45. The Great Ocean Road

The first stretch of the Great Ocean Road turned out to be rather disappointing with heavy rain and freezing weather not really providing the Australian road trip atmosphere we had hoped for. Driving the entire Surf Coast section of the Great Ocean Road on the first night in foggy conditions meant we couldn't even see the view. Driving all the way from Melbourne to Apollo Bay (where we stayed overnight) our highlight was Andrew seeing his first wild koala as it walked along the side of the road. But we made it to our hostel before collapsing.

Lots of corners on the Great Ocean Road
Day two and we return the way we came to see if there is anything worth seeing before we move on and are met by roadworks everywhere from landslides that had occurred through the night due to heavy rain as well as closed scenic points due to the councils doing control fires. Andrew is still suffering from being attacked by ants on Phillip island and so isn't having a lot of fun driving or indeed just having shoes on so having driven back to Lorne our favourite sight is a pharmacy. Driving a little out of Lorne we head inland to Erskine falls and then back along the coast for Teddy's lookout. As we drove along the amount of scorched bushland which is the remnants of actual bushfires and not the control fire that block our path, is rather scary.

The Famous Twelve Apostles
After another very long drive we get to the real sight seeing view at the Twelve Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge and the Thunder Cave as well as a quick stop at London Bridge which fell down in 1990 and the Grotto before a long onward journey to our next overnight stop at Port Fairy. Our sightseeing ends up being rather rushed as we have to get to the excellently named Port Fairy before our hostel reception closes and failing light means the views aren't as spectacular as they should be either. At the twelve Apostles I show Andrew his first Echidna and it's even in the wild. Having gone to both Taronga Zoo and Sydney Wildlife World we did not see an echidna but I've got quite good at my wildlife spotting.

Loch Ard Gorge
So onward to Robe tomorrow.

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