28 September 2016

Gunnamatta Beach: Getting Introduced to Melbourne's Hidden Gem

I have been keen to visit Melbourne for some time now, partly because I was going to be getting a local tour of the city. Local in that I was going to have my very own personal guide to the city. Not in the ‘driving miss Daisy’ type of experience but I was going to have my friend chauffeur me (there was a tram or bus threw in the mix too) me about to all the cool little hang outs that tourists don’t usually venture out to. I love a touristy spot, but adore even more to see hidden gems in cities I visit. This is the same thing I try to inspire people to do when they visit London. Don't just stick to popular places in central London. Visit Angle, Brixton, East London, Kingston, heck add Peckham in there too. You want to see where the locals hang out, don’t you? So get in there!

My friend Alissa who is now in London, but has is now heading back down under in a couple of months took me around her city. Exploring both central and the outback, but more posts on that to come soon. I was a little sad to learn a few weeks ago that had decided to head back. On the bright side, I guess I have plenty of trips to Australia to look forward to. During my trip to Melbourne she took me on road trips to Yarra Valley, Sorrento, see where Neighbours is shot, Great Ocean Road, and a few other places whose names I can't recall right now but will share tips on road trips in and around Melbourne for you to check out when you visit the state of Victoria.

I managed to get a lot of sightseeing down during my time in Victoria. One little spot that I absolutely loved was Gunnamatta Beach. As much as I love being near the ocean, I am also a tinsy winsy selfish. In that, I don’t like to share them with many people. Yep, I am not one of those people you will find on those Spanish beaches, or any other beach for that matter, that has millions of people spread across the sand baking themselves to the nines. Yep, I like it as quiet as possible. A few people I can handle, this is why I absolutely fell head over heels for Phuket's Kho Maoi beach. I had miles and miles and only had to share the beach with a few dog walkers and joggers. Gunnamatta Beach was on the same scale. Other than a few walkers, a surfer or two and a fisherman, the beach was ours! Perhaps, it was quiet because of the overcast weather, whatever the reason, I am grateful to venture out to see beautiful spots that are not really mentioned in guide books.

Gunnamatta Beach is located in the Mornington Peninsula National Park and is part of a 30km long sandy and rock coast that extends from Cape Schank to Point Nepean. Although popular for surfing pros, it is also a very hazardous beach, with an average of 113 rescues a year, second only to its neighbouring Portsea Beach. Waves here average about 1.9m, so I may just have to try my surfing lessons else where the next time I am in Australia. That means swimming here is not the best of ideas either. If a relaxed and chilled out spot is what you are after then it’s perfect for that as well as for light dip on the fringes of the hypnotic waves. The rolling and foamy waves cascading against the shoreline are hypnotising enough to leave you relaxed and in a tranquil state.

Walking is another safer activity that draws people here. If you are into your walking there are walking trails right along the beach but also bear in mind the tides if you are going to walk the full stretch of the coastline.

From Gunnamatta Beach we then ventured off to explore the winding roads close to where Great Ocean Road starts, a stop at Arthur's Seat and the amazing views of Melbourne city from the viewpoint. I will be sharing pictures of soon. In the meantime, let the images of Gunnamatta Ocean Beach take you away...

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