We reached Adelaide late and tired after a long day on the road. every campsite we reached was closed. Finally we found one without a barrier - bingo! - so just went in anyway. The office didn't open until 8.00am -we'd be gone by then. We had to be clever about the toilets and use precision timing, as the doors all have code locks. the next morning we woke early - well Tom did. With Gemma and I in the back still dozing, he high tailed it out of there - free night!
we had afantastic breakfast in the park, before karma caught up with us and we got a flat battery. Thankfully a helpful passer by got his 'jumpo's' out and helped us on our way. Adelaide was a bit of a hidden gem. Overshadowed by Sydney and Melbourne, we hadnt really heard much about it. I really liked it. It was chilled out and had some great sunday markets, a bit like spitalfields in London.
Carrying on South we visited the Naracoorte caves. Wasn't that excited but they proved to be fantastic, with crystal tubular stallegtites like chandeliers, and mirror reflections in stagnant pools of water. At the Victoria border we stumbled across a free camp right in the middle of the forest. There was another caravan there so we set up camp. We cooked bangers and mash on our camp stoves and collected some fire wood for an open fire. The old couple from the caravan joined us. We've met some great older travellers on this trip. full of tales and advice. We had a really good night in the bush.
From here it was down to the great ocean road. The first part is a 25km natural sculpture park. Erosion has left spectacular formations of limestone. The most renound is the Twelve Apostles. Great stacks rising from the ocean. We arrived to watch the sunset behind them, bringing them to life. We found a great basic campsite nearby, with tin drums to light fires in. We did just that and huddled around for warmth, commenting on how much we looked like tramps! The last part really was a 'great ocean road,' twisting in and out of the cliffs.
Melbourne was where Gem left us. With only a few days to reach Sydney we didn't really have time to get to know melbourne and to be honest our minds were already in Asia. We had a bit of sorting out to do, malaria tablets etc. But on first impressions it seemed modern, clean, vibrant, smart and had some quirky architectural character. The city uses a lot of trams, which amazed us as they mingled, sometimes sharing the road with the cars. Ploughing down the middle, which meant that if anyone got off they were plunged right into the other lanes of traffic!
We had a couple of days solid driving to reach Sydney. Tom and I slightly underestimated how far we still had to go. It was only when we saw the Sydney 899km's sigh that we knew we were in for a couple of long days. In the end it was a race against time to get Jim back to the garage, washed inside and out by 10.00am. We pulled in with 10 mins to spare. There was 11,498km's on the clock. (8000miles)!!!