KENILWORTH

We have now been at Kenilworth for 3 weeks, so I thought it about time I shared some of what we have been doing.

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Our first week here we were glad to just ‘sit and do nothing’ for a while. Our daughter Lisa came and stayed with us Saturday evening. The weekend brought the vintage and custom car show and Rob, Lisa and I took the opportunity to check out these amazing vehicles. So many people spend huge amounts of time preparing their cars for a show – every square inch is polished and pimped.

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We actually got to vote for the public pick ‘car of the show’ – but we never did find out who the winner was.

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Over the 3 weeks we have been back home to Nambour a few times. First time home we took the short route over the Obi Obi – I could only ever remember being on this road one other time. The Obi Obi road is an extreme road and totally unsuitable for large vehicles and cars with caravans, and there is signage at each end of the road to this effect – there are alternative routes. Part of the road is one way – the ‘up’ road is tarred but the ‘down’ road is a dirt road. Each of which are extremely steep and winding.

We went home via the Obi Obi, however it was dark when we were coming back and a storm was brewing. I didn’t want to come down the dirt road having not been down it in recent times and so we came back up the Highway to Eumundi/Kenilworth road and back that way. It is almost twice as long both in time and kilometers.

The Kenilworth Recreation & Showgrounds where we are camped is a very popular spot for travellers to stop over. In the time we have been here there have been nights when there is anything up to 20 or so assorted tents, campers, caravans, motorhomes and 5th wheelers; and as few as just us and one other.

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We have found the locals are extremely friendly when we have been in the town area. There are several cafes/takeaways as well as the popular Kenilworth Hotel where meals are available. Also the local bowling club is open Friday & Sunday evenings for meals.

 

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The community spirit has amazed us. So much is done by volunteers – they look after the maintenance and collecting camping fees at the Showgrounds. Volunteers also man the local history museum, which has taken some time to build up to the standard it now is. It is open each Sunday 10am to 2pm and other times by appointment for groups of 10 or more. If you are ever in Kenilworth I recommend a visit to the museum. Rob and I attended last Sunday and easily spent a couple of hours browsing and watching the pictures depicting the history of the district in the “Roxy” Theatre. The volunteers are very informative and accompany visitors to share their knowledge and answer any questions you may have.

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Kenilworth was the first town in Maroochy Shire to have a reticulated water supply turning it on in 1957. This was followed by another first for the shire – the sewerage system was all set to go in 1963. Both these achievements were enabled by the community working together. They also decided the town needed a park and set about raising funds which gave the community funds to purchase the land to develop the park, which was later handed it over to the Shire – this park has one of the best children’s playgrounds and is always busy particularly at the weekends.

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In the early settlement days the community worked hard to build the Kenilworth Hall and much later the swimming pool and also a skate park. These last 3 facilities are a part of the Showgrounds which also has a tennis court.

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In one of the brochures we read that the flood markers were noted on the light pole on the corner near the Cheese Factory and the Park. Of course we had to go and find them for ourselves, but they are not very high up the pole – thankfully I say. There is also a flood marker on the back wall of the Kenilworth Hall noting that the 1955 flood would have almost reached inside the upstairs rooms of the hall itself. If that was the case the water would have completely covered our car/van where we are parked at the moment.

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We have walked pretty much everywhere in Kenilworth as it’s not a big ‘town’ although the name Kenilworth covers a larger area. One of the nicest places we found in Kenilworth was down near the Mary River. Truth be told, had we not been walking around I doubt we’d have found this large open grassed area as to my knowledge there are no signs pointing you in that direction.

 

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It is noted on Google Maps as Kenilworth River Park but that is all the information I can find about it. This is where we found the “Mary River Flowing to the Sea” sculpture and it was from this park that we were able to access the Mary River itself taking a walk along the dry river bed and a paddle in the cool flowing streams.

 

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This would make a great area for children to run and play, however not near the river bank which has been gouged out with the devastating floods of recent years.

Stay tuned for another instalment when I will tell you a little more about Kenilworth; the Anzac Day March; Kenilworth Cheese Factory and Borumba Dam.

