The Australian Grand Prix
The Australian Grand Prix was on in Melbourne when I was in town. I had to go as I had never experienced Formula One racing before and I am so glad I did, it was amazing. You have to be quick to get a photo, I tried and got some great shots of the track!!
It was such a great environment at the track at Albert Park Lake, the weather was perfect. Even though I’m not a rev head, I really enjoyed the whole thing – the aerodynamics of the cars, the engineering, the speed – not a patch on the Rocket though!
I kept trying for that perfect shot!
There were F 1’s everywhere!
Then finally, I got it! The shot of the day!
When I was a teenager (not that long ago) I used to spend my summer holidays on a farm in Deniliquin owned by the Wragge family called “Yaloke”. My friend Al was having a party at the property to say goodbye as he was handing the farm over to his son just as his father had done to him. Denni is about a 4 hour drive from Melbourne. I was great to get up there for the weekend, enjoy some great country hospitality, meet some locals and reconnect with some old friends.
Family reunion with the Wragge family
Back to Melbourne and then up to the high country to Dinner Plain near Mt Hotham, for Easter about a 5 hour drive from Melbourne. Robbie and I had some beautiful walks amongst the snow gums.
Robbie and I had some beautiful walks among the snow gums.
A day out at the Geebung Polo at a property close to Dinner Plain was lots of fun.
I caught up with some old friends at the polo.
There was also a bit of clowning around with some new friends!
Normally it takes the average person about 10 hours to drive from Melbourne to Sydney. Luckily I’m no average person and the Rocket is no average car! So its about a 10 day trip for me, following the coast.
First stop, Phillip Island an easy drive through some pretty rural countryside and then to the coast. A huge concrete bridge connects Phillip Island to the mainland, about 60% of the island is farmland. Being an island there are loads of beautiful beaches, it was windy and cold but that didn’t hinder the surfing fraternity they were out in force, mind you in full wet suits, booties and caps.
There was no shortage of wind farms taking advantage of the ocean breezes.
Phillip Island is famous for its fairy penguins and San Remo for its pelicans but I must say I was impressed with the emus.
I had fun getting them to stay still for a photo.
From Phillip Island I followed the coast through Inverloch, Cape Patterson and Venus Bay towards the souther most tip of Australia, Victoria’s most picturesque National Park Wilsons Promontory.
Stunning coast line and beaches, Wilsons Prom is something special.
Wilsons Promontory Lightstation is perched on a small peninsula jutting into the wild seas of Bass Strait. It was wild and windy.
I stayed at a little town called Foster, where the local butcher ran the B & B and backpackers and met up with lots of travelers.
The next day I past through the port towns of Port Albert and Port Welschpool, I raced the rocket agianst some big rescue boats and navigated my way around the buoys.
Through some more lush farming areas, and hugging the coast I headed towards the Gippsland Lakes a vast area of inland lakes and waterways. It rained and rained.
I stayed at Metung a gorgeous little village on the edge of the lake. The main activities in this area is boating and fishing, there was no shortage of boats of all shapes and sizes and plenty of my favourite savage dolphins in a variety of different colours.
There were blue ones!
There were yellow ones!
“You have got to be kidding, the rocket doesn’t go over 70km/hour!”
The rocket and I slowed down even more when we helped out the local police by giving them a tow with their campaign board.
It was very wet and rainy, I followed the coast road where there was hardly any traffic which was great, covered a lot of kms passed through a lot of 3 shop towns and stopped at Mallacoota which about 10kms from the NSW boarder.
The Rocket ready for take-off.
There is a big lake about half the size of Sydney Harbour, beautiful beaches and friendly folk.
I spent the night at the pub and when I woke up the next day the sun had come out to welcome me back into NSW.
Crossing over into NSW gave me a feeling of amazing relief that the rocket had made it this far and an amazing sense of achievement, I have nearly made it all the way round this great country ours.
Past Mallacoota is the Cape Green Lighthouse and Disaster Bay which has a long history of whaling and boating, there were lots of shipwrecks on this part of the coast and there is an abundance of really interesting old cemeteries. It is incredible how hardly any one could swim in those days and therefore some many people perished when there was a ship wreck so close to shore.
The bay at Edrom at Twofold Bay – a big history of whaling in this area.
Further up the coast is Eden, the sun came out here for a little while when I passed through. Lots of fishing boats and tugs and the port is going to be opened up soon to cruise ships.
I headed north following the coast road towards Bermagui, 170 kms of coastline, with pristine deserted beaches where the only footprints were my own.
It was fun cruising the NSW South Coast
Just past Eden is a little seaside town called Tathra, a really pretty little town with stunning white beaches. I stayed the night at the Tathra Pub perched right on the headland with panoramic views of the ocean it would have to arguably be one of the best hotel sites in NSW.
Travelling through Bunga, Narooma, Batemans Bay, Mollymook, Ulladulla, Currajong, Gerringong, Kiama, a beautiful stretch of coastline to Woolongong.
There were a couple of board meetings to attend.
I stayed the night in Woolongong which was really nice. The next morning there was a magnificent sunrise.
Being so close to home it was time to reflect on my 15 months on the road, the great adventures I have had, all the great people I have met along the way and all the places I have visited.
Reflection – “Looking back so that the view looking forward is even clearer.”