Today was Great Ocean Road (GOR) day and we were on the road by 8:15 AM.
This is my fourth time on the GOR and there is something new or different each time I come which keeps it interesting for me. But the best part is sharing all the experiences with first time visitors and Jeannie and Britni were enthusiastic about all aspects of the GOR!
We have to drive about an hour and a half until we get to the GOR and we drove in sunshine but watched as we drove under a large mass of clouds. The good news was that we saw the far edge of cloud bank and were encouraged. We enjoyed Split Rock Lighthouse and then moved on to Mait’s Rest rainforest walk. Huge eucalyptus trees and fern trees are the highlights here!
From there it was a short drive to Cape Otway National Park and the hope of seeing koalas in the wild. I hate to promise that we will see koalas here, in case they have moved on, but the Cape Otway literature guarantees the sightings so I guess I should be more confident that they will be there. And they were! There were lots of these cute critters up high in the trees, but there were also some down low, which is good for photos. Instead of sleeping, there were a few who were munching away on leaves or moving to a new spot of a tree for a better food supply. I once again took way too many koala photos!
We continued on down the road to the lighthouse, but for the first time had to contend with cows in the road! Let me tell you, they did not look both ways before stepping into the road! We almost had beef for dinner!
Because it was getting late, we ate lunch at the cafe on the lighthouse property before starting our tour of the lighthouse. It was a good day to walk around the top balcony of the lighthouse because there was virtually no wind. We looked for whales, but saw none.
As we drove out the lighthouse road to the GOR, Britni spotted a sleeping koala in a small tree right next to the road, so I slammed on the brakes and we all jumped out of the car with our cameras! More koala photos!
Another hour of driving brought us to the Gibson Steps, a set of 84 stairs down to the beach by the first of the Twelve Apostles. A large tour bus had just disgorged its passengers and I’ve never seen so many people on this beach. We had fun watching them as they took group photos by the crashing surf and then had to run like crazy up the beach as the waves lapped at their shoes! We walked far enough down the beach to get a view of the second apostle that is hiding behind the first.
We then drove to the official Twelve Apostles car park and walked to the viewing board walk. I have not yet gotten bored being here. It is a powerful place and quite captivating. The sun was low in the sky and there were some clouds around which made for dramatic lighting on the rocks, the sand and the ocean.
We called it a day after a quick walk around at Loch Ard Gorge-the sun had set. We will return to Loch Ard tomorrow. Our travel plan is different from previous trips out here because instead of heading back to Melbourne tomorrow we are going to go a bit farther west, spend the night in Warrnambool. Then on Friday morning we will drive to the town of Ararat where we will meet Jim, who is taking the train there.
So here are some photos from today. Because I am doing this on the iPad, there will be no captions, so use your imagination. Maybe someday I will figure out how to add captions, but not tonight! Cheers!