There are times when Mitch has a day or two off work and we can’t make up our minds what we are going to do. Do we stay at home, cuddle up on the couch and watch our favourite 80’s flicks, catch up with friends and family or do something fun with our daughters? There are those days when we just want it to be the two of us. No pressure, we don’t have to worry about kids getting bored, we can just enjoy ourselves and take our time. If we see something we like and want to stop and have a peek, we can.
So today we decided to brave the weather and visit Williamstown. Friends have recommended visiting the historical seaside city for the past 2 years, but I had never understood the attraction. It’s near Melbourne’s industrial areas, what could possibly be pretty about that? So we jumped in the car, drove over the Westgate Bridge and decided to see for ourselves. Turning left on Melbourne Road we travelled past old houses and store fronts. Turning left at the first round about we began to see why people spoke so highly of the area. Rounding the bend in the road opened up our views of Port Melbourne and all its glory – beautiful parks, yachts, sailing ships, and Melbourne’s rising skyline in the background.
After another roundabout we were in the city’s bayside hub. Looking out Mitchell’s drivers side window I had a ‘wtf’ moment! There was a big black horse in someones lounge room! Yes, I’m not kidding, why on earth you would have what looked to be Phar Laps cousin instead of something normal like – hmmm I don’t know – a coffee table, is anyones guess?! Driving along Nelson Place we spotted a naval ship. What was the naval ship doing and could we take a peek? 🙂 After we found a parking spot along the foreshore we walked over to the HMAS Castlemaine. For the price of $12.00 Mitch and I were welcomed onboard by two of the most lovely retired navy seamen. Aged in their 80’s and 90’s both of these kind gentlemen shared some of their experiences and funny tales onboard Australia’s historical ship.
The HMAS Castlemaine didn’t look that big from the outside, but it sure felt like it as we climbed the levels. I actually felt goosebumps break over my skin when we were in the bowels of the ship, it felt like someone was watching us…it was a tad spooky! I had a ‘Titanic moment’ staring at the steel walls, wondering how the men who made this place home felt searching the seas for mines and submarines during World War II. One explosion and the water rushing into those tight spaces would have been enough to have me searching for dry land, not things that could kill me!
Back up top on the bow and stern the weather couldn’t make up its damn mind. One minute it looked like it was going to pour, the next the sun was out. Mitch and I spent another half hour talking to the retired navy personnel before heading off in search of coffee. A stones throw from the HMAS Castlemaine was Quest Apartments. I went in and had a look, the staff were friendly and it looked like a great place to stay. Nelson Road runs along the bay and foreshore and is home to some of the most fabulous places. The old buildings are fascinating, from the Maritime Museum at Gem Pier and the intriguing Historical Museum, to the old cottages and Botanical Gardens which would look fabulous come spring.
I had no idea Williamstown was this amazing. Clean, really pretty, fabulous things to see and do and such friendly people. Mitch and I have already made plans to go back, I honestly couldn’t recommend Williamstown enough. If you live in Melbourne, this fabulous bayside area is only a 20-25 minute drive from the CBD to Williamstown pier. There are ferries and cruises that can take you across the bay, if you don’t feel like driving, these would be fabulous alternatives. With so much to see and do you might want to check out Quest Apartments along the foreshore. Williamstown is a great place to spend a romantic weekend, it can be as laid back or as fun-filled as you wish….it’s up to you.
x x x