A month in Melbourne, between going to Tasmania and getting our new caravan licenced we were out and about seeing Melbourne and it Surrounds.
We attended another football match, this time at the MCG to watch Brisbane vs Collingwood to be defeated by 45 points. It was still a great venue for a spectator with reasonable priced food and drinks.
A day trip to Lorne took us to the start of the Great Ocean Road where we visited Erskine Falls not far from the coast and spent the rest of the day getting lost on off road 4wd tracks.
On Another day, we drove to Dandenong where we completed the 1000 steps walk on a very fresh morning. Instead of going on the puff and billy train ourselves we just sat under the bridge and ate lunch and waited for it to come around where we could get close to old steam train.
While staying with Ali and Dallas still, we all went to the night noodle market in the CBD on a Wednesday night. Where the Queen Victoria markets are held during the day, at night transforms into a night market with many food vendors to choose from with great company and atmosphere. We all indulged in the market dinner and of course dessert.
The weekend was almost here and Ali and Dallys had booked the Friday off work. We were off the explore the Grampians National Park together. After a 3 hour drive from Melbourne, collecting fire wood along the way we arrived early Friday Afternoon. Parking up at the free camp- Plantation Camp site I had found on Wiki camps which had drop toilets, fire pits, table, chairs and bucket showers. We soon set up our swag and tents and were back in the car to have a look around.
We drove up the winded roads to Mackenzie Falls, it was a short steep walk with steps to the main falls and then we went a little further to the Fish Falls. After doing our exercise for the day it was time to head back to our camp for our well deserved cheese and drinks.
Sitting around the camp fire feeling full already from our pre dinner snacks we then tucked into our beef and barley stew which had been cooking since the morning in the shuttle chef (see recipe below).
After a chilly night sleep, we woke the next morning for a day of walking through the national park. We drove to Sundial car park and walked to the Pinnacle which had panoramic views overlooking Lake Bellfield. Slowly making our way back down on the slippery rocks we later drove to the Lake Bellfield to view from ground level.
We stopped for lunch in the main town of Halls Gap where we had our sandwiches and fruit in the park and then after treating ourselves to a icecream. Feeling full and cold we decided to call it for the day and went back to our campsite for the to light the fire and relax for the afternoon before a night of more drinks and cheese spending the night around the fire. We finished the night with a camp fire grilled banana split for dessert.
The next morning the clouds had come over and it was time to head back to Melbourne, we stopped at the Beechworth Bakery in Ballarat on our way home for lunch and got home not long after. We spent the afternoon unpacking and preparing our seafood feast for one our final meals together before we left Melbourne.
We spent the few days getting a few last minute things sorted, thanks to Dallys for fitting our bike rack on the van. Tuesday night was our last night at Ali and Dallys house after a month of taking over their garage and house with all our stuff. We watched Ali play netball, followed by going to our favourite Vietnamese restaurant where you get a big delicious meal for cheap prices. We couldn’t have a dinner without dessert and Ali had saved the best till last treating us to the amazing treats (see below).
After a month in Melbourne we were ready to get back on the road into the country air and away from the hustle and bustle of Melbourne. It was sad leaving Ali and Dallys they were great hosts, thanks again for having us and we will miss you.
Beef and Barley Stew
500g Gravy Beef, cubed
1 Cup Barley
1 Onion, diced
2 gloves garlic, crushed
1 Celery sticks, chopped
1 Carrot, chopped
1 Parsnip, chopped
1 can of tomatoes
Salt and pepper
Beef stock to cover
Method: Brown gravy beef and set aside, place garlic, onion and vegetables in pot and stir for about a minute, then add barley, canned tomatoes, beef to the pot and add stock to cover, season well and simmer on stove for 20 minutes. Place in shuttle chef for a minimum of 5 hours or until ready to eat. Enjoy
Follow us next week as we leave Melbourne and head towards the Mornington Peninsula.