2627 miles (total) – to Melbourne 700 miles. Melbourne to
Kosciusko 900 miles. Kosciusko to Adelaide 1027 miles.
Followed coast road nearly all the way to Melbourne, passing through Mt
Gambier, Portland, Warrnambool, Geelong etc. From Melbourne
proceeded up the Yarra Valley and the Nearer Ranges to Wood’s Point on
the Goulburn River, thence down that stream to Mansfield. From
Mansfield an excursion was made to Mt Buller through Merrijig.
After leaving Mansfield the towns of Tolmie and Whitfield were left
behind and the King River valley was traversed to Wangaratta.
From Wangaratta the Ovens Valley was travelled up to
Harrietville and on the way a deviation was made from Bright to Mt
The mountains between Harrietville and Omeo were
next crossed over and a track was made for Tallangatta by way of the
Mitta River thence on to Corryong in the Upper Murray district.
The entrance into NSW was made over the R Murray at Tintaldra after
which the Australian Alps were crossed, passing through Tooma, Kiandra
and Cooma. Kosciusko was reached after passing through Jindabyne
on the Snowy River. Retraced the track from Kosciusko to Cooma
and followed the road to Yass, passing through Michelago, Queenbeyan,
Canberra and Federal Capital Area.
From Gundagai the R Murrumbidgee was followed as far
as Balranald, passing through the important towns of Wagga Wagga,
Narrandera and Hay which are in the Riverina. A detour was made
from Maude on the River Murrumbidgee to Oxley on the Lachlan River and
thence to Balranald.
The R Murray was again met at Euston and was
followed down to Blanchetown in SA after passing through Mildura (in
Victoria), Renmark and Morgan. After leaving the R Murray
Adelaide was reached again by way of Tanunda and Gawler.
Duration of Trip
From April 9th 1914 to August 16th 1914. Spent 15 days in Melbourne and 22 days in Kosciusko district.
Expenses of Trip
£86 – exclusive of camera, photographic material, cycling suits, new
bicycles and repairs and renewals to bicycles (majority), cycling
capes, tent, ground sheet and a few cooking utensils.
Used Bullock Bicycles
Specially built for heavy overland riding with strong carrier brazed on
the back. 3 speed Sturmey Archer Gear with Hub Brake.
Fitted with Dunlop Tyres having an extra heavy tyre on the back
wheel. Tyres 28" x1¾". Carried Veeder Trip Cyclometer.
Small Bell Tent of 7’ diameter weighing ... lbs to accommodate two
people. Made of Japara, a very closely woven material like
Egyptian cotton and waterproof.
Nine small steel pegs.
Total weight of Tent, pegs and supports equals … lbs.
A waterproof ground sheet was also carried.
Eider down sleeping bags weighing 2¾ lbs and Cycling Rain Capes.
Small Primus Stove, kerosene tin, knives, forks and
spoons. Aluminium plates and bowls, billycan and water bag.
Supplies of flour, sugar, salt, butter, baking
powder and oatmeal were carried in various quantities. Meat,
bread and milk were generally procured daily if possible.
This equipment was packed in four canvas bags, each
cyclist carrying two. A very compact camera was used and film
packs owing to their lightness were carried.
[Roy Williamson set out with two companions. One of them, a close
friend named Charlie Sutton, pulled out at Kingston, but the other, an
older man named Percy
Correll, completed the trip with Roy. Percy Correll had been a
member of Douglas Mawson’s Australasian Antarctic Expedition (Dec 1911
– Feb 1914). He is described as mechanic and assistant physicist
in Mawson’s diary.]
Distance 65 miles. Left Adelaide for Wellington on R Murray at 6
o’clock pm, arrived 2 am. Fine moonlight night with favourable
winds. The first 30 miles was steady climbing over beautiful
limestone roads through the Mount Lofty Ranges. Then next 15
miles was over undulating country while the run from Langhorne’s Creek
(45) down to the R Murray at Wellington was mostly downhill.
