Edited to add photos on Aug. 28.
One might think that that I would be bored on my 5th trip on the Great Ocean Road (GOR), but that is not the case at all! Each time is a little bit different because I am with different people and the weather and tide conditions change. And there is usually something new to me each trip.
Corey, Mike and I left Melbourne shortly after 7 AM, heading east, when most of the rush hour traffic was heading west. After an hour’s drive we stopped to the Angelsea Golf Club because Corey had a report that there were quite a few kangaroos that hung out on the course, and his report was spot on! We saw lots of Roos hanging out in the shade of the trees and hopping across the fairways! So we can check off kangaroos on Corey and Mike’s Aussie list!
We then started our drive along the coast and the boys were immediately enthralled with the ocean! We stopped to see the Split Rock Lighthouse, to check out some overlooks and to walk along the beach near Apollo Bay. We walked the rainforest walk at Mait’s Rest and discovered a huge tree had blown across the trail, probably with in the last 4 or 5 days, which required us to climb over, under and through the trunk and branches to continue on the trail!
After Mait’s Rest, the next stop was Cape Otway and we got to see lots of koala’s on the drive in, one up close! We ate a nice lunch of Vegetable Soup and bread at the lighthouse cafe before touring the lighthouse. One of the impressive facts about this lighthouse is that the hand-carved stone blocks which make up the lighthouse use no mortar or cement to hold them together. They have some fancy interlocking system!
The boys took a bit of a nap in the car during the hour it took to drive from the Cape Otway lighthouse to the Gibson Steps near the Twelve Apostles! The first full day here in AU can be a killer, but the nap revived them both and they were raring to go when we started down the Steps to the beach.
The Gibson Steps are the only beach access in the Twelve Apostles area and to be on the water level with 2 of the Apostles, while waves are crashing into the rock formations and the beach is truly an amazing experience. We spent a good bit of time here, taking photos, in spite of the fact that the tide was coming in quickly!
Once we climbed back up the Gibson Steps we continued on to the Twelve Apostles car park and walked to the viewing platforms. Once again the first view you have of these massive rocks is most impressive. Today there were more people on the GOR than I have ever seen and the Twelve Apostles viewing platforms and walkways were crowded so we took our photos and moved on to Loch Ard Gorge. The crashing waves at the various overlooks and the gorge beach captivated us for a good long time. As I was trying to figure out how to use our last couple of daylight hours, I realized that the tide had just reached its high point and we really needed to to the walk to Sherbrooke River estuary.
The ocean and Sherbrooke River meet in a spectacular location, where you can walk out on some low, rocky cliffs and feel the power of the waves as they come rolling in. Plus there is nothing to break up the wave trains before they enter this small bay area so the waves are huge. We took lots of photos and then the sun started to set and we took more photos! It was hard to leave, but darkness was closing in and the temperature dropped as the sun dropped! This Sherbrooke River hike has been a favorite of everyone I’ve brought here and today I added two more fans!
By now we were cold and hungry so we drove the last 6 miles to Port Campbell, checked into the Loch Ard Motor Inn and then walked across the street to the Twelve Rocks restaurant for dinner.
As I sit here in the motel room writing this blog, both boys are fast asleep! Everyday will get easier!
The temps soared to almost 20 C. today with the promise of more warmth tomorrow!
After trying for 15 minutes to get some photos to upload and not being successful, the photos will have to wait until tomorrow. Sorry ’bout that. The Internet at this motel is weak. (Edited to add photos on Aug. 28.)