Hello from a cold day in Lorne – Great Ocean Road.
The weather here in Victoria state is so temperamental at the moment it is making it hard to plan our next move. I guess we’ll just have to go with it – road-trip life I guess?!
I’m currently sitting in the rental car: a Mitsubishi Outlander (we got a free upgrade – how amazing!) watching the huge waves and miserable weather. It was sunny two minutes before.
This week has consisted of constant driving along with hikes, waterfalls and trips to the beach. A dream to me. We started the road-trip heading south to Philip Island, later driving east to the Great Ocean Road. We camped in Cowes (Philip Island) for two nights in a great campsite called Cowes Foreshore Campsite. It is right beside the beach where we spent our first night swimming, lounging on floats, drinking wine and drunkenly dancing to a “beachside tunes” playlist. This was followed by a drunken walk to the nearest pizza place in Cowes: Jessie’s Place. Note for anyone wanting to eat here, the pizza was mediocre however the garlic bread that came with the meal was so good. Surprisingly, the next morning I woke up fresh and the complete opposite of how I would normally wake up after a heavy night boozing; ready to take on the day.
Our first and only full day of exploring Philip Island was awesome. If you’re going to fully explore the island I suggest driving around. It is so much easier and you can drive around all the country/outback style roads. The wildlife you can see is amazing and had me constantly excited and searching for the various birds and animals that lived in amongst the bush. The views and landscape are stunning. If you are a lover of nature and photography like me, you will love it there. To be honest, anyone would find it a great experience. You have to be patient though as it can be a long wait to see any glimpse of a penguin or a wallaby.
I recommend travelling along to The Nobbies located on the west side of the island. You will have loads of opportunities to see the tiny penguins that inhabit the island. There is a short walkway around the side of the hill at the Nobbies where you can see the rock where seals live and the hills located right by the walkway where the penguins live in small man made boxes. I never saw any seals but saw plenty of the penguins which were incredibly cute and shy.
All along the coastline there are numerous beaches, most of them were deserted and you had the whole beach to yourself. I loved driving along and finding a beach you could lay on and chill. Unfortunately the weather on the day we travelled around the island looked and felt almost identical to the weather I would get back home in Scotland.
We checked out a surfer beach called Flynns Beach (pictured above) where I had the scariest experience I have had since landing on aussie soil – an encounter with a Huntsman Spider. Okay, if I’m honest it wasn’t a close encounter but it was still scary! Two surfers found it on their car and had to strategically get if off with a branch. They called it ‘a fast jumpy lil bugger’, and it was! I jumped in our car to safety and watched it speed around the car park. Looking back it was actually quite a fun aussie experience although now when I walk anywhere I’m constantly looking out for those “fast jumpy lil buggers”.
Driving freely around the outback/coastline has definitely made some of my favourite and happiest memories of my aussie trip so far. The cities are cool and have loads to do and places to unnecessarily spend money – guilty!!! But I personally feel so free out of the city. A huge bonus is being able to see all of the cool aussie animals. Remember how I previously spoke about the buzz I got when seeing the Opera House and the Sydney Bridge in my previous blog post Where My Australian Adventure Began ? Well the buzz I got from spying out the various cliche aussie animals in the outback was a lot bigger. Animals are just so much more interesting to me, they always have been. I’m surely not the only one who feels that way? I know for sure that my brother feels the same way. He’s a huge animal lover and so is the rest of my family. They would love to explore here.
I’m very lucky to have been brought up in a family that loves exploring and is animal orientated. I’ve always been surrounded by animals may that be animals I had as a pet or the farm and country animals you get near my home town in Scotland. All the holidays my parents would take us on would include a lot of exploring so we saw loads of wildlife and cool places. So a big shoutout and cheers to Maw and Paw!
To sum up: I’m loving my time on the road so far and really don’t want this lil trip to end! I’ll update you on all things Great Ocean Road once I’ve reached the end of this scenic route.