Fourteen of us checked the forecast for Apollo Bay before setting off last week for our three-night expedition. The forecast was appalling – storms, thunder, cloudbursts, wind, rain bombs – whatever’s bad, we were heading into it. Undaunted but wary, we set off, and hooray! the forecast was wildly wrong. There was one sharp downpour on Wednesday but we were all in cars and unaffected, and the sun smiled and clouds lifted for the rest of our stay.
Our split accommodations ranged from villa units to caravan park, and we happily sampled all the delights of the district, especially
# The magnificent Mait’s Rest boardwalk in primeval rainforest
# The lighthouse and wartime radar station (for those who came early)
# Stevenson and Hopetoun Falls and Redwood Forest
# Wildlife Wonders conservation park and
# The bayside town and fishery harbour and the bakery’s famous “Scallop Pies”. 
There was great scope for getting to know each other better over meals. They started at the highly-rated The Perch at Lavar’s Hill for lunch on Wednesday, and dinners were respectively at the Brewhouse, Casalingo Restaurant (originally a squash court but unrecognisable now), and Apollo Bay Hotel. Informals included marshmallow toasting at the caravan park and “home invasions” in quest of wine and appetisers.
Organiser Jan S. summed up: “Apart from one thing, it was a fantastic event with great atmosphere (and weather) from start to finish. The one glitch was that we’d barely arrived home before our Dear Leader Sue came down with Covid, rapidly followed by myself and three others. Three more (a family of non-members) brought the total to eight. In this contemporary world, one can only be philosophical about such things.”