My summer ended with a roadtrip to Sorrento. Using the tollway, it would have taken one hour and a half hours from Melbourne, but because I wanted to take the more scenic route along the Esplanade, it took a solid two hours. It was one of those days that started off dull, with the sky grey and rain spitting onto my windscreen as I drove along the Esplanade. It was far from what I had in mind. Ideally, I was hoping for a sunny drive, with the views of the ocean water shimmering under the sun’s rays, and flocks of people tanning on the beach. It couldn’t be but the opposite.
When we arrived in Sorrento it was closing into noon, and the weather still hadn’t improved. It wasn’t cold or anything, just that it was very very dull. After much indecision of where to eat, we stopped for lunch at “Just Fine Foods“, a small but warm cafe famous for its vanilla slices. According to the owners, people drive 200km just to visit the cafe for its vanilla slices. With such an iconic food symbol in place, of course we had to order not one, but three, to share between the five of us.
For our main meals, three friends ordered fish and chips. I am not one to go for fried food, but I reckon it looked pretty good. Another had spaghetti bolognese, and I had my traditional brunch style lunch of poached eggs with smoked salmon and spinach on toast. It was a massive serving and I felt full for the rest of the day.
At 2:00pm we boarded the Sea Road Ferry from Sorrento harbor to Queenscliff. Sea Roads is a ferry service that runs hourly, attracting tourists like us, but also used by commuters, and residents of Sorrento and Queenscliff needing a quick and efficient method of traveling between the two land masses. I expected the ticket to be at least $40.00 or more, but I was totally surprised when the ticket one way was $11 for adults ($22 round trip), or $10 for concession/students ($20 round trip). I guess that makes sense, because it would be a major rip-off for those who need to use the ferry on a regular basis.
During the 45 min ride, we enjoyed the ocean views and cool sea breeze blowing against our faces. There was also a cafe aboard. Under most cases, I would have bought a hot chocolate and a slice of cake, but because I was still so full from the massive lunch, I didn’t look twice at the cafe.
When we arrived in Queenscliff at 3:00pm, the best thing of the day happened. The sky was beginning to turn blue and oh-so-sunny too. You can see the huge difference in weather in the photos below, with the sky gradually turning from grey to a vibrant sea of blue 😀
We had two hours to wander, so we agreed on going to the Queencliff town center and exploring some nearby walking tracks. Knowing us, we ended up on a detour and found ourselves on the beach instead. For at good ten minutes, everyone went silent, as we all pondered upon our own thoughts, eyes fixed across the ocean, onto a point in the distance. I really enjoyed taking photos of the iconic Queenscliff Pier where many fishermen were trying to get a good catch.
Continuing down the shoreline, and up a walking track, we came across a nice lookout point overseeing the beach, Queenscliff Pier, and the habour where the Sea Road ferry was docked. It was such a stunning view that there was even an older gentlemen who brought with him a set of binoculars as he sat and appreciated the peaceful ocean views.
Continuing along, we came across the very imposing Fort Queenscliff with its military style buildings and tall brick walls. We were all very curious by it, wondering whether it was a prison or not. After a quick google search, we found out the fort used to be a defense base for Port Phillip Bay in the 1880s. Nowadays, it is a historical museum.
With the day nearing to an end, we headed back to Queenscliff harbor and had a quick wander around. There were lots of yachts and speed boats docked on the waters, and fancy seaside restaurants lining the streets. One of my friends said, “we should of had lunch here instead.” I totally agreed to that because it was so much fancier, had lots of fresh seafood dishes and the entire atmosphere was exploding with summer vibes. To his response, another friend replied saying, “maybe if some of you weren’t dying for food when we arrived at Sorrento, we could have eaten here instead.” As the old life saying goes, don’t settle for the first thing you see because bigger and better things await 😉
We took the 5:00pm ferry back to Sorrento. The ride back was so much better than the ride there because it was so warm and summery. All that was missing was banana chairs on the upper deck. Nothing beats that feeling of stunning ocean views, a nice chair to lay on, good company and sunshine.
We arrived back in Sorrento at 6:00pm. It was golden hour, with the sun sitting low on the horizon, and everything covered under a mist of orange and yellow. It would have been lovely to take the Esplanade home, but given it was already getting late, we used the freeway instead. I guess the drive along the Morning Peninsula freeway was still pretty scenic with lots of empty grassland and open paddocks to admire.
The day ended with a Japanese dinner at Kingsway in Glen Waverly. I was still very full from the lunch but still managed to finish a bento box at least. From 7pm all the way to 9pm, we just sat and chatted. Perhaps the most unexpected thing to happen was, one friend needed to go back to university to look at her worms for an experiment, so on a Saturday night, at 10:30pm, after a long day of driving and ferry rides, I was back at uni, inside my friend’s laboratory, looking at worms. And that my friends, is how I celebrated the final day of summer hehe.