Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Great Ocean Road- Part 2

The final leg of our Great Ocean Road trip started in Port Campbell, a sleepy little town of about 500 people. It is a good place to stay only in that it is very close to the 12 Apostles. Other than that, it doesn't have much to offer. After our experience in Lorne, the information centre in Port Campbell was a real disappointment, but we did pick up a few maps with lookout spots designated on them. And so we were off- on the road again!

There were so many gorgeous, marked places to stop along the road. The photo above shows the "London Bridge" so named before the first arch fell down into the sea. Below: After a short hike down to a near by beach we spotted heaps of penguin footprints in the sand. A colony of Little Penguins lives in this area!

Another beautiful lookout was "The Gorge". My sweet husband hiked down a ton of stairs to see if it was worth the view, and since it was I hauled my big pregnant self down there where a nice Uni student (from Wisconsin!) snapped this family photo for us.

We drove on to a cute little town called Port Fairy for a delicious lunch and then backtracked a bit to Tower Hill, a state game park reserve. There is an extinct volcano at this site, and the Little Princess really wanted to climb to the summit. However, I wasn't really up for that, so we all enjoyed an easy rainforest bushwalk and spotted some wild emus and even a little wallaby along the way.

From there we headed to our final destination; Warnambool. This small city is located along the "Shipwreck Coast" and featured a recreation of an 1800s fishing village called Flagstaff Hill. Unfortunately, we didn't get a chance to see the village during the day, but we went back at night for a lantern walk and a cool laser show recreating the shipwreck of the Loch Ard. We all really enjoyed the show and left with a real appreciation for the brave travelers who made the daunting journey to Australia in the late 1800s. We would have liked more time to explore Warnambool, but we were up and out early the next morning for an easy 2 and a half hour drive back to Avalon airport and our flight home to Sydney.

We can't recommend this trip highly enough. We all loved it! It was such a great mix of beautiful scenery, amazing wildlife, interesting new experiences, and fun times together as a family. It's a trip we'll always remember.
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