Jul
28
2009

Driving holidays – Lakes Entrance (Vic) to Quenbeayan (ACT)

By Victoria /

Australian Capital Territory – a place with artistic flair The drive north from Lakes Entrance in Victoria was a hard slog in some places, especially in a campervan. It’s about a five-hour drive but, funnily enough, the time just seemed to fly by.  There isn’t a lot to stop and see along the way, but a myriad of surprises awaits in Quenbeayan! Did you know that Quenbeayan is one of Australia’s biggest art towns? We certainly didn’t! This part of Australia is home to some of our most talented artists. We went to the Bilk Workshop and The Artists Shed. You can even taken in a few art classes which run three or four times a week. Who knows, you may just have a hidden talent ready to be unearthed … though I certainly didn’t. So, if it’s art you love, Quenbeayen is definitely the place for you.  There are loads of art galleries and tucked away little studios all…

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Jul
24
2009

Driving holidays – Melbourne to Lakes Entrance (Vic)

By Melbourne / Victoria /

Melbourne to Lakes Entrance We decided to check out our own “doorstep” and spent a few days looking around the Dandenongs, within an hour’s drive from Melbourne’s CBD. It’s a leisurely cruise in the campervan, too, with loads of great sites as you wind your way up these hills east of the city. It’s such a beautiful place in Autumn. You just have to go to the Cuckoo Restaurant, it’s a damn good day out. Great food and very entertaining.  We parked the vehicle and took the Puffing Billy (pictured) up there – a place I haven’t been since I was 7. You forget what is right on your doorstep, you really do. A grand entrance Then we headed off to Lakes Entrance, which is an easy drive, nice open roads, flat and perfect for just cruising along. Lakes Entrance is so under-rated. Only four hours drive from Melbourne, it’s an easy weekend getaway with so much to do. We…

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Apr
28
2009
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Driving holidays – Warrnambool (Victoria)

By Victoria /

It’s the stuff of legend. Some call it Australia’s Loch Ness. It’s the Mahogany Ship, the mystery vessel, maybe a Portuguese caravel or even a Chinese junk, claimed to lie buried beneath the dunes between Warrnambool and Port Fairy on Victoria’s notorious Shipwreck Coast. Historians predict that if found it could rewrite the history of Australia’s discovery. You might not find it, but walking the sands and following the clues is heaps of fun. The journey From Melbourne there are two choices, with either Warrnambool or Port Fairy, a little beyond, as your base. The inland route to Warrnambool, 269km or a 3.5-hour drive along the Princes Highway through Geelong, Colac and Camperdown, is the quickest, while your return can be via the spectacular Great Ocean Road, through Lorne and Apollo Bay, which takes a couple of hours longer. Follow the clues To get your bearings on the Mahogany Ship jigsaw, first visit Warrnambool’s Flagstaff Hill Maritime Museum to soak…

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Apr
28
2009
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Driving holidays – Daylesford (Victoria)

By Victoria /

Nerves jangled? Life getting you down? Don’t reach for yet another “miracle” vitamin pill. Head for Daylesford in country Victoria. This bucolic retreat should do the trick. It’s done it for us, numerous times. Let it pamper spirit and body with its plethora of massage therapists and spas, a couple of great bookshops, and some of the best grub in country Australia. Rebirthed as the gay centre of rural Victoria, Daylesford with its treed streets and fine gold era buildings, provides attractions for all persuasions. The journey Getting there is a cinch. It’s an hour and a half up the Calder Freeway from Melbourne, turning off to Woodend, and then left at the end of the main street to Daylesford. Or follow the Western Freeway (M8) from Melbourne, exiting toward Daylesford at Ballan. What to do first is the dilemma. My first stop is book heaven, the Avant Garden, a labyrinth of tomes of all types (there are 14 rooms of them)…

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Apr
14
2009

Driving holidays – Echuca (Victoria)

By Victoria /

This one may not necessarily be the prettiest drives from Melbourne, but it’s certainly the fastest way to reach the magic that awaits on the mighty Murray River. Echuca, about 200km north of Melbourne on the Victoria and NSW border, was once the biggest inland port in Australia and has retained much of that old world charm in the heart of town while also offering a cosmopolitan way of life too. In a nutshell there’s the historic port to explore, great restaurants and pubs, big clubs over the border in Moama, a wealth of river activities including fishing, skiing, swimming, Paddlesteamer cruises and much more. […]

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Apr
10
2009
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Driving holidays – Phillip Island (Victoria)

By Victoria /

Many visitors to Victoria think of the Great Ocean Road as the state’s ultimate driving holiday, but a 150km drive south-east from Melbourne to Phillip Island clearly can’t be underestimated. It’s a great drive leading to a fabulous holiday hotspot with a plethora of things to do. A few months back we loaded up our six-berth Britz camper, hit the Monash Freeway, turned into the South Gippsland Freeway and then onto the Bass Highway and finally made our way to the island via Phillip Island Rd. Normally the trip would take roughly a couple of hours, take your time and you might find a few surprises along the way – including full scale replicas of meteorites that landed in the Cranbourne area in 1860 and Panny’s Amazing World of Chocolate where you can almost taste the Dame Edna portrait made of 12,000 chocolate pieces! Pleasure island Once on the island, don’t let it’s size fool you as there’s loads to do….

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