Saturday, August 20, 2016

The awesomely Great Ocean Road

Early a.m. departure from Melbourne (making good use of having not fully adjusted to the time change yet) and we were on our way along the southern coast of Victoria.  It was a day full of beautiful scenery, starting with rocky/sandy beaches:


We haven't seen formations like these on a beach before, looks like it would be a challenge to launch or land a boat here:

Yay for the sky clearing up!  Lots of wind but little rain today:

The guidebook suggested a stop at Kennett River to look for koalas so of course we had to do that.  We walked up the road, looked around in the trees, but didn't see anything.  Pulling out the binoculars, I scanned one tree from the bottom upward, and all of a sudden this guy came into the frame:

John, koala!  This little guy was awake and looking at me when I first located him in the binoculars.  By the time I got out the camera and zoomed in a couple minutes later, he was back asleep.  They sure sleep a lot.  So adorable.

At the bottom of the road there were a bunch of loud King Parrots, including one sitting on a guy's head, pretty funny:

I found the name of the bird on this blog, which also has links to gazillion other bird photos in Australia - so many amazing and colorful creatures!

If I find a site with some of the crazy (and many times very loud) bird songs we heard all over the country, I'll let you know that also.  I kept wishing for an easy way to record and pass along those sounds.

A quick stop in Apollo Bay to check out the art in the park and the beginning of the Great Ocean Walk trail:

Very nice!

Rolling green hills over the top of Cape Otway:

Fun walk around the boardwalk trail at Maits Rest, just a little rainforest experience (for now):

We stopped for a short run along the Great Ocean Walk, what a neat trail!  Lots of ups and downs, great views.  Someday we'd like to run this race there:

When planning the trip I debated between an extra day in Melbourne vs. detouring along the southern route which would lengthen the journey to Adelaide.  Eventually I decided that we HAD to see the Great Ocean Road and the Twelve Apostles.  John came back from a doctor's appointment where he had found this in the magazine in the waiting room - yep, definitely the right decision.

Our first view of an "apostle"!  These are the limestone sea stacks that make this drive famous:

Jucy on the southern coast:

Requisite tourist shot:

With sunlight they are even more beautiful:

I was mesmerized by the rolling waves coming in off the Southern Ocean, so I tried to capture it here:

A sign in the bathroom stall made me giggle - please don't stand on the toilet seat, ladies!

Overlooking some of the Twelve Apostles - so amazing:

A close-up of one of the tops, plenty of places for bird nests:

More gorgeous scenery, sea stacks, big white waves, huge cliffs, stunning colors, spectacular:

We could stand all day watching and listening to waves crash on the rocks:

More trails, more views from different angles:

Not too surprisingly, there have been a few shipwrecks in this area.  Here is the anchor from one of them, the Loch Ard.  It was rescued in 1978 after being at the bottom of the sea for almost 100 years:

London Arch (formerly London Bridge), where a couple people got stranded and had to be rescued when the bridge actually did fall down in 2008.  I guess that's what you get when you name something "London Bridge"?  Also, can you imagine being here to see pieces of these stacks fall?

The Falls of Halladale was a ship that got stuck on a reef and became a spectacle for tourists to gawk at in 1908 in this spot:

That was all we could fit in before it got dark!  Wow, what a day, a perfect way to travel a bunch of kilometers and see a lot of amazing things along the way.

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