We had a great time driving down the Great Ocean Road. It begins in Bells Beach, the most famous surfing beach in Australia and site of the first professional surfing competition. There were about fifty surfers out when we were there, so we stayed and watched them for a while. I don’t know much about surfing, but even I could tell that they were awesome! It was very entertaining.
The road continues down the coast with stops at various rock formations in the ocean. The most famous of these are the Twelve Apostles. The name is a bit misleading, as there’s only eight of them. They used to be called the Sow and Piglets, but were renamed in 1922 to attract more tourists. One collapsed in 2005 and it’s only a matter of time before the others do. I was amazed by the strength of the waves and wind. Just standing there with your hair whipping around your face in the breeze, it’s easy to see how powerful these forces are.
The best time to take pictures of the Twelve Apostles is sunset, but we couldn’t stay for much of it because of the crazy weather. Brad was determined to take more pictures, so we got up at dawn to go look at them. Yes, you read that right. I actually got up before sunrise to go look at limestone in the ocean. Unfortunately, it was overcast and there wasn’t much light for pictures that morning. Oh well, at least Brad got some good pictures the night before.
After that, we went all the way to Port Fairy, a cute historic town at the end of the Great Ocean Road. From there we drove up to the Grampians National Park. The Grampians are mostly woods with a few mountain ranges cutting through them. We did a hike up Boronia Peak and had a nice picnic at the top while we enjoyed the spectacular view.
The best part so far, though, has been the wildlife. First we saw a few koalas behind a caravan park in Kennett River. They are so cute! Most of them were asleep, but one of them woke up and climbed to a different branch in his tree. I was excited to see just a few of them, but we ended up seeing dozens on the drive south to Cape Otway. For a long stretch of road, it was like every tree we looked up in had at least one koala. After that we saw emus in Tower Hill and we’ve seen kangaroos all over, mainly in the Grampians. There are tons of kangaroos in the Grampians. When we were out walking, one of them hopped right by us. I also saw one with a little joey in its pouch. And finally, the birds here are beautiful, too. We’ve seen all sorts of red, green, yellow and blue birds. Most of them are too fast to get a picture, but Brad’s caught a few of them. I was already enjoying Australia, but now that we’ve seen all these creatures, I really love it here!