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Friday, 21 November 2014

GREAT OCEAN ROAD

Before I begin I should confess that I'm starting this post in the middle of our recent Australia adventure, because this was the point where we really felt like our holiday had begun! In between a two week stay in Melbourne, we escaped the city for a few days and headed down the coast along Great Ocean Road...

Port Fairy

By 9am we had packed the car, said sayonara to the manic morning traffic and cruised on down the motorway to where the landscape turns brown and the eucalyptus trees line the roadside.   Every now and then we would pass through a ramshackle little town and wondered what people did here.  After a good three hours of this desolate terrain, we finally caught sight of the odd sparkle of blue ocean in the distance.   The moment we passed the Welcome to Port Fairy sign, I let out a ridiculous squeal that I really couldn't contain for the next couple of days.  This historic little town looked like something out of an old picture book.  The houses were so tiny, so perfectly delicious that you felt like you might want to eat them (please tell me I'm not the only one who gets hungry at the sight of cute little houses painted in soft pastel colours!).  It was too early to check into our hostel so we headed straight for the beach to stretch our legs and remind Ayana what the ocean feels like after a long winter.  White sand and turquoise water stretched as far as the eye could see, and as though to complete this unreal picture, a tall, white and red lighthouse peered at us from in the distance.  Welcome to paradise, it seemed to whisper to us!
We had spent the evening before glued to the computer trying to decide on a hotel to book.  They all looked so hideous with their floral, polyester sheets and their tacky 1970s carpets, it didn't feel like us at all!  So it was a great relief to both of us when we admitted to each other that we'd both much rather just stay in a hostel.  I sure wasn't sorry for our decision when we pulled up to our 150 year old hostel in Point Fairy that evening.  You could really sense that this place held some secrets, and it was perfect for a toddler who needed to burn some energy!  The next morning we hunted down a good coffee joint and made our way to Tower Hill where the emu's reach over your shoulder to sample your lunch and if you're really lucky (like we were) an Echinda might just amble across the path before you.

Twelve Apostles and Loch Ard Gorge


Here's a little tip when you're road tripping, stop often and follow the small tracks... especially if they're leading to the sea!  Sure we had the Twelve Apostles in mind, and yes they were quite stunning, but it was the Loch Ard Gorge that really took our breath away.  If we hadn't followed the last bus load of Japanese tourists (most of which seemed more interested in taking photos of Ayana than the scenery) we would never have found this jaw dropping place.  It was unlike anything I had ever seen and if we weren't in such a hurry to make it to our next hostel before bedtime I could have stayed there all day!  The Twelve Apostles were incredibly beautiful, but having to elbow your way through the hoards of tourists and yell over the noise of the helicopters that took off every five minutes right beside you took the magic away a little bit.  In hind sight we would have liked to have a lot more time to explore this part of the coastline but with a toddler in tow we were learning not to push it.


Apollo Bay, Anglesea and Torquay
We woke up the next morning in our Apollo Bay hostel to grey skies, light showers and a cranky toddler who was in need of more sleep.  So rather than exploring Apollo Bay (which if I'm honest seemed quite new and without much character) we drove on up the coast stopping only for coffee.  We came across another great lighthouse, had fish and chips for lunch (while vowing to eat healthier as soon as we'd finished finished the last chip) and gave Ayana her first taste of ice cream.  By this stage we were all feeling a little exhausted which was fine because before long we found ourselves back on the motorway towards Melbourne.

This little adventure was definitely the highlight of our trip and although we would have liked more time to explore the coastline properly this was a really good test to see what traveling with a toddler is like.  Ayana just blew us away with how much she just went with the flow.  There was no time for her usual three hour afternoon nap so she just snoozed when she could, had no problem going to sleep in different rooms at night and let us drag her in and out of the car every ten minutes to admire another lookout.  On the whole it was a raging success and I foresee many road trips both here and afar in the future!

All photos were taken by myself and Nic.

2 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thank you :). It's hard not to get a little snap happy when the scenery is so stunning! x

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