We woke up super early to pick up our vehicle and get to the Great Ocean Road, mostly because we knew we had a full day ahead. Our route looked like this:
This map doesn’t include any detours or random pauses along the way, mostly because we decided we would throw together a vague plan and wing the rest of it.
The first part of the drive got us out of Melbourne city. It was already beautiful, with golden fields and fluffy clouds.
We skipped Geelong, and We headed straight to Torquay, the start of the Great Ocean Road.
If you do stop by Torquay, this small town has great beach side dining options, including Pond Cafe where we stopped for food. It was almost midday, and we wanted to have an authentic brunch experience. Pond Cafe didn’t disappoint.
Pond Cafe does some great brunch and superb latte. You’ll want to drop by before midday and grab a seat on the outside!
39, The Esplanade
Open Daily 7am – 4pm
Enter The Great Ocean Road
The road proper begins just outside of Torquay, and you won’t see any coast line for a while. Since I was the navigator, Li Shan kept asking me if we were “on the right road? How come no coast one?”
A good 20 minutes after we departed, the tree line broke and the coast came into view.
Of course, that prompted Li Shan to go “oh yah. There’s the coast”. Best “told ya so” moment of the day for me 😛
I loved the fact that we could stop any time we wanted to because there were just so many things that popped up that day. We weren’t supposed to stop at Anglesea, but this old dude was renting canoes out of his truck along a river and we just had to stop!
The waters were pristine and we had a great time!
We kept hopping on and off the car, stopping every few minutes because the route was just beautiful. The coast is full of blue seas, crashing waves and sharp cliffs. Adventure kept calling to us, wanting us to venture down on to the coast, away from the road.
We found a spot where we could make our way down to stand on rocks cut from millions of years of crashing waves and spent a good 20 minutes just enjoying the view and trying to capture a great shot. Burst shots ruled the day here, and you can tell we caught a few big waves.
Must go – Teddy’s Lookout
There’s a very small detour in Lorne, called Teddy’s Lookout. It’s perched on high ground, and great for a view of the ocean. I am told that during migration season, you can see whale spouts from here. We didn’t catch any whales, but we did catch a great view.
That azure blue is part of the Great Australian Bight, and one of the most beautiful views we could capture. I didn’t want to leave, of course, but the sun was shifting and we saw clouds approaching.
Kennett River – Koala Sanctuary
Right after Lorne, we made our way to a little-known spot called Kennett River. We were told that wild Koalas were in that area, which got us excited. It’s a little hard to find, and really easy to miss the turn, but with a keen eye, we found the place
Once we turned off the road, we entered a national park and were rewarded for our efforts!
These guys are everywhere. Usually, they’re sleeping but once in a while, there’s a quick burst of activity. They’re ADORABLE so take your time and enjoy hanging out with them!
Last Light – The 12 Apostles
This one’s the one everyone loves to talk about, so we had to go. The 12 Apostles features prominently in every travel guide we read. It’s the star of the entire road but going in, I wasn’t too sure about it.
That was until I actually SAW it. Our pictures don’t do this place any justice at all.
Here’s the thing I liked about the place: These cliffs and those rocks were worn down and carved out after millions of years by a ceaseless tide. A never ending wave battering a coastline, for a time longer than we can fathom. You see, to me, the 12 Apostles gives us an idea of just how small we really are. The sheer scale of the place demonstrates how insignificant we are in the temporal nature of this world, and consequently, the universe.
This was also one of my favourite pictures of the day, mostly because the memory of fighting the wind and rushing to catch the last bit of sunlight stuck with me. This photo sort of cemented the moment.
It was a pretty good day. I didn’t know it yet, but the next day would see us exploring wilderness and hitting scenic Warnambool. Stay tuned for more.