|Bloody Trev aka Hitler got us up at 6am for our road trip! So half asleep we threw everything into the car, jumped in, and entrusted ourselves to a mad Australian that we'd known for a couple of weeks two years ago, and then we were off to the Great Ocean Road.|
First stop was Geelong which is a pretty town just outside Melbourne. Then we were off to the Rip Curl factory. No purchases here, but Justin bought some boardies in the Billabong shop around the corner and was very pleased with them.
Then we went on to the Erskine falls. Just after going through Lorne we rounded a corner and saw ... an echidna! Much excitement. Stopped the car, got out, took photos, jumped up and down a bit, and Trev stroked it. It was so sweet (guess what, this isn't Justin writing). Just a little bigger than a hedgehog but with a long nose. One of only two kinds of egg laying mammals (the other being the platypus). We went on to the falls which were very pretty, although lots of steps to go down, then back up again. Had lunch on Lorne beach watching a surfer.
Followed the forest track for a bit which was pretty but bumpy. Then we went through Apollo Bay and stopped at the treetop walk. It was really nice because you could walk around the treetops and go up the observation tower which was 47m high (more steps). But we did think that $20 each was rather a lot. The whole thing took about an hour.
Then we went to Triplet falls. This took us about an hour - all around the forest then finally it arrived at the falls which were very nice. Cool too. Then back up even more steps. Leaving the falls we saw lots of little black wallabies bouncing around beside (and often in) the road.
We then tried to visit a historical lighthouse (i.e. more than 10 years old) but it turned out to be the "lighthouse of disappointment". We couldn't get near it and the only photos we have are of the top bit that you could see from the top of a little trail quite a long way away.
Not to be put off, our driver took us over to the 12 apostles for sunset. There aren't 12 any more, but we're not picky. These are stacks of rock in the sea, and are great shapes and colours. Since I was last here in 2000 they've built a big visitors' centre and a subway under the road to stop stupid tourists being run over crossing it to get to the apostles. We watched the sun set then zipped along the coast a bit to see London Bridge, which is an arch in the middle of the sea.
It was getting pretty late when we grabbed a Chinese takeaway in Warrnambool. Then we went on to our campsite. Oh dear. When we arrived there was nothing and no one there. There were some toilets with a dead bird and a pile of rubbish on the site. No lights. As we had visions of psychotic farmers we decided not to stay even though it was pretty late. We looked in Trev's campsite book and saw another site about an hour away at Mount Eccles. So we set off, running into fog, then nearly into some kangaroos, on the way.
Arrived at the new campsite then unintentionally chased a couple more stupid kangaroos around the park whilst trying to find the campsite. Luckily we found it! Put the tent up, then had a group trip to the toilets which we obviously went the long way round to as it took ages to get there, then we found a really short way back! Trev got in his bivvy bag, we got in the tent, everyone heard the many koalas making odd grunting noises that sounded like wild boar, then we all fell asleep. Must have been about 1.30am