One of the main things that you need to do when in Melbourne is the Great Ocean Road. Famous for it’s beautiful views and wildlife, the Great Ocean Road is s trip that I read most about before arrivingin Australia. It was not something that we were particularly thinking of doing on our first week but when a friend we met rented a car and invited us along, how could we say no? We stopped along little towns along the way, we spotted wild Koala’s, were perched on by Cockatoos and Parakeets, even got to hang out with some Kangaroos. And of course, we made it to teh 12 Apostles just in time for sunset! It’s a long journey to do in one day, but if you’re looking for a ambitious day trip, this Great Ocean Road day trip is the one for you.
Leaving St Kilda at 10am, we headed straight off for the Great Ocean Road. It took us about an hour to get out of the city, but after that we saw what all the fuss was about. The views of the highway were absolutely killer! And with so many stops along the way, it’s so easy to break up a long drive. Frist we stopped off at the first beach we came acroos. We got a bit exctied!
Anglesee is a small town on the Great Ocean Road that resembles and small English seaside town. To be honest there wasn’t much to see there, so we just stopped by the beach for a peek, and then got back in the car. At this point it was about 11am and still pretty cold to relax on the beach (have I mentioned how cold it can get in Mebourne yet!)
Determained to see some wildlife, we stopped off at Kafe Koala.
Naturally, given the name, we were convinced we would find some furry little friends. We weren’t entirely wrong, they were just more of the feathered type. The place was absolutely swarming with Cockatoos and Parakeets that would just land on your head, shoulder, arms, back, anything they could stand on. No fear in them at all. It was so cool to see but I had no interest in having birds claw at my scalp. Unfortunately, the birds don’t care what you would prefer. Also, my friend brought out some nuts and fruit so there was no chance of them leaving us alone.
The excitement soon wore off and was replaces with our arms covered in little cuts and scrapes, so we jumped back in the car to find some koalas. And that we did. Granted they were hiding in the trees and it took us about an hour of very slow driving to spot the two that we did. But it was awesome! Actual Koalas in actual Australia! Luckily, after giving up on our search to find one up close we saw a little one just crawling on the ground along the side of the road. But the time we (safely) pulled over and jumped out the car, he has already made it halfway up a tree. So again, so photo evidence on them, but you will just need to take my word for it.
Great Ottaway National Park was our next accidental stop.
My friend had been behind the wheel for about 4 hours at this point and needed a break. We chose to go on a short walk/hike in the Great Ottaway National Park that would seemingly take us 40 minutes. It ended up only taking up about 15 minutes but it was so stunning to walk around the forest in amongst the trees. Beaches and coastlines are cool and all, by my heart will always be in the forests!
Now, if you find yourself on the Great Ocean Road and you want to ensure that you will get to experience the Great Ocean Road Wildlife Park, then don’t rock up 3 minutes before closing. If you, however, have a clued up travel buddy that convince the owners to let you head in quickly to see the kangaroos, then go for it. The Great OCean Road Wildlife Park is a family run business and they are such lovely people. They let us roam around the park on our own and waited for us to finish to start closing up! I garuntee you that if it was a big business that would never have happened.
We all bought a bag of feed each and headed straight for the petting area. Kangaroos, Emus and Alpacas. All there just chilling. And we could feed them, pet them, interact with them (obviously while being kind and respectful and not scaring them) The Kangaroos stole my heart! If you stopped feeding them, they would grab your arm and not let you leave. They were so freaking cute. The Alpacas could not care less that we were there and the Emus were a bit too big for me. I wasn’t brave enough to feed them!
The Great Ocean Road Wildlife Park also is currently (as of Nov 2017) housing a couple of baby dingoes while their owners were away on holiday. As they already had some dingoes of their own they had to keep them seperate, as dingoes tend to pair up, not pack up. I thought it was really cool that they had all these information signs around the park to explain the envioroment in which the animals live. It really hit home that this is a good, kind place who really care for these animals.
Not wanting to keep the owners waiting too long we quickly went out to see the rest of the animals in the Animal Sanctuary before we got back on the road. Taken from the Great Ocean Road Wildlife Park website: “The sanctuary, with a lake surrounded by red gum eucalyptus trees, supports a mob of free range kangaroos, wallabies and emu.These animals are in a more natural environment which allows them the freedom to behave naturally and consequently enables us to harmonize with their natural energies” It was incredible to see. These animals all living together, doing their own thing. It really was an amazing experience.
Onwards now to the 12 Apostles.
We didn’t intially think that we would make it that far, but we wanted to find a good spot to have a picnic and watch the sunet, and what better place is there that that? We arrived just in time, and it seems a lot of other tourists had the same idea. The place was packed. But there was still ample oppourtunity to get that good shot of the 12 Apostles. We found a bend to eat our picnic and then got back on the road.
The drive out in total took about 9 hours! I know that sounds like a lot but that’s only becasue we stopped so much along the way. The drive back was only about 3 hours. You will either need one super stong driver, or a few people to pitch in with driving duty. Great effort to Leah for driving the whole way, what a trooper! She got us home, back to our hostel, for about 11pm and we were tucked warm into bed by 11:30pm. Easy peasy.
So yeah, if you fancy a very ambitious day trip and can stomach a full day in the car with some amazing stops along the way then give it a go!
Have you even driven the Great Ocean Road? Did you make a day of it, like us? Or take your sweet time and see all there is to offer? Let me know!
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