The Great Ocean Road and Other Scenic Delights

From Home to Apollo Bay

30th July, 1994
31st July, 1994
1st August, 1994
2nd August, 1994
3rd August, 1994
4th August, 1994

Day 1 - Saturday 30th July, 1994

Drop Cap ff and away, quite early, we headed off towards the Hume Highway, stopping as usual in Thirlmere at our little Bakery for morning tea. We found that it was somewhat changed, rebuilt and updated with a cafe in one side but the same delicious freshly baked goodies. We collected some hot donuts and had morning tea in the park.

Drop Cap ur next stop was Fitzroy Falls on the way to Kangaroo Valley. It too has changed. The whole area has been renovated and updated, a new visitor centre, picnic area, toilets etc and a walkway to the viewpoints that means you don't have to cross the road, you go under the bridge. Very impressive.

Fitzroy Falls photograph

Morton National Park near Fitzroy Falls

Hampden Bridge photograph

Hampden Bridge, Kangaroo Valley

Drop Cap e bought sandwiches for lunch at Hampden Bridge Tearoom in Kangaroo Valley. Hampden Bridge is like a battlemented drawbridge, very picturesque. I bought two soapstone boxes from a little craft shop there.

Drop Cap e drove through Nowra and along a 30K detour through Huskisson, Vincentia, Tathra and St.Georges Basin and Jervis Bay before rejoining Highway 1 to Ulladulla and Burrill Lake. We found a double room at the Snuggle Inn Motel (2 feetsfaces - has to be good) very comfortable, lovely soft couch, homemade biscuits brought to unit with the milk. On the advice of the landlord we went to Dolphin Point before dinner, where the lake meets the ocean. Very windy but lovely, we walked over the rocks to the point. Dined at a pizza and pasta place in Ulladulla, delicious, Mac Lasagne, me fettucine alfredo, herb bread and a glass of wine. Apart from Mac finding a 5c coin in the parmesan cheese it was great. Back to see "The Bill" and an early night.

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Day 2 - Sunday, 31st July, 1994 (Our Wedding Anniversary)

Eden photograph

Fishing Fleet, Eden at dusk

Drop Cap ac surprised me with an anniversary gift of two little boxes , enamelled brass, from India or Nepal probably. I gave him the latest Terry Pratchett book, "Soul Music". Then after breakfast we headed off south again. The Big Cheese at Bodalla was on holidays so we couldn't taste any. The scenery was lovely and we enjoyed a bushwalk in the Bodalla State forest. We saw a grey heron fishing in the lake the walk led to.

Drop Cap hen on to Central Tilba, a village classified by the National Trust (the whole place!) We saw some lovely craft work, were tempted by the wood carvings, but they were TOO expensive! Had lunch there in a coffee-cum-antique shop. Then on through a lot of lovely scenery, lakes, hills, rivers, even the sea!

Seahorse Inn photograph

Historic Seahorse Inn, Boydtown near Eden

Drop Cap o Eden where I photographed some of the extensive fishing fleet. Then on to historic Boydtown and the Historic Seahorse Inn (also classified by the National Trust) all stained glass and antiques. Our room is huge, one double, two single beds, on a corner with windows in two walls and a view of Twofold Bay and the beach. I had hoped the dining room would be open because it has a good reputation but it is off season so only the Bistro is open tonight. Open fires though and hopefully alright, but it is off the bar and liquor and cig smoke are offputting. More later.

Drop Cap ater. We had a surprisingly good meal in the small Bistro - Mac veal parmigiana and me a seafood basket, herb bread and Mateus. Breakfast is in the dining room tomorrow.

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Day 3 - Monday,1st August, 1994

Drop Cap t was a lovely morning. We had packed the car by eight, I took some photos of the Inn and we went to breakfast, serve yourself juice and cereals and toast but a cooked English breakfast, egg, bacon and sausage (no-one asked if we wanted it, it just came with a plunger pot of coffee). Luckily I had confined myself to juice. It's nice to have a cooked breakfast occasionally, and this was included with the accommodation. All told, dinner with wine, bed and breakfast cost $139. I don't think that's too bad. There was an absolutely enormous plushpuss type cat at the Inn. It looked as if one could upholster an armchair with it. It was seated in a sunbeam just outside the dining room and looked up to complain creakingly when I stood in its warm.

Drop Cap e set off by nine, finishing our last two apples just this side of the border, then didn't stop until Lakes Entrance where we bought some lunch and ate it in the car (a very blustery cold wind) while watching a large fishing trawler wind what looked like miles of nets onto a large spindle (1 of 2) Then we walked across the Bridge over the lake to the surf of 90 mile beach. It was as pristine and lovely as ever (probably not in summer, but we don't travel in summer)

Drop Cap n again, through a mixture of scenery, until we reached Sale, where we found a Budget chain motel, very spartan compared to the last 2 nights, but cheap (rump steak one night, snags the next) We drove through Sale to find the road we'll be travelling tomorrow and found ourselves surrounded on both sides of the road by lakes, swamps and wetlands. Sale Common , it's called. Dinner at McDonalds, continuing the Budget theme. On the way back to the Motel, we passed a Fire Engine which said "Fire Sale" on it. Mac wondered how much they wanted for it!

