The Great Ocean Road
As we left Warrnambool the next morning we passed by the weekly farmers market which was a mix between a food and flea market. It was quite delightful as mainly old couples were either selling half of their household or self-made bakery. As you can imagine we were more interested in the latter. So we bought some ANZAC cookies, eggs and some soap.
Stocked up with goods we were ready to discover one of Australia’s highlights “The Great Ocean Road” which is winding it’s why along the south coast (aha) of Victoria. To the great liking of Kevin he found right at the start of the Great Ocean Road a side street called Ziegler Parade which for sure had to be investigated and photographed (you see his excitement in the picture below). So in case you are ever in the region, have a look at the first road turning right before the cheese factory and you will find Ziegler Parade. By the way, no need to stop at the cheese factory shop and museum it isn’t much of a visit.
Soon we hit the coast with its many impressive limestone cliffs. The great thing about the Great Ocean Road is that every few kilometers there is a lookout or a natural attraction you can stop at and so we stopped at least ten times this day. The Grotto, the London Bridge (a natural stone bridge which collapsed in 1990 and left two astonished tourist on the newly created island) and the Arch are only a few attractions we stopped by. If we say attraction we basically mean impressive cliffs and rock formations against which the mighty waves are smashing every few seconds. If you want to see them you need to hurry up as erosion will eventually make them disappear – on the bright side this normally takes a few ten thousand years.
The small town of Port Campbell was our stop for the night and fish and chips was our dinner.
The next day was dedicated to more coastal attractions like the Loch Ard Gorge. It was just amazing to cruise along the coast and enjoy the sea and the watch the blue waves smashing against the coast line. Life of a traveler really is quite good one has to admit.
In the afternoon we visited what is probably the best known attraction of the Great Ocean Road namely The Twelve Apostles. Interestingly this rock formation never consisted of twelve rocks but rather ten or nine and were by the time we visited decimated to only seven. Nevertheless they are impressive and worth the boatload of picture we had taken (see below). The Gibson Steps led us to the nearby beach which offers a different view of the Apostles.
On our way along the coast we stopped at Melba Gully for a short walk to the rain forest. The super green and dense forest was full of ferns and offered quite a contrast to the more barren forests we had seen so far.
A bit later we called it a day at Apollo Bay a small town with a long beach which invited us to an evening walk.
As we continued the next morning the cliffs became less step and more gentle. Not only the landscape had changed but so had the weather. Clouds were low hanging and it was even drizzling from time to time. As so often this change in weather also changed the atmosphere of the landscape and surroundings.
We first missed Kenneth River as it was not more than a side road of the main road. The main (and probably the only) attraction of the town is its lane along which koalas and king parrots are lined up. The wild parrots were so used to all the tourist and their food that they gladly landed on the arms and even heads of the tourists. This was almost as interesting to watch as the animals themselves. As it was quite cold on that morning the koalas (which are nocturnal animals and sleep away 18 hours of each day) were exceptionally active and we had the opportunity to watch them eating and lingering around which was quite cool.
The next two stops consisted of walks to waterfalls and the second one even had a monumental big leech in its pond (the kind of leech you see in horror movies). Later on we had a lunch stop at Lorne which apparently is full of day-trippers from Melbourne on the weekends.
We spent the night in Geelong which some would probably already call a suburb of Melbourne (although it’s still a good 70 km away from the city).