Weds 3rd July: Apollo Bay to Port Campbell
Now for the concluding part of our Great Ocean Road adventure in Australia. As I explained on my last post (covering days 1 and 2) the days we spent exploring the Great Ocean Road were amongst the best in the whole time we have been away from the UK – more than 10 months now!
We woke up early on Wednesday and set off for the last full day of our adventure – and the weather yet again was absolutely beautiful! Our first stop was Maits rest rainforest walk. This is located on the main road – 17km from Apollo Bay. It is a lovely 20 minute walk through the rainforest. This was a great way to start the day.
Next was another real highlight of our trip to Oz – more beautiful koalas in the wild. This time the koalas were a little more known about than yesterday’s spot near Kennet River – but this time we saw a lot more and they were a lot lower in the trees! I have posted separately about the koalas in particular – as they really warranted it. We saw around 25 koalas approx 8kms down Lighthouse road (*sat nav tip) which leads to Cape Otway lighthouse. You just need to keep your eyes open as you reach this distance down the road, but there will usually be other cars around that have stopped. Just make sure you park safely and pull completely off the road! There are spots by the side of the road big enough to park in which is good. We stopped at a few different places and saw the wonderful koalas. They were quite low in the trees and mostly sleeping. It was truly amazing to see them. We went all the way to Cape Otway lighthouse but at $18.50 per person we felt it was a little steep (considering Split Point lighthouse had been free to see the previous day!), so we headed back up to join the Great Ocean Road.
From here we stopped at Princetown to look for some kangaroos in the wild. We had read that they usually frequent one spot on Old Coach road (*sat nav tip), so parked on this road just before the bridge over the river and had a look around by the boardwalk – but unfortunately weren’t lucky enough to see one (although ended up seeing kangaroos in the wild a few days later in Tassie, so will post about that soon!). I just thought I would include the info here in case anyone is passed by and wants to try their luck. We did have a lovely picnic here just by the river though.
Next up was Gibson’s Steps, where there are a few beautiful viewpoints down to the beach and looking out to sea. We walked partway down the steps to the beach, although the tide was in so we couldn’t get out to look round to the 12 Apostles. We then took the short drive to park up at the 12 Apostles car park. We walked under the road through the underpass and out the other side to the stunning view of the 12 Apostles. It really is quite beautiful! Obviously it is a touristy place with people congregating all in one small area to get the best views. Because of this it strangely wasn’t our favourite part of the trip, as we tend to enjoy quieter spots that are more off-the-beaten track. However, we took the walk amongst the crowds as far as we could go out into the ocean high up, and looked across to the 12 Apostles and took some photos.
Back on the road the next stop of the day was actually one of our favourite parts – Loch Ard Gorge. Approx 10 minutes west of the 12 Apostles this is definitely worth a stop. We headed down the steps to the beach here and watched the waves crashing through the gorge to the shore. It was a really wonderful place, and not too busy either – a real gem.
Our penultimate stop was brief at a place called The Arch. London Bridge was then our last stop of the day which is 7km west of Post Campbell. We took some photos here of the landscape – and saw where the land bridge known as ‘London Bridge’ used to exist between the two parts now left. It was a great sight, made even more beautiful by the continuing good weather.
We backtracked slightly to Port Campbell and our motel for the night. We enjoyed fish and chips from the well-known Frying Nemo takeaway, which were delicious!
We really have enjoyed every second we have spent driving the Great Ocean Road – it is up there with the best roads we have ever driven! There is so much variety and amazing things to see and do – made all the better by our stunningly beautiful weather. We have some amazing memories from this trip that we will certainly treasure forever 🙂