February seems such a long time ago, especially when the delightful weather then has been replaced with cold, blustery, rainy August. So it’s a good time to sit down at the computer and type up a post. (Yes, I realise many of those reading this are enjoying a Northern Hemisphere summer.)
Walking on a really hot day in Melbourne’s summer is a challenge so when it was only forecast for high 20s Karen and I joined up with our two friends Pauline and Brendan and decided to do a section of the coastal walk along the east side of Port Phillip Bay. We dropped one car off at Mordialloc and continued up to Black Rock where we parked the other car. Unlike where we live further south on the Mornington Peninsula we had to pay for parking which was a bit annoying. Anyhow we were soon on our way. Initially the smooth gravel track was high up
which enabled us to take in a good view of part of the area we would be walking through.
The path was easy to follow but for those who weren’t sure it was well signposted. In fact based on the age of this sign it had been a well walked trail for many years.
After a while the trail moved away from the beach and onto the footpath along the main Esplanade in Beaumaris. According to a nifty piece of paving/artwork we were now walking the Coastal Art Trail. So that was an unexpected bonus.
Not long after we came to the beginning of a series of signs showcasing prints of famous Australian painters who had been inspired to paint the area in the past.
Sure enough there was Banksia Point for us to see as it was now, more than 100 years after the painting had been produced by Jessie Evans.
After reading the details and looking at a second sign featuring a painting by George Bell we made our way back along the trail as it led to the beach at Banksia Point. Here we were treated to the sight of some of the local black swans on the water.
The next painting featured on a signboard was one by Charles Conder entitled ‘Sandringham’ which he had painted in 1890. Charles was one of the many painters from the famous Heidelberg School in Melbourne to have visited and painted the people bathing in the area along the beach here.
I’m no painter so a quick photo to show the modern day bathers from a large school group will have to suffice.
As we continued the track rose again.
After fifteen minutes or so it came back down closer to the water and we had a good view across Moyes Bay in Beaumaris towards Mordialloc where we were heading.
Soon after the trail actually became the footpath along the roadside. The view we had seen of Moyes Bay was quite different to the one that Fred McCubbin had painted back in 1887, which we saw on one of the next set of boards.
The other board showed a photograph of the Great Southern Hotel and Keefer’s Boat Hire as seen back in the late 1890s. Sadly the boat hire burnt down so time ago.
Amazingly the great Southern Hotel is currently undergoing a major restoration. Clearly someone has lots of money to spend in returning it to its former glory.
The trail again headed back above the beach. When we saw this tree bent over by the wind over many years we were able to appreciate just how fortunate we were to be walking on such a beautiful day.
The next stretch returned down to sea level almost and was paved.
It didn’t take us long to be tempted to walk along the sand. Here the views spoke for themselves.
Back in Mordialloc we picked up one of our cars and drove back to where we had parked the second car in Blackrock. Here,the many cafes presented a bit of a challenge – which one to choose! But we finally settled down in one to rest our weary legs, enjoying a cool drink and a relaxing lunch.