Travelling Australia - Journal 2009
5-13 April 2009 - Frankston
The stay in Frankston was planned to visit friends and relatives so most days were occupied in driving to various parts of Melbourne and meeting people. But we also took the opportunity to look at Frankston and the Mornington Peninsula.

Melbourne's motorway network of inter-connected freeways and tollways made moving around outside peak hours fairly easy. Traffic levels on the Frankston Freeway which carries nearly all traffic from Greater Melbourne to the Mornington Peninsula was a source of constant interest to us. This freeway terminates at the edge of Frankston forcing through traffic to negotiate eight sets of traffic light along the main road to reach the Mornington Peninsula Freeway to get to the Peninsula. Given that thousands of people live on the Mornington Peninsula and thousands more went there for holidays over this Easter weekend, the volume of traffic and length of queues waiting at traffic lights was impressive.

The weather varied from cold and dank to bright and sunny with no apparent logic. Our rain-gauge recorded 2.5mm on the first night in Frankston but no rain was recorded on following days although the weather often looked wet.

Shortly after arriving we had a look at the Frankston shopping centre, especially a large shopping complex spanning two or three city blocks with car parking underneath. But we found the complex uninviting and drove to outlying satellite township when we needed to shop.

During the stay in Frankston we had a good look around the Mornington Peninsula which is primarily a beach/coast centred area although there is a widespread, and apparently thriving, wine industry in the inner, higher, parts. One interesting place was Fort Nepean at the tip of the peninsula, where heavy guns have been installed for many years defending the entrance to Port Phillip. This complex has become a national park and parts are open for visitors; more will be opened as explosive are cleared from former military training areas.

The Mornington Peninsula National Park, which includes Fort Nepean, is divided into many segments presenting different vegetation found on the Peninsula. Many of the small parts of the park are open to walking visitors.