Southern Ocean Drive – Day One
After two days traveling the famous Great Ocean Road, we began our next Australian adventure: South Australia’s Southern Ocean Drive.
The official start of The Drive is Mt. Gambier, but since we were in Port Fairy, that’s where our journey began.
Go with it.
Our first stop was Portland, the oldest European settlement in Victoria.
This is also where you’ll find captivating Cape Bridgewater and Bridgewater Bay.
We parked our car on Bridgewater Road and went for a hike.
We weren’t sure where we were going, we just followed the path and enjoyed the views, trees, and salt air.
Our next stop was Cape Bridgewater wind farm, the second stage of Pacific Hydro’s Portland Wind Energy Project (PWEP).
I’m fascinated with wind turbines.
Can you see me?
Other highlights of Cape Bridgewater, is the surreal landscape of the petrified forest:
And the mighty waves crashing against -and through- the volcanic cliffs.
Bonus? Sometimes you can see a large breeding colony of fur seals from a look out above.
Unfortunately, we did not.
About an hour and a half from Cape Bridgewater is Mt. Gambier, known for its limestone, volcanic landscape, and crater lakes.
Their most famous crater lake turns cobalt blue from December to March, and is aptly named Blue Lake.
The lake returns to a colder steel grey color from April to November.
Umpherston Sinkhole is another worthwhile stop in Mt. Gambier.
James Umpherston made the sinkhole into a garden in 1886, and is now fittingly referred to as the Sunken Garden.
Our next and final stop for the day was Naracoorte, about an hour north of Mt. Gambier.
Since we knew we’d be eating out for several days in a row, we chose to end our journey at Carolynnes Cottages, a charming cottage with a full kitchen and outdoor grill.
Thanks to T & A Tender Cuts Butcher Shop, we feasted upon lamb chops and their award winning house-made sausage.
After our home-cooked meal, we relaxed on the wraparound porch with a bottle of wine and reminisced on our travels thus far.
Day One Highlights
Drive from Port Fairy to Naracoorte with stops: 324km
- Cape Bridgewater
- Wind farm
- Petrified forest
- Mt. Gambier
- Blue Lake
- Umpherston Sinkhole
- Lodging: Carolynnes Cottages
- Dinner: T & A Tender Cuts Butcher Shop
- Breakfast: Provisions provided by Carolynnes Cottages.
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