A Travellerspoint blog

Sorrento Beach

Just 1.5 hours from Melbourne, a great daytrip.

On Saturday I experienced a whole new type of beach, at least I can't remember being at this type of ocean beach in the past. Often people assume a beach to be sand then water and not much else. We went to Sorrento Beach on the Mornington Peninsula, just over an hours drive from Melbourne. This beach had sand, water and tons more. Heres a geomorphology lesson for you: check out the picture of Marcus doing a backflip into a tidal pool. Now look at the cliffs behind him. These cliffs are actually fossilized sand dunes formed about 5000 - 10000 years ago from lime derived from sea shells. This made for a lot of interesting rock structures and some impressive tidal pools which a lot of people were snorkelling in, some I think were even spear fishing. A sign posted said you could find sea horses and octopii (?) in the tidal pools, among other things.
Check out the picture of me standing on some rocks. That is on the other side of a 4 metre deep tidal pool, beyond that is the open ocean. After seeing the ocean floor at low tide, I can see why its dangerous to surf in these places. You would just get annihilated on these rocks or stuck under ledges. Speaking of ledges, me and those kids in the picture hid under the rock ledge in front me and when the waves swept over it was like being behind a waterfall. Man, I was in a good mood and easily amused there.
Here is a picture of half of the beach. If you look carefully you can see the rock and tidal pool from the first picture. (Straight above the yellow tent). The picture of me is from around the corner. In a way it isn't the most practical beach since there are rocks everywhere, but to the left in the picture it is all sand and people were body boarding in the waves. I borrowed a kids board and caught some good waves and just flew, plowing over all the other kids, it was funny. Then I think the kids mom made him come and take the beard away from me.
Here's another fun trick I've learned: click on this link for a video panorama of the beach! I figured out how to upload short videos, so that should be fun.
I did some good learning, swimming and tanning on Saturday, so I hope I get back to Sorrento beach, or others like it, again soon.
To view photos from this trip, visit www.ryandownunder.blogspot.com

Posted by mista2kool 02:17 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Philip Island

A weekend visit.

When you visit Australia there is a list of things that simply have to be done. This past weekend I managed to check a bunch of things off on Philip Island.
Philip Island is about 140km to the south of Melbourne. We left here at about 7pm in a car belonging to swedish Niclas' aunt. We punched in the address of the caravan park in the GPS and off we went. I would say Philip Island is a cross between Prince Edward Island in Canada and Cocoa Beach in Florida. For one thing, you can cross the island in all direction within half an hour and there is lots of rolling farmland and the whole south coast is full of surf beaches and the whole "surfing desitnation" atmosphere persists throughout the island. Most cars you see are carrying a surfboard. We stayed at Amaroo Park in the town Cowes (pronounced cows) in a caravan park where we had a little cottage.
After a BBQ friday night, a few of us were up at 8:30am to go and rent boards and wetties (wetsuits are worn by everyone since the water isn't quite warm enough to stay in for 2.5 hours at once). I have to say that people working in surf shops are super cool. I don't want to say we talked him into giving us a deal, because we barely asked. We ended up getting our boards and wetties for 35$ (normally it's 50$) for the day and then we asked to have that day extended so we didn't have to give the equipment back at 5pm so we could catch the tide on its way in later on and then again in the morning. We went to the first beach and the swells were breaking very neatly but were not huge. This and the fact that my board was huge made it very easy for me to get going and I rode the second wave I attempted and most after that. Being "stoked" is the word that best describes that morning in the surf. No signs of sharks either which is good because I've read that great whites have been spotted not far from where we were.
That afternoon we headed for the Nobbies, which is basically a set of islands at the tip of Philip Island. What I was most surprised to see was penguins. I knew they were in the area, but I thought they were all out fishing for the day and that I would have to pay 17$ to watch them parade back in at night. But nope, there were a few that stayed behind; I guess they love the camera as much as I do. They all live in little holes in the cliffs and some of these burrows are really high up so it's really impressive that they walk all the way up every day.
Later in the afternoon we checked out Wollomai beach, which signs posted said is a world famous surf beach. It was big and the surf was pumping so we went at it. The current was a bit stronger here and the waves were a bit bigger which made using my boardwalk of a board difficult to use. No worries though, our time ran out as a huge squall passed over us. It was some of the most intense rain I've ever been in. We could barely even see the beach if we could even manage to look up with the rain driving into us. The lightning was a bit worrisome to, but none of the locals seemed to be in any rush, and hey, "when in Rome" right? We wrapped up surfing for the day since some people we were with got absolutely soaked.
After another BBQ that night we were up at 7:30am to get back to the beach while the tide was coming in. The waves were much "dirtier", less consistent and less pwerful but we stuck it out for a while and made the most of it. It was a refreshing way to wake up being the first ones on the beach, on a cool morning in the salt water. After we returned our gear we set off for a nature reserve of sorts. For 11$ we could wander the park and see and feed all the animals. There were wallabies (like a kangaroo but smaller, 3rd picture), koalas, wombats, emus, echidnas, kangaroos, tasmanian devils, dingos, birds and reptiles. The kangaroos and wallabies were free range and they had a huge area to roam and there were tons of them. The kangaroos were super friendly and fun and contrary to what the picture makes you think, they aren't boxers. The emus were the scariest, they have crazy eyes and can't take food from your hand without plucking it so hard it hurts. I asked the lady at the desk if she ever had an emu steak thinking she would be offended since they have them in the park, but she responded without a wink that she hasn't but has eaten heaps of kangaroo before. I wasn't going to take it to the next level and ask if she had ever eaten a koala. So the wildlife park was heaps of fun and so was the whole
weekend. It was really a perfect island to spend a weekend at.
School starts this week for me so we'll see what thats all about since it's been over almost 3 months since I've been to a class.
Now I'm going to go and figure out how to acquire a pet Kangaroo from the black market!
To view photos from this trip, visit www.ryandownunder.blogspot.com

Posted by mista2kool 02:01 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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