Australia | Great Ocean Road

After we finished doing the east coast we had 3 weeks in Melbourne to chill out, save money and sell our van. After that Jenny’s parents came to visit and from Melbourne we planned to drive along the Great Ocean Road, up to Adelaide and then visit our friends back in Marree, South Australia.

 

Our route:

Melbourne – Geelong – Torquay – Anglesea – Aireys Inlet – Lorne – Apollo Bay – Cape Otway – Port Campbell – Warrnambool – Port Fairy – Mt Gambier – Adelaide – Leigh Creek – Marree – Port Augusta – Adelaide 

 

We met Jenny’s parents at the airport and rented a 4x4 for our trip. Firstly we had 3 nights in Melbourne, and as it was their first time in Australia myself and Jenny were in charge of showing them the sights. 

 

On the first day we took the free city walking tour which Jenny and I had done in December 2016 and loved. There was a bit of drama on the last leg of the tour, though, when we were walking down the famous street art lane called “Hosier Lane”. It is home to a lot of homeless people who stay in tents and one of them didn’t like the look of our group. It all escalated very quickly but in summary he was shouting that we were racist. He then kicked and punched Dave in the middle of the street. After that we had a very long and slow 3 hours at the police station – not the best first day for them!

The next day we visited Brighton Beach to see the huts and went by train. We had a walk along the beach front and caught the train to St Kilda, had a look around and then got a tram back to the city. 

 

We began our road trip, firstly hitting Geelong and Torquay 

In Geelong Janice was pleased as there was the National Wool Museum. We had a look around for an hour or so and then had lunch and drinks on Cunningham Pier. We then headed to Torquay for our overnight stop. We stayed at a caravan park and in the morning investigated a few lookouts along Bell’s beach. 

 

Anglesea and Aireys Inlet to Lorne

We stopped in Anglesea for Point Addis, Aireys Inlet and then finally Lorne. In Lorne we hiked down to the bottom of Erskine Falls (lots of steps) and set up the tripod for some nice shots. 

 

Lorne to Apollo bay

In Apollo Bay we stayed at the Big4 Caravan Park in an ocean cabin view which was lovely. We didn’t do too much here and me and Jenny shopped and cooked dinner – carbonara! 

 

Cape Otway

is famous for its Koala sightings along the roadside and luckily enough we saw one. If it hadn’t been for all the other gawking tourists stopped at the side of the road I don’t think we would of though! We planned to do the lighthouse walk whilst here but on arrival found out that you need to pay and it didn’t look that great from the site map. Instead we wandered along a track to a “lookout” which was terrible.

 

Port Campbell 

Gibson Steps which led down the cliff side to the sea where the size of humans was really put into perspective. The cliffs towered straight up from the sand and seemed far more enormous than from at the top! 

Next was London Arch. A free standing bridge-shaped rock who’s connection to the mainland had broken off years ago, actually leaving 2 tourists stranded on it for a while! The sheer size of it was very impressive. 

Finally, The 12 Apostles of which there is only 8 and never has been more than 9! Epic free standing rock formations about 50m out to sea. Seeing them is a must do on the Great Ocean Road. 

We had fish and chips in Port Campbell town and then moved on.

 

Warrnambool

We slept in a motel and in the morning we went to a whale watching platform for a short while before deciding it wasn’t going to happen. We went through Port Fairy and then stopped for the day in Mt Gambier. 

 

Mt. Gambier

Here we visited the famous blue lake but unfortunately at the wrong time of year so it really just looked normal. Apparently in summer it is a very vivid shade of blue and attracts many people to the area. We had a Chinese takeaway for dinner and the next day visited the Umpherston Sinkhole which was impressive. A sinkhole formed many year ago and has been turned into a botanic garden and tourist attraction. 

 

Tantanoola Cave

Before heading to Adelaide we visited the Tantanoola cave. We got a tour from a very knowledgable guide for an hour or so.

 

Adelaide

During our stay we went to the South Australian Museum, South Australian Art Gallery and a very large riverside market. We spent 3 days in an Airbnb and one night went out for dinner to the Italian next door. 

 

Back to Marree

On the way we stopped in Leigh Creek overnight. The next day we stopped frequently to take lots of pictures of the wildlife; emus, roos and wild horses. In our 3 day visit Jenny got quite ill so on one of the days I took her mum and dad 30 minutes away to show them the weird and wacky sculpture park.  Once Jenny was better we took the Challenger to a lookout of the salty Lake Eyre which, unfortunately, wasn’t white as it usually is. It just looked like an endless beach but if you looked under the surface it was salty white. The Oodnadatta track was closed due to rainfall so we had to take another road which  was horrendously corrugated. 

 

After a few days catching up with people, telling them what we’d been up to since we left and darts night, we left to head back to Adelaide. We had one night stay in Port Augusta just to split the drive up and then headed to Adelaide. Jenny and I settled into our Airbnb for the next 2 weeks and Janice and Dave went back to bonnie Scotland.

© James Lilley 2018