Our first eleventh day in Melbourne was initially going to involve a visit to the Heide Gallery, though once we saw how easily it could be reached by PT we chose to set our sights further and hit the road instead. Back in our original Sydney to Melbourne transition we thought we’d take the longer, and more scenic coast way and stop in at the Mornington gallery on the way for the Portraits of Paul Kelly exhibition, thinking it would be a pretty ace into to our new town. But our haste to move was so great so we went ‘right down the corridor’ and hit the Hume instead.
We were through the city and into the suburbs in a flash, and cruised along the Citylink with ‘Songs From the South‘ playing. Nothing was familiar, every turn of the Melways page revealing postcodes and places we’d never known. The traffic, roads and roadside distractions thinned as we reached the outskirts, even passing a sign saying we were “Now Leaving Metropolitan Melbourne”. On our last turn into the gallery, a clock on a
silo building materials shop said 11 degrees , you couldn’t ask for a better omen.
The exhibition has all manner of photos, videos and stories about Paul Kelly, and all the photographers noting his shyness, but intense gaze, and acute awareness of the need for the photo shoot itself. We very easily passed an hour and a half in there before walking the grounds through the barren rose garden, and around the lake guarded by fiesty water hens and cantankerous swans.
A trip to the local shops ensued, the Mornington Village two stories of everything a local needs, and not much they don’t. We bought bread from the bakery, and fruit from the grocer, and had I wanted, i could have still got my film processed there too. Then on a whim we cruised the main street and decided to follow to the end of the road, coming across an unassuming and unmarked lookout across from a deserted children’s playground. The view that greeted us was stellar. A panorama of the whole of Port Phillip Bay lay before us, Melbourne’s skyline hovering as if painted on in the distance as the horizon seemed to circularly stretch all 360 degrees.
We jumped back in the car and braved the icy winds and drove down further where a windblown marina and an edge of the world car park were being buffeted by seaspray. The waves crashing against the breakwall with such force a foamy mass had gathered on the red clay cliffs and was occasionally flying off in small soapy chunks and sailing across the carpark. Welcome to Schnapper Point.
Beers, dinner and footy at the Townie after, perfect Melbourne day.