Aireys Inlet, Great Ocean Road, Victoria

Relatives of mine live in one of the world’s magical spots. I may be exaggerating but that’s how it affects me. Aireys Inlet is on Victoria’s iconic Great Ocean Road, about 120 kms north-west of Melbourne. I’ve been dumping myself on them periodically for years, to clear out the cobwebs of the city and take advantage of the cliffs, the beach, the trees and birds and the quietness of nature, not to mention the free accommodation and some very nice cooking.

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Springtime in Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens

A few days ago, mild temperatures and sunshine were forecast. I took the opportunity to head into the Royal Botanic Gardens for some much needed exercise and sun. I had never properly explored them before, sticking mainly to the edges along St. Kilda Road, or climbing the hill to the Sidney Myer Music Bowl, an outdoor entertainment venue that’s hosted hundreds of performers over the years. The Bowl sits in a valley surrounded by hills.

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The Lakes, South-Eastern Victoria

I decided last week I needed some R&R and some nature, so I headed down to Victoria’s lakes district on the south-east coast. I’d been promising myself I would explore the area for years but somehow hadn’t got round to it. I stopped the first night in Bairnsdale, before taking the last 38kms down to Lakes Entrance the next day.

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Captain Cook’s Cottage, Fitzroy Gardens, Melbourne

The temperature was heading for zero (well, 10°), the wind was blasting and it was threatening to rain. But, intrepid traveller that I am, I headed back into the city. It’s years since I’ve been to Captain Cook’s cottage, settled in the gorgeous Fitzroy Gardens, stretching behind the State Parliament buildings.

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