Don the ‘puffer jackets’, an essential requirement for heading outdoors this time of the year and head out to “The Briars” in Mt. Martha on the Mornington Peninsula! This is what Dedrie and I did last Tuesday with the Port Phillip Probus Club. It certainly was a memorable day – enjoyed by all.

It all started off with an early morning drive down the freeway – in the opposite direction to the morning traffic. It was a stark reminder of days past when we battled the traffic on our way into the Melbourne CBD. The vacant concentration of drivers struck one, as car-upon-car continued at snails pace in the many lanes of traffic to that island of sky scrapers behind us.

As we had about an hour to kill, we stopped at the Lilo Cafe on the Esplanade on the way to Mt Martha, where we enjoyed good ‘skinny flat whites’ and shared an excellent muffin. The view from our table was most inviting, bottle brush and grevilleas adorning the nature strip across the road, many seagulls rising into the wind and gliding into the blue-grey background.

We reached the ‘The Briars’ just in time for the introductory film in the Visitor Centre. This film sketched the lives of the Balcombe family.  Alexander, with his wife Emma Juana brought livestock and settled in Port Phillip in 1842; in 1846 took over the run Chen Chen Gurruck, or Tichingorourke, changing the name to ‘The Briars’. The property extended from the present Mornington to Mount Martha. The property is now managed by the Mornington Peninsula Shire.