Passed through Crafers, Stirling, Aldgate,
Bridgewater, Hahndorf, Mt Barker, Woodchester and Langhorne’s
Creek. The first 40 miles was very pretty and hilly country while
the last 25 miles began to get very flat and uninteresting.
Stopped at Wellington Hotel but cannot recommend
same. Found bedroom at 2 o’clock am which was unoccupied so took
possession for the night after having attempted to sleep on the bank of
the river in a fishing boat. Tried it for one hour but found it
too cold. One of the hungry party helped himself to supper at 4
o’clock am in a neighbouring house.
Wellington is a miserable little town on R Murray
chiefly noted for its punt. The boatman has to be summoned by
vigorously pulling a bell on the bank of the river.
(Good Friday) 28 miles to Meningie on Lake
Albert. Very strong SW head wind made hard pushing. Crossed
river in ferry boat (2d). Country very flat and grassy being on
the edge of Lakes Alexandrina and Albert. Scarcity of water
forced us to steal a water melon near windmill. Abundance of salt
bush. Good roads which were over run for the first four miles out
of Wellington by large flat black beetles about 1 to 1½ inches in
diameter. Mail steamer runs from Milang to Meningie. Fine
meal of duck and mushrooms at Meningie Hotel.
Very few inhabitants along the road.
Meningie – a sportsman’s paradise, plenty of fishing and shooting and splendid hotel.
Many gates with various locks have to be unfastened.
92 miles over the Coorong from Meningie to Kingston. Started 7.30
am and reached Kingston 2 o’clock am following morning. To
McGrath’s Flat (about 12 miles) roads fair with patches of pipeclay
track – very good for cycling during dry weather. Country flat
and in parts swampy. Good grazing district. Bushes
small. From Meningie to Wood’s Wells 27 miles – Boundary rider’s
hut. After leaving McGrath’s Flat track becomes very sandy in
parts and continues so right into Kingston. A few heavy sand
drifts have to be crossed but these do not bother the cyclist much as
he carries his bike over them. Motor cars manage to make a detour
of these sand hills with the aid of ropes and matting.
Plenty of ducks, swans, teal and snipe along the
Coorong which is a narrow, shallow strip of salt water extending for
about 80 miles parallel with the coast. Distance from coast
varies from one to half a mile.
From W.W. to Salt Creek 15 miles and 12 miles
further on is Gall’s Cantara Station 54 miles from Meningie and 38
miles from Kingston.
After leaving Salt Creek there is a good road along
the edge of a lagoon which was almost dry. Salt Creek has one
house, a bridge over the creek and a gruesome history.
A few miles out of Salt Creek the well known 9 mile
pipeclay track is met and is good only during dry weather, when
the track is under water an old mail road has to be used which is very
sandy and makes hard going. We found the pipeclay track very
good. It was a little heavy but flat as a billiard table.
Encountered a head wind. The pipeclay track is fringed on the
eastern side by dense red and green tinted bushes which are very pretty
Reached Cantara Station 5.30 pm after a warm day’s
ride. Scarcity of fresh water along the whole of the
Coorong. Invited to tea at Cantara Station where the people are
very hospitable. They wanted us to stay the night but we were
anxious to push on so left for Kingston at 6.30. Miss Gall’s
present of supper was very acceptable.
After leaving Cantara there is a very bad sand drift
and the sandy roads were wretched for night riding. The country
is very scrubby and uninteresting. Drizzling rain set in and we
were glad to reach Kingston being very tired after taking 18½ hours to
do 92 miles.
Woke up landlady of hotel who provided us with
supper and a liberal supply of lime juice and lemonade. This at
2.30 am. Three of us were accommodated in a double bed.
The trip across the Coorong was on the whole very
interesting and not the sandy desert that one is led to imagine – in
fact it was an agreeable surprise. What vegetation there is, is
very pretty and even the drab tints of the stunted bushes harmonize
with the surroundings. Very little animal life was noticed but
game was very plentiful.
There are numerous gates to be opened and shut in the 92 miles journey.
We found the Coorong an easy proposition to cross
because of the dry season previously. It would however be a
different proposition during a wet season.
