Sunday 27th February, (Adelaide).

One of our longer trips yesterday, 350k, saw us arrive at Adelaide. We could have easily stopped at other places on the way, like Kingston, Meningie, Murray Bridge, etc but we did want to get to Adelaide rather quickly.

We have re-farmiliarised ourselves with the area, and shopping centres, and when we have done the small amount of business we need to do we will think of where to next.

Linda made the comment yesterday just after arriving that “she had forgotten how nice it is in Adelaide”, and I admit I must agree with her.

I rang Diane and Gifford Harper today, met them at the Sunshine Coast last year, and arranged a visit for lunch on Wednesday. I sent them an email a few weeks ago and wondered why it took so long to reply, when Diane explained today that the day I sent the email from Warrnambool that they were also there, but in a different caravan park, coincidence eh.

I also chased up a Telstra shop today, there was one open at Westfields shopping centre, to get details on mobile broadband. The suggestion was to either return tomorrow when all staff will be on duty, at least someone who knows about it, or go instead to a different Telstra shop close by who will have more idea about what I want. That is tomorrow’s mission.

Monday 28th February. (Adelaide).

I am happy now; I have a new Internet access system with a new plan that gives me plenty of connection time and a high speed of between 300-600k. Already I have used about 2 hours playing, so when I have some large stuff to do I am going to have to keep my eye on the time. The new unit has a counter to keep an eye on time usage, but Telstra charge in 15-minute blocks, hence actual charges will be higher than actual usage. It is called CDMA 1X EV-DO, and it is good!


Wednesday 23rd February. (Robe).

We have now moved on to Robe about 100k north of Mount Gambier. We were a little disappointed with Robe when we first arrived due to us building up expectations from what we had heard about the place. There is nothing really wrong with the town; it looks like a fantastic holiday town with good beaches etc. I guess we were taken by the advertising we had seen about the town and should remember in future that advertising over emphasises what is really there.

We chose a caravan park close to the township so we can do a bit of walking around town while here and the car might get a bit of a rest. There are 3 parks in town, a big4, top tourist and an FPA, all about equally priced, so our choice was purely closeness to town.

We had our usual drive around town to familiarise ourselves and did like what we saw in the way of old buildings, beaches and such, but there does not seem to be much else going for the town as far as touristy things.

It has been a bit of a test for the new digital TV box here as the local reception is not real fantastic, the reception in some places just seem to have a lot of interference, and this is one of them. My information tells me that we are on the fringe reception area for the same transmitter as Mount Gambier so I tried it. Originally reception was good, but when the sun went down so did the reception quality of the digital, and would you believe it was only on the channel we wanted to watch. We will just have to put up with what is here I guess, but it was enlightening to know what to expect with respect to the coverage maps I have, but they are produced by the ABC and their coverage was alright.

Thursday 24th February. (Robe).

The weather in this area can be as fickle as that in Tassie as yesterday it was very hot with high 30’s and today being overcast, windy and cool.

I did my usual thing though and walked the town taking photos and originally thought even though this town has some old buildings, it is rather small and I wouldn’t get many pics. I was surprised when I downloaded the pics to find I had actually taken 98 pics, so there was obviously more to see than I thought.

I don’t know that there is any more to see than we have already so when Linda returns after visiting the info centre with any new info, if any, we may just have a restful time for the remainder of our stay.

I had some emailing to do this morning and the use of 1X proved to be the way to go now that they have reduced their price plans. I had over half an hour on the net for less than $2.00, send and received heaps of mail, and didn’t have to worry about time. I am becoming all the more convinced that when we arrive at Adelaide I will upgrade to EV-DO for the higher speed.

Mount Gambier

Monday 21st February. (Mount Gambier).

We had a trip around town today visiting the sinkholes and caves within the actual city boundaries. This area’s title of the ‘Limestone Coast’ was well demonstrated today by the sinkholes and caves. There are quite a few, and I dare say more than what we saw, around the town, the type of which not seen in any other town we have been. There is a cave, not very large, that has a couple of tunnels that are only accessible by diving because they are full of water. One of these tunnels has a cavern that is directly under the highway. The accessible area by foot is not very large, but gives an idea of the actual cave.

The touring today bought to light the system of sinkholes and tube-ways under ground that form the water basin in the area. The obvious culmination of the water basin is the lakes in craters on the southern side of town. It is hard to believe the water in the lakes is at the same level as the water in the caves because of the hight of the lakes, but they assure me it is, and it is logical that the levels are the same.

