In early March I took a small 4 day trip to the south west of Victoria. This part of the state is known as the ship wreck coast. It is the western end of the Great Ocean road and is the beginning of Australia’s history.
Here on this rough and awe inspiring coastline there are many stories of shipwrecks. One of the more famous is known as the LOCH ARD.
I have not got to that part of the state yet. On this trip I traversed the Princes HWY from Geelong through Colac to Camperdown. I stayed the night in a very friendly motel.
In Camperdown it is a small regional town with a strong history tied to the wool industry. For this is part of the renown Western District – farmers who found their wealth on the back of Merino sheep. It is also, a once strong proud dairy district.
In Camperdown there are beautiful historical buildings such as the old theatre ( in one of the picture) A fantastic meal can be had at the pub opposite. Yummy delicious lamb shanks and red wine braise ; was my choice that night. There are beautiful gardens. and a fascinating walk to the top of the hill ( volcano) in town. where one can see the old volcanic floors and soil topography.
The next day I took the long way to Timboon – home of a great whiskey distillery and ice cream store. Stop there for good old fashioned friendly service. On the old rail trail you can ride ( or walk) all the way back to Camperdown. The quick trip to the old rail bridge north of town is relaxing and wonderful.
Warrnambool: – a large regional town full of everything. Home to the whale watching spots, beautiful beaches, lots of accommodation, fantastic art gallery and home of Paul Jennings child author extraordinaire. It was once home to the famous Fletcher Jones clothes factory. Where I once, bought , my very first tailored wool jacket. but like all great things it has closed and only the beautiful gardens remain. If you like gardens then do stop at the Japanese garden to the north of Fletcher Jones. It is very tranquil.
Every year there is 3 day race horse carnival where the main event is a long race with hurdles. There are 2 very large and amazing playgrounds down by the river for all the kids. Plenty of great food, and things to see. Can highly recommend a Thai restaurant in main street near the seal statue.
A little further down the coast is Port Fairy. A town of heritage houses and very pricey real estate. I was there the week the Folk Music festival was beginning. Although it was windy and cold that day I did like it. On my way east I stopped at Tower Hill. this place is hard to enter off a fast moving highway but worth it. You drive down into the volcano. and there are 4 easy ísh walks to traverse. The souvenir shop is run by the local indigenous people and is full of great things. The coffee is fantastic. Here i spotted 6 koalas in trees and saw long necked magpie geese in the marsh land. It was restorative.
Like my father- I wandered (drove) back along all the back roads to Warrnambool. Koroit is quaint and hosts an Irish Festival each year. On my way back I stopped in Terang – award winning bakery with great coffee based in a beautiful ( yet unloved and unkempt) art deco building. There is a wonderful avenue of the worlds most heritage trees in main street. wander along it to see huge oaks, walnuts, redwoods, pines etc.
So I am definitely going back to that part of Victoria. It is approximately 4-5 hours drive from Melbourne. But do take your time and stop to see the scenery.
Here are some pictures of this trip.