Population - 623
I know I shouldn't be....but I'm constantly surprised by these far flung places - seemingly on the edge of civilization,
that have such beautiful, well-kept monuments to their service people.
Stupid, I know.
Why should their sacrifice be any less and therefore less remembered or memorialized than anyone else's?
Port McDonnell is right down the bottom of Australia, totally exposed to the wild Southern Ocean.
It's a tiny little spit of a town.
I first stumbled across Port McDonnell back in 2008 when I was looking for some dog-friendly accommodation near Mount Gambier
for the trip to collect Clarrie, my Morris Minor.
I fell in love with this little port immediately.
We had the opportunity to return for a few days holiday with my Mum in 2009.
She flew from Brisbane to Melbourne and then on to the little airport at Mt Gambier - we stayed in a little cottage facing the wild,
magnificent Southern Ocean and spent a wonderful 3 or 4 days exploring the area.
The memorial sits right on the beach esplanade enclosed in a little brick and chain fence with a turnstile (which I thought was an interesting addition).
It stands in front of a beautiful old building, recently restored which was formerly the Customs Building (it's now a B&B).
Nearby sits an unexploded German containing Hexonite, washed ashore during WWII in 1943.
It's a shame, but as you look back out over the ocean there is a dirty great fuel container slightly to the right of the memorial - who decides these things?!
....and some little personal memories....
As we sat having Sunday breakfast in the Periwinkles Cafe (is that not the best name for a beach-side cafe?) overlooking the ocean on a winter's morning - the fella who came by having a long heated discussion with himself and carrying his two dogs in a milk crate on the back of his bicycle.
The miles and miles of the most varied seaweeds I have every seen - fine, feathery pink ones, thick black leathery ones,
shiny green pearl necklaces and some really stinky ones.
As we walked along the pier, the dolphin that nosed around the shallows - very shallow in some parts, like 2-3 feet of water!, so very, very close to us. It was an utter delight.
And the BIGGEST Blue Bottle I've ever seen! About 3 times the size of the ones I normally see on the beaches of QLD.
I can't even imagine how long his stinger was!