The Great Ocean Road (Port Fairy to Apollo Bay, 03.08.2012): We were packed up by 7:30am and ready to hit Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve, about a 20 minute drive away. The book advised that there was "plenty of wildlife, especially koalas". Today's the day! We did a 1 hour walk "to the last volcano" first spotting several emus (some of whom turned rather nasty on us, I think we took too many photos), and of course we saw an abundance of wallabies and kanagroos. The volcano crater was pretty cool and the view out across the forest and the lakes were very pretty. With cricked necks and still lacking a koala sighting we decided to try our look on another of the park's walks: the boardwalk. Halfway through, we managed to spot one: how cute! It was sleeping at the top of a tree. So cuddly and much bigger than I thought they would be. I don't know how he managed to stay up on the thin branches at the top. We photo'd the little fella and watched him for ages before heading back to the van pleased without our sighting.
Our next stop along the 'Shipwrecked Coast', was Warrnambool where we headed for Logan's Beach and the whale nursery. Each year from June to September, whales come close to the shore to give birth and will frequently be spotted from the special platform at Logan Beach. Sadly we were not so lucky and did not manage to spot one in the 30 minutes we allotted to whale watching. Oh well at least we have the koala.
Continuing on from Warrambool we joined the Great Ocean Road and made many stops at the awesome viewing points including: Bay of Islands, Bay of Martyrs, The Grotto, London Bridge, The Arch, Loch and Gorge, and the most famous of the stops: the 12 Apostles. The views were all breath-taking though by the end even Adam was sick of rocks!
We drove on through the Great Otway National Park - dense forest tracks with hairpin bends (I didn't drive), to Apollo Bay heading to 'the Marriners Lookout' for a view over the bay itself. We decided to camp within the Great Otway National Park after discovering there was a free campsite here. We drove 13km into the park, mainly on dirt tracks (oops campervan rental agreement). On the side of the track halfway to the campsite we spotted what looked like huge beehives in the trees. We headed out the van to take a look only to discover a group of 16 koalas in amongst 3 trees. WOW. There were babies too. They must have been out for their evening snack. Boy can they eat! We watched them virtually strip the trees. They were amazing creatures. So happy we got to see them in the wild. May favourite aussie animals so far - I am still yet to see a platypus.