Road trip! Day 2 – Glenrowan & Great Ocean Road…

Glenrowan - Ned Kelly stands tall

Phew – what a day! Lots of fun for everyone, lots of driving for me – ah, the joys of being a single parent!

We headed off from Wangaratta and straight to McDonalds drive-through to grab some drinks to chase down our hotel brekkie (I think I’m already putting weight on from all the hot breakfasts!), then pulled into a park with a playground to sup on coffee whilst the kids ran off their orange juice.

We're ready to hit the road - my Mum and I (with the kids already buckled in!)

We’re ready to hit the road again – my Mum and I (with the kids already buckled in!)

Victoria has awesome parks and rest stops – they do a great job at looking after their travellers. There always seems to be lots of picnic stops, toilet stops and great playgrounds. I like to think that the kids are doing their own reviews – road-testing every possible playground they can talk me into stopping at! The result is that although I formulate a lose schedule for our days travel, we often run terribly late or short – but then, that’s half the fun of travel! As I broken-record-ly repeat to the kids, half the fun is getting there – and it really is. It’s those unexpected things you come across in your journeys that you end up remembering the most!

Kids will be kids - always factor in some kid time so that everyone enjoys themselves!

Kids will be kids – always factor in some kid playtime so that everyone enjoys themselves!

Take our first park stop. The usual stuff – pre-schoolers playing (the school kids in Victoria are back at school now of course), mums sipping coffee, the couple walking the ferrets….wait, what? Turns out we had run into some ferret ambassadors, lovely people with totally gorgeous ferrets! I had always thought of them as bitey little critters, but as it turns out they are the most gorgeous, lovable things. We loved petting and cuddling them, and not a bite in sight!

Way too cute for their own good - a random ferret encounter in a Wangaratta park!

Way too cute for their own good – a random ferret encounter in a Wangaratta park!

Glenrowan – Ned Kelly’s Last Stand – the Animated Theatre Show

Next, onward to our morning activity – Glenrowan. Just a ten minute drive away from Wangaratta, and one of the highlights of our trip, no doubt. Glenrowan is of course all about Ned Kelly’s last stand. Love him or hate him, Ned Kelly is one of Australia’s most famous bushrangers – but I’m not going to give you a history lesson about what you already know –  I want to tell you about the interactive Ned Kelly Museum in Glenrowan – because it’s awesome!

Ned Kelly's Last Stand - the Animated Theatre show

Ned Kelly’s Last Stand – the Animated Theatre show

Before I get started, here’s a family warning for you – it’s probably going to scare the pants off of your kids under 10. Brooke my 9yo enjoyed it mostly, but I assess that she spent approximately 50% of the time a bit scared, judging by her trying-to-look-cool face! Samantha, my 7yo spent approximately 50% of the time hiding her head on my lap! It is scary – the dark atmosphere, light/sound effects and robotic characters – and elements of surprise! So you might want to pre-warn the kids before going in (okay, I did do this – it didn’t really work so well, but it’s worth a shot!).

Big sisters have their uses - Samantha takes cover behind Brooke during the show

Big sisters have their uses – Samantha takes cover behind Brooke during the show

We were very lucky to have the whole animated museum show to ourselves. It follows Ned Kelly’s last stand at the Glenrowan Pub, with all of its exciting happenings and atmosphere. You move from room to room filled with animated dummies, and just too much going on to see it all. Room by room and outside too, you follow the Kelly Gang to the shoot-out, and eventually their ultimate demise – all the way to the last surviving member’s end at Melbourne Jail – Ned himself.

There's so much going on, you won't know which way to look in the Ned Kelly show!

There’s so much going on, you won’t know which way to look in the Ned Kelly show!

It’s all jolly good fun for us old folk (yep, the parents), but unless you have teenagers, you may want to assess if your young child is up for it – and definitely avoid this show if you have sensitive toddlers. That is, unless you’re okay with the future psychiatrist bills (just kidding)! All that said, Samantha exclaimed as we emerged from the show that she “really, really wanted to come back again soon!” – someone explain to me again how 7yos think? Because I really have no idea sometimes…

Here’s a short clip of the Ned Kelly show (non-scary!):

Still a bit shell-shocked from the show, we all stumbled next door for a totally in-theme, sumptuous Ned Kelly home-made damper lunch at Dad & Dave’s Billy Tea Café. Here we sat on the cool wooden veranda and stuffed ourselves silly before hitting the souvenir shops (Don’t miss getting the kids their own soft Ned Kelly mask – for just $10 they can torment you in the car for hours with hold-ups for lollies!)

