Today’s adventure begins with a personal favorite of the night manager of the Warrnambool Motor Lodge. His tip last night for a nice quiet pub with Australian Open tennis on the telly sent us to a massive, expensive, incredibly noisy family fun restaurant. Not our taste. Being the forgiving Yanks that we are, we decided to give him a second chance and followed his tip to visit the Tower Hill Nature Reserve, which requires a small detour on the way to Port Fairy. Finding a room around these parts has been unusually difficult and we just found out that a traveling car racing series has been following us causing no-vacancy signs to light up all over the area. I suspect a spot of price gouging as well, even though we’ve reached the end of a The Great Ocean Road.
After a breckkie featuring a couple of egg McMuffins at Macca’s we Escapees wound-up the Lagoon Blue Hyundai and were off. It’s not hard to find the Tower Hill Nature Reserve; after all it spans an entire huge caldera of an extinct, one can only hope, volcano. Immediately one plunges down into the bowl along a strange side wall displaying signs of intense geothermal goings on. The passenger window reveled a huge meandering swamp-like lake, on the floor. The whole park has been reclaimed and revegetated after being stripped bare by European settlement in the 1800’s. In the 1960’s using a painting by Eugene Von Guerrad done 160 years ago, as a reference to what kind of trees and plants were there, volunteers planted tens of thousands of trees over several decades.
Official greeters, these two adult emus, posed for us as soon as we entered the park.
On a quiet walk through the park this guy startled us by crashing through the underbrush just to check us out.
Once again our Koala radar was well tuned and we found a couple of cuties doing what they do.
From the lookouts up on the edge of the caldera.
Next up, after a short drive, we entered lovely Port Fairy, said to be the most livable town in the world, looking for lunch. It is nice. Wide tree lined streets, a fort with cannons up on Battery Hill, and last but not least the retro and irreverent Port Fairy confectionary.
Finally we Escapees arrive in Hamilton at our home for the night and take our obligatory picture with the patron saint of Aussie rats.