Welcome to part 2 of my trip from Sydney to Great Ocean Road.
When we arrived in Melbourne, capital city of Victoria we treated ourselves to a stay in one of Melbourne’s central hotels. We only booked the Mercure Welcome Hotel 1 day before our arrival, so we were pretty lucky they had a room for us. Our room was small or cozy as some would say, but as long as there was a clean bed and a shower inside it, I didn’t care. We did a lot of walking and eating here, enjoying the feel of this beautiful cosmopolitan city.
After we left Melbourne, we were back on the road, but not just any road. It was the very well known Great Ocean Road a 243km stretch of road along the south-western coast of Victoria. The drive from Torquay to Apollo Bay is truly spectacular and surrounded by rugged coastline, cliffs and beaches.
We stayed in Apollo Bay for 2 nights, although if you are traveling and time is tight 1 night stay over will be enough. Apollo Bay is a beautiful little coastal town in southwest Victoria situated on the eastern side of the majestic Great Ocean Road and in the shelter of Cape Otway.
The holiday park we were camping at was another one of the Big4 parks www.piscespark.com.au . The park was quite nice, but the unpowered sites were smaller than I would prefer. Having said that it really wasn’t an issue.
While there we visited a few recommended places by some of the travel websites. The Californian redwoods and Cape Otway.
The Californian Redwoods were planted in the native wet forest 85 years ago. They were one of my favourite stops. I had a feeling like I was in a completely different part of the world after I entered inside the trees. Is good to take a tripod for you camera when you go there as its a lot darker under the canopy of trees. Or at least use a high iso setting on your camera for a decent shot.
Cape Otway is a cape in South Victoria. Cape Otway lightstation was build in 1848 and today it remains to be the oldest surviving lighthouse in Australia.
Everyone has to pay an entry fee to get to see the lighthouse, but you can also go right to the top of it which is pretty cool.
Wild Koala Bears even if you don’t want to see Cape Otway lighthouse head to that direction anyway as its a great chance to spot wild koalas! You will know where and when to stop as you probably will see cars just stopped on the side of the main road and people walking around with their cameras pointing at the trees.
We traveled further down the Great Ocean Road to Port Campbell which is a good base for staying overnight and seeing the 12 Apostles, Gibsons Steps, The London Arch and the rest of the natural wonders. It is enough to stay just 1 night if you are tight with time, but because we wanted to make sure we get the picture we wanted we stayed for 2 nights in the Port Campbell Holiday Park, which was actually really lovely little park with a great facilities and nice campsites, right next to the town centre.
The 12 apostles and the Gibsons steps are on the same spot, you can see them from a viewing platform. This platform gets really busy in the day time and for sunset. Daytime is probably the worst time to go and see this famous landmark (for me anyways). Lot of people are trying to go to the same spot and take a picture. If you are staying overnight in PC, its worth waking up at 5am and seeing this beautiful landscape with nobody around. Just you, your camera and the sunrise, its a magical experience.
Although after the sun goes and the night’s blanket sets down, hundreds of penguins swim to the shore on to the beaches, its really hard to see them as its proper darkness down there, but definitely worth a shot. We went to watch them from the London Arch platform, because its not as high up we actually saw the first 10-20 of them appearing from the sea.
I hope you enjoyed this post, if you missed my 1st part of my trip you can view Batemans Bay, Narooma, The Glasshouse Rocks, Mystery Bay and Merimbula photos here. I am now on Facebook too! So come and say Hi or Like the page and see all the latest news, tips and photos : Like Me on Facebook 🙂