Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Queenscliff and Point Lonsdale

Point Lonsdale lighthouse
We had a great time during our weekend away to Queenscliff. In actual fact, our holiday was in the Bellarine Peninusula, as we stayed in a self-contained cottage in Wallington, about 15 minutes inland from Queenscliff, and, besides enjoying Queenscliff's township, we also made forrays to Point Lonsdale for its beach and to see the lighthouse.

Point Lonsdale lighthouse

I have a thing about lighthouses, and you wouldn't believe how happy I was to see and photograph the one at Point Lonsdale. The current structure has been standing since 1902, when it replaced the wooden lighthouse that had been operating since 1863. I wonder if the wooden one burned down. The plaque didn't say.

I hope to photograph the lighthouses at Airey's Inlet and Cape Otway some day, and have a complete set of the lighthouses of the Bellarine Peninsula and Great Ocean Road.

Queenscliff steam train
The kids are train fanatics and Queenscliff is famous for its tourist steam railway, so there was no way we could avoid a steam train trip. To be able to take our younger son on a ride, we chose the shorter 40–45 minute round trip from from Queenscliff to Lakers Siding. Short and sweet, but much going for it, including passing by some lovely views of Swan Bay and the Marine Discovery Centre (more on that later).

Queenscliff station is a simple, old country railway station with volunteers running the steam trains as a 'living museum', much like Puffing Billy in Belgrave and the museum at Daylesford. Lakers Siding was just a stop with just a little old post and telegraph office. But there we got to watch the train shunt around the carriages and join up to the opposite end to take us back to Queenscliff.

We also visited the Queenscliff Marine Discovery Centre, which is a marine research and education centre run by Victoria's Department of Primary Industries. They don't have an extensive public exhibit, but we got there just in time for the floor talk and feeding time (the creatures are fed on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays). It was a really good way to see some of the marine life of Port Phillip Bay, including sea horses, sea cucumbers, scallops and such, and for the kids and adults to learn of the impact of litter, plastics and other acts of human inconsideration on marine ecology and sea life. We also got to touch the seastars, hermit crabs and other hardy creatures in the touch tank.

We stayed at a self-contained holiday cottage on the grounds of a B&B in Wallington, set in a mix of bushland and farmland. It was quite easy to get to from the Bellarine Highway, which was amazing because dotted around the property were these amazing, massive and ancient grass trees.

You could tell they were old because they are very slow growing and many had tall trunks and even taller central floral spikes. The one above didn't have half as tall a flower spike, but it was stunning and in blossom. This was pretty much the view from the kitchen window whenever I was at the sink:

What I saw from the kitchen sink window
Not bad for washing dishes, wouldn't you say?

You can find more of my Queenscliff holiday photos on flickr.

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At October 02, 2008 3:08 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At October 02, 2008 9:17 pm, Blogger phil said...

On another note entirely, Queenscliff is beautiful, isn't it? My (Deakin, Geelong) MBA group spent a great couple of days there some 14-15 years ago in between concentrated one-week residential units. We played the Barwon Heads links course, I wish I hadn't had such a hangover.

At October 03, 2008 1:09 pm, Blogger unique_stephen said...

I've only been there a few times.

Jealous much of the view.

At October 03, 2008 1:25 pm, Blogger Mark Lawrence said...

Hi phil and steve, we enjoyed ourselves on the Bellarine Peninsula, thank you. I appreciate how both of you have visited the same place and my post brought some resonances and memories for you.

By the way, I thought I'd ask you, and the other regular (and irregular) readers what I should do with this totally off-the-point, incredibly long and somewhat rude and repetitive comment posted above.

This guy (I can only assume 'anonymous' is a guy because of the long winded ranting, repetition and rude language, but I'm allowed to make that call…) doesn't even have the decency to post something on topic, or to keep it short. Normally I would say "go get your own blog and say it all there" and automatically delete the comment (warning, in future, this will be my course of action), but this time I thought I'd ask what the others who read this blog think - especially those of you who are polite enough to drop me a comment that is on topic and not too long.

Not that I mind long-ish comments, but it is more the to-and-fro of an exchange of ideas and recollections that I enjoy and appreciate.

So, here's a poll: to delete anonnymous's comment or not?

I hope to make a decision soon, so vote now, vote often.

At October 07, 2008 2:33 pm, Blogger unique_stephen said...


At October 07, 2008 4:31 pm, Blogger Mark Lawrence said...

The 'deletes' have it.



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