Holiday: Return to Oz – Day 15 (of 18): More of Mornington!
Reading time: 3minutes...TUESDAY the 5th.
Greetings Galahs! 🤔
“What’s that Skip? The last full day of sight-seeing in Oz?”
Yes, our last full day here today before we fly home Thursday afternoon. Melbourne ✈ Jakarta ✈ Schipol ✈ London 🚄 Kettering.
So, after our delightful, but brief, visit to Dromana last night, we’re making the most of our last day-and-a-bit, taking-in as much of the local area as we can.
08:30am: A late-ish breakfast on the Patio with Sheep for company!
10:30am: We’re off! Our first stop was the Lighthouse at Cape Schanck. Built in 1859, in spite of its age, it still looked good – even on a slightly cloudy day like today. On certain days of the year, visitors are allowed up to the top – but today, unfortunately, wasn’t one of those days – although we still managed to get some good shots…
…together with the views out to sea…
12:05pm: Next on the list was an area known as “Millionaires’ Walk” (it had been recommended by a couple of people we’d spoken to since being out here). It’s located on the way through Sorrento and onto nearby Portsea and commands beautiful views of (even more) beautiful beaches.
The properties along the Walk all shouted “go away, I’m rich” with their impossibly tall fencing, spike-laden gates and numerous security signs showing they were ‘fully protected 24/7’. Ahh! The lifestyles of the rich and famous! 😉
12:15pm: Seriously overcome by the obvious wealth, we retreated back to the hire-car and planned our next stop – Point Nepean National Park Quarantine Centre in Portsea. Opened in 1852, all shipping passed through here where they had to weigh anchor for 40 days and have all ship’s company and passengers inspected for ‘nasties’ such as Cholera, Disentry, Smallpox etc (including in 1918, Influenza too).😕
This was Victoria State’s equivalent of Ellis Island in New York and was operational until 1979 (before closing in 1980) and all shipping passed through here. In more recent years it became the temporary holding place for Kosovo Migrants.🤔
Before visiting today, we hadn’t really thought about the size and scale of the Centre, but once we were there, all became clear! The area was simply enormous!
There was plenty to see (all free!) and most of it had been restored to a very high standard (work in progress though, as there is still lots to do).
Probably the most impressive sight were the machines used to ‘clean’ the belongings of those being held in quarantine – again massive in scale (and a bit frightening!)
All-in-all a great place to visit and great news that the Centre is now officially a place of outstanding historic significance. 👍
Best of all, we made a new friend – we called him (or her) ‘Spike’. It was an ‘Enchidna‘ – aka a spiny ant-eater!1.30pm: We said goodbye to Spike and headed for our final cultural stop of the day: Fort Nepean. It was walkable (5km.), but only if you’re mad! We are, but we still took the Bus! 😁
The Bus fare is A$10 each and runs mainly on the half-hour. I’m really glad we did this – not only because of the distance, but also because of the narrowness of the walking area (that also happened to be the road!). 😯
Ten-minutes later, we arrived. The Fort is positioned right on the tip of the Peninsular, overlooking the Bass Strait and Port Phillip. It has been a military establishment since the 1880s and was in use right up until 1948. It is also in the record books for two related reasons:
It fired the first shot for the Empire in WW1
It fired the first shot for Australia in WW2
There is plenty to see here, including old tunnels…
…disused military hardware…
…and commanding views out to sea!
2:20pm: This had been an impressive stop and there was more to see, but we’d seen enough. We caught the 2.15 back to ‘ground-level and on the way down, the Driver stopped for an unexpected extra! (to us anyway!) It was a Memorial to the Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt, who in 1967, walked out of Parliament and ‘disappeared’ after swimming in this area. Conspiracies abound here in Oz where many believe he didn’t go swimming at all! 😉
It had been a really worthwhile trip to the Fort, but it was much hotter now and we called it a day. We decided to look for somewhere for a snack before heading back to Haven B&B.
3:05pm: A short drive later, we parked in an area of Sorrento that had a parade of shops including Stringers (a wine shop/supermarket/café) that we’d seen on the way in. A couple of toasted paninis, soft drink and a coffee later (A$27.80/£14.96), we were ready for the journey back.
4:10pm: Back at the B&B, it was time to re-pack and write the Blog, so we’re ready to check-out tomorrow.
6.45pm: David, our Host had laid-on a tasty cheese-plate for us tonight.
Tomorrow, it’s a final exploration of the local area before heading back to Melbourne Airport and returning the hire-car. We’re spending a night at the Park Royal located inside the Airport (due to our very early flight the following morning to Jakarta).
9.00pm: Nighty-night! 😵😵