Cruisin' the GOR

Trip Start Feb 04, 2006
Trip End Apr 07, 2006

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Friday, February 10, 2006

On Thursday morning (Feb. 9), it was raining. We took a taxi out to the Apollo rental station and picked up our Hyundai Sonata. After signing a heavily caveatted rental agreement, we headed out to the Great Ocean Road. En route it cleared up. Our first stop was Point Addis, where we did a nice walking tour and saw our first wildlife - an echidna. We also stopped at the Split Point Lighthouse and several of the lookout points before stopping for the night at the Erskine River Backpackers in Lorne.

Friday morning we continued on the Great Ocean Road, stopping shortly after Apollo Bay at the Mait's Rest rainforest walk. There were huge fern trees and the walk itself was very nicely done, with curved boardwalks through the forest. We continued on to Gibson's Steps, just before the Twelve Apostles and descended to the beach - a lovely and uncrowded spot (must-do!) A few metres down the road was the Twelve Apostles Visitor Centre, from where you can walk out to the vantage points along with myriads of other tourists and helicopters flying around like hornets.

From the Twelve Apostles onwards, it was one special rock formation after the next - Loch Ard Gorge, the Blowhole, Thunder Cave, The Arch, London Bridge, The Grotto, Halladale Falls and Bay of Islands.

The Great Ocean Road ends just before Warnambool, where we arrived in time to pick up some groceries and a collapsible cooler in the Bi-Lo at the mall. On our way into town, we noticed that the dive shop was still open and decided to ask about diving the next day. We were told that a boat charter would be going out and we could join for a double dive. We reserved our spots on the boat and agreed to come back the next morning to hire our gear.

The next challenge was finding a bed for the night. We hadn't thought about it being a summer weekend and perhaps difficult to find a cabin at 8:30pm. The first place we stopped at had a deluxe cabin, but outside our budget. The next place had no availability and the third and fourth places did not even answer our calls at reception. We went back to the expensive place and made note of the fact that summer weekends call for reservations! The cabin was nice, and we made ourselves a late dinner and enjoyed a glass of Australian wine to end our long day.
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