Friday, 8 May 2015

The mighty Great Ocean Road

Cutting right to the chase and starting of where I left you,
Pumba Tour, from where we left off.

So I left you guys somewhere in between Portsea and Queenscliff in the Phillip Port Bay on the 15th of March 2015.
Queenscliff isn’t much; just a small town huddled between the bay and the ocean with a pretty little lighthouse.

We spent the night there, had a good brekkie and headed of to Geelong and Torquay; where the Great Ocean Road starts.
We slept in Torquay where we met some other guys, a group of 5 who were going to start the Great ocean road (the GOR, for further references) tomorrow too. 3 Germans, an English guy and a guy from the Netherlands.  So the next day we said goodbye (for then) in the morning because we woke up late and we still having brekkie when they were all ready to go. It only took us a about an hour after we left that we met them again at the first ‘must see point’ along the trip and by the end of the day we were pretty much seeing it together.

Welcome to the Great Ocean Road!

Split Point Lighthouse

After leaving Torquay we passed Bells Beach, another one of Australia's iconic surf beaches and Anglesea, where you can see some kangaroos who made the local golf course their home, to arrive at our first stop at Aireys Inlet.

After a short strole up to the lighthouse we drove on to the Great Ocean Road Memorial Arch.
This arch was built, interestingly enough, as a tribute to the soldiers from the First World War who were engaged in the construction of the Great Ocean Road.

About 30km up the road we arrived in Lorne where we had a coffee and a visit to the information centre.
By this time we had came across the group of guys we met the day before at every stop we made so we just kind of went on together from there which was really fun.
So after our cuppa we drove up to Erskine Falls which is about 10 k's inland from Lorne. After a good lunch somewhere at a picnic area along the road up and a winding rainforest drive up to the falls.
We took the 200 steps down to the base of the falls to enjoy the magnificent view of the waterfall huddled in-between a green damp rainforest.

Also in Lorne, after we made it back safely from the falls, we came upon Teddys Lookout. 
We had to have a bit of a drive around to get there but we got rewarded with a beautiful sunlit coastline, as the sun had just broke through the clouds to give us such a spectacular view.

As the sun had come out wonderfully we decided to drive down to the little (rocky) beach you can see on the picture to have a dip in the water. We had a nice afternoon in the water jumping and doding waves and laying on the beach in the warm sun.

As the day came to an end we started the hunt on a (cheap) place to sleep, preferably free naturally. We decided to drive down to Apollo Bay where I knew was a cheap campsite but not without bypassing the wild koalas at Kennet River.

 What a wonderful sight, this little guy was alive and kicking and actually moving about. Climbing up and down branches, posing for the many cameras he even jumped from one branch to another, almost missed it and fell down the poor sucker haha!
There we about 5 or 6 of them the rest all snoozing peacefully perched in between branches all curled up like little fuzzy balls of fur, so cute!

On this quite exciting note we ended our day driving into the campsite at Apollo Bay. I must say, a hot shower, good dinner and amusable people was very nice for a change.

Day 2 arrived with some rain which was annoying for the boys, who slept in tents and so had to pack up wet tents which is never fun but wasn't a real big deal for us.

Leaving Apollo Bay behind us we follow the GOR through the Great Otway National Park for some rainforest driving, heading for the Otway Fly Treetop Adventures.

And what an adventure that was!
We did the Otway Fly Tree Top Walk which is about a 2 km canopy walkway.
The tallest and longest canopy walkway of it's type in the world for that matter!
What an awesome experience, walking high in the damp and rainy rainforest treetops.

 After all that fabulousness we followed our feet toward the Twelve Apostles.

The Twelve Apostles ladies and gentlemen! 

(we technically the 8 apostles as the ninth collapsed in 2005 and on top of that there only ever were 9 apostles but 12 sounded better to the tourists I guess, because officially it's just called The Apostles) 

We had an absolutely grand sunset there as you can see. 

Fun fact: The Apostles were originally named the Sow and Piglets until 1922 and got the name The Apostles for tourism reasons. 

Gotta love those Aussie signs!

Our last day we went looking for shipwrecks, without succes despite being the shipwreck coast. 
Anyway, we found our way to Loch Ard Gorge from Johanna where we had spent the night on a free camp spot near the beach between the Twelve Apostles and Cap Otway.

The Loch Ard Gorge was named after the clipper ship Loch Ard who ran aground on the first of June in 1878 at the end of a three-month journey from England to Melbourne. Fifty-two souls lost their lives that misty day, the 15 year old Tom Pearce and 17 year old Eva Carmichael managed to save themselves from the sinking ship. 
231 year later the arch of the nearby Island Archway collapsed, the two unconnected rock pillars have since been officially named after the only two survivors Tom and Eva.  

After some rain, sun, open skys and clouds we headed back to the cars to find out we were all almost out of fuel. But when we stopped at the first servo we found out the entire district was out of fuel which put us in a bit of a tight spot to say the least.
While the fuel indicator went past and further lower than 'E' we passed The Arch, London Bridge and The Grotto without seeing them in the hope to be able to get to the nearest town with fuel which ended up to be Allansford.
We all filled up and parted ways as the boys were heading up to the Grampians and we had planned to follow the coast up to Adelaide.

What an awesome days we had. So much fun, so much happy days.

As I had to write and re-write this post twice now because my laptop failed on me once and I didn't save it properly the other time I'm going to just post this so that it's out of the way ;) 

Next post will be about our very own (great) ocean drive up to Adelaide!

Talk to you soon
xoxo Lizzie


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