We drove almost six hours to get to our next destination Robe. It is a quiet fishing village with much history. Robe is one of the oldest towns in South Australia.
Robe is situated on Guichen Bay, about 350km south east of Adelaide. Nicolas Baudin, a French explorer first viewed the bay in 1802. The township of Robe was later settled in 1802 and Guichen Bay was named in honour of Admiral de Guichen. Surveying by Governor Robe in April 1846 resulted in the county of Robe being roclaimed. Pastoral pioneers legalised their claims and the first sale of building allotments took place in Adelaide.
In 1847 Robe was declared a port and wool began to arrive for shipment. A pioneer agent named George Omerod established himself as Robe’s shipping agent and by 1856 Robe was the second major colonial out-port. Hearing of Robe’s prosperity the town attracted many settlers, and merchants arriving by sailing vessel, bullock wagon or on horseback. In 1857 “Lake of Cakes” sailed into Robe’s Bay with 264 Chinese passengers. The numbers swelled to 17,000 Chinese staying in Robe for a short time to avoid the Victorian poll tax, before paying local guides to take them 150km to the unguarded border and another 400km to the Victorian goldfields.
We checked into The Harbour View Motel overlooking the harbor and the walking path and boardwalk around the harbor and was an easy walk down to the village for dinner. The owner, Robbie met us and told us about the rooms and town then offered us an “upgrade” at a discount, harbour view room on the second floor. The room was lovely but we realized for one night an extra $100 was not necessary so we stayed in the assigned rooms. The rooms were nice so we settled in for cocktails before dinner.
Pete and Bunny decided to forgo a full dinner so we made dinner plans to stop at the Irish pub in the Caledonia Hotel, built in 1858, for a few cocktails before proceeding to the “best” restaurant in town, or for that matter in the province, Sails. Drinks were fun and dinner was delightful, We think it is where we ate four years ago on our stop in Robe.
We got up early the next morning to take the walk along the cliffs by the lighthouse.
We had breakfast near the harbour at the Marina Cafe, it was very good and, the staff could not have been nicer and even posed for a picture. We then made a stop at a fish market for cooked cleaned lobster, recommended by Robbie at the motel. The plan was to stop and enjoy it for lunch.
We found a cute town near Cape Bridgewater with picnic tables on the harbor and stopped to enjoy our lobster and bottle of Lambert Sparkling wine. it was a super nice lunch with birds visiting us on occasion. Might have been our favorite lunch of the trip.
We arrived in Port Fairy around four, with our reservations at a B&B called the Quamby Homestead. The volunteer at the information center, every town has an “I”, talked to us about the area and that we were fortunate to be staying at a “true australian home”, but it would be about 30 minutes out of town. We followed our GPS and then began looking for the address, lost again (ha). We back tracked and went to a local bar for directions and yes they knew exactly where we needed to go about 5 minutes more up the road, we would not miss it on the left.
Since 1888, Quamby has been known for its lavish hospitality and welcoming ambience, a tradition still carried on by William and Ailsa today. The Quamby run has played an important role in the development of the Western District of Victoria. It was first taken up by Messers Mussle, Brown and Wickham and was very rough terrain, heavily timbered and swampy.The property passed to George Youl in 1848. Quamby was gazetted on February 1849 and covered approximately 25,000 acres. The splendid botanic gardens of Quamby Homestead also have a strong history, having been designed as a private commission by William Guilfoyle (1840-1912), former curator and Director of the Melbourne Botanic Gardens (1874-1909). Guilfoyle was described as ‘the master of landscaping’.
With 3 acres of historic plantings and ‘rooms’ in the style typical of Guilfoyle, the gardens are perfect for guests to enjoy – wander, sit and relax or even play a game of petanque.
They owned a goat and two alpaca’s so Janice went out to meet them after breakfast. The breakfast was beautiful and William could not have been nicer. We did not see Alisa again as the twins were taking their time for school in the morning. We packed up our things, we had reservations in town for the next evening, and headed to the Port Ferry Golf Club for our 8:30 tee time.
PortFairy Golf Club was on our list to play. On our last trip we happened by it and thought it was a lovely oceanside course and were ammused by the cars in the parking lot with trailers that were used for personal golf carts.
We arrived at the club and asked for carts, unfortunatly they were all reserved, Yikes! We rented handles for push carts and off we went. It was not a difficult course to walk and some of the vista’s were wonderful.
A challenging but fair course we finished in about four hours and headed directly to the bar for a beer. We had heard that Australia is home to the top ten most poisenous snakes in the world, being ocean side we watched out, but didn’t think it was a problem. Thank God, we were finished and the lady serving us beers showed us pictures of a tiger snake she found in her home. Very deadly! She then told us about the abundance of copperheads on the course. We were glad we did not run into one of those critters
We drove into town and had a relaxing lunch. A walk around Griffth’s Island was suggested by a local, so off we went for a tow hour treck around the island.
Accessed by way of a picturesque walk alongside a busy yachting marina, Griffiths Island is a must visit if you are in Port Fairy. It takes approximately two hours at a steady pace to walk around this wild windswept place. A colony of Black Wallabies roam across the Island and we did indeed glimpse two or three, which appeared from time to time out of the long grassland.There is a superb panoramic beach and huge waves complimenting a blue sky punctuated by wispy clouds. Griffiths Island is a photographers delight!
We were lucky and almost immediately ran into our first Wallaby, they a much smaller than their brother the kangaroo but cute as can be.We headed off to find our B&B for the second night Clonmara Cottages. We arrived and were handed the keys to a two bedroom cottage up the road. What a cute old home with a kitchen and place to sit outside for drinks and food. The house was interesting there was one bathroom, it was located off the kitchen not near either bedroom but we did just fine sharing it’s use.
We had breakfast in Port Fairy at Rebeccas and drove out of town for The Great Ocean Drive on the course.