Cape Otway Lighthouse – The beacon of hope

Please follow and like us:
onpost_follow

The Fog was heavy as we stood at the top of Cape Otway Lighthouse, but as it cleared we were meet with a majestic view of Victoria’s glorious coast.

We were on our last day of a glorious weekend along the Great Ocean Road, and spending the morning roaming the grounds of Mainland Australia’s oldest surviving lighthouse seemed to be the fitting end.

We were concerned about how much we would be able to see from the top of the lighthouse that sits 90m above the clear blue waters of Bass Strait. But Cape Otway light station did not disappoint. As the fog cleared, the smell of the salt water infused the air, we knew we had made the right choice.

Cape Otway Lighthouse is affectionately called the “Beacon of Hope” and when you begin to understand how many hundreds of lives were lost along this stretch of ocean, that is known as “Shipwreck Coast”. You can understand why.

Cape Otway Lighthouse

Built in 1848, it stood as a beacon for all those 19th-century migrants who had spent months travelling by sea from places like Europe, Asia, North America. It stood tall on the point where the Southern Ocean crashes into the Bass Strait. Whilst it still stands tall, it was decommissioned back in 1994, and replaced by a low solar powered light, situated right in front of the lighthouse. However, the history of the lighthouse lives on.

Eight vessels were still lost whilst the Lighthouse was operational, The Marie(1851), the Sacramento(1853), Schomberg (1855), The Loch Ard (1878), the Joseph H. Scammell (May 1891), Fiji (September 1891) and the Casino in 1932. The first American vessel sunk during World War II, the A class “SS City of Rayville” SS was also sunk off the Cape by a German mine in 1940. However, many more would have run into trouble without the bright Light guiding them safely through.

The Cape Otway light station was the longest running continuous light on Australia’s mainland, but it was also so much more. It was the location of the telegraph station that ran between Tasmania and Victoria in 1859. (Unfortunately only for 6 months as the underground submarine cable only lasted that long). Then became the Lloyds signal station, allowing people in Melbourne to be made aware of all the vessels passing by.

It was the location of the top-secret World War II radar bunker, and I found the history of it fascinating. I never realised how many mines were laid just off the coast of Melbourne, Mines that would sink Allied ships. I never realised 268 lives were lost when a hospital ship the AHS Centaur was hit by a torpedo on May 14, 1943.

I learnt about the Yokosuka E147 float plane,  a plane assembled on the deck of the Japanese 1-25 submarine, that surfaced just off the coast of Cape Wickham lighthouse. This float plane would be launched from the submarine in February of 1942 and fly over Cape Otway lighthouse, Point Lonsdale lighthouse, Portarlington, Laverton RAAF base, Melbourne, Dromana, Cape Schank Lighthouse and land back in the Bass Strait to be collected by the Japanese submarine. This all happened a few months before the radar station was operational.

It is also home to some fascinating history of our indigenous culture.

It is also the perfect location to visit between May and October when 25 different species of whales, migrate past the lighthouse shadow.

We walked the grounds looking at the dinosaur museum, with the hundred other tourists but the grounds are big enough that you still felt like you had room to explore, room to move around.

We sat at the quaint little cafe eating our Devonshire tea as we watched the fog roll past the lighthouse, then watched it clear just to roll through again.

We marvelled on how lucky we where to see a Koala clamber across the road on our way to the lighthouse.

We decided that the Cape Otway lighthouse was definitely somewhere we would come back to, the next time we wandered down the Great Ocean Road.

 

Important Information about the Cape Otway Lightstation

The Cape Otway Lightstation encompasses the Cape Otway Lighthouse, the Keepers Quarters and Workshop, the 1859 Telegraph Station,
Aboriginal Talking Hut, WWII Radar Bunker, Whale Interpretation Site and Lightkeeper’s Cafe and Souvenir Shop.

General Admission prices

Child: $7.50 / Adult $19.50 / Family: (2 Adults 4 children) $49.50 / Concession: $17.50

Pre-school Children: FREE

Hours of Operation

9am – 5pm (entry closes 4:30pm)

CLOSED CHRISTMAS DAY

Extended hours – 26th December – 14th Jan

9am – 6pm (entry closes 5:30pm)

Talks included

Daily History Talks at 11.00am, 2.00pm and 4.00pm
Daily Bush Tucker Talks at 12noon and 3.00pm

 

Have you been to the Cape Otway lighthouse? Where are some of your favourites places to visit on the Great Ocean Road?

 

 

Also, make sure you check out some of the other great locations along the Great Ocean Road

Sheoak Falls and Swallow Caves

Timelapse video of the Great Ocean Road.

