What a fabulous day!! We started the day in Warrnambool, Victoria and ended in Port Campbell, Victoria – a total of 78 kms. A little different from previous days travels. But, let me back you up a bit. Yesterday we left our rest stop southeast of Adelaide at about 8 AM. We thought that we should be in Warnambool by noon, or shortly thereafter. However, our GPS had some other ideas and took us on the long road to our destination. We travelled through wine country, sheep country, dairy country and back to sheep country – all on secondary roads that at times were only one lane wide. Quite the adventure. We called it the Sheep Shit Road and we arrived about 3 PM. Not a great start to the Great Ocean Road journey!!
However, once at Warnambool, we hit the Info centre, got some pamphlets, found a campsite and did some research which all leads to our great day today. In the 78 klms that we travelled today we stopped at the: Bay of Islands, Bay of Martyrs, The Grotto, London Arch (formerly known as London Bridge), The Arch, Loch Ard Gorge and the Twelve Apostles. All were spectacular!! This coast is known as the shipwreck coast as the waves are unrelenting and the coastline is sheer rock walls. However, each stop was slightly different and amazing all the same.
We took a number of pictures and videos though I am not sure how many will make the blog cut. Just a couple of points of interest –
The Grotto – was Probably one of the nicest sights that we saw today. This is a cave and sinkhole located about halfway up the cliff, from sea level. We descended by staircase to the viewing area which was rock pools carved out in the jagged edged limestone. Beautiful!!
The London Arch – This was formerly called London Bridge and was attached to the mainland. However, on January 15, 1990, the arch collapsed and left two people stranded on the outer arch. They were later rescued by helicopter.
Loch Ard Gorge – Loch Ard was a ship that sailed from Gravesend, England in 1878. As it came near the coast, it ended up smashing into the rocks and sank. Only two people survived the wreck. I mean really, why would you sail from a place called Gravesend?!?!?
And of course, The Twelve Apostles – we were here later in the day but there were a number of tour buses on site with of course, lots of people. As the sun was also in a bad spot for pictures, we decided to go back tomorrow morning, do the walk and take our pictures.
As I have mentioned previously, it is the people that we meet that make the trip special. Last night we met a lovely couple from the east coast of Australia. They have travelled Australia and New Zealand. They were fun to talk to and had lots of tips for us. We ran in to them a few times during the day at the different sites, but we do not see them in our campground tonight. I guess they moved further up the coast.
On our way back into Port Campbell, we picked up a couple of young people with backpacks that were hitchhiking. They were from Slovakia, but now currently live in Sydney. They say that the only way to see the country is to walk it. Good on them!!
And this evening, our next door camper neighbor stopped by for a chat. He is a retired widower named Ian and is from Melbourne. We had a wonderful visit. Such a lovely man!! Yes, these are the people that make us enjoy this journey even more.
Can’t wait for tomorrow as we move on down the coast to take in the Twelve Apostles again, and make it all the way to Apollo Bay – another 100 kms down the road.
The Bay of Islands: Video to follow after we get better WiFi.
Port Campbell: We were looking for a place to have coffee along side the ocean and we found a little bakery where we had great coffee. I had a cappuccino, Colleen had a long black and we both shared homemade raisin toast and homemade marmalade.
The Razor Back:
Loch Ard Gorge: I was not able to down load a video Col took of this place, but I will add it later.
Only four bodies were pulled from the sea out of all who perished and they are buried in the grave site below.