Day 6 - Port Cambell to Colac and back

We woke up to another cloudy and chilly day. We decided to make the most of our large 'villa', with a lazy breakfast and read of the local Herald Sun newspaper (FYI, this 'news'paper is just as dire as 'The Sun' in the UK and should similarly be prosecuted under the Trades Descriptions Act). It was a shame that it was too cold to have breakfast on the balcony - but the view was still good through the patio door windows. Forward planning for the evening, I strolled into town and picked up a takeaway menu from Nino's the local pizza restaurant.

Then we jumped in the car for our day's tour. We didn't start out with intention of going to Colac. Our first stop was Timboon, a small town to the north of Port Campbell. This seemed to advertise a load of 'foody' places, but as we can't bring fesh foods into NZ this seemed a bit of a waste. Highlight of the town for us was stopping to have a chat with a couple of lovely ladies selling raffle tickets to raise money for an Old Peoples Home in the town. As they pointed out, the nearest facilites are 30 km away, and for many elderly people this is like moving to the far side of the continent. Having somewhere in their own home town makes a huge difference to how isolated they feel. We bought $5 of tickets and donated them to the local old folks club. Let's face it, if we win we can hardly pop back from Auckland! We also stopped at Timboon bakers and bought a couple of meat pies for lunch.

Which is how we ended up heading for Colac. There was a forest area on the way that had a picnic table marked. We never did find the picnic table, but we did drive along a forest track and park up in a clearing to eat our pies. And as we were now in-land and half-way there we decided to carry on and investigate the lakes that lie to the north-west of Colac.

Driving in-land was a different experience too. On the coast we found the countryside very much like parts of North Island, but as we drove inland the grass became yellower and flatter. The temperature also rose as we travelled in-land - but this was not a problem today as the base tmperature was so low! Colac itself is on the A1 about halfway between Warrnambool and Geelong, and is the largest town in the area. But it ain't that big. The lake is the main recreational area. To the north is Beeac, with it's own lake marked on the map, and to the west is a the large Lake Corangamite, with a viewpoint ('Red Rock') in between. We decided to skirt Lake Beeac and head for the viewpoint.

So it was a bit of a shock to find that Lake Beeac is actually a salt flat. There is no water at all, just a sparkling white surface. It was worth the journey just to see this. The viewpoint wasn't all that exciting, but plaques provided information about the volcanic origins of the area, and about the saltwater lakes, which can have about for times the concentration of salt than the sea.

We drove back on the Carlisle River road, which is not the straightest or fastest, but much nicer than the more major roads we could have taken.

Back at the campsite we walked to the local bar for a drink looking over the harbour. But one was enough - even with fleeces on. You'd never believe that it is February! We stopped for a pizza at Nino's - good choice! $22 for a large pizza that was more than big enough for 2, and it was choc-solid with good quality chicken breast, bacon, salami and fresh vegetables.

Final task of the day was to read most of 'Captain Corellis's Mandolin' - at this rate it will be finished before we get home.

Beeac Salt Lake
holidays/abroad/melbourne_and_the_great_ocean_road/g_colac.txt · Last modified: 2012/02/22 13:18 by art
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