Two motorists generously offered to tow us from
Meningie to Kingston but we declined the offer – wanting to do the
Coorong “all on our own”. They finally passed us 41 miles out
from Meningie (Mr Ward and Mr Porter of Adelaide).
Kingston was a disappointment – the hotel
accommodation bad – and we were glad to leave it behind. Has
longest pier in SA. Connected by rail to Adelaide via Naracoorte.
Easter Sunday. Windy day with light
showers. Road from Kingston to Robe is very good, 28 miles of
limestone formation – fairly level. Large irrigation channels
seen. Country more wooded. Fine fresh water soakage 19
miles from Kingston near house with fig trees. Arrived Robe 2
o’clock pm. The approach into Robe for two miles through
beautiful green lagoon country was a treat. Robe on Guichen Bay
said to be the prettiest town in SA. Originally was of some
importance as a landing place for stores which had to be carted inland
to the settlers. Of late years it has declined as a port owing to
the introduction of railways to Beachport and Kingston. Is
connected by motor to Kingston.
As a pleasure resort Robe is well adapted – the
rocks are very fine along the coast especially near the Obelisk and the
surrounding district is charming.
Robe Hotel (Mr and Mrs Fitzgerald) very
comfortable. Met Mr and Mrs H Pank – information re NT – call and
see H Pank.
Johnston – billiard marker.
Noticed – Crows, Murray Magpies, an owl and a
fox. The Murray Magpies were black, grey and white in colour.
Easter Monday. Left Robe 3 o’clock pm for Millicent, arrived 11
o’clock pm. Distance 65 miles. Good roads and splendid
weather. Branched off main road 4 miles from Beachport and went
through Furner Station. Between Robe and Beachport is a road
going off to Penola. The country looked fine, plenty of feed and
hundreds of rabbits were seen. Chain of lakes stretching from
Robe to Beachport on which plenty of game abounded. Swampy level
Round Millicent is mostly farming district, flat and
honeycombed with irrigation channels. Millicent is a prosperous
town on railway lines between Beachport and Mt Gambier.
Mr Harvey and his invitation to Scotch Dance.
Reached Mt Gambier 303 miles from Adelaide and 31 miles from
Millicent. Fine day. Splendid farming country while the
landscape is relieved by large clumps of pine trees usually planted to
form a break-wind for the homestead.
The roads are very bad a few miles past
Snuggery. Roads lead off in all directions and there is no sign
to show the main road. Last 12 miles into Mt G is very good over
Spent day in Mt Gambier. Stopped two nights at Mac’s Hotel (very comfortable).
Mt Gambier noted for its beautiful lakes and caves
of volcanic origin. Rich agricultural and pastoral
district. Potatoes, onions, wheat, chicory, oats, butter and
cheese. Town gardens looked very gay with bright coloured flowers.
Spent morning looking round Mt Gambier. Rode to Pt McDonnell (18
miles) in afternoon against head wind. Road runs round Blue Lake
and through a long pine avenue onto Bellum. It then skirts Mt
Schank on to Allandale where there is a cave in the centre of the road
which has deep water in it and is walled round. Allandale is
noted for selling beer by the pound. Mt Schank is an extinct
volcano and what appears to be its crater is very interesting.
Stopped at Rook’s Hotel – saw Mr and Mrs
Sutton. Heard Mr Carstons, manager of hotel, tell some fine
yarns. Saw box covered with barnacles which was found on the
beach – it had come from SY “Aurora”. Also saw a sealskin being
tanned, the seal having been caught at Pt McDonnell. There is a
carved head of a man with his cap on adorning the beach.
Pt McDonnell was once an important town before the
opening of the railway from Mt G to Beachport. Most of the goods
from Mt G, especially from Victoria, were sent to Pt McD by boats and
then taken ashore in lighters. The goods were then sent by road
to Mt Gambier. This of course is altered now as it is cheaper for
goods to come via Beachport, consequently Pt McDonnell is very quiet
and depends mostly on tourists from Mt Gambier. Pt McDonnell was
the last port to use lighters in SA, consequently they are valueless as
assets since the boats have ceased calling.