Please follow and like us:
onpost_follow

Travel with children, Should you do it?

Please follow and like us:
onpost_follow

4 Reasons you should travel with your children.

“Wanderlust: n. a strong desire for or impulse to wander or travel and explore the world.”

Since I took my first overseas trip as a teenager to the islands of Santa Cruz, in Solomon Islands, I have had a desire to travel and see the world. My childhood was not one of travel. Our childhood holidays could be counted on one hand. But I have made sure that my adult life has been different.

When we had children, we didn’t want that to change. So at only ten days old, we packed up our car, and took our first holiday with our young daughter, driving from Melbourne to Batemans Bay. Three children later we have continued to travel and continued to try and install that same “wanderlust” in our children.

So many of friends have questioned our trips? Will they remember the trips? Is it worth taking your preschool children to Disneyland, to Athabasca Falls, to Cape York? They have told us, we should wait until they are older. We should go when they can appreciate it. But we don’t Wait, we Travel.

But why do we Travel with our children?

1 – It’s fun.

I would be remiss not to say My number one reason for travelling with our children. It’s fun. Nothing can describe the pure joy and excitement on our children’s face when they first walked through the Gates of Disneyland. The joy I felt when we took our children snorkelling at Hamilton Island. How proud I am as I watch our children make new friends as we travel around.

3 reasons why you should Travel with your children

2. They learn so much about themselves, about others.

Not all classrooms have four walls.

Our children have travelled overseas, and extensively through Australia. They have grown up through our travels, they have learned so much.

They have learned about different cultures. They have learned patience, they have learned about our history (and didn’t realise it at the time). They have learned about peace, and about war. They have learned to adapt when things don’t go to plan. From Delayed flights to incorrect hotel rooms. Through missed transfers that ended up in missed activities. Life does not always go to plan, but that’s ok.

On long road trips, they have relearned to use their imagination, with no TV or Ipads to amuse them. They have learned to be alert and be aware of their surroundings, Playing fun games while they are doing it.

In travel, often the journey is part of the fun. We are teaching our children that it is not all about where you are in life, but how you got there.

Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it. Greg Anderson

3. Our Children add to our lives.

When we were pregnant with our first Child, A wise mum said to us. Your children should come into your life and fit into your life. They add to it. Make sure that they fit in with your routine, not the other way around.

We love to travel, we love to take holidays, we love to go out for Brunch on the weekends. We love to walk around our Local Lake, we love to go to the beach. So we have always made sure that our children are involved in it. So they to love it.

People always mention how well behaved our children are out at restaurants, how well behaved they are when travelling. That is because it is second nature to them.

Over time we have had to adapt our travel plans, there are some trips that they are not ready for. We couldn’t expect them to walk the 6 day Overland trail track, but they can wander through the Otways with us. They are not ready for a 3-day Whitsunday Fishing Charter, however, they will happily go fishing off the jetty on the way to Cape York.

4 – Making Memories

We want our children’s memories of their childhood to be treasured. We want them to look back on their childhood with love and joy. We feel they get that through travel. When you travel with your children you get away from the normal day to day rush of life. There is no Tae kwon do to rush to, no work, no school. Instead, there is time to create memories as a Family.

Yes, those things are important, but when you are on holidays you can forget about the normal business of life and spend quality time together. It might just be a quick day trip to Lorne or a longer month long holiday to the states. The time itself is not the important part. It’s the quality, not the quantity that matters. It’s the memories.

So why do you travel with children? Why don’t you? Tell us below in the comments.

Please follow and like us:
onpost_follow

Lakeview Hotel Ballarat

Please follow and like us:
onpost_follow

The Lakeview hotel situated on the glorious Lake Wendouree in Ballarat is a great casual family-friendly restaurant in Ballarat. A great place to sit an relax after you finish your 6km walk around the Lake.

Lakeview Hotel Ballarat

We love heading there for breakfast as they make great fresh orange juice. The oranges are kept in the fridge so the juice comes out nice and cold.

Lakeview Hotel

The Lakeview hotel is very family friendly with a good variety of food on the children’s menu and have complimentary colouring in, which we have found a rare commodity in a lot of restaurants nowadays. Most places you have to buy an overpriced colouring-in pack that they finish before the meal comes out. The pictures are a great variety from superheroes, Disney characters, animals on plain white paper.

Lakeview Hotel

The wait staff are friendly and come round quickly after you arrive to make sure you order you can order your drinks even if you are still waiting on others in your party.

Lakeview hotel

It nice to sit and eat your breakfast or lunch watching everyone as the walk Lake Wendouree. Or to reward yourself after a nice walk with a nice cold drink.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To find out more about Ballarat

To see some more great Restaurants click here.

