We collected another hire car in Adelaide, where we literally stayed for one night and left early the next day!! To us, it seemed like yet another small city! We had a 800km drive ahead of us to Melbourne, via the Great Ocean Road, dubbed as one of the best drives in the world!!
The first day we were a little ambitious and tried to get all the way into Victoria in one drive - we failed and made it to within 50km of the border! We ended up camping overnight in a town called Mt Gambier. It was a pretty uneventful night, so we were able to get up and drive the next morning and made it to the start of the Ocean Road by lunch time.
Every 10 to 15 minutes we stopped off in one of the parking bays to see the coast line. The sea has worked away, over the years, to create stacks, arches, caves and tunnels in the soft rock that is the coast. The vast ocean spreads as far as we could see and is too rough to swim in, yet it was still a gorgeous azure blue colour. The impressive rock formations along the route make it one of the most beautiful drives in the world. The 12 Apostles, the most famous part of the coast, are 12 varying sized stacks that have been cut off from the mainland and will eventually be undercut by the ocean and made even smaller. From one of the viewpoints, James got to talking to a 'fanatic' who informed him there was an iceberg out in the distance (apparently, the biggest one to detach from the polar cap and float this close to Oz), but I wasn't convinced!!
The second night we camped over in Port Campbell - the National Park that encompasses the majority of the rock formations. Unfortunately, the beautiful day turned into a freezing cold night and we spent most of the night shivering inside our tent!! It probably wasn't that cold really, but our ridiculously thin sleeping bags, which are meant to have a comfort level to 7 degrees, turned out to be useless!
More driving on our third, and last day, got us to Torquay! As I would imagine Torquay at home to be, it was a little seaside town, with fish and chip take outs and a few restaurants! The beach here was impressive and miles long; it is a popular place for Melbourne's teenagers to hang out and surf! We went out to visit Bells Beach, a few km down the road, where they hold the Quiksilver Surf competitions, but didn't see any surfers out as the waves seemed pretty tame - even to our untrained eyes!
On our last night, we discovered that there was another time difference - between SA and VIC- that we hadn't realised, which meant we had been running half an hour behind everyone else. It also meant we had to get up even earlier to make it to Melbourne in time to return the car!