Great Ocean Road

Trip Start Oct 02, 2008
Trip End Jan 30, 2009

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Flag of Australia  , Victoria,
Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Our last day in Melbourne we picked up our rental car and began the hour and a half drive to the beginning of the Great Ocean Road where we had planned on spending the next three days. We stayed in small fishing/resort town of Apollo Bay which is about the half way point and was a great jumping off point to exploring the area. The first day we decided to do some hiking through the rainforests of the Great Otway National Park which lies just inland of Apollo Bay.  As we began the drive up the rocky service road, we were both quite amazed how quickly the landscape changed from the coastal scenery to lush rainforest. We ended up doing a couple hikes, the first to Little Aire Falls and the second to Triplet Falls. 
After that, we continued the drive along the Great Ocean Road to the climb the lighthouse at Cape Otway. This is the first sight of land immigrants to Australia in the early 1800's would see after 100 days at sea. Numerous shipwrecks occurred here and finally in 1848 they built a lighthouse to help steer boats through Bass Straight safely. 
Many koalas live in the Eucalyptus trees on the road to the lighthouse and we were lucky enough to spot a couple on the way back. They were every bit as cute as I imagined and we couldn't believe how well they manage to balance while sleeping on thin branches while they sway in the breeze.
The next day we spent driving further up the Great Ocean Road to see some of the famous rock formations, such as the Twelve Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge, London Bridge and the Arch. They did not disappoint and it was interesting to find out how they were formed and how quickly the waves are eroding them (one of them collapsed into the sea in 2005).
From there, we decided to do another hike to Marriner Falls and another to a lookout point over Apollo Bay. After a little beach time we ended the day with a dinner of some delicious fresh fish.

We spent the day making our way back to Avalon (to fly to Brisbane that evening), stopping in the cute seaside town of Lorne for a tasty lunch and a short walk to Erskine Falls. Our last stop was Bells Beach, a well known surf spot, one of the stops on the WCT tour and also made famous as being the location of the last scene in the movie "Point Break".

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