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Port Campbell Day 2

Day 2

Well I really should give a run down on the Port Campbell Caravan Park because I’d hate you to have the wrong impression from my previous post.  Our site was directly opposite the toilet/shower/laundry block so all we had to do was cross the road.

Port Campbell Caravan Park

The amenities were quite new and very well maintained, and as I mentioned it was great to have a wonderful HOT shower after 3 days free camping.  The amenities block is a two storey building which included a great camp kitchen/dining area and a separate tv/games room on the upper level.  In the veranda area just outside the kitchen (on the other side of the building) were 2 immaculately clean BBQ’s.

We were able to use the camp kitchen each night, and mostly were accompanied by overseas backpackers who pulled in for the night with their rental campervans, or tents.  Come dinner time the kitchen was a hive of activity.

 

Today we decided to take a drive around the hinterland, but before we set off we did a bit more exploring in Port Campbell.

Waves crashing in on Port Campbell Headland

War Memorial overlooking Port Campbell Foreshore

 

Port Campbell Town

Port Campbell Jetty

We headed to Timboon where we had a picnic lunch and explored the local shops.  Much to my surprise Timboon was a cross-roads and quite an impressive town.

Across the park @ Timboon

A tree I found at Timboon

The Fat Cow Food Co.  in Timboon

Heading back towards the coast we travelled  through some lovely dairy farming country.  (Please click on the photo to see the whole vista!)

Fabulous Farmland

I never tire of seeing the black and white cows grazing on the lush green grass we experienced in much of Victoria.  It was around this time that I finally figured out how to take a panoramic photo with my little camera (yeah, I know I’m a bit slow).

There are lots of Devondale Farms in this area, and we passed numerous ones during our travels in Victoria.  I just had to take this photo of the sign on the farm gate!

This is a Devondale Farm


Country between Timboon and Princetown

 

We then met the Great Ocean Road again near Princetown with our next stop being Gibson Steps and the usual warning sign.

Gibson Steps

Boy were there some steps!

 Almost to the beach

Water seeping through the rock and trickling down

Then when you arrived at the beach you were met with this sign!

Warning – Unstable Cliffs

Keep clear of cliffs.  Do not walk, sunbathe or play under cliffs as they can collapse without notice.

Visitors are advised to keep 5m clear of cliffs at all times.

Well in that case you’d better stay off the beach because it would have been hard in some places to have 5 meters between the cliffs and the southern ocean!  It is quite an eerie feeling being down on the beach below the cliffs.  The ocean is very turbulent and rogue waves were breaking fairly close to the cliffs, so you had to be on the lookout at all times.

Looking right on the beach

Looking left on the Beach

Cuttlefish bone on the beach

Among the seaweed on the beach we found quite a few cuttlefish bones – I could hardly believe this one was as big as my foot!

Here’s the steps – all 70+ of them

And when you have finished on the beach here’s the walk back up to the car!  I can tell you it was well worth the climb down and back up.  I’m so glad I was able to do this not only here but at other beaches as well.

To get back to Port Campbell we had to pass the Twelve Apostles so of course we had to stop and have another look around.

 

It was later in the afternoon this time, but there were still plenty of people around, you should be able to see some in this photo.  Where the dip is in this shot is the spot we were standing for the following photo.

Us at the Twelve Apostles – it was cold and showery (well that’s our excuse!)

You can see the viewing platform on the right in this photo.

 

The Twelve Apostles

There’s nothing wrong with your eyesight.  Not all twelve ‘apostles’ can be seen from this lookout; some are hidden behind headlands or obscured by other rock stacks.

Last century the rock stacks were called the ‘Sow and Piglets’.  Muttonbird Island near Loch Ard Gorge was the ‘Sow’ and the smaller rock stacks were the ‘Piglets’.  Perhaps Twelve Apostles was thought to be a more dignified name.

The rock stacks are the temporary remnants of a retreating limestone coastline, under constant attack by the sea.  Cliff faces are being eroded at the rate of about 2cm each year.

The two rock stacks in the photo below are named ‘Gog’ and ‘Magog’  The platform on the left of the photo is where we were standing for our photo above.

