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Melbourne & Mornington Peninsula

With an upcoming Board meeting in Melbourne, we decided to give Zizi a break from us and left her in a park in Frankston. We'd read some mixed reviews on this area, so we put her hitch-lock on... just in case she decided to elope in our absence.

Frankston is on Port Philip Bay and about 45 mins from the city centre. It's fairly typical suburbia with a beach and a pier. However, it did deliver an unexpected surprise for the kids - playing host to an impressive sand sculpting exhibition. Open for only a few weeks each year, these sculptures were of gigantic proportions and detail. Castles, ships and story book characters had all been carved from just sand and water. Very impressive!

Heading on to Melbourne, we settled into our apartment in Southbank. We got to our meeting (the kids got some iPad time) and then we set off for some city exploration. The Sea Life Aquarium was a hit; lots of great exhibits and interactive displays. We were even treated to a 4D movie as part of the experience! However the highlight was seeing four baby King Penguins - gorgeous little balls of fluff buried in their parents' feathers.

The next day we rode a tram, explored Southbank and visited the Melbourne Museum (great dinosaurs, human body, wild animals and historic Melbourne exhibits). The weather was clear so for those who don't believe it (and, look, I was among them), I can confirm that sometimes it's warm and sunny in Melbourne.

Heading back to Frankston, we found Zizi safely unattached and headed further south into the Mornington Peninsula. We were very fortunate to be able to call in to Bill and Jan's farm, Ambleside, in Merricks North for the night. Ambleside is a beautiful picture-postcard property, set on rolling hills overlooking Philip Island. The kids loved having a ride on the 'Gator' and exploring the paddocks to see some bulls, cows & the stars of the show...some newly arrived calves! One was only two days old. Bill and Jan have grandkids just the same age as Thomas and Sienna and the house was a kids paradise. Basketballs, scooters, water pistols and tubs of lego - heaven!

After running along the hay bales (kids second favourite activity), we farewelled our farm friends and caught the ferry from Sorrento to Queenscliff. It's a 40 minute journey and with the sun shining, it was a great way to take in the beautiful bay.

From Queenscliff we wound our way along the famous surf coast of Bells Beach to Anglesea. Our adventure along Victoria's Great Ocean Road... up next.

On a separate note, I'm making a few observations about campgrounds on this journey.

1. The ambiance of an amenity block is only mildly enhanced by radio that only has a royalty-free playlist. Enough already of Dragon, AC/DC & Annie Lennox.

2. Small babies in campgrounds. They cry at home people, they'll cry here too...

3. I'm pretty sure 1pm is not 5pm anywhere outside of rehab. Put the beer down - go and take in the sights!


Ambleside Farm - North Merrick, Mornington Peninsula

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