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Melbourne Travels

Portarlington with Alice

The Fella and I decided to go away in Alice the Caravan — down the Geelong Rd, through Geelong, down to Portarlington. In the non-summer months it is a little town on the beach of Port Phillip Bay. In summer the numbers swell. Apparently there are 5,000 residents a night at the caravan park in January! How nice to only have us and a handful of others when we were away.

For readers unfamiliar with my part of the world, I need to divert to a quick geography lesson — made easier, I hope, with a map! Hopefully an understanding will make my photos a bit more interesting.

Yep, when I was a girl I much preferred to colour in my maps for Geography than do my Maths homework! (Map and photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2013)
Yep, when I was a girl I much preferred to colour in my maps for Geography than do my Maths homework! (Map and photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2013)

Melbourne is situated on Port Phillip Bay, a very large body of water. Melbourne curves around its edges on the eastern side, while the western side leads to Geelong, Victoria’s second largest city. Beyond Geelong is the Bellarine Peninsula, where Portarlington is. The Bay is nearly enclosed, with only a very narrow opening at the Heads. On the western side is Queenscliff and on the eastern is Point Nepean; out through the Heads is Bass Strait.

Once we had Alice bedded down in the caravan park we wandered off to explore. There is a spot in Queenscliff, just past the fort, where you can watch the boats come through the Heads. Unfortunately, there weren’t any sailing past when we were there 😦 However, we did lunch on very yummy hamburgers with the lot!

I love this sign post -- complete with seagull! Point Nepean is the headland you can see on the other side of the Rip. (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2013)
I love this sign post — complete with seagull! Point Nepean is the headland you can see on the other side of the Rip, only 3.1 km away. (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2013)
the Rip is extrememely treacherous water, and this photo shows how the currents create rips and undertows. (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2013)
The Rip is extrememely treacherous water, and this photo shows how the currents create rips and undertows. (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2013)

This narrow, rocky opening is very difficult for ships to navigate successfully. Each one has to be escorted in and out by a pilot who knows the waters, hence the plaque dedicated to them.

(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2013)
(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2013)

Of course, there is a lighthouse at Queenscliff.

Queenscliff lighthouse (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2013)
Queenscliff lighthouse (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2013)

We also wandered to Barwon Heads, where the Barwon River enters the sea. The bridge there is fabulous, really old style.

(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2013)
(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2013)
(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2013)
(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2013)

The beach at Portarlington was heaven for a beachcomber like me. It is not very big, but so many shells and feathers, even a couple of sea urchin shells. I was never sure whether to look at the sand at my feet or the views across the Bay! As the caravan park is right on the beach I was able to wander at will.

The Portarlington jetty would be a perfect habitat for weedy seadragons. I looked hard, but couldn’t see any. I am sure that they must have been there, quietly wafting their way through the seaweed, talking to the starfish.

The weather turned when we were there and our last morning was showery and blustery. These photos were taken as we were leaving to head home.

Looking to the Portarlington Jetty (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2013)
Looking to the Portarlington Jetty (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2013)
The high rise building of Melbourne, across the showery Bay. (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2013)
The high rise building of Melbourne, across the showery Bay. (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2013)
Across the Bay to the You Yangs (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2013)
Across the Bay to the You Yangs (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2013)