We had an early start to the day knowing there were a couple of spots to cover before the long drive back to Melbourne. As we were ahead of schedule we popped by to Marriner’s Lookout, a quiet, scenic spot a short drive from Apollo Bay.
A nice little stroll on foot from the base of the car park will lead you to some really fabulous views of the coast.
Once we had enough of the views it was time to move on to probably Victoria’s most popular sight, the Twelve Apostles. From Apollo Bay it was around an hour and a half drive. We heard so much about the Twelve Apostles but were pretty afraid to set high expectations for this renowned bunch of rocks so we braced ourselves for some decent views at best, or an overrated tourist attraction at worst but we were glad the end result was closer to the former than the latter.
While not jaw dropping stunning, it’s still worth the long drive from Melbourne-something you have to see once in your life kind of attraction.
Since we were around the area, we drove further west to some other popular rock formations, London Bridge and Grotto.
It’s fascinating to witness first hand the sheer power of nature, just the ability and force of the waves itself being able to sculpt these interesting rock formations over time.
Day 5 saw us taking a full day to explore Mornington, an area south of Melbourne. Most people spend some time there as part of their trip to Philip Island but since we were going to see penguins in Tasmania we decided to skip the island and instead dedicate a full day to this Mornington instead.
On Wednesday mornings they have a local market going on, near Mornington Main Street. There’s not much in my opinion so you can probably give it a miss.
If you love cafes, Black Bird Cafe is recommended for its enormous brunch portions and excellent coffee and sweets.
You can probably give the lamb burger a miss, the spices were a tad too strong for my liking.
Our next destination, Mornington Botanical Rose Gardens, turned out to be a pleasant surprise since we wouldn’t have gone had our first choice Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm was open. This free entry park listed 4,000 different variants of roses in its name, and since my mother absolutely loves flowers, I was so glad we made her day by going.
What can I say? Even a non-flower lover like me enjoyed just walking around smelling the roses. A definite must-go in my books!
Right around tea time we popped by to Moonlight Sanctuary Conservation Park, a small, open animal park featuring mostly wildlife of Australia.
There’s an entry fee but elderly get a small discount. Don’t forget to buy the kangaroo feed at the entrance as it will come in handy later!
We came across some animals and birds that we don’t usually see back home, but we came for the wallaby enclosure and it certainly didn’t disappoint.
Here’s Pari doing the opposite of what she does usually.
You can’t get any closer to wild wallabies than in Moonlight Sanctuary, so if you love feeding and patting these animals, you have to go to this park.
Peninsula Honey Farm is also around the area so if you take Manuka or other forms of honey it’s a great spot to get them for cheaper prices than back home.
This cute little shop as all kinds of honey imaginable for you to sample, candy, ice cream and even cider, making it virtually impossible to leave the shop without spending any money. The honey ice cream is a delight, so don’t miss it.
Our last stop of the day was St Kilda’s, known for mostly two things – penguins and cakes. We didn’t have time to go but St Kilda Pier is known to house a small penguin colony, coming in in the evening from the sea.
As for the cakes, Acland Street is widely known for its European cake shops and it was one of the places I looked forward the most, being an absolute cake fanatic.
The variety was stunning and I’ve never seen such a wide array of sweets before. We tried the highly recommended Kugelhopf, a type of marble cake originating from Europe, and a couple of other sweets, however none of which were particularly worth remembering.
Next up – Tasmania!