As the 12 apostles had been so busy the evening before we decided to go and see them at sunrise, (we were fully aware that the sun rises in the opposite direction, but fortunately the coaches don’t start at sunrise). We work up to a cool (5°C) morning, and begrudgingly got up and drove the couple of kilometers back from our campsite to the 12 apostles, there were still people but less crowds, which in my opinion is always a good thing! The 12 apostles are limestone stacks that have been (and still are) eroded over time, there are also not 12 and the name was changed to encourage tourists in the 1960’s. The apostles are impressive, however the day or two before we’d see some equally impressive stack with far fewer of those pesky tourists (although we can’t talk on that front….). Enjoy the photos.
Following breakfast and a phone call home we took the tent down and continued our journey. This consisted of following the Great Ocean Road until we saw a sign for a beach, this took us onto a gravel road, we’re used to these in New Zealand but not so much in Australia, our hire car allows us to do gravel roads but not dirt roads, although I think there is a fine line between the two, a sign just when I was thinking of turning back confirmed that we were indeed on a gravel road even though it’s hard to tell among the pot holes and wash outs. Anyway, at the end of the road we were greeted with 300 steps down to a beach. The beach was very beautiful and virtually untouched, a nice antidote to the 12 apostles, and worth the drive and 300 steps back up the cliff to the carpark.
Our next stop was Cape Otway light house, this has a comprehensive visitor centre which also allowed us to got up the tower, the tower was built out of precisely cut lime stone blocks which are held together with no mortar. As it was a clear day we got good views, unfortunately the main light house is no longer used and a much smaller more boring solar powered light is used instead. We also visited the WW2 radar station and telegraph operators house.
The current light house
The original and much more interesting light house
Sculpture by the light house.
We drove on to Apollo bay and set up camp for two nights, as the next day the Great Ocean Road Running festival marathon was on blocking the remainder of the road.
Day 170 - Bush walk and into Apollo bay
The next day we got up (and didn’t have to take the tent down! :) ) and after breakfast headed to Maits Rest Rainforest walk, this was in a grove of ancient forest from prior to pro-European logging & deforestation. We found some large trees, so much so that we could make a home in one if we wanted. Following this walk we returned to the campsite for lunch. In the afternoon we walked into Apollo bay and had a look the visitors centre, the town had a busy vibe due to hosting the marathon finish line but we were still able to procure tea and cake.
On Monday we resumed the great ocean road for a final day, the day started wet, but cleared up in time to go for a walk to Sheoak Falls. The highlight of this was seeing a slightly surprised wallaby on the way up. We think we were the first up in the morning although we went past several people on the way back. The falls themselves were but a trickle but it was a good stretch of the legs.
Our next stop was the great ocean road arch, this is little more than a couple of information boards and photo opportunity, but it needed doing all the same. The final feature of the great ocean road for us was the light house at Split point. Having been up one recently we couldn’t justify the entrance fee but we got some good views from the base. We stopped for the night at Barwon Heads ready for a ferry the next morning.
Until Next Time
David and Joanna
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Day 242 - Safari day 4 (Hot air balloon and hippos)
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Day 198-199 - To Townsville
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Days 195-197 - The Whitsundays & Great Barrier Reef