I am not sure I have done the right thing concerning a neighbour today, as he has purchased a Heyman-Reece hitch for his tow bar and I gave him some instructions on how to set it up. Now I think he believes I am an expert and wants me to help him set it up tomorrow. Not that I can’t do it, but I am now hoping I don’t stuff it up. We are intending to go for a walk tomorrow, so if he wants my help I hope he will wait until we have done it.

Tuesday 22nd February. (Mount Gambier).

The weather was fine today as well so we went on our other tours we had planned. We finally went up to the tower on top of the hill, but unfortunately the surrounds were a little misty so long range scenery was spoiled somewhat, but no matter there is always next time.

We are now packing up ready for a move tomorrow.

Mount Gambier

Sunday 20th February. (Mount Gambier).

We finally had a chance to do our first walk today, around Blue Lake. The tourist booklet said this was a 3.6 Km walk, but information boards at the lake say that the circumference of the lake is 5 Km, so I don’t know how they work that one out. It didn’t feel like 5k though.

This is a panorama I made of the lake, but it still doesn’t give the true effect.


The remarkable thing about this lake is that the water changes colour to a grey for winter, and this colour change happens over a period of as little as a few days.

I am presently having trouble writing anything as I am also trying to watch Tassie playing QLD in the ING Cup cricket final, and it looks as though Tassie has a very good show.

Tassie won the cricket, but for now I think this will be all for now.

Mount Gambier

Wednesday 16th February. (still) (Mount Gambier).

Still Wednesday, and we have now moved and are in South Australia again, and almost came undone again with the time difference.

We are at Mount Gambier, and are quite surprised that we have not heard more about this city during our travels. The scenery in this city is very spectacular with the city built around several lakes formed within volcano craters. The water in one of the lakes is a very bright vivid blue colour and the first sighting fair takes ones breath away.

We did have a small idea of what to expect with the lakes so we deliberately chose a caravan park next to them so we could do all the walking tracks around them. We are really looking forward to these walks, as the scenery is quite spectacular.

After only being our first day here we are already talking about extending our stay beyond the week that we had planned due to there being so much to do and see here and at our leisurely pace it will require some extra time to see it all.

I haven’t included many photos lately, but I will have to during our time here because I feel it will be the only way to express what I mean about the lakes scenery.

Saturday 19th February. (Mount Gambier).

We haven’t been and seen much since being here due to the inclement weather, hence no writings for a while. We have had a casual look around the lakes (craters), but we are leaving our walks and photo taking sessions until the weather does improve. It is now definitely looking like staying here for an extra day or two as we thought.

We did go for a drive down to the coast, Port MacDonnell, today with the weather still not very good, but it was well utilised for this trip. This coastline is similar, on a smaller scale, to the Great Ocean Road but consists of different rock type formations. It is made up of limestone and rock from lava flows from the local volcanos. The weathering on the rock structures leaves some quite awe-inspiring sights.

We met a local at Port MacDonnell, at one of the local attractions, with plenty of knowledge of other attractions in the district. Typically if we were to visit all that he had to offer we would have had to have a tape recorder to remember all the info, and we would have to be in the region for a great deal of time to see it all. I guess this means that no matter how long we travel for we will never get to see a great deal of what is on offer around this great country.

Oh well, a bit more shopping for now, and then another quiet evening at home, life’s hard.


Sunday 13th February, (Warrnambool).

Today saw us take a trip along the Great Ocean Road. We have both been along there before, separately, Linda with Narrelle on their tenting trip and me on my own when I was working in Melbourne. I am not sure how far I went along the coast road, from the other end, because I am not sure I remember the Twelve Apostles, but then I have seen a fair bit of them on tele over the years. It was a worthwhile trip anyway as we had plenty of time and we had a good look around at most of the attractions.

Wednesday 16th February.

Linda baby-sat for Anna on Monday, her mother in-law who normally does it was ill, and I had another look around town to take the photos that we still hadn’t taken. After touring the Great Ocean Road the local scenery didn’t have as much appeal as we thought when we first arrived in town.

We then had a drive yesterday to Port Fairy and Tower Hill. Port Fairy wasn’t what we thought it to be, but would probably be good for a holiday I guess. Tower hill was on the other end of the scale, and we were disappointed that we didn’t find out a bit more of it beforehand so we could have spent a full day there. Tower Hill is an extinct volcano crater and is now a wildlife reserve with plenty of walking tracks. We had to agree that this area would be better left for when we return here and do the whole thing then.


