19th August, 2011
20th August, 2011
21st August, 2011

Friday, 19th August, 2011

Rock Arch photograph

The Arch, Great Ocean Road, Vic

Drop Cap leisurely start today, away at 9:30 and headed back to London Bridge to take in a couple of lookouts we had to miss last night. Luckily the weather was kind to us for most of the day and we got lots of lovely scenic views of the Arch and the town.

Drop Cap e went back into Port Campbell and the 12 Rocks for coffee and raisin toast for Geoff before hitting the (Great Ocean) road again towards Apollo Bay.

Loch Ard Gorge photograph

Loch Ard Gorge, Great Ocean Road, Vic

Drop Cap he first lookout after this was Loch Ard Gorge of dismal memory. Named after the wreck of the Loch Ard, sunk near here with the loss of all but two on board.

Loch Ard Gorge photograph

Mac and Rosemary at Loch Ard Gorge, Great Ocean Road, Vic

Drop Cap here were several vantage points, overlooking the small Muttonbird Island (where the wreck occurred), to the deep Gorge where the two survivors were cast away, a sandy beach leading to a collapsed cave with the remains of stalactites etc. Geoff went down the long staircase to the beach and took photos.

Beach cave photograph

Beach and Cave at Loch Ard Gorge, Great Ocean Road, Vic

Apostles photograph

Remains of the Twelve Apostles, Great Ocean Road, Vic

Drop Cap hen we left here we went on a bit further till we reached the Twelve Apostles, icon of the shipwreck coast. There are no longer twelve (if there ever were) as there have been collapses recently, but by the looks of the rocks still around, there will be more collapses as time goes by because several of the stacks have fault lines already marked.

Apostles photograph

Mac and Geoff at the Twelve Apostles, Great Ocean Road, Vic

Drop Cap his is the third time I have been here and it has been different every time. This time they have built a rather inappropriate Visitor Centre with toilets and a kiosk and a subterranean (under the road) walking path to the lookouts. We were so lucky with the weather as it was sunny and clear while we wanted the photo op. Later it became quite misty and damp again.

Rocks photograph

Rock Stacks near the Apostles, Great Ocean Road, Vic

Drop Cap e stopped for lunch at Princetown, a little community with a pub and a caravan park plus a general store/PO which had been closed for three months already this year. Anyway we got lunch at the pub, I had a lovely BLT, Mac a B & E and Geoff a gargantuan burger and chips before heading off through the forest to Lavers Hill. This was a really spectacular drive up through tall timber and low cloud on a road which was very twisty, until we came down to sea level again at Marengo, a couple of kms from Apollo Bay.

Cottage photograph

Exterior of Our Cottage, Apollo Bay, Vic

Drop Cap his is where we found our cottage, No.5, Rainbow Cottage, one of Apollo Bay Colonial Cottages. This is undoubtedly the cream of accommodation we have had. A lovely brick cottage with two bedrooms, spa bath, open fire, fully equipped kitchen, washer and dryer. Everything one could want in a cottage, including a barbecue and an outdoor picnic table.

Cottage photograph

Living Room of Our Cottage, Apollo Bay, Vic

Drop Cap ac lit the fire, I put on a load of washing and we went out to check out Apollo Bay for groceries and eateries. Many of these seem to be closed as it is off season but I hope they will open at night. We are all really happy with the cottage and wish we could stay longer.

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Saturday 20th August, 2011

Rainforest photograph

Mait's Rest Rainforest Walk

Drop Cap he sun was blazing in through our windows at 7 a.m. this morning and it continued all day. A clear blue sky all day - unprecedented on this trip, I think.

Drop Cap put on another load of washing and got breakfast, then we headed out for a day in the great outdoors. We started out at Mait's Rest, a lovely half hour walk in the rain forest. Some of it was boardwalked and there were numerous little bridges over streamlets. It was lovely, a little muddy, but good.

Redwoods photograph

Redwood Trees near Beech Forest, Vic

Drop Cap e went next up the Beech Forest Road through logging country on a fairly rough gravel road and stopped for morning tea at the Redwoods Picnic Area. This is a wonderful stand of Californian Sequoias planted in 1938. They are very tall, but still have a lot of growing to do, I suppose. It was a very unusual sort of forest in Australia.