Near Pt McDonnell is the Cape Northumberland
Lighthouse, Dingly Dell (the old home of A L Gordon), Shelly Beach and
the Wool Wash which is a bubbling fresh water spring oozing out on the
sandy beach. It seems to be general in the South East for fresh
water springs to bubble up near the coast. This points to a huge
subterranean water scheme which helps to compensate for the absence of
rivers in the SE of SA.
Rode to Nelson from Pt McDonnell, 19 miles, in beautiful weather.
Nelson is in Victoria, being on the Glenelg R mouth which is two miles
from the SA border.
Roads very good in SA but shocking immediately after
crossing the SA and Victorian boundary. At Nelson the Hotel keeps
SA time and the PO Victorian time, being ½ hour ahead at the PO.
Left for Kentbruk at 2 o’clock, 17 miles, arrived
7.30 o’clock. Had to walk 15 miles over heavy sandy undulating
country and hampered by bracken and burnt trees. This was the
worst strip on the whole tour to be negotiated. Heavy
thunderstorm started at about 5 o’clock and the hotel was reached just
as the rain began to fall heavily.
Post Office and Hotel – by Mark Kerr – no lemonade but crook whisky. MK had a good stock of yarns.
Mail boy from Drik Drik – just been out from England a fortnight.
Sandy forest country very cheap but almost useless
except for wattle growing. Large Government Wattle Plantation had
been destroyed by fire.
Plenty of kangaroos in the district.
To Portland 27 miles from Kentbruk. First 5 miles had to be
walked – sandy tracks. Wet morning. Grub road very muddy
owing to heavy rains and to the constant use of it by teams carting
piles for the Portland Pier. These piles were obtained from the
large forest that we had to pass through. The huge grey trunks of
these trees and the numerous parrots flying about were fine
indeed. Procured apples from a fine orchard in one of the
clearings in the forest.
Portland – stopped at Mac’s Hotel – 3 stories – 252
miles from Melbourne by rail, on Portland Bay. One of the oldest
settlements in the State, for in 1834 hither came the Henty brothers to
establish the whaling industry. Here was born the first white
child in the State and here also was ploughed the first furrow in
Portland with its lengthy deep-water pier, made
available for ocean-going steamers, is the outlet for the produce of
It is being connected by rail to Mt Gambier.
The town is substantially built and well laid out, the railway station
is right on the sea beach. There is splendid scenery (coastal) in
the vicinity of Cape Bridgewater. Near to the Cape are the
Bridgewater Lakes, famed for their boating and fishing and good
shooting. The Blowholes and Limestone Caves (which are in Batt’s
Ridges and contain many fine stalactites and stalagmites) are well
worth a visit. The Lady Julia Percy Island is visible from the
shore. Area about 1 square mile, almost flat, 100 ft aboe sea
level. Home of thousands of seals. Fresh water spring in
fern cave on island.
Fine sunny day. Fair roads – sandy in patches. Rode from
Portland to Warrnambool 65 miles. Passed through the small
agricultural towns of Narrawong (R Surrey) 9 miles, Tyrendarra (R
Fitzroy) 15 miles, Eumeralla on River of same name 26 miles.
Between Tyrendarra and Eumerella the road is very sandy. Yambuk
on R Shaw 34 miles on to Port Fairy which is on the mouth of the R
Moyne. Distance from Portland 45 miles. Had tea at Pt Fairy
(old name Belfast).
Pt Fairy – 187 miles from Melbourne by rail is a
well laid out clean town, and is pleasing to the eye. It is an
outlet for the rich agricultural and dairying districts centred round
Left for Warrnambool after tea via Killarney – 18
miles. All this district is very prosperous, some land bringing
as much as £160 per acre round Warrnambool.
Warrnambool 166 miles from Melbourne by rail on Lady
Bay is a large town, well laid out, broad clean streets with fine
public and business premises. Many fine parks and gardens.
Busy seaport town – Nestles huge condensed milk factory is 3 miles out
of town. Has a breakwater constructed of huge concrete blocks.
left Warrnambool 11 o’clock after having look round town and purchasing
a water bag and straps. Rode 36 miles – fine sunny day.
