This journey along Princess Highway was from Melbourne to Warrnambool (256.5 km) where we visited Hopkins Falls (Hopkins Falls) and Tower Hill. From Warrnambool, we drove straight to Cape Bridgewater and turned back to visit Cape Nelson as we planned to stay over night in Portland. The next day, the journey continued to Princess Margaret Rose Caves and later to the final destination Blue Lake, Mt. Gambier in South Australia. Later in the afternoon we went back to Melbourne non stop via Glenelg Highway.
Tower Hill is an enormous dormant volcanic crater that is located about 14 km west of Warrnambool. The volcanic eruption happened around 30.000 years ago. The area was once inhabited by Indigenous Koroitgundidj people.
When we visited the area, the crater was dry but during rainy season it would form a shallow lake. Nearby, there is the Tower Hill Wildlife reserve, where we saw some koalas and emus around the picnic area.
Cape Bridgewater is located on the western shore of Bridgwater Bay, 21 km southwest of city of Portland (383 km from Melbourne). Some of the main attractions of the area are the Petrified Forest and the Blow Holes.
A short walk from the car park brought us to a barren rocky landscape. Walls of unusual round hollow lime stone pillars and shallow round pockmarks that appeared on the ground had given us the impression of a moonscape. We hardly saw any vegetation in the area but the occasional calls of seagulls reminded us that we were still on Earth. The hollow pillars somehow give an impression of petrified tree trunks in the long gone forest.
The spectacular and unusual natural geological formation was the result of erosion where water dripped on sand stone area and it created holes that channeled into the ground so it created rounded pipe formations that resembled hollow petrified tree trunks.
The path on the right side of the car park leads to the rugged beauty of foreshores that are continuously battered by strong waves and it creates blow holes and caves.
Cape Nelson Coastal Park is a 210 hectares of craggy coastal cliffs. The park has many walking tracks and one of them is a 5 km walk to the 32 metres high lighthouse that dates back to 1883.
Princess Margaret Rose Cave
Stalagtite, stalagmite and helictite formations inside the Princess Margaret Rose Cave can be reached either taking a river cruise along Glenelg river or from the Lower Glenelg National park. The moist cave is decorated with amazing lime stone formations, but it will be a little bit too much for those who are claustrophobic.
17 km from the Victorian Border is the second largest city of Mt. Gambier in South Australia. Blue lake is a dormant Mt. Gambier volcano which is around 70 meters deep. During the hot months of the year, the steel grey colour water changes into vivid cobalt blue. This largest of the four craters is always full of clear water that supply the city with high quality of artesian drinking water.