And so it begins!
It’s pretty safe to say that the last month has been a total whirlwind! Between sorting and packing the house, cleaning it ready for handover, farewelling the boys school, catching up with family and friends, and saying our goodbyes, we were certainly exhausted and ready for some R & R!
Reality was beginning to set in, as was an assortment of emotions – anxiety, fear, trepidation, but largely an overwhelming sense of excitement and adventure. Life as we knew it was changing in the most incredible way, and this time we were the masters of our destiny!
April 5th was the first day of our new way of life. With a few last minute jobs to do in the morning before leaving, the chaos of the last month had continued right up until the minute we drove onto the Princes Freeway! Leaving Melbourne, the sense of achievement and relief was certainly in the air.
As we were keen to settle and ‘get into the groove’ relatively quickly, we wanted our first camp to be pretty close to Melbourne. We decided on Princetown Recreation Reserve, which came highly recommended from friends. Located about 3hrs from Melbourne, it is the closest campground to the world renowned Twelve Apostles, making it a great central stopover to explore all that the Great Ocean Road has to offer. Our first three nights were spent there, and it definitely lived up to the rugged, cold and windy reputation that it carries! The first morning, after a night of solid rain, we woke to our very own private island… Although it was a great spot we were keen to move on in the search of a slightly warmer spot!
To learn more about our thoughts on the Princetown Recreation Reserve, you can read our RILEY RATING here!
Following our stay on the Great Ocean Road, we stopped in at Warrnambool to restock, before venturing further west. After crossing the border into South Australia, Chris was finally back into the region that he grew up in and very familiar with. With a few relatives and old mates close by in Mount Gambier, we thought Port MacDonnell would be a great base for the next few days. Port Mac (as it’s affectionately known) is a cute little seaside town, and famous for its crayfish industry. We stayed at the Port Mac Foreshore Tourist Park, which was fantastic – great amenities, close to the beach, quiet and good value for money. Read our RILEY RATING here!
Mount Gambier, Chris’ hometown, is roughly 20min from Port Mac, so we spent a fair bit of time back there taking a trip down Chris’ memory lane! It was great for all of us to see his old homes, footy & cricket clubs, and explore the many beautiful hidden treasures. We absolutely HAD to stop in for a countery at his local pub, the South Eastern, too – home of the best veal schnitzels in town!
Mount Gambier, the town itself, is built on an extinct volcano, and the entire region is littered with sinkholes and caves. The main attraction is probably the Blue Lake – a massive 70m deep crater that supplies drinking water to the region. It’s accompanied by the Valley Lakes right next door, that is also spectacular in its own right, and has a great little wilderness park and picnic area at its base.
In the city centre, you will find a fantastic little attraction known as the Umpherston Sinkhole. It was originally a natural limestone cave, but the roof collapsed, creating the sinkhole. Back in the 1880s, the sinkhole was made into a garden by James Umpherston, and continues to be a gorgeous tourist attraction for the city.
Our three nights in Port Mac was capped off with a beautiful walk along the beach at Browns Bay. We were treated to a lovely sunny morning, so took the opportunity to get out in the fresh ocean air and enjoy our first of many South Aussie beaches 🙂
Time for a little slow-down in pace for a few days now, as we visit Chris’ family in Nhill and Tailem Bend.
Check in again soon,