Stopped night at Peterborough 34 miles from Warrnambool. Passed
through Allansford (6 miles of good road) onto Nirranda. After
leaving Allansford the road was very sandy all the way into
Peterborough. Farming district. Store at Nirranda 3½ miles
from a quaint little PO which is 22½ miles from Warrnambool. Saw
huge yellow toad stools. Dairying district – Nirranda.
Peterborough reached after dark. Lies at the
mouth of Curdie’s River or Inlet, the bar at the mouth prevents any but
small craft from entering. It is known as the “fishing hamlet”
and its golf links are also noted. Has a fine hotel and is
connected by coach to Timboon, a distance of 12 miles. Railway
terminus at Timboon. Adelaide to Peterborough 500 miles.
Depends solely on tourists.
Curdie’s River, which is about a mile wide at the
mouth during certain seasons of the year, is navigable for many miles
by rowing boat.
We were able to cross at the mouth – the river being
barred. It is 12 miles distant to Loch Ard Gorge. Much
maram grass has been planted near mouth of Curdie’s R.
To Pt Campbell seven miles along the cliffs from Peterborough.
Wet morning – tracks fair, but muddy and sandy in parts. Fine
view when riding along cliffs.
Pt Campbell is a small seaport township lying on the
sandy beach of a pretty little bay, whose entrance is protected by
rocky ramparts of ragged cliffs. Drive of 12 miles to railway
station at Timboon. Had dinner at Pt Campbell and went down to
see the jetty, the approach to which is a cutting through the rocks.
Local Progress Association been very active.
Proceeding on to Princetown 12 miles eastward along
the coast the Sherbrook River is met, over which a new bridge was being
built. This river is 4 miles from Pt Campbell and is navigable by
rowing boats. The road which winds through short dwarfish bushes
is fair and many deviations run from it to the well known beauty spots
along the coast.
The Loch Ard Gorge and caves are next visited.
Here the cliffs are of bright yellow limestone, rugged and
perpendicular, being about 100 ft high. The cave in the southern
end of the Gorge was about 150 ft in length. The other two caves
had beautiful green and copper coloured stalactites in them and were
saturated with moisture. Steps had been cut in the cliffs to make
the Gorge accessible to tourists. Saw the cemetery – of the
remains of “Loch Ard” bodies – which was on the cliff.
The Bay of Islands was next visited.
Princetown on the coast at the mouth of the
Gellibrand River which is barred during dry periods. River flats
very fertile but often flooded owing to the barring of the river.
Maram grass planted. A pipe that was placed at the mouth of the
river to prevent barring was ineffectual after three months. Met
a man who was living in vicinity at the time of the Loch Ard
wreck. Cross the River Gellibrand over bridge.
From Princetown to Rivernook 2½ miles, very heavy sand. Wet
weather. Roads muddy. Started at 2 o’clock. At
Rivernook there is a fine boarding house on the south bank of the
Gellibrand River. Boats are able to go 12 miles up the stream –
the river having been snagged. Plenty of rabbits, hares and wild
fowl abound on the river and river flats. To Wangerip from
Rivernook 11 miles.
Track was very muddy as we were right in the forest
country. Trees up to 100 ft high and many lying across the road
having fallen owing to a bush fire having visited the forest
previously. These trees looked very curious with their bare
limbs. First fern trees and corduroy tracks met on the
journey. Noticed numerous white cockatoos, and parrots of green
and blue and red and blue colours.
