Stop number one on the road trip from Melbourne to Cairns: The Mornington Peninsula!
Last time I was in Melbourne in May, Amanda insisted we go to the Mornington Peninsula hot springs. Funnily enough I refused to pack a swimsuit because under no circumstance was I letting anyone peer pressure me to go swimming. But a relaxing spa during a thunderstorm? Alright, I regretted not packing a swimsuit.
Some of the strange sights we saw on the way to the Peninsula were a “hotel” that wasn’t really a hotel but a weird art exhibition on the side of the road and a drive thru movie theatre. It felt a bit of a shame to have driven one hour to visit a hot springs when there were so many other things on the Peninsula that was calling my name. Next time I was in Melbourne, I promised to prioritise at least a few days to spend it on the Peninsula so I could experience everything.
Unfortunately, when I got to the Peninsula this time, the rain began. And I don’t mean just rain, I mean serious, lightning, thunder, wind that threatened to blow my car right off the road kind of storm. I switched my van into overdrive and stubbornly trudged my way up Arthur’s Seat National Park. I don’t like the weather telling me what I can and can’t do.
When I reached the top, the weather got the better of me. Although the views were stunning enough, my camera captured only sunlight struggling to get through layers of storm clouds, soggy raindrops on the lens and the island silhouetted against the sea. Alright weather, you win.Begrudgedly, I drove back down the hill and found a place to rest for the night.
The next day I drove to Cape Shank. A place my Uber driver from the airport in Melbourne recommended to me.
“Let me tell you about my favourite place in the world,” he said. “I can’t remember the name of it, but it’s a beach. But not a normal beach, it’s a really ugly beach with spiky rocks and stuff,”
“Wow, you’re really selling this place to me,” I said.
“No, it’s beautiful! I go there with my friends to watch the sunset and have a barbecue. It’s a different kind of beautiful. Cape Shank! That’s what it’s called,”
He actually did manage to sell the place to me. I was way too early to watch the sunset so I attempted to get up early enough to watch the sunrise. Unfortunately, this didn’t happen. It probably turned out for the better because when I did arrive at Cape Shank, a rainbow was hitting the lighthouse and the storm clouds had just started to clear.I walked down to the Pebble Beach and soaked up the ugly beauty. My Uber driver was right. Cape Shank is definitely a different kind of beautiful. Instead of sand there were dark pebbles of varying sizes and underneath them, small black stones as big as sand grains.After the beach, I wandered up to see the lighthouse. I decided against a tour or to see the museum, seeing them from the outside was good enough for me.The next thing I decided to see was Portsea, A village closest to the edge of the Peninsula. I figured the closest to the edge, the better the village must be. I’m not sure if I was correct on this assumption but the beach was good enough and I enjoyed the pastel coloured beach boxes.After that I drove up to Rosebud, one of the biggest districts on the Peninsula. The boardwalk and beach were beautiful too, but at this point I was getting a bit bored of the traditional beaches. I know, right, what exactly am I planning on doing on this six week long 3,500 mile drive to Cairns if I’m not what you’d call a beach-gal?After Rosebud, I ventured back up the mountain to see if I could get better views of Arthur’s Seat now the rain had finally cleared. The views were definitely better and I’m glad I made the journey again.Still, my van wasn’t going to drive itself to Cairns and the storm clouds threatened once again, I decided to continue on with my journey. Onwards to Phillip Island!