Twelve Apostles

Many of the visitors were waiting for the penguins to return to their rookery after dark so we decided we would wait too.  Well we waited and we waited pretty much until it was totally dark and you couldn’t see the beach, but unfortunately no penguins returned.

Our time we have spent at the Twelve Apostles was some of the most magical time of our whole trip, and I would return in a heartbeat to stand in awe.

 

 

PS Please remember that you can click on the panorama photos to see the entire photo.  🙂

 

 

 

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Port Campbell

Port Campbell Foreshore with SLSC house

We really enjoyed our time at Port Campbell, even though the town turned out to be much smaller than I thought it would be.

Day 1

After our rather action packed arrival at the caravan park (you can read about it here) our first day was spent doing some much needed washing and exploring the town.

First we went to the Visitor Information Centre where we were able to learn a fair bit about the shipwrecks along the coast – the most notable being the Loch Ard.

Loch Ard Anchor

The event which sentenced this anchor to a 24 metre deep grave for almost 100 years was a dramatic one.  It’s resurrection was equally so.  A few weeks before Easter 1978, it rocketed up from the depths, shooting almost 2 metres out of the water.  The surfacing wasn’t spontaneous.  A team of divers from the Scuba Divers Federation of Victoria made good use of suitable weather to break free the encrusted anchor using an inflated rubber lifting bag.

This particular anchor is a Kedge, a secondary anchor used in shallow water.  It’s believed that the Loch Ard carried 4 such Kedges apart from her two main 3.6 metre long anchors.  Re-adjusting to an out-of-water existence after such a long submersion has been a lengthy process.

Curators from Warrnambool’s Flagstaff Hill Maratime Museum kept the anchor in an observation bath for over 18 months.  To halt corrosion, brought on by the sudden change of environment, they regularly changed the caustic soda ‘bathwater’ which leeches out salts in the metal. 

If not treated, the anchor would quickly deteriorate, as salt absorbs water from the atmosphere, triggering off corrosion.

Relics from the shipwrecks along the coastline

The Visitor Information Centre had a wealth of ideas of places to see and things to do.

Gibson Steps to Port Campbell

Port Campbell to Newfield Bay

The weather in Port Campbell – 13° with showers/rain.  Sunrise 7.47am – Sunset 5.17pm

After a good look around in there, we trotted down the main street of Port Campbell where we met the team from South West Victorian Dogs.      These dogs and their handlers had just completed the Working Dog Walk from Port Campbell to Canberra to highlight the important contribution working dogs make to Australian society.  Their self-funded, not-for-profit expedition covered 1000kms over 65 days, and culminated with an announcement by the Federal Coalition that they plan to create a search dog framework, to better co-ordinate the roles of dogs in search and rescue operation.

Rob meeting the Dogs and their handlers

This photo of the dogs and their handlers chatting with Rob was taken outside the multi purpose shop in Port Campbell.  Port Campbell Shopping is, the Post Office, General Store, Newsagent and Bottle Shop and we bought a few supplies but of course they were more expensive than in larger towns and cities.

Multi-purpose Shop at Port Campbell

Port Campbell Shopping

For lunch we bought fish and chips and sat near the beach eating them.  This sign in the take-away shop window made us laugh.

Sign in Take Away Shop window

Port Campbell

Port Campbell Foreshore with SLSC house

Port Campbell Foreshore

Looking at the Jetty from the foreshore

I’m really not convinced I would be in any type of boat coming in thru the heads to the jetty at Port Campbell.  Just looking at the rips and currents and the overall roughness of the ocean is enough to put me off completely.  It even took me a while to get right out on the jetty!

Port Campbell Jetty

Port Campbell Jetty

The Port Campbell beach front

Main Street Port Campbell

 

Happy Hour saw us sharing with our new friends Tim & Sue in the camp kitchen.  A great time of ‘getting to know’ each other.  And we discovered that Tim was recovering from an accident he had while driving a wheat truck, and was really lucky to be alive!

Have you met any interesting characters in your travels?  Please share in the comments below.

 

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