Apollo Bay: stunning coast and yummy pasta

Trip Start Oct 12, 2005
Trip End Mar 23, 2006

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Flag of Australia  ,
Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Although this wasn't the original official Great Ocean Road it was the most spectacular coastline of the trip: sandstone cliffs and eroded stacks & arches in the bays.

First stop, still feeling like the early morning, was Tower Hill National Park. Here we walked around paths in the woodland spotting kangaroos, emus and extremely cute koalas snoozing happily among the branches. This was great: a chance to see them in the wild; not much movement of course, but many photographs were taken, though one mother koala with a baby on her back was not too keen on this proceeding and kept turning her back on anyone trying to photograph the baby: presumably she'd had a bad experience with a tourist...

After that, much of the first half of the day was spent in getting on and off the bus to look at various different formations: the Bay of Islands, Bay of Martyrs, the Grotto and London Bridge. All are gorgeous and we were very fortunate with the weather: sunny and warm but not too windy (which seems to be pretty unusual when facing the Southern Ocean!). When I have uploaded my photos they will show the full effect (coming soon).

Lunch at Port Campbell (a very pretty little town) was followed by another stop, this time at Loch Ard gorge, a narrow inlet into a bay where 2 survivors of a shipwreck were washed in the late 1800s. They were both 18 and apparently the boy asked the girl to marry him shortly after: she declined & went back to Ireland!).

Next stop was the famous 12 Apostles: a group of stacks featured on many, many postcards and calendars of Australia: you've probably seen pictures of them already. They were also very lovely, though the weather was turning towards "too many flies" mode. Some people in the group even ventured up in a helicopter to see the views!

Leaving there, we went to the Otway Ranges area to see a rainforest. Apparently one of the few areas of temperate rainforest remaining (though there's plenty of the tropical variety), this is a damp, green, lush world of tall tree ferns, moss, fallen trees, streams and tall beech trees. There was a walkway around a place called "Mait's Rest" which can be recommended: peaceful and really quite an amazing enviromnent.

The evening was spent in Apollo Bay where we almost all went for dinner at a pasta/pizza place on the main street which served the best pasta I've had for a while: chicken and various stuff in a yummy sauce!
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