This was just as yummy as it looks - home-made damper for lunch - mmmm!

This was just as yummy as it looks – home-made damper for lunch – mmmm!

There is so much to see and do in Kelly country, but with kids this age, clearly they had had reached their bushranger saturation point. We headed back to the freeway with a Youtube Ned Kelly story playing on the stereo for atmosphere – I hoped that some of the historic tale would subconsciously rub off on them. It did a bit, however as you can probably guess, the kids were far more interested in play acting Ned’s notorious role rather than the poor old police officers!

Apart from a quick toilet-stop, and to look for koala’s in the trees (but the signs said there are Koalas Mummy!) and have a few practise throws of Samantha’s new boomerang (we’re appalling at it – clearly it’s broken!), we stayed the course and drove all the way down the freeway almost to Melbourne. We then hit the Melbourne traffic as we veered off onto the Western Ring Road to Geelong. We grabbed some take-away for dinner (another playground stop!), and then headed straight down to the start of the Great Ocean Road at Torquay. This leg took us around 4 hours including breaks.

By this time it was early evening. I didn’t want to be driving too late, so we began the look-out for hotel vacancy signs as we wound our way along the coast. I was a little worried, as it was Friday night, and no doubt Melbournians love their weekends away down here – what if there were no vacancies?

Lightkeepers Motor Inn, Aireys Inlet, Victoria

Luckily there wasn’t an issue as we saw plenty of vacancies. We stopped at the Lightkeepers Motor Inn at Aireys Inlet – $175 for the night and close by to the rather striking lighthouse there. I had hoped that the Motel might have had lighthouse views, however unfortunately not, however there was a nice little pool which the kids promptly threw themselves into, before a hot shower and hitting the school books – and then the sack!

Lightkeepers Motor Inn at Aireys Inlet on the Great Ocean Road

Lightkeepers Motor Inn at Aireys Inlet on the Great Ocean Road

The Lightkeepers Motor Inn is situated up on the hill before you descend to Airey’s Inlet on the Great Ocean Road, and it’s main highlights were its large bathrooms, awesome cooked breakfast – and of course, its resident deaf Dalmatian, who the information folder warns you about not running over, as she can’t hear you!

Today’s route…

You can read our Road Trip! daily blogs here…

Read the Road Trip! Day 1 blog here  -Canberra to Gundagai to Wangaratta
Read the Road Trip! Day 2 blog here – Wangaratta to Glenrowan to Aireys Inlet
Read the Road Trip! Day 3 blog here – Aireys Inlet to Lorne
Read the Road Trip! Day 4 blog here – Lorne
Read the Road Trip! Day 5 blog here – Lorne to Apollo Bay to Cape Otway
Read the Road Trip! Day 6 blog here – Cape Otway
Read the Road Trip! Day 7 blog here – Cape Otway to 12 Apostles to Port Campbell
Read the Road Trip! Day 8 blog here – Port Campbell to Warrnambool to Port Fairy
Read the Road Trip! Day 9 blog here – Hearn’s Beach & Port Fairy
Read the Road Trip! Day 10 blog here – Port Fairy to Warrnambool to Ballarat
Read the Road Trip! Day 11 blog here – Sovereign Hill gold mining village, Ballarat
Read the Road Trip! Day 12 blog here – Ballarat and the road home…

We’ll be moving on again tomorrow, this time down the road towards the lovely town of Lorne, Victoria – we’ll catch up with you then!

Have you travelled (or want to) travel to Glenrowan, or along the Great Ocean Road with your little bushrangers? Comment here!



About LetsGoMum

Hi, I'm Barbara, mum of the Let's Go Mum blog. We'd love to hear from you! You can contact me anytime with ideas on where you think we should go or what you think we should try...just drop me a line at barbara@letsgomum.com.au!
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