Monday 9 February
Breakfast in adjacent cafe up hill from hotel in Melbourne, much better than adjacent one down hill. Difficulty with car park exit again.
Car park say hotel using old stock of tickets, hotel say they are using up to date ones but upshot is we get out for A$40 instead of A$50 so over the three days we have saved $15.
Try to follow instructions to M1 & Geelong but get lost and end up asking Post Office for directions.
Exit from Melbourne takes over an hour in glorious sunshine although a bit cooler than the day we arrived.
Stop for refreshments and fuel and then for lunch at Anglsea lighthouse where the clouds start forming shortly after our arrival.
On our way again and the rain comes down, the traffic gets slower and the road works delay us even more so that we don’t arrive until just after 4:30pm.
Get coffee but no cake and opt for tomorrow’s 5pm walk rather than tonight’s in view of weather. This is just like last year’s weather!
Go out on our own instead and locate many Koalas and a few Kangaroo before returning for dinner one of the options of which includes masses of mushrooms.
Too many mushrooms but we understand the Potteroo has the left overs: the lamb was nice though.
Catch up on Internet for the permitted hour.
Evening talk / walk to the sliders and Pottoroo enclosure.
Such fun getting the sliders to lick the honey off your finger.
Tuesday 10 February
Early breakfast and off to 12 Apostles on empty roads other than the, by now, obligatory road works.
Still cloudy at 12 Apostles but photo opportunity taken and a beach walk at “Gateway to Great Ocean Road” sign and Gibson’s steps.
Onwards to Bay of Islands which we didn’t stop at last year, London Bridge and Port Campbell where we stop for lunch at the Alcove Cafe.
Drive back the way we came but go to Otway Fly Treetop Adventure centre just inland from Cape Otway.
Too late to take the Zip line too but tree walk an option. Admission $25 but we are accosted by an Aussie who was prepared to pay for 10 to reduce admission to $15. Just a thought, we gave her cash but if the card transaction didn’t go through for whatever reason, she gets away with A$135! She couldn’t would she?
Sadly leave camera in car but tree walk is excellent with a near 50m high spiral staircase and a free standing suspended section.
Very little in the way of wildlife seen though as it is very hot and a long climb back up of about 1300 metres in length.
Just get back in time for tour of the grounds and guided walk.
Loads of Koalas seen before we get to the Quoll enclosure.
Tiger Quolls, father and daughter, Eastern Quolls, much smaller.
Shane talked for about 2.5 hours – he is very passionate about his work.
The Koalas are causing a problem as the optimum density should be about 1 Koala to every hectare but at the moment there are about 8 or 9.
At least it is better than a few years ago when it was about 26. Get better pictures this year than last.
Better dinner, cloudless sky but we are shattered so have a sound sleep and miss the wonderful stars in the evening sky.
Wednesday 11 February
Back to Melbourne for flight to Sydney. Manage to locate car rental with a bit of help from a garage and get free shuttle to airport. Had to pay an extra day’s rental of just over A$50 though as we were two hours late. East Coast rentals did well – could recommend them if you are in the area and needing a car.
Check in with plenty of time for our 4:45 flight and settle down with the ubiquitous flat white at Gate 5 and try and catch up on e-mails, news, Lexulous etc.
Get a bit concerned at about 4:20 as virtually no one at gate although flight still showing as being at gate 5.
Some Virgin staff then arrive, go and talk to another waitee and usher her away to another flight as her flight was cancelled. Still our flight is showing as going but there is no plane even by 4:30.
Ask Virgin staff what is happening and am advised that the flight is cancelled and we have been put on the 5pm flight but with non adjacent seats. Allegedly, they made an announcement but,
a) we didn’t hear anything,
b) why was the board still showing it departing from Gate 5 at 4:30, and
c) when the staff member came and asked the girl sitting near us why didn’t they ask other nearby passengers if there were waiting for the 16:45 to Sydney?
Anyway, after a squashed flight, an excuse for a cheese biscuit and a steward who was oblivious to the issues of Deirdre, being deaf, not sitting with John, we made it to Sydney, collected our bags and over to the International terminal for a night at Rydges Hotel – a sound night.
Very poor service by Virgin Australia but we get car tomorrow and off to the Blue Mountains after a night at Rydges @ Sydney Airport.