Thursday 10th February, (Warrnambool).

Having done what we had to do at Geelong we have now moved to Warrnambool, about 200k west. Warrnambool, at first glance, gives us the impression that there would be a fair bit to do here and a fair bit to see. We will do and see the things we have on mind now and keep it on record that we should return here for a possible longer stay one day.

After having a look at the map for our journey here one thing became quite apparent; there are no highlighted roads on the map in this area (southwest Vic), so it only brings to light the fact that we are going to concentrate on looking around southern Victoria some time in the future.

Warrnambool is a quite pretty place with a coastline with a difference. It is rugged worn sandstone type rocks, but then it is in close proximity to the Great Ocean Road area so the coast would be somewhat similar to there.

Saturday 12th February, (Warrnambool).

Not much sightseeing has been done yet as the weather has not been very suitable. It hasn’t rained much, but it has been overcast and looking like rain so we have left it until the weather clears. The forecast is for finer times from tomorrow so we will get some touring done.

Linda remembered the other day that Anna Kao-Philpot, and hubby, live in Warrnambool, so after verifying address and phone numbers with Narrelle we visited today and had them visit yesterday. Linda has agreed to baby-sit for them on Monday so we will see more of them while here.

We also went for a walk along part of the track along the coastline and the scenery here is of it’s own.

We are becoming more convinced that we will have to revisit here one day for a longer visit.


Sunday 6th Feb, (Geelong).

We have now moved to Geelong for a few days. We have a couple of things to do here and then intend moving on.

We have now become very unimpressed with Ashley Gardens Caravan Park and will probably not stay there again. We could not fathom how they obtained a 5 star rating. Little things, and several, made us come to this opinion.

Then there was the incident with management yesterday that made us finally come to this conclusion. When I presented our rent assist form for signing she, manageress, added a comment, in red, stating “This is a holiday stay only” and this made me almost see red. She had no right whatsoever to add any such comment so I have since sent an email expressing my opinion in strong terms, also stating we will never return.

That park is now too dear for what they offer anyway, a pity because it was a convenient park for when we travel via Melbourne.

Tuesday 8th Feb, (Geelong).

We have now done all we had intended in Geelong so now we are packed and ready for a move tomorrow.

I am surprised to have already had a response from big4 club about my complaint with Ashley Gardens, a copy of a letter sent to Ashley was also sent to Big4. At this stage they have only acknowledged my letter, but they stated that they intend to follow through with further communications, so it would be nice to see some sort of result come from this. It is still early but Ashley has yet not had the curtesy to reply.


Chapter 29.

2005 Trip.

Thursday 3rd February 2005. (Melbourne).

The start of this leg of our journeys proved to not be too favourable with the weather, nation wide, turning very nasty. Queensland yesterday experienced dust storms, West Aus had their highest temps for ages, NSW had thunderstorms, and Victoria had its coldest February day on record and also the wettest February day on record. Tassie has extremely strong winds cutting power lines and blowing down trees. The trip on the Spirit last night was the roughest I had experienced; the boat didn’t actually get tossed around much because we were travelling with the weather. The second Spirit travelling from Melbourne had to turn around mid journey with damage, broken windows, and return to Melbourne for repairs. The third Spirit, the Sydney one, was moored at Devonport and apparently broke her mooring and ran aground in the river. To top it all off, it turns out I was a little slack in keeping Linda informed of my stages of travel as I usually do, and she worried her little head off. Anyway that was the fun for the day, but we are now in Melbourne, settled in for a few days and ready to continue our travels.


Thursday 3rd February.

I look back at my previous words and note again that it has been quite a while since putting down anything. I think back and conclude that there was not much happening to need to put finger to key, but I have in fact been busy fiddling around with the digital box, or aerials, to determine best reception possibilities. Some success was achieved by finding out that aerial configuration will remain exactly the same as for existing analogue transmission. I am extremely happy with the little stereo I bought as well. It seems to function as I require, with good reception of both FM and AM radio, and also performs well with TV audio.

Well the time has come for us to leave the home state once again and return to the mainland, and where has the time gone? We still did not get to visit all that we had intended, with rushing at the last moment to catch at least some that were a must see. All that done now and we are off again.