This entry by: Katie 29 Dec 2009 05:42 pm

3,000km of rain…

Ok, so perhaps a slight exaggeration, but you get the idea.
At the end of November, Clayton and I headed up to Sydney for the night so that we could arrive at the airport in plenty of time to pick up my parents.   We were lucky enough to be playing tour guide for Mum and Dad for a month – I was very excited about all the things we would do…  Here are some of my highlights:

Ok, so perhaps a slight exaggeration, but you get the idea. At the end of November, Clayton and I headed up to Sydney for the night so that we could arrive at the airport in plenty of time to pick up my parents.   We were lucky enough to be playing tour guide for Mum and Dad for a month – I was very excited about all the things we would do…

Here are some of my highlights:

Having had a sunny morning at the Rocks markets in Sydney we headed back to Canberra and hit our first patch of rain.  The rain continued for almost the whole of the first week, which allowed Mum and Dad to acclimatise to the hot summer I had promised.  The wet week allowed plenty of time to plan the great south eastern road trip.  Our plans got as far as “lets drive down the coast, spend a few days in Melbourne, and travel the Great Ocean Road before hitting a few wineries in Rutherglen on the way back to Canberra”.  As for accommodation, and length of trip – we pretty much took an Aussie approach, and agreed a destination and accommodation the night before that way if we liked the look of a place we could stay a little longer.

After picking up Telula from Claytons parents (our friendly Sat Nav – we couldn’t have done it without her!) we headed of on the Sunday, and made it to Bateman’s Bay for fish and chips before the rain caught up with us.

Merimbula saw the start of what could have made this a crazy golf based road trip – we each put in the required stake to ensure that there was sufficient prize money, and medals ($1.50 for the winner and $0.50 for the runner up). I would love to say that it was a close fought match, but basically Mum was the run away winner, followed by Clayton (who may have been in contention for the gold had he not had a 9 shot hole!)

The crazy golf podium

The crazy golf podium

From Merimbula on the rain followed us as we travelled to Merimbula and down to Lakes Entrance.
We stayed for a couple of days in Lakes Entrance, including a lovely afternoon at the Wyanga Park winery.  I can definitely recommend a winery boat trip as a rainy day activity!
The sun appears in Lakes Entrance as we leave...

The sun appears in Lakes Entrance as we leave...

Arriving in Melbourne allowed us the opportunity to unpack and get to know the city a little better.  That said, the highlight for me was a trip to the Little Penguins at Phillip Island.  We travelled down one night to see the penguins parade – which is basically an opportunity to watch the penguins as they return from the surf and waddle to their burrows. So, so cute.

Koala in the wild on Great Ocean Road

Koala in the wild on Great Ocean Road

A few days later we headed off towards the Great Ocean Road hoping that the rain would hold off long enough to let Mum and Dad see the 12 Apostles in all their glory. But before experiencing the glory of the rocks, we decided to take a small detour to Werribee Open Range Zoo to see some of the traditional zoo inhabitants close up, and in surroundings more closely resembling their native habitat. Given the expanse of the zoo, the best way to see everything was to jump on the safari bus, sit back, listen to the drivers commentary and enjoy.  My main take away… rhinos poo in designated areas, so that the rest of the savannah can be kept relatively poop free.  Female rhinos just poo and go, whereas the males make sure the poo is piled nice and neatly, and like to smell the female poo.  Nice!

The Great  Ocean Road didn’t disappoint – it was just as picturesque as I had expected. We were lucky with the weather (overcast with no rain) and even managed to squeeze in a helicopter flight – the view from the air was amazing. A stunning day, finished off by a night in a converted railway carriage with a home cooked meal (cooked by our slightly eccentric host).
Apostles from the air

Apostles from the air

Back on solid ground

Back on solid ground

We spent a day tasting wine at a number of Rutherglen wineries. One of notable mention would have to be Colfields where we managed to source a rather good sparkling shiraz for Christmas day – and the winery has what looks like a nice restaurant which might be worth a visit.  Unfortunately we didn’t have a chance to sample as we had booked into the Rutherglen Estates winery tour.  This consisted of us jumping into the back of the owners car and being  driven round his estate (huge and v. pretty) before stopping to speak with the wine maker and taste some of the wines directly from the metal vats, and in various maturity levels before being bottled.  I have to say, I still prefer the bottled stuff!

Rutherglen

Our final leg also took in  Beechworth (definitely worth a return visit and an overnight stay), Glen Rowan and the Dog on the Tucker Box (5 miles from Gundagai) where the rain stayed off long enough for us to get a great view of the rain clouds as we returned to Canberra.

Back in Canberra, Mum had finally spent the last of her crazy golf winnings, and challenged us to a Pitch and Putt competition.  18 holes, with a 18 stroke handicap for everyone (other than Dad) and a small rain shower was going to sort the golfers out from the non golfers.  Predictably I lost – but this time the winnings were split between Dad and Clayton, well done to both.  The only obvious was to celebrate was with a beer at the local club.

All in all a great trip: 3,000 km of Australian countryside, shared with some of my favourite people.  I’m just a little sorry that Mum and Dad didn’t quite get the sunny holiday they were expecting!  Although, I am sure that for the right price, Mum and Dad will come back and stand in your garden for a while!
3,000km of rain

3,000km of rain

2 Responses to “3,000km of rain…”

  1. on 08 Jan 2010 at 6:33 am 1.Mum and Dad said …

    As we recall, we visited Beechworth before we got to Rutherglen, but then we might have been on a different trip. Also we note that you went from Merrimbula to Merrimbula ( perhaps you forgot to read over your work , as you were supposed to do at school ) these minor criticisms apart,you have managed a very good and succinct overview of our trip. Well done Katie.

  2. on 10 Jan 2010 at 10:28 am 2.Katie said …

    You are right. Beechworth was before Rutherglen. Thanks for the sense check!

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