 

Where are some of your favourite places to eat out?

 

 

Please follow and like us:
onpost_follow

Spirit of Tasmania, Day or Night sail?

Please follow and like us:
onpost_follow

So you have decided to visit the Apple Isle? You have decided when you want to go? You have made the decision Do I fly or Do I sail? If you have chosen the Spirit of Tasmania.

Now to make the next decision. Do I choose a day sail or a night sail? Who knew there were so many options.

We have done both and thought we would write a list of the pro’s and con’s of both. Ultimately it comes down to who is travelling with you, and where your priorities lie.

Spirit of Tasmania

Length of trip

Day –  9 hours

Night – 11 hours (Whilst it is longer you spend majority of it asleep)

Cost  (Depends on age of Children) 

Day sail is cheaper but……

Day – you can get away without a cabin, Especially if your children are older. However if you have preschool aged children (or younger) I would suggest getting a cabin anyway for day sleeps, space away from people.

Night – Realistically you need a cabin or a recliner (Recliners are not as comfortable and there is nowhere to store your belongings.)

View

Day – Have a great view of Melbourne as you are leaving port, some people have told of seeing dolphin pods on the way across.

Night – Great view of sunset as you travel, or pre-daylight savings great view of Melbourne lights, however once you pass through the Heads, not much to see until you arrive in Devonport

Keeping entertained.

Entertainment depends on the age of the travellers.

No general internet/phone service about thirty minutes after you leave port. However, you can purchase Satellite WiFi in lounge areas for $18. This WiFi is very patchy and you cannot use it for streaming services, ie videos, also not available for some games that require a fast internet connection.

Small playground – great for preschool age, however, will not keep them entertained for hours.

Day sails – face painting, circus performers, trivia, and disco bingo.

Small arcade – very busy and normally unless you get in early more time waiting than playing.

Cinema – extra cost Adults $10, pensioners $7.50 Kids $5

(Limited seats)

two kids movies (day sail) one kid’s movie (Night sail) aimed more at school age plus

Two Adult movies (day and night sail)

You can find out screening times here.

Gaming lounge – Open until midnight on night Sails

Reading room
Realistically there are benefits of both the day or night sail, and you need to look at who is travelling?

4 bed cabin spirit of tasmania

Cabin Spirit of Tasmania

Availability of day sails

Day sails are not always available. Through the winter months there are no day sails, and through spring and autumn, they are once (maybe twice a week). In summer day sails are 3-4 times a week. So if you have a set day you want to sail, you need to keep that in mind.

Head across to the Spirit of Tasmania site to check out their Sailing schedule

My thoughts

I hope this has helped you make an informed decision about taking a day or night sail on the Spirit of Tasmania

Previously when our youngest were toddlers we always headed across on a night sail, booked a four berth inside cabin (fits two portacots) and they slept almost the whole way. Now they are older there are no cabins that fit us all. So if we have the choice for our next trip we will probably head across on a day sail. We will still book a cabin so we have space to relax.

 

To find out more about the Spirit of Tasmania.

To find out more about Tasmania.

 

 

Please follow and like us:
onpost_follow

Lal Lal Blast Furnace

Please follow and like us:
onpost_follow

Have you heard about the Lal Lal Blast furnace?

Did you know that it is just twenty minutes out of Ballarat? It is a site which has been classified to be preserved from the National Trust. Yet most people who live in Ballarat would not know its significance.

It is a site of such significance in our early industrial history yet was only operational for four years.

This site is the Lal Lal Blast furnace. The Furnace was built in 1880 by the Lal Lal Iron company. And operated until 1884. Located within the Lal Lal-Bungal Historic Area, just a short drive away from the Beautiful Lal Lal Falls.

There is a free campsite and picnic ground at the Blast furnace, that is provided by Parks Victoria and includes flushing toilets.

The 17-metre ruins of the Blast Furnace and ruins of the iron Mine are found on Iron Mine road at Lal Lal. Once you get to the carpark the signage is not very clear, and the path is a little overgrown but if you can find your way its well worth a walk to see the furnace. There are a great variety of signs explaining all about its history.

Nearby is a great view of the Bungal Dams spillway.

Have you visited Lal Lal Blast furnace before?

Check out some more great posts on places in the Ballarat region

 

Fairy Park Anakie
Fairy Park Anakie
Farmers Market Ballarat
Farmers Market Ballarat
Please follow and like us:
onpost_follow

Lal Lal Falls

Please follow and like us:
onpost_follow

Lal Lal Falls

Lal Lal Falls

Just north of Lal Lal, a small town in the Moorabool Shire is the Scenic Lal Lal Falls.

