Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Great Ocean Road- Part 1

The final leg of our Australian holiday was a tour of the Great Ocean Road. It is often described as the most beautiful coastline in Australia, and after seeing it I have no doubt that description is true. It was absolutely amazing!

We took the ferry from Sorrento to Queenscliff to start our tour. It was the first time we had ever been on a vehicular ferry. It was a lovely experience, and we were glad we chose this route instead of driving back through Melbourne.

Once in Queenscliff we set off on the Great Ocean Road. Our first stop was the famous surf spot, Bells Beach. We happened to show up in time to see part of the Rip Curl Pro surfing competition. What luck!

We also stopped by the Anglesea golf course to see the wild kangaroos. They were all over the course! That night we stayed in Aireys Inlet, a lovely little town with a charming lighthouse and a local "hotel" (this generally means bar in Australia) with good food.

The next day was probably the highlight of the trip. We drove through Apollo Bay and stopped at the information center in Lorne. There, we got great advice about places to stop with the kids. We headed for Teddy's Lookout, a beautiful spot with more picturesque views.

Then on to the Kennett River walk. We drove about 5km down an unpaved road and, sure enough, spotted several wild koalas up in the gum trees. This was quite a thrill! We were able to get so close to these adorable Aussie icons.

At the end of the road we discovered a hidden rainforest. It was amazing- huge ferns, a beautiful rocky creek perfect for throwing stones.

We were also able to squeeze in a little bushwalk at the Maits Rest Rainforest. Notice the big "holes" in the trees. Giant trees fall over in the rainforest and other trees grow around the fallen trunks. Eventually, the fallen tree deteriorates, leaving a large "hole" in the living tree.

Just before sunset we arrived at the Twelve Apostles; an amazing collection of rock formations jutting out of the sea along the coastline. This is probably the most photographed spot along the Great Ocean Road, and I can understand why. It's simply beautiful.

After a very full day we were happy to settle in for the night in Port Campbell. Part 2 of our Great Ocean Road Adventure to come . . . .


Nana said...

Your photos are Soooo beautiful! They look like they belong on a calendar. I especially like the rainforest with the ferns and the trees with holes in them. What an adventure!

Kristi said...

This last photos is so stunning!

almsfamily said...

Great photos! It looks breathtaking!

Mandy H-P said...

I just looked at these photos/blog - awesome! I love that photo of Reid throwing a rock into the puddle.

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