After the detour through Silo country (aka the Wimmera), we stopped at Halls Gap for a short two-night break before we headed into Melbourne. We based ourselves at a national park area called Plantation Campground to explore the Grampians and spent our time sussing out McKenzie Falls and checking out the local wildlife.
We also decided, after my laptop went flat (and knowing that we’d be another couple of days before we’d be at a powered site), to buy an inverter to put onto Corey’s spare car battery, so we ended up spending the afternoon driving into Stawell and then Ararat in search of a small one that would do the job.
After a couple of great days in the Grampians, and some great Dutch neighbours who popped over for a red wine and a chat one evening, it was time to make our way to Melbourne. Knowing our options for caravan parks in Melbourne were limited, we ended up staying at the Discovery Park in Braybrook, just hoping that they’d be able to fit us in as my numerous attempts to call resulted in phones that just rang out.
As it turned out, we arrived and there were no sites big enough to take our van!!!! But the fabulous Denise solved the problem by allowing us to park in in the storage carpark (for free!) and moving us to a powered site the next day. We ended up staying in a cabin there as well for a few days once we’d dropped off our van to the factory. The trip on the Ring-road to Campbellfield was a great reminder of what we don’t miss about Melbourne!!
I was fortunate to be in town the same time as my BFF was due to have her baby. Before we moved to Mildura, I was able to see her first born bub, a day before we drove out of town. Her second son was born whilst I was in Melbourne for a conference, so it was very convenient that I could pop by and see her after my conference was done! Now, as fate would have it again, here we are to see bubba #3 and he is a sweetheart with gorgeous black hair!
We caught up with some old friends that we hadn’t seen for ages for lunch, which was awesome and made us realise just how much we’ve missed some of the people we left behind when we moved to Mildura. The girls took a real shine to Mrs Moo, who bought them cupcakes… just because.
Old family friends came to visit and we spent a few hours catching up over pizza before they had to head off… some people unfortunately have to work on Mondays!!!!!
I was also lucky to catch up with a couple of girlfriends that I’d met at a writing conference a few years ago. This conference allowed me to find my tribe and a bunch of fabulous women who aspire to be authors like I do! So far on this trip, I’d been fortunate to catch up with a couple of them already in Brisbane and Porepunkah! And in Melbs, it was a two for one deal catching up with Mel and Rach and tucking into this ridiculous dessert that we had no hope of finishing! We gave it a red hot go though!
We also spent some time at Scienceworks with the girls:
We also visited Corey’s Aunt Ronda and the following day his Uncle Brad. Finally though, our van was fixed and we were able to pick it up and head down to Ocean Grove to catch up with some cousins whilst staying at the Big 4 Bellarine.
If you get the chance to go and stay down at Ocean Grove and you have small kids, do yourself a favour and spend a couple of days at this caravan park. They are totally geared towards families with younger kids and have heaps of things to do. From jumping pillows and play equipment to a BMX track, flying fox, toddler room and movies every night as well as the best indoor pool and water park. The sites are ginormous and everything is shiny and new. The amenities block is set out as individual bathrooms which is great for families to get in and get showered and sorted in one room.
We’d stayed at this park when we picked up our van last year, but it was late when we got in and we didn’t have the girls with us. This time around we actually got to see what the park had to offer and enjoy all the facilities. And the best bit… you can get real coffee!!!
And before too much longer it was time to head off again. Westward bound and back on the move after a long stationery stop in Mildura. It was great to be on the road again and we’re looking forward to getting back into the swing of life on the road!
What do you love most about Melbourne? Have you ever stayed at Big 4 Bellarine?