Aus Update 29 - Mornington Peninsula

<Paula> 27-Jan-2007  We drove up to Devonport to catch the ferry via the midlands highway.  We stopped off at a number of historical towns on the way.

This is lake dulverton in Oatlands where we stopped for lunch. The sign seems to indicate that the water is deep and to be cautious when swimming.

This is a view of the main street of Oatland. There are a lot of old houses and shops still in use.

We then drove onto Ross, which is again an historical town and was built as one of the main stops for the stage coach between the north and the south of the state.  They also had here for a short time a Female Factory.  Which is just a strange name for a female prison for convicts.  We walked around the ruins and learnt about what happened there, we also walked around the old church, stables and of course the famous Ross bridge.  The Ross Bridge  was constructed by convict stonemasons and a gang of  convicts for labour.  The two stonemasons bought their freedom by constructing this bridge.  

Ross Bridge

The original stables.

What is left of the Female Factory.

Main (possibly only) intersection in town. It was named Damnation, Recreation, Contemplation & Salvation. The reason for the name was the four buildings, one on each corner. Pub (in the centre of the picture) - Damnation, Town Hall - Recreation, Jail - Contemplation & Church - Salvation.

After continuing to meander our way to Devonport we found ourselves a couple of hours early for the ferry, which was fine, better to be early  than late.   We took some dinner up to the Bluff to watch the boat come in from Melbourne.

The Spirit of Tasmania coming in and the Goliath going out.

Heading up the Mersey River. It looks like such a small river and it takes huge ships!

Waiting in line to board the ferry.

And what a fabulous trip to Melbourne it was!  They have these little baggies similar to what you would find on a plane, plain white on the outside, silver foil type stuff on the inside and possibly a layer of very good plastic inbetween.  These were used quite extensively by myself and many others during this very rough trip to Melbourne, and I will say dinner didn't taste so good the second time round.  I finally got about an hours sleep after we went though 'the rip' into Port Phillip Bay.

28th-Jan-07  We got off the boat and headed toward Mornington Peninsula.  We got as far as Mornington and decided we were to tired to continue so we checked into a caravan park  just after 10am and went to sleep.  In fact the rest of the day was spent relaxing in Mornington.

29th-Jan-07  We spent the morning meandering around the towns on the the bay side of the peninsula.  I call them towns, they are possibly villages, but really they all seem like extended suburbia.  We saw the cute boat houses that the area is known for. We also drove up to Arthurs Seat, great view.  They have a chair lift that goes up the mountain too, I am not fond of heights and luckily for me a decision wasn't needed because the chair lift wasn't running.

The famous boat houses

Looking towards Point Nepean

Looking back towards ?

We spent that afternoon at Point Nepean.  There is a narrow opening to the bay called 'the rip' and during the late 1800's when Melbourne was a rich city thanks to the gold fields, they decided it was a good idea to set up Point Nepean as a military defense for Port Phillip Bay.  It was also used for a quarantine station which was used extensively during the Influenza pandemic of the early 1900's.   Many people never made it to their new life in Australia, they got as far as Point Nepean where they died of disease and were buried in the cemetery on the point.  We took the commentated ride out to the military estabishment on the very point, one of the points of interest is the memorial to  Harold Holt.  The Prime Minister of Australia that used to go swimming off a beach on the Bass Straight side of the point.  It was an isolated beach because it was/is all military land.  He went for one of his usual swims one day and never returned.  They never found his body.  

After viewing the gun placements and listening to the stories of the soldiers that did their time out on the point we headed back to Rye where we set up camp on the foreshore.  We had a fantastic view straight out into the bay, of Melbourne (sort of, it was a long way away) and of the ships coming in and out.  It was very nice.

'The Rip' - the entry to Port Phillip Bay and Melbourne

Our view from the armchair

Chris on his new guitar that he got for Christmas.

30th-Jan-2007  We spent the day traveling the Bass straight side of the peninsula.  Very beautiful, I could handle a large coastal property here. Unfortunately our wallet isn't so keen on the idea.  Oh well, dreams are free.  We visisted a maze place and really enjoyed the lawn games they had there too, chess is very different when it is large.  We stayed the night in Hastings  which is the edge of suburbia on this side of the peninsula.

31st-Jan to 5th-Feb-2007  We spent a few days with Theo, Katrina & Zeke which is always relaxing and heaps of fun with lots of cool kids games to play.  Also a visit to Healesville Sanctuary, which if you ever have the opportunity to visit it is well worth it.

Bass Strait side of Mornington Peninsula

Chris playing in the sand pit.

First day of school.

The Koalas @ Healsville Sanctuary.

Story time.

Piano recital.