Engelbrecht Cave lies under the streets of Mt Gambier town. There are twin entrances leading down to an underground lake. A demonstration diver outfit is suspended to show you how they were kitted out. It’s out of date – apparently divers now wear dry suits with thermals underneath and carry an iPhone-like device strapped to their arm for keeping track of their air supply. The cave has no stalactites as the cave was formed under the water.
The tour with Paula, our friendly guide, lasted three quarters of an hour and the price of $10 for seniors was good value.
A short drive away is the extinct volcano of Mt Schank. The climb was a good workout and we were rewarded with a view fringed with bluebells into the crater. Ignoring the warning sign, I descended the narrow path, striped skinks scattering ahead of me. Meanwhile, David and his sister walked around the rim. A derelict stone cottage by the car park had once provided refreshments to passers-by. By the time we finished, thunder was rumbling and it started raining. We returned to damp chairs under the annexe of the caravan.
We lunched at the Metro Cafe, Mt Gambier. The food and service were both great and we were impressed with the creative hairstyle of one of the staff. He explained that it was Japanese influenced.
We also walked round Valley Lake and Blue Lake. The colour difference was subtle – you be the judge.
Mt Gambier also has substantial C19 buildings of the local dolomite and a sunken garden with cave.
The Glenelg River in southwestern Victoria Is well worth a visit on a drive from Melbourne to South Australia. The Great Southwestern Walk has attractive campsites and interpretive signs. Even in late summer, the eucalyptus was blossoming and there was a show of wildflowers. We also found a waterfall. Roadkill showed some of the fauna of the area – snakes and large grey kangaroos. The buzz of a march fly reminded us to keep
the great Australian salute!
Lake Hamilton, in the Western District of Victoria is a bird paradise with musk ducks spreading their fan tails and puffing their cheeks while cormorants use the buoys as lookout beacons.
A sleek water rat glides swiftly between wary ducks and lapwings gaze steadily west in the dreamy morning.
The 4.2km circumnavigation of the lake, which is close to the attractive town of Hamilton takes an hour – a very pleasant walk. It can also be done by cycle.
History was made today when The town of Mornington, an hour’s drive south of Melbourne, experienced its first visit by a cruise ship – the Pacific Pearl.
The ship, which carries 1,800 passengers and 727 crew moored in the shipping channel and the passengers were brought to the pier by bright orange tender boats.
Mornington Chamber of Commerce set up an information tent directing cruislings up Main Street. Coach tours took groups of passengers to the Mornington Peninsula wineries and township of Sorrento. By mid-afternoon, passengers were queuing to return to the ship, while hundreds of locals (including ourselves) came to view and photograph the spectacle, creating a carnival atmosphere.
Circumnavigating Devil Bend Reservoir yesterday afternoon was took us nearly three hours, consequently we are a little stiff today. The reservoir was commissioned in 1965 to supply drinking water to the Mornington Peninsula, but has since been bypassed. It is now a Natural Features Reserve, complete with water birds, including the handsome Great Crested Heron.
Foolishly, we hadn’t brought a snack, but the wild blackberries provided a juicy flavour hit.
The remains of water management infrastructure kept us interested, and new signage had been erected for access tracks.