Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Great Ocean Road - July 2011

G.O.R. - July 17-18  with Cary, Bryce, Kim, Darrell & Tina

After getting our rental van, a KIA Carnival, we loaded up for our road trip.  With maps in hand and me at the wheel, we were on our way.  Since I had 6 months experience driving on the left hand side of the road, they thought I was the best choice as driver.
Cindy at the wheel... what's it doing on this side?

The 'little' bus
We made it out of  Melbourne with only having to do one 'hook turn'.  A hook turn is a right turn from the left land across the tracks, weird!  Our first stop was an information center and fruit stand in Geelong.  Then we stopped at Belis Beach with it's amazing rugged cliffs and black & orange sand. 
long way down, and UP!

Sisters on Belis Beach

Bass Bay
Our next stop was the golf course in Anglesea to see wild kangaroos.  For first timers to Oz this was a highlight and confirms they are really down under!

Can anyone guess what this is???
We stopped at a few lookouts over Bass Bay and eventually to Split Point Lighthouse at Airley's Inlet.  The awe-inspiring and powerful Southern Ocean was amazing to watch.
Split Point Light house
We stopped in Lorne for lunch, for energy to walk down the steep 220m muddy steps to Erskine Falls.  It was worth it as the lower falls were breathtaking. 
Erskine Falls
Another wildlife stop, this time to see the wild koalas in Kennett River.  This was a first for me as I had only see them in the zoo.
Koala in the wild

"Jump!!  oh it's only a koala."
The great ocean road started to get more windy as we approached Apollo Bay.  It was starting to rain as we arrived at our evening destination around 4:30 p.m.  We stayed in the Best Western Motel suite as it had 2 rooms, a living room and kitchenette.  Lots of room for all of us!  Once settled in we walked across the road in hopes of seeing the whales that were in the bay.  No luck as it was dusk and drizzling. 
Bought some groceries for breakfast in our suite and went for supper at Apollo Bay Seafood.  It was interesting picking a restaurant with so many people and so many food desires and avoidance's.  One last stop before going back to our room, the Bottle Shop (liquor store) for some evening refreshments.

Great view
home for the night

Day 2
Fed and clean we left by 9:00 am for a brief stop at the beach trying to spot the whales again.  Still no luck.  I drove again today and our first stop was at the light house at 'Cape Otway Light Station'.  We spent almost 2 hours there exploring the area and climbing the light house. 
"Try & get a picture of the whales!"

keep looking, they're out there

cool rock formations
Cape Otway

steep climb up
looking out over the Southern Ocean

Noon we were on our way for another quick stop to see more wild koalas.  The girls wanted to make sure they got a GOOD picture!  LOL
Typical Canadian tourist!  It's only a koala!
The '12 Apostles' were our next stop.  These limestone stacks rose up dramatically from the Southern Ocean, as well as other rugged rock formations.  'The Stacks' and the Loch Ard Gorge also drew us in.  The tragic history of the shipwrecked 'Loch Ard' was very interesting.
This is what's left of the '12 Apostles'

'The Stacks'

Loch Ard

We stopped at Port Campbell for lunch at '12 Rocks', catchy name!  Went into a few shops and the information center before deciding we'd go to one more look out on the G.O.R. and that was the 'London Bridge'.  It really isn't a bridge anymore as it collapsed in 1990 so all we saw was its remnants.
London Bridge?!??

By 5:00 pm we were heading back to Melbourne.  We arrived shortly after 8pm, after refueling the van, we parked in the nearby car park.  We put on 591km in 2 days!  Kim, Darrell and Chris's delayed luggage finally arrived.  We ordered in pizza to go with our refreshments.

Delivery Dinner


  1. Ahahhah!! I LOVE that picture of Kim, Cary & I taking pics of the Koalas!! Hilarious!!!!! Was that BEFORE or AFTER you honked the horn to try to scare us??? LOL GREAT pics, can't wait to see the rest of them on the stick!!!!

    What an adventure we had!!!! Loved every second of it!!!

  2. I love looking at your adventures and living vicariously (sp?) Those different names for things really crack me up, reminds me of being in England...same kind of thing. Keep up the good work and thanks for the entertainment :) - Susan -