One thing we didn’t want to miss in Australia was the Great Ocean Road. We had heard it compared to our California’s Coast Highway, but we imagined it would be quite different in its own right. We were right and think its definitely a must do! We spent 3 nights traveling the road.
Our route took us through Melbourne and down past Geelong to our first scenic stop at Bell’s Beach were the Van’s surf competition is held, unfortunately we didn’t spot any surfers and headed on to our first campground in Anglesea. The campground was a great spot and HUGE! We were thankful to be there before the summer crowds. We enjoyed the beach a little before it started to rain. The next morning we made our way to the Split Point Light house, where just up from the parking lot you could see a great lighthouse and some amazing coastal views.
After walking around some of the paths by the lighthouse we decided to head inland a bit and check out one of several waterfalls in the area. We took a short walk to the viewing area at Erskine falls and Jason took the steps down to the bottom.
One thing that we were really excited about was seeing the Koalas along the Great Ocean Road since we hadn’t had any luck in finding them in the wild up to this point. We decided to try another campground that claimed to have Koalas along the road just behind the park. The Kennett River Holiday Park made our dreams come true! Not only were there Koalas in the trees on the road behind the park, there were several in the trees by our campervan! We saw the Koalas sleeping in the trees right by the sites, saw them down on the ground waddling from tree to tree and heard there loud gorilla-like noises at night. It was AMAZING! This area also had some beautiful birds.
The next morning we debated staying with the koalas, but ultimately we decided to keep moving and headed back out on the Great Ocean Road. We stopped at Maits Rest and did an easy 30-minute return walk through a rainforest of ferns and trees up to 300 years old. We didn’t spot any, but apparently this is also a good wildlife spotting area.
We took another detour off the main route towards the Cape Otway lighthouse. It was a little too pricy to get in to see the lighthouse but that wasn’t our reason for taking the detour. We were on the hunt for more Koalas. Again we were not disappointed we saw nearly 20 in the trees along the road and even saw a momma and her baby!
The next leg of the Great Ocean Road included several scenic stops, some more well known than others. They included Gibson steps, the Twelve Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge, London Bridge, and the Grotto. They were all extraordinary natural phenomena incorporating the sea and the rocks. Some were also the sites of tragic ship wrecks like Loch Ard Gorge, due to the treacherous rock cliffs and stormy seas.
That night we stayed in Peterborough. We viewed some more must sees including the Bay of Martyrs where we were able to see great views of the Bay of Islands.
The next day we would travel inland back to Melbourne.