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Category Archives: Great Ocean Road

Great Ocean Road goes on and on…

Welcome to travel BINGO.  The portion of our trip where we find all of the postcard points of Australia (or at least those on the GOR).  Luckily it was a sunny day, perfect for pictures.  Be warned this is a mostly pictures post.

Our first stop was the Gibson Steps.  There were lovely pictures of people at the turn of the century (not this one) having a picnic…which it is lovely…until the tide comes in and you die.  This is the view from the parking lot.

Tompaul being photogenic.

The rock formations…which were breathtaking, and you could get closer than to the twelve apostles.

Where’s Lisa?

Now it’s time for the mother of all sights.  The 12 Apostles!  Some things in travel are better than you can ever seen on a postcard, e.g. the Grand Canyon surpassed my wildest imagination. Some things are as you see them, like Big Ben, and some things are less.  The 12 Apostles is better in picture than in real life.  Not that you shouldn’t see them, the picture is just better (probably ’cause it was taken from a helicopter, without people, at the right time of day with the sun glinting off the limestone).

Actually the 12 Apostles was where we saw the most Japanese tourists ever.  Tompaul has a theory that Japan is too small so they rotate the people out for vacation.  There was even a public toilet that was a hole in the ground.  Almost made me long for Africa, except not.

Next up was the Loch Ard Gorge, which I had never heard of but found spectacular (just as our friend Lynelle predicted).  The curves and the colors were breathtaking–maybe if they had just named it something snappy like the 7 Dwarfs or Christ’s Manger more people would come to visit.  This again reminds me of Roanoke, which was originally called Big Lick.  Oddly enough no one could convince the railroad to come to town, so they renamed it Roanoke.  Then N&S set up shop.

Crazy tourist.

See wasn’t that lovely?

Next up we took a stop at Port Campbell.  The visitor’s center was interesting.  There is a bay where ships have safe docking and the visitor’s center focused on the many ship wrecks in the area. We decided to go on a quick overlook hike (was only about 1.5km).  The scene was lovely, here is the swimming hole of the port.

And then an intriguing bit of waves that seem to start in the middle of the ocean, only 5-6 yards wide, going out until eternity.  That one we couldn’t figure.

Then we walked through bits of desert and saw birds.  It was good, until we hit road.  There was no “loop” as promised, it just stopped on the road.  Unsure of what the deal was we started to walk back to what we thought was the right direction along a deserted road.  Then a car passed us.  And we kept walking.  We had only a small water bottle ’cause it was a “loop” and we walked and walked.  Finally the one car that passed us drove back, saw us and stopped.  She asked if we were lost, we explained, she knew exactly where we came from.  She was on her way to yoga but wanted a nice peaceful moment beforehand (I thought yoga was peaceful).  Anyways she was an angel.  On the way back to our car (which was a good 7 minute drive) she showed us her second son’s dairy farm (below).

Then we pumped up the air-conditioning and drove to our final stop, London Bridge. It had two arches that one could walk upon, until the first arch crashed. That’s right, people, London Bridge came falling down.  Good times.  It actually crashed, not killing anyone, but leaving them stranded on the far side until a copter could rescue them.  So now they call it the London Arch.  Do you think you can just change a name because it doesn’t resemble a bridge?

Soon it was time we hightailed it back to Sydney.  We drove along the incredibly boring Hume Highway.  There were a few highlights though.  How else would I have seen the paper mache Ned Kelly?  Man who was a criminal but gained fame by making himself some homemade armor, having a shoot out with police, and then died–now played by Heath Ledger who is also dead (which makes me even sadder).

Or the infamous Dog on the Tucker Box?  The poem is dumb and sounds like the dog did something wicked on the Tucker Box.

 

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Great Ocean Road

Shortly after Melbourne the road becomes dizzingly windy and the beaches are wild. Welcome to The Great Ocean Road.  Like our previous days the weather was either super cloudy or super shiny.  These two pictures were taken just as the GOR started at “the Gulch.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here Tompaul is before the start of the Great Ocean Road, smiling because he doesn’t yet know how windy the road is and what joy that will bring for those who are prone to car sickness.

The only kangaroo we saw was road kill.  Are kangas the possums of Australia?  Warned about but never seen?

One of our first stops, a lovely waterfall and hike outside the town of Lorne.

It was quite the rainforest.  So many cockatoos, parrots, and beautiful foliage.

There were many warnings: No jumping on the bed, No rafting, Mimes should stay away from falling trees because no one will care, and of course the evil ox that spews snakes.

We then drove back into town to eat supper by the beach.  I have to say this was one of the better pizzas on the trip.  It was well done, plenty o’ crust, pineapple.  Again we did carry out and ate on a bench by the beach…which may have been a mistake.

Have you ever seen the movie The Birds?  I am slowly getting into bird watching.  BUT the birds at this beach were, well VICIOUS.  We sat down and soon calls issued out from all over that new meat (I mean people) had arrived.  There was a full-out WAR over us.  Side one Cockatoos and Side two the seagulls.

I fed a couple of the birds then as we got up to leave this sweet cockatoo decided my toes were bits of pizza crust and bit them several times.

The town was actually quite dead so we pressed on, and found the best campsite ever…Kennett River Caravan Park.  They advertise free wireless and koalas, so how could one go wrong.  It was one of the best wireless connections we had in Australia as a whole.  True to their word there were koalas doing their two favorite things–nibbling and snoozing.  Koalas are the cat of Australia, sleeping more than 20 hours a day.  Sweet.

 

We had a good night.  Sleeping like koalas.  As we packed up in the morning we were greeted by the king parrots. Here is one who was looking for grub.

Our next stop was a small town down the road with a sweet hike .  As you can see the view is amazing, but apparently people also paraglide.  For some reason the owners want you to pay before you jump…