Tuesday, May 21, 2013

surely they're joking?

If Sydney is about Spectacular Harbour views, Melbourne’s Port Phillip Bay is about lifestyle, and 264km [164 miles] of sheltered beaches.

too good to be one of my photos... mornington beach boxes

For overseas visitors, Victoria is where Melbourne and Port Phillip Bay are:

FruitCake lives at Frankston on the Mornington Peninsula

There are only 3 kms separating each side of the heads at the entrance to the Bay – [Point Nepean on the east side and Point Lonsdale on the west.]


As I mentioned in my last post, courtesy of Red Nomad Oz and Hardie Grant Publishing I am now the proud owner of this lovely book:

The closest park to home, I discovered, is at Point Nepean. I’ve been down that way many times but didn’t realise there is “stuff” there to look at.

And so it came to pass; TO, Aunty, JJ and I went trooping down to Point Nepean recently. [Green map above].


Along the way, we stopped at the Rosebud camping sites, and saw these

Not a spectacular photo, but possibly interesting. I never knew black swans [native to Western Australia] liked salt water.


There are three things of note at Point Nepean
  • rugged coastline;
  • an old fort; and
  • an old quarantine station

JJ loved the ocean. Personally it just seemed “rough” to me. It was a rather cold and windy day, and great big foaming waves were crashing on rocks but, coming from an island surrounded by calm waters [and being a water sign astrologically speaking], JJ thought the coastline impressive.

The old fortifications on the Point are a 2.5 km walk from the quarantine station. On the day, we decided against the hike. [No, the fact that I pfaffed about all morning before we headed off late was not the only reason.]

Next time.

Quarantine Station

We picked up a brochure from the information centre and took a self-guided tour of the Quarantine Station. Established in 1852, the site was last used as a quarantine station in 1980.

The site was also used by the army from 1952 til 1998 and, in 1999, it was even used to accommodate Kosovo refugees.

The buildings from the 1850s, 1890s, and 1911-19 are interesting. The army installed a hall in 1963 which is just plain ugly, totally out of place, and ought to be removed. No photo here, it's waaaay too ugly.

With the usual shared sense of shameful black humour, TO and I both tried to say "where is my stone?" first, when we saw some big buildings labelled “Disinfecting and Bathing Complex.”
The tram lines leading down to where the jetty once was didn’t help us fight our initial thoughts.

The Quarantine Station had been fairly busy after World War I when servicemen were returning with the seeds of what became a Spanish Flu epidemic, but the most dramatic and historic story it has to tell is the story of the Ticonderoga.

Who better to tell the story than Tony Robinson?


We haven’t seen the fort yet, but I have to be honest and say even though Point Nepean is hardly as impressive or atmospheric as Port Arthur in Tasmania, the Quarantine station does not deserve the development plans some knobs have come up with.


Politicians and their mates: You can’t live with them, and you can’t live with them.


  1. He is a good teller of tales is Tony Robinson, love him on Time Team. I'm a wee bit worried about the preserving the park FC..I just don't trust politicians anymore..sad really.

    1. If they use the park buildings as accommodation it will be a tragedy, Grace. And yes, it is sad that it's so hard to trust politicians.

  2. Paddling around St Kilda Pier last Sunday were a pair of black swans. I have not seen swans in open salt water before. Is there something about this time of the year that sends them to salt water?

    1. Don't know about the time of year, but now that I have consulted wickedpedia, I've learned they like wetlands, and brackish or saltwater/ mudflats. Also discovered they are native to SE Australia as well as the west, and were hunted to extinction in NZ.
      I'm glad you've seen some on the briney, because I was beginning to think we were all suffering a mass hallucination.

  3. my friend at Tootgarook keeps a close eye on those black swans.
    Point Nepean used to have an Officer Cadet Training School - is it still there? It was a low-rent Duntroon, but in 1960 was full of the despots now running Asian Military Juntas. The guys who locked up the lady in Burma Aan Suu Ky when her party won a landslide election, were probably trained at Portsea. Officers have to know how to dance as well as lance, and for partners, they sent buses to collect Rozebud High School girls.

    1. There's still a training base at Cerberus, but I don't think it's an officer training facility.
      Are you a little cynical, Ann? Well educated Australians are one of our most popular exports.

  4. Black swans are plentiful in the sheltered sea off certain parts of the Yorke Peninsula. But there are no rivers, and most of the lakes are salty too. I'm FINALLY catching up on my reading after being away in the dry - and I find myself making all sorts of appearances on your blog! Just as well I did a whole bunch of exercise to counteract all those bakery pig out sessions ... you haven't lived until you've had a Blinman quandong pie (with cream)!!!!!

    1. Red, "exercise" is a collective noun in its own right. "Bunch of exercise" is tautologous.
      Maybe I should put quandong pie on my bucket list? [I've already tried cream.]

  5. Guilty! So, 'a whole bunch of different exercise methods/types' then!!!! And 'quandong pie with cream' is also a collective noun in its own right.

    1. Collective noun - an interesting concept. I trust loganberry pie with fresh cream is healthier too, considering it must also be a collective noun. Yum.