Well since we last left you, we have now driven the Great Ocean Road and arrived in Adelaide where it is pouring down with rain! So now we need to fill you in on what's happened since leaving Melbourne and arriving in Adelaide....
After picking up our beastie hire car - we were only expecting a Yaris! We headed off to drive the first leg of the Great Ocean Road. It was a little strange driving after over a month of using public transport, but we soon got into it and were loving seeing all the beautiful coastal scenery. We had a quick stop at Lorne for some lunch on the beach and on our way to Apollo Bay, there was some cars parked in a lay by and people looking up at some trees, so we stopped to be nosy and saw wild koalas sleeping in the trees! Brilliant! It was a quick stop at Apollo Bay before heading off again to see the 'Twelve Apostles' before getting to Port Campbell where we were staying the night. We thought the Twelve Apostles were really spectacular! I'm sure the photos really don't do them justice! The sun seemed to illuminate them and the colours of the Apostles and the surrounding coast line were beautiful they really contrasted with the colour of the sea. We tried to get back again for sunset, after checking in at our hostel in Port Campbell, but unfortunately it was too cloudy. It was a real shame as I'm sure at sunset they would have looked amazing.
So after a good nights sleep in Port Campbell we hit the road again, this time we stopped every few hundred metres to look at the rock formations that appear along this part of the coast such as 'London Bridge', 'The Arch', 'The Grotto' and 'The Bay of Islands' - every corner we turned had something absolutely fantastic to see. We had lunch in Port Fairy, then it was up to our next night stop, Mount Gambier. Now for some strange reason we thought it would be really cool to stay in a jail that has been converted into a hostel. It was the strangest place we have stayed in so far! So needless to say I did not want to got to our room without Gavin holding my hand! Mount Gambier is an extinct volcano and in it's crater is 'The Blue Lake'. In the summer it becomes a really stunning shade of blue, but it still seemed pretty stunning even in spring and nobody understands why it's that blue! We also heard there was some fabulous caves around this area, so the next day we headed to the tourist information centre to see what caves were worth visiting, they suggested the sunken gardens in the Umpherston Sinkhole, which were a little bit disappointing as their was no waterfall - especially after all the rain we've been having. So we consulted our travel bible - The Lonely Planet - and there was one sure winner for me anyway. On our way to Port Elliot was the Naracoorte Caves National Park and none other than the legend himself -David Attenborough had filmed here for his series 'Life on Earth'. Well I was sold and that meant Gavin had no choice in the matter! So we headed up to the Naracoorte Caves and we were not disappointed! We decided to go on three guided tours of Alexandra Cave, Victoria Fossil Cave and finally the Bat Cave! We had a bit of a embarrassing moment here, our tour was booked for 1.30, so with half an hour to spare we went to the cafe to get a drink etc, i looked at our infamous watch ( I seriously think we need to buy another one!) and it was 1.45 - we can't have missed another tour!!!! So we ran back to the Centre, where the tour started, only to see on the clock that it was 1.15. We had forgotten about the half an hour time difference that we had driven through from Melbourne! Whoops!
After our embarrassment we went on the tour of the caves and saw some awesome stalactites, stalagmites and other cave 'decorations'. In the Victoria Fossil Cave they have found millions of fossils of extinct animals which had fallen down holes and been trapped in the caves. Then we went 'To The Bat Cave!' - Gavin found this very amusing and for those of you with his sense of humour, no, we did not see Batman or Robin! We actually got to see the Southern Bentwing Bat, they've installed very powerful infra-red cameras which can zoom in on the bats and their pups. This way you get to observe their natural habitat without disturbing them. I found it really fascinating! Their was so much more to do here but unfortunately we had to leave as we had a four hour drive to Port Elliot where we had booked our next nights accommodation. We finally made it to Port Elliot very tired and very hungry. However it was going to be another early start as we were off to Kangaroo Island (on Kirstie's recommendation). But we'll save that for another blog.
Hope everyone is well.
Lots of love
Helen and Gavin x