Mount Gambier to Geelong via Great Ocean Road

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March 11th 2011
Published: March 11th 2011
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Sorry if previous blog contained duplicate pics, its getting late to do two blogs in one day!!! Actually I think there may be a problem with the website!!

5th March 2011 – Mount Gambier to Apollo Bay

Today will be our first sighting of the Great Ocean Road. We stopped in Portland for breakfast. Temperature was quite cool and wind fresh.

This area to Warnambool is big cattle country and dairy. For me it was good to see dairy cows in this quantity (sad I know).
For my fix we stopped at Allansford, outside Warnambool, called Cheese World. There is a cheese factory with a shop/cafe/museum attached.
Had a tasting and bought some of their vintage cheddar.
The temperature had gone up to over 26 C by this time.

Then on to our first glimpse of the Great Ocean Road, and what a sight WOW.

Bay of Islands, Bay of Martyrs, forwent the ‘Grotto’ and went on to London Bridge.
The viewing points were coming thick and fast and we were already in overload.
We were still a couple of hours from Apollo Bay, when we came onto the Twelve Apostles, the place was buzzing with coaches, RV’s and campers.
We were going to come back later in the week so headed further east through the Otway forest to Apollo Bay.

Arrived at Bayside Gardens, Garden unit till Tuesday, Bay View for last three days.

Found food at Apollo Bay hotel tonight – both had grilled Harpuka (fish) – very good.

PS – Thought we had a good early start today until we realised we had gone through a time change for Daylight Saving Time. We are now 10 hours head of GMT.

6th March 2011 – Apollo Bay

We are now based here for the next five days (6 nights).
Warm & windy today, but loads of people about (Sunday).

We walked the beach into Apollo Bay town, watched the kite surfers and into harbour via Golf course. Some good photos of the bay and people enjoying the conditions.

7th March 2011 – Apollo Bay – Twelve Apostles – Port Campbell

A beautiful day, heading up towards 30+ C. Drove West back towards Warnambool, the beginning of the Ocean Road.

First port of call was a beach area called Johanna, I had seen this on a website as a possible place to stay – I don’t think this would have been our cup of tea – too far out and very RV/backpacker orientated.
Anyway an interesting detour, the road was metalled (tarmac) in, red route and blue route which was a dirt track.

Picked up the main highway again and headed west to the Twelve Apostles to beat the coaches or so we thought.
The place was heaving, it is very commercialised with an underpass to the viewing platforms from the car and coach park area.
Touring parties come from Melbourne on a daily basis (which is 5 hours) – they leave Melbourne at 7.30am – it must be a horrendous trip.
People aside the views are magnificent, a perfect viewing day, with clear blue skies, butterflies & dragonflies galore. I hope the pictures do the place justice.
We think it was the right move to spend the time driving back and forth along this fascinating coastline.

Our last port of call before lunch was a viewing point for ‘The Arch’, not so many people here.
We lunched in Port Campbell at the 12 Rocks cafe.
The temp was into high 30’s, we had thought about calling at the Loch Ard gorge - the Loch Ard had sunk here back in 1878. As with the whole coastline, the area is littered with shipwrecks. As there was little shelter from the sun we headed back to Apollo Bay. Cold beer order of the day.

8th March 2011 – Apollo Bay – Cape Otway – Beech Forest – Skeynes Creek.

Moving day – from unit 5 to 4.
The move was to a ‘Beachside’ view, and is very nice. The day was a bit cooler but the sun was still shining.

Cape Otway today – out in the National Park. We had been told there was a colony of koalas on the road to Cape Otway Lightstation.
We were not disappointed.

Hope the photos do the little creatures justice. Another tick on LJ’s wish list.

Out to Beech Forest, a 21 k forest drive – ON A DIRT TRACK – and when we got to the top a hairy, scary, roller coaster drive back to the main road. I don’t think I saw much, so will rely on my co driver who was snapping away on my left.
You would have to have been here!!!

Back to Apollo Bay – beer on deck before it started to rain.

9th March 2011 – Apollo Bay

Chill day – raining, windy until lunch time. Shows it was a poor day – I took 4 photos the whole day.

10th March 2011 – Apollo Bay – Lorne

Headed east to the next big town of Lorne, a twisty bendy road only 44 k but took nearly an hour to get there. Lots of roadworks, clearing rockfalls and tidying up after the recent heavy rainfall.
Lorne is very surf orientated. Mid week very quiet which suited us.
Trip back had lots of photo opportunities which is why most people do the Ocean Road East to West.

11th March 2011 – Apollo Bay –Aireys Inlet – Anglesea – Torquay – Geelong

Moving on today, our last part of the Great Ocean Road took us to Torquay (no Basil Fawlty), the birthplace of surfing.

There are so many place to stop it becomes a bit mind blowing.
The memorial arch just before Aireys Inlet is a reminder of the work achieved by the ex soldiers after WW1 (they built the Great Ocean Road).
It is a reminder of the sacrifice made by young soldiers during WW1 and is the largest living war memorial in the world.

All the beaches along the coast from Lorne tend to be surfing beaches, interspersed with giant cliff and rock formations.
Arrived Geelong early afternoon.

The next few days are going to be manic.
We are meeting up with a friend of Lins who came out here to Melbourne over 40 years ago on Saturday.

Then its on to Sydney, we have to drop the car of on Tuesday 15th which means its a 2 day hop from Melbourne to Sydney (we spent too much time on the GOR!!)

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