff you travel down the Princes Highway and pass the turn off to Little River, which is where the hugely successful band of the 70s and 80s the Little River Band took their name from. Further on you pass through the second biggest city in Victoria, Geelong located on Corio Bay and the Barwon River. This place is home of the Australian Ford motor vehicle company and the AFL football team Geelong - funny about that. This is also the route that leads to the spectacular Great Ocean Road, we did this trip 2 years ago so I won't talk about it here but it is easily one of Australia's most picturesque and iconic drives.
Back to Queenscliff and our first day there the wind was blowing at about 40 knots from the south though the temperature was in the high teens (the wind chill made it feel considerably cooler) the second day was much calmer and a little warmer. Cousin Liz took us on a bit of a sightseeing tour which was a lot fun and very informative, first stop we went and checked out the Heads which is the exit/entry to Port Phillip Bay. One of the funniest sights and I don't think I have ever seen it before was the way some of the seagulls were laying on the bitumen in the car park. It was for two reasons, firstly to escape the cold wind and secondly to absorb some heat from the ground, I bet they are jealous of their QLD cousins.
For some huge views make sure you climb the Queenscliff Marina Tower, it gives you a magnificent 3600 view. Numerous period and historic buildings are to be admired and one hugely important landmark is Fort Queenscliff, there are 2 enormous gun barrels mounted out the front you cannot miss them.
On day two we again checked out the Point Lonsdale Lighthouse and Pier, a lone seal was playing around the pier and was having a ball. We watched him/her for half an hour and every now and again it would dart off to catch a fish, we were close to the beach and sometimes you could see the fish jumping out of the shore break to escape. Many years ago as a child my family had spent a couple of summers staying at the Barwon Heads Caravan Park it was nice to see that again after all these years, I had many memories of my time there. Every time I hear the song Judy in Disguise I remember playing on the Brendan Edwards trampolines as that was a huge hit at the time.
We also had a look around Torquay and when we walked into one of the shops there the lady in the store asked if I came from QLD, I was surprised but it turned out she was the Mother of a boy that played footy with my son in Noosa about 15 years ago. They had lived up there for many years but had decided to return about 3 years ago to where they had grown up That evening we again went down to the heads to watch a cruise ship head out into Bass Strait, it was at sunset and quite a spectacular sight.
I'd like to thank Liz for her hospitality and apologise for introducing her to My Kitchen Rules (a TV show) sorry! We had a great time and look forward to catching up some other time down the track.
Take care and Remember - it's nice to be important but it's important to be nice.