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Published: January 28th 2010
Day 268 - Port Fairy to Apollo Bay
Today is all about the Great Ocean Road! We left Port Fairy not long before 10am and managed to be just in front of the Adams and a short while in front of Daph & David. The weather isn’t what we wanted for this section of the trip, its overcast with the odd spot of rain and is clearly not the beautiful blue sky with bright sunshine that we had ordered. How rude.
Whilst we were in our car singing away to a few Neil Diamond classics, the Adams were enjoying a far more civilised journey listening to the cricket! Some girls have all the luck hey Anna!!
There were a lot of stop offs along the way today. The Great Ocean Road is crammed full of amazing views, fabulous coast lines and stories of ship wrecks from days gone by. The 32 kilometre stretch of sheer cliffs, deep caverns and island gorges is world famous and attracts hordes of visitors. Every stop off was full of camera toting tourists, just like us!!
We took over the tour guide mantle this morning and started dragging the Adams into the
lookout stops. The Bay of Islands is our first which wowed us all, Charlotte happily read the information boards to us so we learned a little bit more about this special but treacherous area. We wondered how many stop offs we’d get away with before we bored the kids to death but we managed another two before lunch, The Grotto and London Bridge.
The walk down to the Grotto was great and really easy for the girls as its boardwalk all the way. We chatted to a cyclist who is part way on his journey from Sydney to Adelaide, a pretty good effort especially when taking in the coastline sights will add hours to his day!
We stopped for lunch at Port Campbell and met up with David & Daph too. The weather had taken a turn for the worst so after searching out a bakery Darryl made sandwiches for everybody in the caravan before driving on to the Twelve Apostles, today’s main attraction.
These giant rock stacks rising from the depths of the Southern Ocean have been around for 20 million years, however, there are no longer twelve and the continuation of the ‘Twelve Apostles’ as
a name came under questioning by Amy! It’s fair enough but the ‘Six Apostles’ doesn’t really have the same ring or meaning to it. The first time we saw the Twelve Apostles was during our honeymoon nearly ten years ago and there were only 8 still standing then, today there are only six but the number of tourists here to view them seems to have quadrupled!
We don’t remember the huge car park being here ten years ago, nor the rather elaborate boardwalk system to the viewing points. But despite more of the apostles succumbing to the ocean the name has remained unchanged since the 1950’s although back then the formations were known as the Sow and Piglets. The name change seems to have been nothing more than a way of luring more visitors to the area and thus the local towns. It’s certainly worked!!
The Adams were keen to get to the house they’ve rented for tonight so we let them go on in front while we stayed behind with Daph & David for a coffee purchased from the rather uninspiring ‘café counter’ that’s been installed in the rather drab office like building at the beginning of
the boardwalk. We’re assuming that more will be made of it in time, it all looked pretty new but there’s a distinct lack of character about the place at the moment. Considering the amount of visitors coming through here there is a surprising lack of commercialised goods for sale!
Where we spend tonight rather depends on a phone call from Grant. If the driveway to the house is suitable for the caravan then we’ll rock up there but if not there’s a national park campsite half an hour or so away. We decide to check that out first just in case. We end up on a dirt track with David & Daph following close behind us which hadn’t been our intention but they thought we knew a short cut to the house where they are staying with Grant! Nevermind, instead we all checked out the free camp just off Joanna Beach which looked great and there were plenty of free spots. It was miles from anywhere though so when Grant phoned to say the owner of the house had no problem with us parking the caravan on the driveway we jumped at it!
The rest of the journey
was fabulous, the views are stunning but none of them topped the view from the holiday house. Wowsers, good choice Grant and Anna! With its own balcony looking out over woodland and across to Apollo Bay and the ocean it’s certainly a sight to behold. The caravan fitted perfectly on the drive despite the steep decent in, luckily the drive itself was pretty flat!
A great evening followed with discussions on the balcony for the ladies, more Wii activity in the front room for the girls and some tremendous cooking from the boys in the kitchen.
The house itself is very open plan, on two storeys with long windows all around so the view is constantly available. The wood burner in the spacious family room kept us warm and had us so relaxed that after a few frothies (beer stubbies) for the boys and a few wines for the ladies, it was time for bed.
Dar and Sar
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