Bel and Phil's Adventures

Our adventures through Europe, America and Asia

Archive for ‘March, 2021’

Great Ocean Road, Victoria to Robe, SA

Monday 22nd March 2021

After not getting to see the Loch Ard Gorge yesterday, we were up and out there early. The sun rises around 7:20 am at the moment. The weather was better than yesterday with clouds clearing.

We were the first car in the car park at 7:20am. The view was breathtaking. The sheer cliffs meeting the turquoise waters was an unbelievable view that awaited us. Then as the sun broke through of the clouds and washed the cliffs in the sunshine, it became even more beautiful. We spent quite some time here as we walked out along the cliffs and then progressed down to the beach in the neighbouring gorge. We had brought the children here back in 2009 when we did our Victorian holiday with them. We did miss them tearing around finding places to explore, although we didn’t miss them asking if were there yet or do we have to stop again – depending upon which section of the trip we were on.

Just before the sun broke through the clouds.
Loch Ard Gorge
Razorback and looking East along the coastline from Loch Ard Gorge
Loch Ard Gorge in the morning light
Part of the Loch Ard Gorge coastline
The view from the beach of the sheer cliff faces. It was so beautiful and peaceful at this time with the area to ourselves. As we were leaving a few other couples were arriving.

We headed back into Port Campbell to have some breakfast and check out. The town was very quiet. The lady that we spoke to at the cafe indicated that there would ordinarily be 7 – 8 coaches through and there aren’t any at the moment. Having said that, she did say that business was starting to pick up again through domestic tourists.

We checked out of the hotel and headed west along the Great Ocean Road. Our next stop was The Arch. The clouds and rain were coming back so the light wasn’t as amazing.

The Arch, Great Ocean Road

The next two stops were London Bridge (which is not attached anymore) and the Grotto. We were blown away by the ferocity of the Southern Ocean and the beauty of this area.

London Bridge, Great Ocean Road, Victoria
The inaccessible beach at London Bridge with the sheer cliffs surrounding it.
The Grotto, Great Ocean Road, Victoria.

We continued heading west with our final stops at the Bay of Martyrs and Bay of Islands. We hadn’t been to these two places previously and were blown away by the majesty of these sites. We were also feeling a little blown away by the wind which had also picked up.

We then headed to a quick stop at Port Fairy, Victoria. This place looks so beautiful and will definitely need to consider coming back here when we have more time.

Port Fairy, Victoria

We had another little stop at Nelson, this little town on the banks of the Glenelg River where it empties into the sea. It was so quaint and looked beautiful. Full steam ahead for Mount Gambier, South Australia.

We were recommended to make sure that we stopped here. When I started researching, we discovered two features that we definitely wanted to see. The first stop was the Umpherston Sinkhole. It was amazing. The gardens were stunning. When we went down to the bottom, there were so many bees as there was a hive in under the rock.

After exploring the Sinkhole, we then headed to the ‘Blue Lake’. Our first glimpse of this lake left us speechless. We were trying to work out where we could park, then found the lookout carpark on the right hand side. We then realised that there was an underpass to a lookout of the Blue Lake where we took our photos. It was such a gorgeous blue when we were there and with the autumn colours of the trees near the lake – such an amazing view.

Back into the car and we headed to Beachport, SA. We were initially going to stay the night here, but wanted to get a little closer to Goolwa, to reduce the driving time tomorrow. When researching the area, I decided I wanted to see the Beachport Jetty so we did a quick detour.

We arrived there as the sun was sinking lower. It was massive!

On our way away from the jetty, we decided to go along the Bowman Scenic Drive. We were SO glad that we did! We came up the hill to this breathtaking view. Luckily Phil is getting better and better at stopping the Mazda quickly.

Bowman Scenic Drive, Beachport, South Australia
Bowman Scenic Drive, Beachport, South Australia

We continued along this drive and discovered the Pool of Siloam.

This was our last stop as we headed to Robe, our overnight stop. As we were driving into the town, the weather went so weird. We essentially went into like a pea soup fog and could hardly see ahead. We found our accomodation and unpacked. I went out to take some photos.

Phil and I then went across to the hotel for dinner, taking advantage of the setting sun on our way.

We have had a fabulous day and spending our first night in South Australia tonight. Heading to Goolwa tomorrow.

Great Ocean Road, Victoria

Saturday 20th March 2021

We left Sydney, just as the rain starting pouring down – literally. This was our 3rd attempt to do this trip, so nothing was stopping us – short of closed borders!

Our sons were holding the fort at home (and looking after the family dog) so we were off. The weather was dismal until we were 3 hours south of Sydney heading along the Hume Highway.

We stayed overnight at Ballarat, as we had wanted to avoid Melbourne, in case of an outbreak of COVID cases. We drove through Daylesford / Ballarat region and have earmarked this beautiful area of country Victoria as a definite place to come back and explore with more time. The drive ended up being close to 12 hours including stops, so we were exhausted.

Sunday 21st March 2021

Our plan today was to drive from Ballarat to the beginning of the Great Ocean Road today. The weather wasn’t great – but it was better than Sydney! We started at Bells Beach at the southern end.

The weather was wild. Our next stop was Urquhart Bluff. We enjoyed this stop and went down onto the sand to experiment with some different camera angles.

We then continued our drive. The next stop was the Airlie Inlet and Split Point Lighthouse. The whole area was beautiful, even in the wild weather. The lighthouse was the used for the Round The Twist series.

We had quite a long stop here and enjoyed some beautiful scones and sandwich from the coffee shop behind the lighthouse. It was so pretty and stunning, even in these weather conditions.

Our next stop was the Great Ocean Road Memorial. I found out about this through doing some research and reading other blogs. There is an area where you can pull off the road to take photos and read the information provided. We learnt about how the returning servicemen were used to help build this road.

We stopped to take some photos on the way to Apollo Bay. When we got to Apollo Bay, it was raining, with the rain coming straight at us, so minimal photos taken.

Somewhere between the Memorial and Apollo Bay.

We made it to the Twelve (although there aren’t 12 anymore) Apostles, with rapidly diminishing light and the rain coming down. One advantage was that there weren’t many people there at all and we pretty much had the place to ourselves. This meant that we could experiment with different settings. We quickly realised that we weren’t going to make Loch Ard Gorge this evening, so decided to get up early tomorrow morning instead to go to Loch Ard Gorge. These are the photos from the Twelve Apostles.

We stayed at Port Campbell overnight and had dinner at the hotel in town. Everyone we met was so welcoming. The food was beautiful with very generous servings.

Although this day was huge, we had so much fun exploring this beautiful, wild coastline. More of the Great Ocean Road tomorrow.

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