Lal Lal was originally a sheep run. However back in the mid to late 1800’s became the spot of the Lal Lal iron Mining company. It was also the home of the Lal Lal Blast furnace. The Blast furnace still holds significance, as it is the only Blast furnace from the 19th century still standing in all the Southern Hemisphere.

Lal Lal Reserve is located on Lal Lal Falls road. But just twenty minutes out of Ballarat and it is the perfect spot for a Picnic or Barbeque.

Lal Lal reserve is a great little spot, with a couple of barbeques. There are plenty of tables, most are out in the elements. However, a few are under the shade of the rotunda. There are toilets, water fountains and bins available.

Young children will love the quaint little playground with a couple of swings, (one infant, one older style) and two other activities to play with.

As we sat eating our lunch we listened to the sound of the waterfall in the distance, almost calling us to go look. Our food was rushed, as the real reason we came here was not for the playground, the large grass areas, not for lunch. But to see the magnificent Lal Lal Falls. We couldn’t wait to see them as they cascaded off the top of the cliff into the waiting creek below. I have to admit I was a little disappointed to see that they have closed off the path down to the base of the Falls, however, a short 5-minute walk will get you to the viewing point, and it’s well worth a look.

Find out more

Check out some more great posts on places in the Ballarat region

Please follow and like us:
onpost_follow

Take a visit to Cataract Gorge in Launceston

Please follow and like us:
onpost_follow

Cataract Gorge in Launceston

Located on the South Esk River

Cataract Gorge Launceston

Only 1.5 Kms from Launceston is the must-see location the beautiful Cataract Gorge. Cataract Gorge is found at the lower section of the South Esk River. It is readily accessible from the centre of Launceston. It is either a two-minute drive into the Gorge. Or a lovely fifteen-minute walk from the city centre along the banks of the Tamar river. Even though the city centre is so close, Once you are in the base of the gorge, you forget that civilisation is just a stone throw away.

Cataract Gorge Launceston

 

Cataract Gorge in Launceston is free to visit and has so much to do. There are walking trails, playgrounds, restaurant, cafe, a suspension bridge, swimming pool, native flora and fauna and so much more.

Cataract Gorge is the location of the world’s longest single span chairlift. The longest span is just over 1000 feet long (1010 feet) with the total span being 1499 feet long. The chairlift was built back in 1972, to showcase the amazing South Esk River. The seats include a safety bar, and it is quite slow in speed to allow you to take some amazing photographs as you go across.

Enjoy a meal at Cataract Gorge

Whether you are after a leisurely meal in their restaurant, a quick snack in their cafe or kiosk, or a relaxing picnic in their amazing grounds. They have some BBQs to cook your favourite meat or veggie patties. Cataract Gorge really is the place to go in Launceston. Every time we head to Tasmania, we go straight from the Spirit of Tasmania in Devonport and drive the hour trip to Launceston to enjoy breakfast at the Basin Cafe. You can check out their fantastic breakfast menu here.

Basin Cafe

The highlight though is the amazing Peacocks that you see showing off their feathers all around the area.

Peacock

Peacock

Have you been to Cataract Gorge?

Where are some of your must-see locations in Tasmania?

 

Check out some of our other favourite locations in Tasmania

Little Blue Lake

Little Blue Lake
Little Blue Lake

Legerwood Memorial Carvings

Legerwood

Please follow and like us:
onpost_follow

Little Blue Lake

Please follow and like us:
onpost_follow

Little Blue Lake

If you want to find a beautiful Blue Lake, with the most turquoise water in Australia. Where would you go? Would you instantly think of Queensland, the Daintree? Or Instead of heading north would you head south to the Apple Isle to see the amazing “Little Blue Lake”

Located between Derby and Gladstone, in the Far North of Tasmania is the site of an old tin mine. The tin mine was operating from the 1880’s to the mid-1980’s and is now a majestic Blue Lake.

Over the years many different methods were used to mine the Cassiterite (Tin oxide) from the area. Thousands of tonnes of Sand, Clay and gravel was extracted, the Tin oxide removed and then the material was returned to the hole with the Tin oxide. This caused a large hole that they decided to fill in and become the tourist destination that it has become.

The water looks amazing. The vivid turquoise is due to the blue of the sky reflecting off the white clay now visible on the surface. As tempting as it is to swim in the blue water of “Little Blue Lake” you would be wise not to, as it has an alarming aluminium content. During the mining, process aluminium has leached from the decomposing granite.  Signs littered around the lake remind you not to swim or drink the beautiful turquoise water.