From Wangerip to Glenaire Station 10 miles. Country heavily
timbered and tracks very bad. Very steep in places. Had a
look at the renowned “Colac Tree”. This is a point where the road
divides. To the left the track goes on to Crowes, the terminus of
a 2’6" railway. The road to the right of the Colac Tree bears
away to Johanna River 4 miles from Wangerip. Johanna River –
noted for dairie cattle etc. Fertile river flats. Land
worth £60 an acre. Reached Glenaire 6 miles further on, of much
same country, at 12.30. Unable to proceed further that day owing
to heavy rain. Camped with Bill Cawley, who was the first person
I had seen baking bread in a camp oven. His Irish Stew was
good. Poor old fellow had lost the sight of one eye whilst
grubbing a yacka. Heavy rainstorm raged all night and up to 12
o’clock the next day. Out hut was on a hill which looked onto the
W Cawley, c/o Laver’s Hill PO, Victoria
To be forwarded to Glenaire Station
Left Bill Cawley at midday. Passed butter and cheese factory –
splendid grazing in the Aire River flats. Eels up to 5 ft in
length found in swamps. Plenty of swans, duck etc for shooting.
Crossed the Ford, Aire and Calder Rivers in that order. Bridge over the Aire R (sand bar at the mouth).
Huge sand hills on eastern side of Aire R to be
crossed on the track to Cape Otway. Plenty of parrots.
Glenaire to Lighthouse 9 miles.
Cape Otway Lighthouse built 1848 by convicts, very
massive. Vegetable garden belonging to Otway, 2 miles from
Lighthouse on the Parker River.
Most of the rivers in this district rise in the
Otway Ranges, including the Barwon River near Geelong and the
Gellibrand near Princetown.
Moonlight Head, a solid rock face rising to a height
of about 700 ft is easily visible from Cape Otway. All inward
shipping signalled to Melbourne from Cape Otway.
From Cape Otway to Apollo Bay (Krambruk) 16
miles. Passed near Blanket Bay where stores are landed for the
Lighthouse twice a year.
Some of the finest forest scenery in the State surrounds Apollo Bay, from whence timber is exported.
The track from Otway to Apollo Bay is almost impossible. Caught in heay rain 5 miles out of the Bay.
Forest was rank with moisture and plants of every
description – tree ferns of immense size, brackens and other unknown
ferns, wild flowers, creepers etc. Fungus and toadstools.
Saw-mill railway – rails made of wood – starts about 7 miles out of
Apollo Bay, and runs right onto the jetty at the Bay. The first
portion for about 3 or 4 miles is not used now and is overgrown with
moss, creepers etc. Apollo Bay from Cape Patten on the NE to
Point Bunbury on SW is 12 miles.
From Apollo Bay to Wye River 18 miles via Cape Patten (12 miles).
To Ramsden’s (11 miles) the road is fair, but thence on to Lorne is
mostly over sandy and rocky beach tracks. PEC had a blow-out in
back tube (about 5 or 6 inches long) 4 miles out from Krambruk.
This was the first mishap to tyres during the tour. Unsuccessful
repairing – limited rubber supply. From this point (4 miles from
Krambruk) walked the next 28 miles into Lorne, carrying the bicycles
most of the journey. Very rough and steep (Mt Defiance) in
places. Roads unheard of in these parts – rough bridle tracks
found in parts. Country ver unsettles and pretty.
18 inch bridle track on cliffs round Cape Patten,
very steep and dangerous. Plentiful supply of mushrooms on the
Old jetty passed near mouth of Kennett River which
is near Cape Patten. Once the outlet for an unsuccessful timber
industry. Good fishing spot. Wye River Saw Mills employing
many men. Timber sent by boat to Melbourne. Small
jetty. Timber brought down from the forest to the Saw Mills on
trucks drawn by horses along a wooden railway. Eels caught in Wye
River at night time with the aid of lamps.
Stopped at Timber Camp – meals very rough but welcome to us.
The weather was beautiful on the 25th and 26th.
From Wye River to Lorne 12 miles, done in 7 hours. From Adelaide
to Lorne 600 miles. Passed Rivers Godfrey and Jamieson before
making a detour of Mt Defiance (saw two lizards fighting). Mt
Defiance is on the coast midway between Lorne and Wye River and can be
passed by going along the coast when the tide is out. The tide
being in we had to make a 4 mile detour over very steep and rough
country – followed bridle track. This was slow and heavy work
with the bikes. Had lunch at Cumberland River near sea beach,
very pretty picnic spot 4 miles from Lorne. Fantastically shaped
cliffs rise to a height of about 300 ft.
