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Published: February 27th 2017
Debra and Linda flew to Sydney for a few days of touring while Roger and I hung around Noosa Heads to play some golf and tried our luck at fishing. The fish weren't biting that well but we did manage to catch 4 or 5, of which one Perch was big enough to keep (Although it was a very light lunch). We flew out on Wednesday to Melbourne and met the ladies for a few days on the Great Ocean Road.
Linda and I attended a performance of "Great Opera Hits" in the Joan Sutherland Theatre at the Sydney Opera House which we both thoroughly enjoyed. It was a collection of songs from different operas performed by four different singers prefaced by a small summary of each story provided buy the host. Of course the venue and views over the harbour were stunning.
We packed in a lot of other sights during our stay including a visit to the Hyde House Barracks where over 50 thousand convicts passed through in the early to middle 1800's . It is a wonderful museum and well worth a visit. We also visited the Anzac memorial, the Royal Botanical Gardens ( beautiful view
of the opera house and bridge ) and the Queen Victoria Mall which has some beautiful stained glass windows , interesting architecture , and interesting shops too!
The Great Ocean Road meanders along the South of Australia hugging the shoreline of the Southern Ocean! It begins at about a 1 hour drive heading West from Melbourne. Although we've been on more challenging drives, the route did offer some interesting "hair pin" turns and mountain switchbacks. The views were spectacular revealing a very rugged coast line with many "surf friendly" beaches. The real attractiveness to the drive are the numerous stops along the way. We stayed in a couple of interesting small coastal towns, Appolo Bay and Port Fairy, both of which were deserving of more time. Unfortunately, we only planned for 2 days so had to highlight much of the route.
The most famous attraction was the 12 apostles which are sandstone formations that are "stand alone" from the shoreline. For those familiar with Eastern Canada, to some degree, these reminded me of Hopewell Rocks outside of Moncton NB and Perce Rock in the Gaspe of Quebec. The 12 apostles were very dramatic being formed by
Tree Stump Carving
Buckley's Bunyip 2008 by Jeff Raglus and Alex Lorenzi
the constant pounding of the ocean over hundreds of years. On average, the shore erodes about 2 cm each year, therefore new stand alone formations are made and existing ones collapse. Further along the coast, we stopped at the Otway Lighthouse, an important navigational installation that is now automated but was once a small community when first established. Over the decades the lanterns, which could be seen for about 40 km, burned whale oil and today operate on solar energy. Before heading back to Melbourne, we were able to hike in the Tower Game reserve, visit the Shipwreck museum in Warrnabool (there was also a recreated 19th Coastal village) and enjoy other experiences in around this interesting part of Australia. In the mid-nineteenth century, this was a perilous part of the Southern Oceans. There were more than 190 shipwrecks recoded over a 40 year period which highlights the sacrifices made in the settling and development of Australia.
Off to Melbourne to explore the city a little more.
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