After a lovely two-day stop in Melbourne, we were excited about another road trip. Not just any road trip but The Great Ocean Road, a road trip we had been really excited about.
12 Apostles and surroundings
After driving three hours from Melbourne to the coast we found the Port Campbell Nature Reserve Campground. This was so far our favourite place for camping because it had a common area to socialize with other travellers. Of course, we did exactly that and we shared some boxed wine with four other campers until 1 am. So our plan to get up at 5.30 am for sunrise went out the window. But it was all worth it because we had fun and hadn’t had a lot of opportunities to meet other travellers in in Australia.
The next day we started later and our first stop was the 12 Apostles. We have seen plenty of pictures of these rock formations but seeing them with our own eyes was really impressive. Unfortunately, there are not 12 Apostles anymore because the wind and strong waves make them disappear. However, the same conditions carve new rock formations in the coastline so let’s see what we can admire in a couple of years.
After ticking off the most famous sight, we drove on to Loch Ard Gorge. This was our favourite stop on the first day. There are three main walks from the first carpark. The shipwreck lookout and the beach were beautiful but the highlight was the Razorback Lookout.
We continued to the second carpark from where we visited the Thunder Cave. This was as far as I could go with my injured foot, but Ale kept walking to see the rest of the sights on this stop although she then mentioned that there were no highlights from this walk.
Back in the car, our next destination was The Arch which is still intact, The London Bridge which unfortunately collapsed in 1990 and The Grotto which was something special and very different to the rock formations we have seen until then.
At this point, we were very tired and pretty much done for the day. We stopped for a quick dinner at the campsite before returning to Loch Ard Gorge for a sunset photo and GoPro session.
Port Campbell to Torquay
The next day started for us very early. We set the alarm for 5.15am to catch the sunrise at the 12 Apostles. After quickly packing up, we were off and enjoyed the early morning with only a handful of people.
We then left the area to drive further along the Great Ocean Road. After a short nap at the next stop, we visited the Wreck Beach Lookout and the Cape Otway Lighthouse. We didn’t want to pay the 40 AUD entry so we just walked to the free lookout before driving on to Kennett River, one of the best places in Victoria to spot koalas. Immediately after arriving at the destination we had our first encounter and saw a little bear napping at the entrance of the Kennett River campsite. We followed a small road along the campsite by foot and spotted two more koalas, one high up in the tree and one lower and very visible.
Then it was time to go to our home for the night, the free Allenvale Mill campground in Lorne. Unfortunately, we had to park the car 300 meters away from where we pitched our tent, but we got rewarded for carrying our gear by staying at a very nice and quiet site set in the middle of the forest. Close to us, was a mama wallaby eating with her little baby and later on we saw a koala high up in the tree and heard several grunting in the evening. That’s why we love camping.
After treating ourselves to a breakfast out in Lorne we went to Teddy’s Lookout over the Great Ocean Road. Returning to the car park we were extremely lucky again because a koala was just starting to climb a tree and we were alone with him. We saw him for some minutes from really close distance before watching him climb higher up to find his favourite food.
We finished our trip to the Great Ocean Road by stopping at Bells Beach, one of the most popular surf spots in Australia and checking out the town and surf outlets in Torquay.
After these amazing ten days, it was time to make our way back to Sydney. On the way, we stopped in Queanbeyan to visit Paula and Glenn.