Saturday, December 25, 2010

Great Ocean Road, Australia

One of my California goals is/was to drive along the PCH (pacific coast highway)  I never did get around to it and hopefully some day I will, however I had the opportunity to drive along the Great Ocean Road in Australia.  "The Great Ocean Road is a 243-kilometre (151 mi) stretch of road along the south-eastern coast of Australia between the Victorian cities of Torquay and Warrnambool. The road was built by returned soldiers between 1919 and 1932, and is the world's largest war memorial; dedicated to casualties of World War I. It is an important tourist attraction in the region, which winds through varying terrain alongside the coast, and provides access to several prominent landmarks; including the nationally significant Twelve Apostles limestone stack formations." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Ocean_Road)

Flo, Jet & I started out after a very rainy few days in Melbourne towards Torquay.  There we gathered much needed road maps & attraction details and checked out the Surf Museum.  The museum was cute, including lots of info on local surfers and details about some of the major surfing events.  We ate lunch at a Lonely Planet recommended place which was quite enjoyable and just along the coast.  After, we continued on towards a local golf course that is known for attracting kangaroos.



We spent the night at Chris's  which had an excellent restaurant attached to it as well. The second day was a big day.  To start the day off, we walked through a rain forest and then found koala's (not in the rain forest)

After the Koala excursion, we went to the 12 apostle,s which are actually closer to 6 now, but stunning regardless
12 Apostles

London Bridge




My favorite, the Bay of Islands

That evening we stayed in Port Fairy - which is a one street town, that was mostly closed by the time we got in.  Despite being about 2 hours away from the night before, we ran into our waiter while we were walking down the street in search of dinner. For such a large country, it's a very small world.

Port Fairy marked the end of the Great Ocean Road, so we headed up north to the Grampians National Park.   During the drive up - we encountered a Locus Plague.
our dirty car after all the locus

 The Grampians were beautiful, although a much smaller national park than most of the ones in the United States. We took an easy ( steep, but easy terrain) hike to the top of Mt. William which is the highest point in the park.




There were Kangaroos EVERYwhere in the town of Halls Gap.  It's pretty wild to see Kangaroos as common as squirrels.  Some of these guys are quite large. We pushed our luck as we tried to take photos very close WITH them, not just of them.  But they didn't have much of an interest in us.

After our brief stay in the Grampians we headed towards an unknown destination.  We stopped at the Naracoorte Caves  that have received a world heritage site award for their massive fossil bed collection.  Their caves were interesting, ( although a very short/limited tour of them in comparison to Carlsbad Caverns)  But the coolest part was definitely the fossil bed.

Our final stop on our road trip ended up at a KOA-ish park along a beautiful lake.  The cabin we stayed in was nothing fancy, but was probably my favorite night.  We were finally out of the cold/rain of the first few days and out of the locus plague that allowed for Flo & I to sit on the deck enjoy a drink and simply watch the water.

1 comment:

  1. Love the pictures! Sounds and looks like a great adventure :)

    ReplyDelete