So when you head to the South Mount Cameron area, visit “Little Blue Lake” you won’t be disappointed by the view.

Little Blue Lake

Little Blue Lake

What is the bluest Lake you have seen?

Have you been to Little Blue Lake before?

Check out some of our other favourite locations in Tasmania

Cataract Gorge in Launceston

Legerwood Memorial Carvings

Please follow and like us:
onpost_follow

Whitsunday Fishing Charter

Please follow and like us:
onpost_follow
Whitsunday Fishing charter
Whitsunday Fishing charter

 

Is it the crystal clear waters of the Whitsundays? or the amazing fish that makes Whitsundays one of the most beautiful places to go fishing? We thought we would find out with a 2 night, 3-day Whitsunday fishing charter with the amazing team at Topnotch Game Fishing.

We headed out from the Port of Airlie Beach on the luxurious Riviera 51, a 17.73m, 3700L fishing boat. The boat called “Topless” is striking. It’s black marlin tower, strikes a great contrast to it’s silver hull. “Topless” is powered by twin 970hp engines. That allows a cruising speed of 24 knots and a top speed of 33 knots, allowing us to quickly get out to our destination the Outer Reef.

We departed early on the first day 6:30am as the sun was coming up. We had great opportunities to take some great photos of the sun reflecting on Pacific Ocean. As we headed out on our Private Charter. However, our reflexes weren’t quick enough to catch a picture of the whales that we passed as they leapt out of the water, a majestic sight to behold.

The “Topless” has a fully air-conditioned enclosed fly bridge, as well as air conditioning throughout the accommodation perfect to offer shade and relief when the Queensland sun is at it’s hottest.

As we headed off we also had time to settle into our cabins, there were three cabins for guests, one with a double bed, one with bunks, one with triple bunks, whilst the crew stay up stairs. There were also two bathrooms, complete with showers and toilets.

Once we had cleared the main channels and had headed out to the appropriate areas we set our lines to troll out, it was great to catch some fish so early on our first day of fishing. The day continued with many more fish caught and ended with some of our fish filleted, cooked and served for dinner. There is nothing more rewarding that knowing you caught your dinner.

Whitsunday Fishing charter

Topnotch are an all inclusive fishing charter. All we needed to bring were our clothes and toiletries in a soft bag, alcohol, and a camera. They supplied everything else from baits, tackles, snorkeling gear, stinger suits, bed linen, meals, soft drink and water.

What we found was that our Whitsunday fishing charter was so much more than just fishing. They adapt to your needs and requirements. We really enjoyed fishing. But we also wanted to do some sightseeing, so after two days of fishing our last day involved exploring a bit more of the beauty that is Queensland.

Whitsunday Fishing charter

Sightseeing on the Whitsundays

We donned their snorkels, masks and stinger suits and snorkelled amongst the reef, the amazing fish. There is nothing more rewarding than jumping straight off the back of a boat into the clear blue water. We took a visit to Whitsunday Island, home of Whitehaven beach. We were dropped over the hill, a short but very rewarding walk over hill inlet lookout and onto Whitehaven beach.

Whitsunday Fishing charter
Fishing charter Whitsundays

We had such a great time with the team at Topnotch game fishing, Russell and Tom. Was the perfect way to experience the Whitsundays, the perfect way to catch some fish.

 

Please follow and like us:
onpost_follow

Ballarat Farmers Market

Please follow and like us:
onpost_follow

Ballarat Farmers Market

Every 2nd and 4th Saturday, Wendouree Parade comes alive with Ballarat Farmer’s market. The market stalls are located between Windmill Drive and Pipers by the Lake near Lake Wendouree. The Farmers market is opposite Ballarat’s botanical gardens.

A great opportunity for you to do your shopping fresh from the farmers and makers.

We took a visit down to the farmers market, and enjoyed a great selection of fresh bread, fresh fruit, dried fruit.

Each week their is a different amount of stalls about 50 on peak days, the produce is varied from fresh jams, teas, vegan friendly snacks, organic fruit and vegetables, mushrooms, fresh lamb, spices, herbs, nuts, dried fruit, cheeses.

The Ballarat Farmers market also has a great selection of food trucks, for coffee, indian food, brownies and other snacks, sausage sizzle and even an amazing Burger truck.

It’s well worth a visit especially on a beautiful Spring Ballarat Day.

Ballarat Farmers Market

Ballarat Farmers Market

Ballarat Farmers Market

Ballarat Farmers Market

 

Ballarat Farmers Market

 

If you want to find out more check out Ballarat Farmers Market facebook page.

Please follow and like us:
onpost_follow