Friday, July 8, 2016

Melbourne Travelogue 03: Cunningham Pier + Bells Beach

The 3rd entry on our adventures along Great Ocean Road! After a sumptuous meal at Lavish Cafe, we headed to our next destination in Geelong: Cunningham Pier. The initial plan was to continue on the GO drive towards Torquay, but I chanced upon the Pier during research so we decided to head here for a walk along the pier.
Cunningham Pier is probably the most iconic structure on Geelong's waterfront. In mid 1850s, the pier was a vital part of the port with rail being used to load and unload cargo. Today, the Pier offers spectacular view across Corio Bay and Geelong's beautiful foreshore. 
We weren't sure of the parking rates, so Leecher check with a few locals and even cross-checked the parking machine before we leave the car. We parked near the park and it was free parking for weekends, if I recalled correctly.
Marking our footprints in front of the iconic structure :) The sun in Australia is really harsh, thus we had to wear our sunglasses for extra protection.
The mandatory jump-shot - we attempted this over 10 times before finally getting it right. I wonder how long can we continue doing this before our bones finally break ('',)
Taking pic with his Samsung phone. I'm usually not an Android user, but I was so thankful for this phone during this trip. Leecher never fails to bring this point up. I shall elaborate more in the other posts.
Leecher having fun along the pier, holding onto the gigantic ring as he inched close to the edge.
It was a sunny afternoon & I was glad we arrived earlier for before long, the pier was filled with like-minded people who came out to enjoy the sun. Even though it was bright and sunny, I had my jacket on as I was feeling cold from the sea breeze.
One of the reason why we came to the Pier was to enjoy the walk to Rippleside Park via the path along the waterfront. This path features a large number of bollards. According to statistics, there are 102 bollards around the waterfront from Limeburner's Point to Rippleside Park. However, we couldn't possibly finish the walk hence we only managed to catch a few of these bollards.
 
The bollard was originally meant as a post used on a ship or quay principally for mooring, but these decorative bollards, made of timber, are brightly painted to resemble human beings. The figures, which maybe historical or contemporary, are cluttered around the waterfront in areas where people gather. Thus, the bollards have become a well-known feature of Geelong and also reflected its history as a major Australian port.
 
Leecher trying to mimic the bollard.  
 
 Checking out the vast number of yachts docked at the pier #richpeople. 
 
 Cannot own one, so take a picture for free, lol!
Finally enjoying the relaxed Aussie lifestyle. It can get pretty addictive though and I had difficulty adjusting back to Singapore's hectic schedule after the vacation. 
If we weren't rushing for time, I would have make a lunch reservation at Baveras Brasserie. With view extending across the bay to the city skyline, this is one of the finest restaurants in Geelong. The menu changes accordingly to the season and the fresh produces from the surrounding area.
Cunningham Pier
Moorabool Street, Geelong
We continued on our GO drive after leaving Cunningham Pier. Our next pit stop was 30 min drive from Geelong. There were 2 routes that we wanted to explore: either we head to Point Lonsdale Lighthouse or Bells Beach. We explored our option and decided to head to Bells Beach instead.
When driving along the GO road, the places of attractions are clearly displayed along the road so the driver just need to follow the directions. Otherwise, your next best bet is to trust your instinct (if navigation fails) and follow the cars, lol!
Check out the cars lined up at the car park heading to Bells Beach.
Bells Beach is home of the world's longest running surfing competition: the Rip Curl Pro Surf and Music Festival. Bells Beach is catered for the experienced surfers, due to the 2 right-hand breaks. The waves are almost guaranteed to be good, particularly from March to October. We came at the right season for the action!
Walking down the well-trodden dirt path down to the lookout point. This is where you can get a bird's eye view of the ocean and also, the surfers in action. 
 Spot the surfers!
 
We chilled out at the look-out point, emptying our mind of work and just feeling the sea breeze caressing our skin. It was quite therapeutic looking out to the horizon and listening to the sound of the waves. 
View overlooking Bells Beach. The beach was named after John Cavert Bell, the family that first took up a pastoral run in the area. So, don't expect to see a gigantic bell in the middle of the beach (^^)
We walked down the stairs that leads to the beach. Well, mainly because the surfer dudes were quite good-looking so my natural instinct was to follow them!
Standing on Bells Beach! The best way to enjoy the beach 
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Barefoot! I kicked off my shoes to walk in the sand, but Leecher refused giving the excuse that his shoes were more difficult to wear, duh.
Scardy cat Leecher. Where got people walk around the beach in shoes? *face palm*
The water was extremely cold, but it just felt great to feel the soft sand under your feet. As I stood at my spot, I felt so relaxed just watching the waves making their way towards the coast and feeling the chilly water.
Last picture at Bells Beach before we set off to the next pit stop :)
Bells Beach
Jarosite Road, Victoria 3228

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