Sunday, September 28, 2014

Otway Fly Tree Top Walk

While in Victoria recently we visited the Otway Fly Treetop Adventure park, they provided a unique opportunity to view the forest from a bird's eye view through the tree top walk - the longest and tallest tree top walk in the world!

The park also advertised a dinosaur walk so I thought it would be perfect for a family trip. Unfortunately a recent storm had severely damaged the dinosaurs, with only a couple remaining.... but Ethan was still stoked to see the ones left and he was left none the wiser that there would have normally been a whole dinosaur walk!

We came across the dinosaurs before we hit the entrance to the tree top adventure.
 High on the hill was a t-rex and his prey - a very realistic scene and despite the storm damage we all thought it was pretty cool!
 Onto the treetop walk itself, we headed off onto the adventure which started with at least a 1km walk deep down into the forest... at this point I think everyone was thinking about the trek back out (least of all Jason who knew he would be up for carrying Ethan out on his shoulders)!

The towering trees were lovely but unfortunately we just didn't have the right camera equipment to capture the true scale of the forest!
 We were lucky enough to get Ethan to sit still long enough for a photo with his aunties!
 The sheer size of some of the trees was just phenomenal! And I think everyone enjoyed the spectacular.... and this was before we even hit the walkway itself!
 Finally it was time to head onto the walkway, it was a very safe structure (thankfully as by this stage it seemed like we were 50m above the forest floor).
 There was also an extra high lookout to climb up (we were probably 70 m from the forest floor once we were at the top).... it seemed like a couple of hundred steps to me.... this was where Ethan decided that it was a little scary for him.... which suited his Mama as she was a little more than nervous as well!
 Here we are from the bottom looking back up on the walkway itself!
All in all it was a wonderful walk which tested some of our boundaries and comfort levels but it was amazing! Once we finished the treetop walk we had to trek out of the forest, it was a climb straight up which tested me at 30 weeks pregnant (at that stage I was very pleased that I had kept up my walking regime as it meant that I still had some sort of fitness). As I predicted, Ethan's little legs soon tired so his Dad got to haul an extra 20kg up the path!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Melbourne Holiday - Day 2

Day two of our holiday dawned with a bright sun over the hills with a promise of what was to come!

And what did come was a stunning early spring day, clear blue skies, warm temperatures and beautiful landscapes! I made the most of the beautiful day and went for a nice long walk! 
The Victorian coast line was so lovely, and so different to WA coast line. During my walk I soaked up all the lovely sights and could feel myself relaxing after a couple of busy weeks at work.
In my 30 week pregnant state I huffed and puffed my way up to the lighthouse and was pleased that I did! It gave another great perspective of the Victorian coast line.... unfortunately it was all too soon that I needed to head back to the holiday house so we could get on with the day's adventures!
After a very busy first day we had no major plans for day two of our holiday. So Jason suggested a drive to Apollo Bay for lunch. 

The roads were very reminiscent of NZ (and light years apart from WA roads).... windy, narrow and lots of speed restricted corners. But the landscape was stunning. We had a few photo stops along the way.
Unfortunately my passenger on board wasn't playing ball and I just wasn't comfortable at all so we never made it to Apollo Bay - instead we stopped at Wye River and had a great play in the rock pools and a lovely lunch.
Once we got home, I couldn't resist a few shots of the calla lillies on the side of the deck at the holiday house! My old favourite flowers!

Apart from the rib pain and motion sickness for me, it was a wonderful day! It was great seeing Ethan with loving the time spent with his grandparents and aunties and it was what the doctor ordered for Jason and I - time away from work and "real life"....stay tuned for more about our holiday!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Werribee Open Range Zoo and Werribee Mansion

Last week we went to Melbourne to meet the Wellington Papps for Grandad Papps' 60th Birthday celebrations. After a night at the airport hotel we headed off down the coast, stopping in at Werribee Open Range Zoo and Werribee Mansion on the way.

Werribee Zoo is an african themed zoo outside of Melbourne. It is situated on over 500 acres of land and is located on the Werribee river.

I think Ethan would have almost been happy with just seeing the entrance to the zoo, it was that cool!
 Awesome sculptures of animals to play on and with!
 We started the day on the bus ride out into the "free range" area. 
 It was lovely seeing the animals so well cared for and roaming free.
 The giraffes were tall and majestic, and came very close to the bus!

 The rhinos were lazy and seemed to enjoy sitting in the sun! Basking in the fresh spring air.
 The zoo had simulated african villages... such a different life to what we are used to!
After the bus tour we walked the rest of the park... The hippos were also basking in the sun.
 Ethan had a ball in the park, which included a archaeology digging area for the kids!
 The lions were amazing, and we were only separated by a piece of glass, One lion was on the car bonnet of the car that was half on their side of the glass and half on our side of the glass!
 The zoo was truly wonderful and everyone enjoyed it!

Right next door to the zoo is Werribee mansion, which upon entering the grounds, we are transported back to 19th century Australia. Apparently weathly sheep farmers built the mansion, finishing back in 1877.

Here is the gate house!
 The mansion was amazing - we didn't do the inside tour (which I would have loved to do), but the house with the rolling lawns and acres of gardens was a sight to see. I could only imagine the lives of the people who actually lived there once upon a time.
 Down at the bottom of the gardens was the grotto - apparently it was the only place for the "ladies" to get cool in the summer months (inside the grotto was lined with shells and children's teeth...hmmmmm not sure I like the sound of that one!).
We ended the day in Torquay with a quick walk on the beach, a spot of shopping at the surf stores and some groceries to see us through the next few days! 
All in all a great first day of our holiday!