After our visit in Melbourne, Jeff and I set off on a trip along the Great Ocean Road with my sister Kate and our friend Matt. The Great Ocean Road definitely deserves a spot on the list of the world’s most scenic coastal routes, right up there with Highway 1 in California and the Road to Hana in Maui. We did the Great Ocean Road before, as part of our massive road trip in 2007, but it’s always fun to revisit such a scenic region equipped with professional photography gear! :) For this Christmas-time trip, to our delight it was beautiful, warm and summery as we set off down the highway. We stopped for a peek at the view near the famous surfing spot Bells Beach, near Torquay.
At the “entrance” to the main attraction: you might be too distracted by the beautiful scenery to remember where to put your car!
Our first stop along the road was in Lorne, a cute little country coastal town, with the requisite scooters, coffee shops, seaside accommodation, and a lovely beach.
We mentioned in our last post that we “bounced” along the Great Ocean Road. This brings us to the thing that takes Lorne from great to truly awesome: a huge block of outdoor trampolines at the Lorne Sea Baths! I have always been a little bit obsessed with bouncy things. I adored trampolines and inflatable bouncy castles as a kid, but was robbed of much of my childhood right to bounce due to my more-than-four-foot-tall height. Ah, the injustice. Thankfully, the lovely staff at the Lorne Sea Baths saw no issue with our adult-sized frames and happily took our ten dollar entry fee. Yes!
These trampolines were extremely bouncy and just. so. awesome.
If you like this, you’ll love what we got up to in Warnambool, at the end of the Great Ocean Road… check out the end of this post for a super fun video!
It was nearly Christmas and so we had to celebrate somehow… we decided a Christmas tree would be too challenging, and no one was that keen on making sand angels. So a sand-man it was!
I guess it was actually more like a sand-woman.
We decided to splurge on the accommodation in Lorne and booked this sweet apartment at the Cumberland Lorne Resort. A great decision!
Sadly, we had to leave Lorne, but there were other wonderful things waiting to be discovered. We took a side road into the Great Otway National Park, where we had heard rumors…
…that there were koalas! There were, and they were EVERYWHERE. Cute ones, funny ones, sleepy ones, baby ones! Koalas in every tree!
I love this one sprawled out on the big branch. So cute!
Eventually we came upon the most famous attraction of the Great Ocean Road: the Twelve Apostles. There aren’t really twelve any more—it’s more like seven or eight, as the monoliths are slowly crumbling into the ocean.
It was a hazy day, but the colours of the peachy sand and turquoise water were still so striking!
Just past the Twelve Apostles is this interesting narrow bay, called Loch Ard Gorge.
We ended our Great Ocean Road journey in the coastal town of Warnambool, where our dear friend Matt is from. We spent Christmas day with his wonderful family and enjoyed a delicious feast!
We went out for some more wildlife spotting and views of the town at the Tower Hill Wildlife Preserve.
Sure enough, it wasn’t long before we spotted the local emus!
Kate was a little bit frightened by the mangy looking birds… LOL!
Warnambool has some beautiful coastline…
After all the fun we had in Lorne on the trampolines, we (er, I) had become a bit obsessed with finding somewhere else to bounce on the trip. Matt said he thought that his home town had something. Would it be open during the holidays? Was it really there? Imagine my delight when we found that YES, Warnambool has one of the few “jumping pillows” in Australia, and YES, it was open just after Christmas, and YES, they allowed adults, and YES… there was nobody else there except for us! OMG. We had the whole thing to ourselves for over an hour. What is a jumping pillow you ask? Well just click play below and be warned, you may need to travel a fair distance to find one to jump on!
This was one of the most fun road trips ever! Thanks to Matt and his wonderful family for letting us camp out in the backyard for Christmas, and thanks to Kate for making the trip especially memorable. We need to do this again!
Stay tuned for the next blog post, featuring the stunningly beautiful and special Fraser Island…