The simple pleasure of a road trip helped us to rediscover what is truly important.
Our reason for setting off on a road trip may have been solemn, but it resulted in an uplifting and rejuvenating adventure. In November, whilst travelling overseas, my husband’s grandfather passed away at the extraordinary age of 101. Saddened that we weren’t there to support Grandma in her greatest time of need, we vowed to visit her as soon as possible.
On January 2 we set off on a pilgrimage to see Grandma in Geelong, with two stops along the way in Robe and Port Fairy. Despite my initial concerns about long spells in the car with three boys, I was delighted to find that we all really enjoyed quality family time together. After the hectic Christmas and New Year period, it was lovely to shoot the breeze and take in some fantastic sights along the way. We stopped every two hours to stretch our legs and eat all the pasties. Is there anything finer than a country bakery?
Day One: Discovery Parks Robe.
Located only four hours from Adelaide, Robe is the ideal place to get away from the hustle and bustle without forgoing the finer things in life.
There’s so much to love about Discovery Parks Robe: the stunning esplanade location (just across from the exquisite Long Beach), the all new deluxe ocean front cabins (they sleep 6), the indoor pool, the phenomenal adventure playground and jumping pillow, the all new camp kitchen and, well, Robe is just heaven!
Robe is South Australia’s premier seaport town, offering beautiful beaches and bushland, quaint historical buildings, delicious dining and great coffee, plus excellent boutique shopping. Visitors can enjoy 4WD adventures, surfing, fishing, bike rides and nature walks, with easy access to the nearby Coonawarra wine regions, Mt Gambier’s Blue Lake and the Naracoorte Caves.
Day Two: Port Fairy Holiday Park.
Port Fairy is THE cutest. I was delighted by the architecture (this town boomed in the late 1800’s and many significant buildings remain) and the vibrant cafe scene.
The Port Fairy Holiday Park is simply lovely. We adored the stunning semi-rural location (with cows for neighbours), the modern indoor heated pool, the jumping pillow, the playground and the tennis court. The boys loved roaming around on the pedal go-karts. In fact, the highlight of our stay was seeing the boys embrace the freedom that park life allows. Plus, the resident owners, Rebecca and Darren, could not have been more welcoming.
Port Fairy is a charming fishing village that boasts pretty cottages, towering Norfolk Pines and colourful fishing boats. Visitors can enjoy excellent dining, heritage walks and stunning coastal scenery.
Day Three: Barwon River Holiday Park
Day three on the road led us to our destination; Barwon River Top Parks and Grandma!
The Barwon River Holiday Park is situated on the banks of the Barwon River in Belmont, Geelong. Boasting a comprehensive range of accommodation, an outdoor solar heated pool, a jumping pillow, a playground and pedal go karts, the park makes for a great base to visit local attractions. Don’t miss the Bellarine wineries, surfing beaches and the awesome Adventure Park Geelong for epic waterslides and rides. My personal favourite is Geelong’s Pakington Street, home to over 25 cafes and restaurants and more than 50 boutique shops.
We loved every minute of our time with Grandma. At 91, she lives independently, shops three times weekly at ALDI and cooks all of her own meals – except for once a week when she dines out with her seven girlfriends. What an inspiration!
We felt our company was really important to Grandma. Living alone can be so isolating. We chatted a lot about Grandpa and shared some laughs. Despite our own lives being so busy, our visit to Grandma reminded us to slow down and give time to what it is truly important. Grandma, we are returning to see you in February!
We’ve had the best road trip. It’s reminded us the simple life often brings the greatest happiness.