After our sleepless night in "lovely" Kingston,
home of the Giant Lobster, we drove along the South West Coast and
Great Ocean Road through the Victoria region of Australia. We stopped along the way in a seaside township
called Port Fairy, where we played nine holes of golf and managed to get a good
The following day, we entered Port
Campbell National Park where we saw dramatic limestone cliffs including the "Twelve
We also drove through fabulous beach resort towns including Apollo Bay, Lorne and Torquay. Torquay is the true surfing capital of Australia and Rip
Curl and QuickSilver were both founded in this small beach community. The
resulting factories are quite impressive given their simple beginnings. For those of you who
are beach fanatics, the famous Bells and Jan Juc surf beaches are also located in Torquay.
James Varnum, our Kiwi golf guide,
connected us with his Melbourne friends, Chris and Liz Cooper. We called
Chris for some advice about Melbourne and the next thing we knew we were
playing golf on the Royal Melbourne Golf Course and having a wonderful home cooked
dinner at the
Cooper's new house. Both were delightful experiences.
Chris and Liz also invited us to
participate in an annual weekend golf tournament that they have been holding for
the past 10 years with some of their closest friends. We took them up on
the generous offer and found ourselves in Portsea
on the Mornington
Peninsula for four days. We played
a number of fabulous courses including Moonah Links, The Dunes, Sorrento and Port Sea.
Each of these courses is a championship quality experience. The following
links contain some shots of our great weekend of golf:
In addition to the great golfing,
Chris Cooper went out of his way to arrange for us to stay at the exclusive
Melbourne Club, the original private men's club in Melbourne. Chris Hempel had to use the back
freight elevator during the day to get to the room (women are not allowed to use the stairs!) but
we enjoyed our stay immensely as the architecture of the building was absolutely beautiful.
We also liked the guided tour the doorman gave us of the wine cellar because
stories about real ghost sightings in the basement of the 150+ year old club.
We have been completely overwhelmed by how
gracious, generous, fun loving and witty the our new Aussie friends are. We
hope that our new found friends will someday take us up on our offer to come to
the States so we can reciprocate and show them a fabulous time.