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Thursday, April 28, 2016

The GOR (Great Ocean Road)

The crossing from Tasmania to the mainland was uneventful, if you don't count Teddy sleeping off a wine binge. We arrived in Melbourne with an appointment to repair our missing back window. Unfortunately, the appointment wasn't until 3 pm and the ferry landed at 6 am (not my time to shine, as many of you know). That left us in a quandary...what to do in the mean time?

Buildings of Queenscliff

We'd had a lovely tour of the Great Ocean Road planned, but it would have to be amended. At the suggestion of the campervan rental company man, we headed down to a little town called Queenscliff, where we enjoyed the best coffee we'd had in Australia (at least to date) and a nice 2nd breakfast of poached eggs and Moroccan dried fruit salad with yogurt and warm spiced sauce. It was delicious and buoyed us for the return to Melbourne for our appointment. If you have a chance to visit the town, go to the Shelter Shed. It's a haven of respite for the weary traveler.

With the window repaired earlier than anticipated, we headed to our next destination; a small town called Anglesea, at the start of the GOR. We felt better having the camper secured again and parked in our campsite gingerly, minding the trees at the back of the lot. 

He came to say hello when we made camp.
The GOR is primarily known for the Twelve Apostles - sandstone rocks that have been eroded from all sides and stand like pillars in the surf. There are no longer twelve, some being lost to the might of the sea, but it's still an impressive sight, but it's not time for that yet. Let's start at the beginning.
The Gateway
Our first official GOR beach in the early morning light

We didn't get far, when we noticed signs for Erskine Falls and a little spot near and dear to our co-co-pilots heart: Teddy's Lookout.

Teddy...looking out...what else did you expect?

The falls were more of a trickle (dry season)
It was a kilometre hike down to the falls (the road wasn't suitable for campers), and after we stared disappointedly at the bare trickle of water coming down the falls, a nice man offered us a ride back up the VERY steep hill

We stopped in Apollo Bay for lunch and got to watch the tourists flock by from our perch on a raised deck of one the hotels.
They like putting beets on hamburgers
They've pretty well nailed fish and chips
Amazing trees like this abounded.
We then headed off to Otway National Park, where we stood a high likelihood of seeing wild koalas. We weren't disappointed.
Here's some still photos:

I'll even throw in a kookaburra. Ron took the picture...isn't it amazing? (Actually, most of our photos are a mixed effort so kudos all around.)
It was then a race to the Apostles to try and get there before sunset. We keep forgetting that the sun sets earlier here with every passing day.  The coastline is spectacular though.
 Of course, we were also told that sunrise was an amazing time to see the cliffs, so we woke early (yes, it's true!) and went back for a second look.
Looking up the opposite way at sunrise

First blush of day
The cliffs further down

Sunrise through the gorse
We then headed back to camp to have breakfast, break camp and trundle on our way towards Warnnambool. We stopped to check out the beach below the cliffs of the Apostles and the light made it irresistable to not take a couple more photos.
View from our campsite
 Okay, I know, it's a lot of photos of the same subject matter, but you have to be there to understand the incredible beauty of the area. 1,000 photos wouldn't be enough to give you the sense of what it is to stand on the coast and see this. What's more, is that the coast is riddle with lesser examples of this type of erosion. It creates caves, holes and formation that are other worldly.
Shipwreck Bay
London Bridge

Bay of Islands
But enough of that rugged coast with the Bay of Islands, London Bridge and other sights. We made it safely to Warnnabool and bunked down for the night, sun and sanded out. The next day had one of our longer drives, as we turned back towards Melbourne and made the 1150km push to get to Sydney in time to turn in the camper.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful pictures, the Apostles look like a nice place to just camp for a week to wander the beach and relax.