Great Ocean Road - Mon 8th - Wed 10th
Day 68 and we woke early on a cold but bright monday morning ahead of our 3 day drive along The Great Ocean Road. I tried to shave but didnt have any shaving foam, so had to give up after a few strokes due to the pain. We all had the free breakfast, loaded our main bags into lockers which would stay locked for 3 days, and then checked out. Me Luke and Burns headed for the Car Rental office while the girls went to Federation square to get some maps and guides for the trip. We got to the renatal office and found waiting for us a sky blue Hyundai Getz 1.6 (same car as my Mum). It was surprisingly spacey and well built, I've never really been in Mum's so had no idea what to expect. Once we had gone through all the checks and signed all the relevant documents, we headed for the Greyhound bus station to sort our bus tickets for the following week. Luke was designated driver, I was Navigater, and Burns was assigned the role of back seat passenger. The driving in the city was a bit manic especially on a monday morning. The Australians have an odd way of turning right at a junction. Instead of the right lane turning right, the right lane goes straigh on, while cars wanting to turn right stay in the left lane, and when they reach the junction, they move left and wait until all the other cars have passed, and when the light turns red, they make the turn. Very Odd. We sorted the Greyhound tickets (after a mass debate with a stupid woman who was trying to sort our bookings out) and met the girls. We headed out of the City on the Princes Freeway and drove south-west for an hour through Geelong and stopped at Zeally Bay in a small town called Torquay. It was awesome, the sun was shining, the beach was pure white, and the sea was blue. We noticed there were purpose built BBQ's along the seafront which were free to use, which we knew we'd use before the trip was over. As the sun was out, we headed to the beach for some frisbee and footy, while the girls sunbathed (thought they said that it was to cold so they had hoodies and trousers on). We bought some food and made sandwiches and chilled out for a hour or so then headed off further down the B100 (Great Ocean Road). Our next stop was Bells Beach which is known for its surfing, and there were some huge waves. We drove to Anglesea and saw the famous Great Ocean Road sign. We then stopped at Lorne and went to a waterfall at Erskine falls and headed to Teddy's Lookout. There were some awesome views and a point where we decided on the way back to write our name in the sand and take a picture from high up the mountain. We then went to Kennent river where we saw Koalas and Kangaroos in the wild. The final stop on day one was Apollo Bay where we found a self catering flat for the night at Surf-Side Backpackers. We bought some food for dinner from a supermarket and headed to our flat (number 6). It was spacious, had room for 8 people, a TV and a shower which Luke claimed was 'The best he ever had'. The girls cooked Beef Stir Fry Noodles with black bean sauce. It was excellent. us lads had the job to wash up. We watched CSI on the comfy sofa's, whilst all wearing socks for the first time as it was very very cold. We headed to bed knowing we needed to be up early to make progress down the coast.
Day 69 and we had Toast for breakfast before heading off West and further along the B100. The weather was much worse than Monday, with lots of fog, drizzle and cloud. It was also pretty cold and windy. We drove to Maits Rest which was a small area of rainforest which had a 40 min walk through the trees and wildlife. As it was wet and dull, we raced through and finished the walk in 15 mins. We drove to the 12 Apostles next and stopped just as the rain started picking up. Only me and Burns didnt have our rain jackets hence we got wet. My feet have never been so cold. Flip flops where not a good choice of footwear. The apostles looked awesome even in the rain, just a shame we couldnt see them in better weather. We had noticed since we had been in Australia that their concepts of distances was pretty rubbish. Every road sign for 300metres seemed to actually be about 50metres. It was ridiculous. Our next point of call was an Arch molded into the coast, a Grotto shaped cave and a sharp rock sticking out the coast known as The London Bridge. It stuck out several hundred metres into the sea and had a couple of arches beneath it. In 1990, while 2 tourists where out on the bridge, the cave collapsed behind them leaving them stranded on an island out at sea. They had to be rescused by helicopter hours later. We drove through Peterbourgh, and eventually arrived at Warambool which was near the end of the Great Ocean Road. We stopped at a Coles supermarket and bought some food and made some sandwhiches which we ate in the car in the car park. We looked damn good. We found an internet cafe, booked our Greyhound tickets, then started the drive back east. On the way back we stopped at Cheeseworld which consisted of a cafe, museum, and supermarlet dealing mainly in cheese and milk. We then stopped at the Bay of Islands, (but there was nothing to see so we left straight away). We then saw Loch Ark Gorge, a blow hole cave, and a Thunder cave, all of which were rather uninteresting. The only bright spot was the weather was improving as the evening drew in. By 7pm we had arrived at Apollo Bay and decided to try and stay in the same flat as last night. We managed to get it and bought dinner which us lads were going to cook for the girls. It would be our Uni speciality, Pasta. The pasta had peppers, tomato and chicken in, and we baked it in the oven with masses of cheese. We think they loved it. We watched Mr and Mrs Smith on the tele and then headed to bed.
Day 70 and our final day of the road trip started early as we wanted to get to Melbourne before 5pm. We took a photo of the car before we left. We stopped at a viewpoint for a few photos as the weather was really nice. We reached Teddy's lookout (or as Coops called it, Teddys Point) and started to carve our names into the sand on the beach. The letters were pretty big and by the time we had written our names we got in the car and raced up to the top of the hill. Once there we took a photo of the names which looked rather cool. Further up the coast we reached the lighthouse which was used for filming the Kids TV show of the early 90's 'Round The Twist'. We couldnt go inside but a photo was good enough. We started talking about old story lines and favourite episodes. When we arrived at Torquay an hour later we bought some food from the supermarket and fired up one of the BBQ's on the walkway by the beach. It was free to use and clean, and we all agreed that if it was in England it would be covered in fag buts, grafitti and chavs hanging round. We cooked some awesome burgers and sausages which turned into huge rolls, remenicnet of Subways. It was hot in the sun, but the wind made it quite cold so we all had hoodies on which made it look rather weird. At about 3pm we headed back to Melbourne. We returned the car and made our way back to the Flinders Street station hostel an tried to get a room for the night, although we would be up at 330am to get a bus to the airport for our flight to Tazmania. We had the same 12 bed dorm as before, put our bags in and then made dinner. We cooked Pasta with white wine sauce, Mushrooms, Bacon and onions which was brilliant, although it took 2 hours to cook as the kitchen was so busy and the hobs were useless. After dinner, Coops made a food list of all the main meals we would cook whilst away (cause I bet her she couldnt name 100 main meals) and the rest of us got ready for bed. I had an hour on the internet and the others went to bed about 11pm. In our room were some rather rowdy New Zealanders and some Europeans who were playing drinking games. When I came back up from the internet about midnight, the lights were on and I could here the noise from a set of stairs below our floor. There was about 10 people who were proper blotto, and there was Luke, Helen, Burns, and Coops lying in bed, wide awake. They looked well annoyed. We didnt really get any sleep, and were all awake by the time 3am came around as the others were still drinking. During this time Helen even went to the reception area and watched part of a movie with some other people cause she couldnt stand the noise. We were up and out of the room by 4am and on our way to the airport ahead of our flight to Tasmania.