Friday, 6 November 2015

Grampians/Great Ocean Road Tour (Day 1)

Throwback at travelling around Melbourne! 2 minutes ago was the deadline of my last assignment, and while I still have one exam to go, my finger couldn't stand not typing anymore. So I'm back in the blogosphere with an ultrabook I borrowed from my aunt because my laptop overheated while rendering a few nights long. Two weeks ago I have practically been living on campus, or the Industrial Design computer lab, to be exact. Now I'm back to my cosy room, thankful that I could still retrieve all the pictures I took. Here goes another shutterspamming post because I am known to have the memory of a goldfish and it's been a month (!) since I was in Melbourne. Time flies so fast as the semester will end in less than 3 weeks, it's insane.

Anyway, back in Melbourne I did a two-day tour which would give me a drive along the Great Ocean Road, go through the Grampians, then drop me off back in Melbourne again. Two days, one night for 239 AUD only. Even now I am not quite sure which tourist company I went with, though, because I could've sworn that I booked my ticket from the 'Sightseeing Tours Australia' yet on a Monday morning I got picked up by 'Wildlife Tours Australia'. 30 minutes after getting picked up by a rather cute bus (allowing about 24 passengers), I got called by some mysterious guy asking whether I wasn't supposed to be on a tour today. I've got no idea what went wrong but I went through the tour and got home safely.

Memorial Arch; the start of the Great Ocean Road, built in honour of the soldiers that returned to Australia after WWI.

First view of the ocean. Quite a windy day, the waves were strong and the sky was cloudy.

It was a relaxing tour, not too much rush, just sitting in a little bus, enjoying the sight and hopping off every now and then to do some hiking. I didn't mind because I usually enjoy staring out of the window. I was also very happy about my tour guide, because he talked us through the long bus rides with historical facts. It was not just prettiness and sleeping in the bus, it was actually informative too, just like a tour is supposed to.

Our cute bus dragging a trailer which carried our lunch and luggage.

Houses on the mountains, looking out to the ocean.

The beginning of the tour was mostly about bushes, mountains and ocean. The tour guide gave us some insight about the bushfires in Australia, as the Great Ocean Road is one of the areas which is protected and monitored for fire risk. As trees shed their branches and the months get hotter, fire could be created out of nowhere. I was told that barbecues are even banned here during these times of the year. The house on the left of the above image is actually standing on a tall pole, I think it was to get away from the fire and it is quite costly to live there. You could rent the apartment for 500 AUD a night, I believe, but some would find it too scary to live there as the wind can get quite strong in this area, which causes the house to move around.

And so we drove on, until the next stop: Kennett River, where Australia's national icon resides. It was time for koala spotting, though I would be lucky if I found more than two, most people only get to see one or two because koalas are actually starting to get extinct. Each koala needs a certain area of trees, it does not simply nibble at one Eucalyptus tree for a few days then moves on to the other. It will climb from tree to tree, from day to day. As the amount of Eucalyptus trees are reducing, it means that koalas are losing their food as well. Apparently, they can't eat leaves from any Eucalyptus tree. I was lucky enough to spot three koalas, actually four because one of them carried a baby. Not close enough to cuddle, but it was enough to make me hop around like a little girl because I have felt love for the koala ever since the age of 11. (I even went so far as to create a koala-themed layout for my Myspace page with Paint. Imagine poorly jagged koalas due to the lack of a Magic Wand and a lot of lilac, light yellow and hearts.)


Spot the koala. :)

It's so fat and fluffyyyyyyyyy!!!
Next stop: the Otway Rainforest. Don't expect something too tropical with bright flowers and humid air, because even though this forest is classified as a rainforest, it looks far from anything stereotypical. It means no creepy bugs either, but there are a lot of big trees. One of the tallest trees actually resides in this forest but I forgot its name. The rainforest is quite small, it probably took less than an hour to walk through it all, but it is nice to be more in the green for once.

Don't mind me, I am just sitting on a giant tree, contemplating about life.

It would take another one hour drive to get to the next stop: The Twelve Apostles. These are rock formations emerging from the ocean for god know what reason, but they are a popular touristic sight for anyone travelling around the state of Victoria. The name is a tricky one because nature has narrowed down the numbers of rocks to eight only. Then again, I wouldn't have known because these rock formation are scattered everywhere and it is hard to think about counting them when all you're trying to do is get the wind out of your hair and enjoy the sight. 

Hello Twelve Apostles

The first two apostles I found
Other than that, there are many more strokes of rock. Finally you will get to use your beloved Panorama setting because the view is simply to wide to capture on one picture.
Spam spam spam.

In the same area you will find a cave where a historic love story blossomed. Well, not really. At the Loch Ard Gorge, a shipwreck took place, but probably not comparable with the drama in the Titanic.
The tragedy of the Loch Ard ship only allowed for two survivors: a boy and a girl. Boy saved girl, had to stay in a cave for a while, bla bla bla. Nah, no happy ending. Even though the boy showed interest, the girl turned him down and went back to Ireland. Well, at least they both got to stay at a beautiful place, although that is probably no consolation after going through a shipwreck.
You wouldn't believe how clear the water actually is in real life. It always fascinated me because I have only ever known those grey oceans at home. Great to just sit here even if the wind is blowing so hard.
Hi. Don't know what to say here.

One of the last stops was London Bridge. Apparently it's true: London Bridge did fall down, though I am not sure if this is where the song originated from. This is where the day almost ended, but not before grabbing a burger. This night we would reside in a hostel in The Grampians, where kangaroos are supposed to hop around. Stay tuned for part two of the tour, I am gonna watch Agents of Shield. 

Can't believe I was actually here. That big thing in the water is London Bridge.

Apparently the burgers here are famous. I have to admit they were quite good.


1 comment:

  1. Love the pictures you took! (don't be embarrassed, keep on shutterspamming:D) And indeed what you say about the clear water! Here on the other side of the world, the water is also super duper clear and blueish greenish and it is just amazing compared to the boring black flatness of what we call a sea..