Falls photograph

Mac and Rosemary at Hopetoun Falls, Vic

Drop Cap ur next stop was at Hopetoun Falls, where, most unusually, there was a viewing platform 20m from the carpark. It was lovely too, we may not have seen the bottom but what we could see was great.

Drop Cap e went on towards Triplet Falls and the Otway Fly, a treetop walk like the Valley of the Giants, but there was a long walk just to get to the Visitor Centre and another long and steep walk to and from the Fly. My knees and feet were already complaining from the walk to the Visitor Centre so we decided not to spend the $24 each. Pity, but it was just about lunch time and they said the walk took at least an hour so we didn't want to risk it. Geoff had already been going off at morning tea.

Lighthouse photograph

Cape Otway Lightstation, Vic

Drop Cap o we took our picnic to the carpark at Triplet Falls and had lunch at a picnic table there. Didn't fancy a kilometre of difficult track to see the falls so went on to Lavers Hill and down the GOR to the turnoff for Cape Otway Lightstation (as they call it now). It used to be a lighthouse with a keeper etc but is now only a solar panel powered strobe light. Nothing like so impressive.

Lighthouse photograph

Mac and Geoff Climb Cape Otway Lightstation, Vic

Drop Cap t is International Lighthouse Weekend and the lighthouse was manned by many volunteers, from telegraphists clicking away in morse, to craggy old lighthouse keepers, to historical re-enactions in costume. It was an interesting afternoon. Mac and Geoff climbed the 78 steps to the lighthouse platform but I passed on that. They said the view from the lighthouse was great. We had afternoon tea there, then came home, filled the car, bought some drinks and came home to light the fire and put the washing through the dryer.

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Sunday 21st August, 2011

Drop Cap nother gorgeous sunny start to the day which continued until late afternoon when it became somewhat cloudy. We left Apollo Bay and our lovely little cottage rather reluctantly, making plans for perhaps a longer stay at some later date. We drove the Great Ocean Road, stopping at several lovely scenic lookouts, then stopping at Kennett River Beach for Geoff to eat the enormous cheese and vegemite scroll he had bought at the bakery at Apollo Bay for morning tea.

Wreck photograph

Remains of the Wreck of the "Godfrey", Great Ocean Road

Drop Cap e then paused to view an Historic site, the wreck of the "Godfrey". This was rather amazing. The original wreck had no loss of life but five men were drowned in subsequent salvage attempts. The grave of two of them was on the road site and the roadbuilders did not disturb the remains, just built the road over the grave. You could still see bits of the wreck sticking out from the rocks on the surf line and it has been there since the 1890s.

Arch photograph

Memorial Arch,Lorne, Great Ocean Road

Drop Cap e continued to and through Lorne, much busier and glitzier than Apollo Bay until we reached the Memorial Arch which is the eastern portal to the GOR. There was a memorial plaque and statue to the returned servicemen from WW1 who built the road (some kind of job creation scheme) and the point was made that the road was the longest war memorial in the world.

Drop Cap fter Lorne we stopped for lunch at Torquay, in a little cafe in the busy shopping centre. Salad rolls for Mac and me and roast beef and gravy for Geoff. Then we proceeded to Queenscliffe for the ferry to Sorrento. We just missed the 2 p.m. ferry but were first in line for the 3 p.m one. This was a bit unfortunate because when we were loaded we were put hard up against the side of the ferry so Geoff and I could not get out of the car. During the crossing the ferry master spotted a pod of whales in the bay and stopped the ferry and turned around so that everyone could get a view. We were not able to see much but did catch a glimpse of a couple of blowouts and tail flicks. So that was something.

Motel photograph

Sorrento Beach Motel, Vic

Drop Cap e found our motel, the Sorrento Bay Beach Motel, quite easily. We have a standard queen + 1 single motel room but it has a fridge, jug, microwave and toaster. When putting things in the fridge Mac and Geoff juggled (inadvertently) some jars and dropped our new pot of English Mustard on the tile floor, smashing the jar and spreading glass shards all over the floor. So we had to clean that up. Luckily they provided a dustpan and brush, which helped.

Drop Cap e now have just eleven days left. It seems to have gone by very quickly.

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