Today is the start of our three-week long trip to Tasmania, although we left home yesterday to stay overnight in Geelong because of the early time of check in for the departure of the ferry to Devonport.
I haven’t been to the You Yang Ranges for many years so we dropped in for a quick look on the way to Geelong. This State Park is a granite rock range that rises from the Werribee Plains, 60 km southwest of Melbourne.
It strikes me as being an area that is exceptionally hot and dry in summer and freezing cold if there is a southerly wind in winter. On a nice day it is very pleasant. A road known as the Great Circle Drive, encircles the highest point, Flinders Peak, and gives good views of the surrounding plains. The You Yangs are very popular with hikers and mountain bike riders.
Once we reached Geelong, we spent some time visiting the National Wool Museum. It has some very interesting exhibits of life on the land, the growing of wool and its processing into fabrics.
Around the turn of the 20th century, Western Victoria was rich in wool and the museum reflects the history off those days. That is the time when Australia’s economy ‘rode on the sheep’s back’. The museum is located in one of the original grand wool stores along Geelong’s harbour front. I recommend a visit if you are ever travelling through Geelong.
Near the Geelong Golf Club is an area of parkland inhabited by thousands of Flying Foxes (fruit bats). They hang upside down in the trees, looking like ornaments on a Christmas Tree.
I had no idea that they were there but apparently, they are well known in Geelong and even appear as an attraction on Google Maps.
We were up early this morning to check in for our ten-hour ferry voyage across Bass Strait to Devonport in Tasmania. As we were about to check in, we received a text message telling us that boarding would be delayed due to the late arrival of the ferry from its previous trip. We eventually boarded about one hour late and found our assigned seats in the ship’s Recliner Lounge’.
Overall, our check in process went without a hitch. Because of Jill’s mobility issues, they gave us a parking spot right outside the lift to the passenger decks, although it was a long walk for her to get from mid ships to the stern of the ship where the lounge is located.
The two current ferries on this route will soon be replaced by newer vessels that are being built in Finland. These current ones have five vehicle decks, three decks of assorted types of cabins and two decks of spaces for public use – restaurants, lounges, bars and entertainment areas.
I have explored most of the public areas and am impressed with how comfortable the ship appears to be. If we were travelling on an overnight voyage, I would certainly have booked a cabin, but for a daytime voyage, the Recliner Lounge gives us a reserved seat while the public areas are open and pleasant. It also gives you a view out to the horizon if you are concerned about seasickness.
We have left Mellburne well and truly behind. The captain has announced that we will now arrive in Devonport only forty five minutes late which isn’t too bad. We can still get to our hotel at a reasonable hour and be ready for our first day of exploration tomorrow.