This past weekend I went to do the Great Ocean Road again with a friend. This time we took a car and for a road this long, it is much better to do in your own time over a couple days. Last time I did it with a friend from England our trip was cut short and we did it on a coach trip over one day. It was great, but the trip was very long for just one day and the stops were brief. To get some kind of scale of the journey and the distance from Melbourne, the map below shows the beginnings and end of the road, with Melbourne seen in the distance to the far right of the map. It is a 243 km (151mi) long road trip, Torquay is roughly 1 hour 30 minutes from Melbourne.
The weather was great last time around and this time was a little bit more mixed. But I liked the changes in weather, it changed the landscape a lot and added a little eerie-ness to the setting.
Here are a few shots from the trip.
I am not sure how many of you know about this, but this is the Lighthouse used in the TV show ‘Round the Twist‘. This is a children’s television show between 1990 and 2001 and had a theme tune I would hear regularly growing up. I can’t quite remember watching the show so I just had a quick look on good old Wikipedia for the series information, and it seems the lighthouse is a main theme throughout. It gets haunted, a knight enters the house through a magical door, shit goes down basically. Surprised I haven’t been damaged by the show and am actually able to visit it in real life.
You see the house above? It’s pretty popular on this stretch of the route due to the design. It really stands out during the drive as it is positioned on the top of a pole, with a fairly long walkway leading up to it. We had a quick stop to grab a picture. Probably one of the most photographed houses on the Great Ocean Road.
And on route, the weather turned. It rained a little, but not enough to cause any problems.
In fact, the weather was the worst when we got out at Kennet River to try and find a koala. At this point the vision was very low and the rain pretty hard. We were not able to see one (I think we saw four last time here, you can read about this trip in my posts Great Ocean Road part one and part two) however just as we were about to get back in the car, one was in literally the very last tree before we gave up all hope. Clinging on for dear life it seems, however these guys have a talent of holding onto a tree whilst sleeping for 20 hours a day.
Roughly half way through the journey, we decided to call it a day. We booked a motel right at the very end of the road, which was a good and bad idea mutually. It was bad because it was dark in Apollo Bay where we stopped for fish and chips, it was 7pm and after ringing the motel to let them know we were 2 hours 30 minutes away, she told us the reception closes at 9pm. Whoops. She very kindly told us she would wait until 9.30pm for us to arrive, we ran out the chippy and we at fish and chips as we drove round the endless bends in the pitch black trying to get to the end destination Warrnambool. The good thing was that as it was dark we didn’t ruin any of the surprises that we wanted to see along the second part of the journey back.
And this was the good thing about booking a motel at the end of the trip. We got up the next morning, had breakfast and coffee and started making our way back to Melbourne along the second half of the Great Ocean Road we didn’t get to see.
Oh, and just to let you know we made it to the motel with three minutes to spare.
The next day was glorious, perfect for revisiting the Twelve Apostles. The temperature was perfect, the skies were blue, and as always the tourists were breaking the rules. These geezers decided to jump the fence and take a closer look at the landscape, much to the dismay of a German tourist next to me that started shouting at them for ruining the photo opportunities. I mean if they fall they fall, natural selection and all that. And thankfully they didn’t stay out there for too long so we did get a clear shot too. I just wanted to add this photo as it helps give a perspective of size, and to tell you kids to stick to the rules!
More tourists, and more tourists jumping the fence. Again, we had to wait for a point when someone didn’t ignore the signs and go into the no entry zone, but again I was able to take some pictures without people. But I like this shot too, it shows how popular these spots are on such a long and underpopulated stretch of road.
Here we are, below, the Twelve Apostles. Funnily enough there were never twelve, and not so funnily enough one collapsed in 2005.
I was probably deep in thought about something…
Also, what I noticed during both trips was how much the countryside resembled British countryside, once you drive a little further inland from the ocean.
Between Princetown and Apollo Bay seen in the map above, the road stops hugging the coastline and takes you a little further inland. As soon as it does, these beautiful green rolling hills become a common theme, occupied by sheep, cows and green road signs. Well, the signs were always the same, but with the setting, the clouds and the left side driving, I could easily be mistaken into thinking I was back in England if I was to wake up on this part of the journey.
The picture below was the view from the motel however, and again, looks strikingly similar to good old blighty. The rest of the shots and video are taken (I believe) between Princetown and Apollo Bay, although I could be wrong trying to think back to the journey.
It was nice to be reminded of home again, and with winter coming, it may help ease me back into travelling back home in September. It was great to be able to do this road trip over two days in a car and give the Great Ocean Road the time it deserves. Another post from this part of the world, but I would recommend it to anyone and is a drive that I could not possibly get bored of.
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