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Day 4 - Tuesday, 2nd August, 1994

Phillip Island photograph

Mac teasing seagulls, Cowes, Phillip Island, Victoria

Drop Cap e set out from Sale at a leisurely pace and headed south on the South Gippsland Highway, via Yarram and Foster. We stopped at Foster for a comfort stop and bought some fresh pastries for morning tea. We then found we had abandoned the highway and took a delightful backroads excursion through quite spectacular scenery and places like Fish Creek and Upper Tarwin to Wonthaggi, where we got back on our course to Phillip Island.

Drop Cap rossing the bridge at San Remo we visited the Information Centre on the Island and bought our tickets for the Penguin Parade together with some cards and badges. We headed off for Cowes where we had lunch and explored motels. We booked into a rather spartan budget choice called Hollydene, and went to see the Koala reserve where we found 10 koalas in their native habitat, so cute, then went on to the Nobbies, overlooking Seal Rocks but we couldn't see any seals. It was bitterly cold and very rough.

Nobbies photograph

The Nobbies, Phillip Island, Victoria

Drop Cap hen we rugged up and went to the Penguin Parade. The Visitors Centre is very interesting with lots to see about penguins. The Penguin Experience even has burrows on the outside walls that penguins come home to. You can watch them through the window. I bought Geoff a sweater in the gift shop and we went down to the beach. After about half an hour of waiting with bated breath, they started to appear - one minute nothing, the next a whole crowd - out of the water, trudge up the beach like weary shoppers and into the prepared walkways up to their burrows. It was quite fascinating and they are delightful. Tomorrow we arrive at the Great Ocean Road. I hope the weather is better.

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Day 5 - Wednesday, 3rd August, 1994

Drop Cap s we left Phillip Island it was still wet and windy, it continued showery all day. We stopped at the "Giant Worm" but at $7 each we felt it was too dear for non-Japanese tourists, so we didn't go to see the three metre long worms! (True, the Gippsland giant worm is the worlds biggest) We paused in Koo-we-rup to buy buns for morning tea (this journal seems to be turning into a list of meals) which we ate on the foreshore at Tooraddin.

Portsea Beach photograph

Portsea Beach, Victoria

London Bridge photograph

London Bridge, Portsea Beach, Victoria

Drop Cap e arrived at Sorrento early enough for the 2 0'clock ferry but decided to have lunch and look around, then catch the 4 o'clock ferry. Had a lovely lunch at a gourmet deli and looked around Sorrento, a very pretty town, then drove to Portsea where we looked at the beach Harold Holt disappeared from. It is quite spectacular. There is a rock formation called London Bridge (why is London Bridge so popular for rock arches? Why not Sydney Bridge or Golden Gate?) We saw an echidna snuffling around the dunes as we came back. It was 35 minutes across the bay on the ferry to Queenscliff, a very picturesque town of the Victorian seaside variety, then drove to Anglesey for the night.

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Day 6 - Thursday, 4th August, 1994

Great Ocean Road Arch photograph

Start of the Great Ocean Road

Drop Cap tarted out up the Great Ocean Road (GOR) with the weather starting to look clearer, I hope it lasts. We passed the archway which is the official start of the GOR , it is history in itself, having been replaced twice, the last time because of the Ash Wednesday fires. At Lorne we went off the road up into the hills behind the road to Dean's Marsh and Pennyroyal, very nice country, reminiscent of home. Then to Erskine Falls, very nice and fushy and back down almost to Lorne again to Teddy's lookout - spectacular views of both sea and hinterland, while looking down we saw a picnic table and chairs by the sea a little further on and decided to have lunch there. While we did so we saw some other people high up the mountain at the lookout.

Teddy's Lookout photograph

At Teddy's Lookout

Drop Cap fter lunch we headed for Apollo Bay but turned off at Skene's Creek to go up into the Otways Rain Forest. A spectacular run on Turtons Track to Beech Forest, then down to the coast again passing a stand of Californian Redwoods planted in 1936. We saw a wallaby cross the road here. Arriving in Apollo Bay we found a room in the Golden Chain motel, the Beachfront, with its own little kitchen. It was very attractively decorated and would have been quite adequate for a weeks stay except it was a bit pricey , even with the 10% discount we get with the card. We had dinner in solitary state (and very nice too) at the Otway Restaurant. We bought the makings for breakfast because our unit has a kitchen and the motel supplies the makings at $7 per head! a bit steep - so we had juice, cereal, crumpets and honey and coffee for less than $5 per head.

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