Next passed Sheoak River (plenty of kelp in it) which has fine falls a little distance up stream.
Rounded Mt St George(fine view) and crossed River St
George by means of a suspension bridge. Trout, bream and mullet
abound in Erskine River, St George and Cumberland Creeks.
Old timber railway runs from St George Creek round Teddy’s Lookout to the jetty at Lorne.
Lorne – on Loutit Bay. 105 miles from
Melbourne. Train to Dean Marsh 91 miles, thence by coach through
Benwerrin (1500 ft – half way house) to Lorne 14 miles. Rapid
descent to the ocean beach at Lorne from Benwerrin. Lovely drive
through the ranges. Lorne is an ideal seaside resort with a
background of wooded ranges, famous for tree ferns and magnificent
falls (Erskine Falls and Straw’s both between 130 and 150 ft high,
Splitter’s and Phantom (80 ft) Falls). Other falls are Kalimna,
Margaret and Sheoak.
Loutit Bay stretches for a distance of 12 miles from
the jetty at Lorne to the Split Point lighthouse at Airey’s
Inlet. Broad sandy beach offers safe sea bathing. Splendid
fishing from jetty, fine hotel accommodation at Lorne – bowling
green, croquet lawns and tennis courts etc.
Lorne is said to be the prettiest coastal town in Victoria.
Owing to the kindness of Mr Gwynne of Hotel Pacific we were able to
mend punctured tube. Left for Airey’s Inlet after midday meal –
drizzling rain. After going 3 miles along the beach we took the
wrong track inland and consequently found ourselves lost when darkness
was creeping on. We left our bikes in a creek and waded
downstream to the sea beach. Used bike lamps for lights; saw eels
in water, very wet feet. We had waded down the same creek that we
had taken the turn off from during the afternoon. Marked creek
and then walked along sea beach back to Lorne again. This time we
stayed at a boarding house near Erskine River.
(”Now Boys” – the old man at the boarding house who gave us the apples.)
Electric light in Lorne (private business) is
charges for at the rate of £1 a year for every separate light.
Consequently the lights are used unsparingly.
Fine day. To Geelong 46 miles from Lorne. Found right track
to turn inland. Water tanks on the beach. Lovely sea
shells. Plenty of mushrooms in the hills. From the turn off
leaving the beach there is a 3 ft bridle track (4½ miles from Lorne)
which runs parallel with coast; at the rear of a range of hills jutting
into the sea. This track continues for a few miles until
Anderson’s Selection is met, near Devil’s Rock. From Anderson’s
Selection to Airey’s Inlet (about 5 miles) the track was along sandy
beach (water 1/- bucketful at one house).
The sand is very hard when tide is out and makes good riding – found the tide in.
Airey’s Inlet – 12 miles from Lorne, 9 miles from
Anglesea. Airey’s River navigable for several miles up stream –
good fishing and shooting. Terminus of Geelong – Torquay –
Anglesea coach service. From Airey’s Inlet to Anglesea is a sandy
beach track. Splendid view of Anglesea and River from hills when
approaching the town from Airey’s Inlet.
Anglesea – 26 miles from Geelong on banks of
Anglesea River. Boating, swimming, good fishing (bream, mullet,
sweep and crayfish) and shooting. Annual Regatta of Anglesea well
known. Very fine hotel. Splendid scenery on rocky
coast. From Anglesea to Jan Juc the road winds through splendid
bush scenery but the track is very sandy.
The country round Jan Juc and onwards into Geelong
is devoted to agriculture. Fine road from Jan Juc to Geelong.
Geelong on Corio Bay 45 miles by rail from
Melbourne. Also has steamer service daily. The town lies
upon a sloping ridge rising gradually from Corio Bay. Has solid
business premises, broad clean streets and electric cars. Fine
public parks. An outlet for the trade of the Western districts
grain, wool, compressed fodder, butter and frozen produce. Good
fishing in the Bay.
Geelong is a city after the style of Adelaide but of course not so large.
Fine hotel accommodation at Victoria Hotel.