GOR - Great Ocean Road - our beginning journey
11.10.2009 - 11.10.2009 15 °C
What a fabulous day! Thanks to all the heavy driving we did the last two days, we were able to get to the Great Ocean Road (GOR) very quickly this morning. The initial leg of the GOR has us passing the waters of the Bass Strait. We stopped first at Bells Beach – a very famous surfers beach. It was absolutely gorgeous. The water was pretty calm; so not a lot of surfers today. There were walkways about the area; saw hikers, backpackers, bikers. Looks like a great spot for the outdoor folks! The bird we picked up in Shari’s grill decided he wanted to stay here as well; he dropped off her car in the carpark here. (Ewwww!)
We continued driving down the highway and stopped at Point Addis. There is a lots of bushwalking in the area; again another great place for outdoors type people. The Great Otway National Park spreads all thru this area and has a lot to offer.
We stopped at the town of Anglesea. We drove to a scenic overlook and was taking pics when a local named Keith came over and talked with us. When I told him I hadn’t seen any kangaroos yet he said that we just needed to go to the local golf course to see them. He was nice enough to show us the way to the golf course. Of course on this particular day there were not the 50 or so that usually hang out there. But we got to see a mother and her joey on the course. They were pretty lazy milling around the golf course. We drove around the external perimeter of the course and saw two more Kangaroos. So finally –Kangaroo sightings!
We then drove down to Point Roadknight. (stopping at scenic views all along the way). This was also a very scenic location. We got out and walked the beach for a while. The beach was a combination of sandy and rocky terrain. There were lots of water pools around the beach. We searched for creatures and mainly found snails. We walked over to the rocky terrain and scouted around; found some interesting shells. It was just a great view; hard to explain – you have to come experience it yourself.
Next stop was Urquhart Bluff. Again . Our next stop was in Aireys Inlet for lunch. We were expecting a big town, but it is quite small. We found a small eating establishment that was “ok”; I had grilled flatfish that was good – of course served with chips (French fries). The place was very slow with their service.
The drive on the GOR continued with marvelous views the whole way down. We arrived at the town of Lorne which is a fantastic spot. This is a nice vacation town that has a lot of charm and character. A boutique-type feel of a town. The information center was quite helpful and I’m glad we stopped there as they told us where to find a local waterfall and awesome scenic vista. We parked and walked a short way around the town. There is a really nice park there that had amongst its amenities a skateboard park and a trampoline park. They had about 12 trampolines that you could pay to go jump on them. It was quite a clever idea I thought. This appeared to be a great vacation town and just based on what I saw would recommend it to travelers to stop and enjoy. Once we left Lorne we traveled into the Great Otway Park to the Erskine Falls. This is a very scenic water fall that drops about 30 m. There is a lot of tropical vegetation in the area which makes it quite distinctive. The information desk also advised us to go to Teddy’s Outlook which offered tremendous views as well on the GOR and over the Bass Strait. When we left Teddy’s Outlook, we took the first back road to get us down to the GOR. It was a quite steep grade so we were laughing the whole way down the hill.
Once we continued on the GOR we basically traveled until we got to Kennett River. The Lorne information center had advised us to take the road behind the Kennett River C aravan (campground) to see Koala bears. We drove up the road (Gray River) for a bit, but we weren’t sure where it was leading us so we decided to turn around. Right at the spot we turned around we looked up and saw our first Koala in the trees. He was so cute!! We continued our drove back down Gray River road and saw a couple more Koalas including a mother and her baby. We are glad we took the time to travel this road. So – I got to see both Koalas and Kangaroos in the “wild” on the same day! Hooray!
We continued our drive down the GOR and have stopped for the evening in a town called Apollo Bay. We have a nice room and it does have wireless internet; however, it cost a small fortune so Shari and I are writing up all our postings prior to signing on to the internet to be conservative. We walked down to the Apollo Bay hotel for our dinner. I was confused by the “hotel” portion of the name. In Australia, “hotel” means bar versus place to stay for the night. I tried the Carlton Draught beer (Aussie); it taste pretty good. I had a beef stir fry for dinner that was pretty good except for some slightly oversalting. Our table was by the window and we were able to look out and see foot traffic and some of the beach. We are now in our room tired after a busy day of exploring.
The GOR is an awesome experience and I’m glad we are doing this tour. I feel bad for the driver (Shari) because the road gets windy and you really have to concentrate and can not enjoy the views as much. Shari however said she is enjoying doing the driving and likes the challenge of the curves so that works out just great. We’ll continue on our journey on the GOR in the a.m. after a good night sleep.
Oh, I squashed a flying ant in Shari’s car and it smelled awful! So the flying ants here are pretty stinky!
I hope all is doing well back in the states. Everything is going great here so far. The weather has been a bit unseasonably chilly; but hey – I am still in Australia eh? It is funny how everyone thinks “I” have an accent… everyone else HERE has the accent – not me!