great ocean road
During our trip to Australia we took a few days and did a mini road trip down the Great Ocean Road, a famous 151 mile route that follows the southeastern coast of Australia. It felt sort of like an Australian version of driving US Route 101 around the Olympic Peninsula. The route is filled with ocean beaches, sea stacks, forests, wildlife, and picturesque small towns. It starts not too far south of Melbourne and continues west along the coast just short of Port Fairy, which is where we ended our journey.
We saw Split Point Lighthouse in Aireys Inlet which was very impressive. The most famous and breathtaking sight on the Great Ocean Road is definitely a group of giant sea stacks called the Twelve Apostles. As the name implies there used to be twelve of them but as of 2005 there are only eight left. I was glad to get the see them before any more disappear into the ocean. The highlight of the trip though was probably stopping at a roadside stop in Kennett River. We had heard that there was a good chance of finding Koalas there and we found several right by the side of the road! I took the best photos I could with the wide lens that I had. You might have to look carefully to find them. We spotted a couple more later in the trip while driving, but they’re very hard to see unless you’re really looking for them. What we didn’t expect from our stop though was all the colorful birds looking for food. We got swarmed with tons of them landing on us going for some apples that we had. Last on the route was Port Fairy which is a small harbor town where Tay’s aunt lives. We met up with her, had lunch, and explored the town a bit. I thought it felt very similar to Gig Harbor, where we live. On the way back we took a much more direct route that travels further inland. We stayed at Tay’s grandma’s house in Port Arlington where we had a little Thanksgiving dinner. Our last stop before heading back to Melbourne was Geelong. We walked along the waterfront and checked out all the wooden bollard statues along the way. They were carved from pylons salvaged from a nearby pier that burnt down in the 1980s.