Driving the Great Ocean Road

My girlfriend and I are currently in Australia on an adventure travelling this incredible country. After fruit picking for 89 days, we wound up in Adelaide.

Adelaide Hills and the surrounding areas are beautiful. After three months in Waikerie on the riverland, we forgot what hills were like! Following a wonderful week in Adelaide working at the Australian International Documentary Conference and enjoying the festival thrills such as the marvellous Garden of Unearthly Delights, we hit the road for another amazing road trip.

Below is our video of the experience:

This time we were heading to Melbourne via the Great Ocean Road. Jodes bought me a fantastic new video camera in Adelaide which meant I could up the quality of the travel videos I make, now no longer needing to insert still photos which tend to break up the rhythm too much. We were hiring a Wicked campervan and upon pickup were delighted to find that our van was decorated with a topless girl, the words “PUSSYCAT” on the side and “Get out ya tits and we’ll call it quits” on the back. Hardly subtle. This would be an interesting journey!

It was a beautiful drive out of Adelaide and through Adelaide Hills to Coorong National Park. We walked to the beach in time for a stunning sunset before heading back to cook kangaroo steaks. Ironically, we encountered some kangaroos at this point just feet away from our van!

The next day we were getting low on fuel on the drive to Kingston SE. It was touch and go but we made it and headed onwards to Mount Gambier. I drove us all the way to Blue Lake, which was a stunning shade of blue, like a copper sulphate crystal. Apparently it’s only that colour in the summer months. We stopped in a little picnic area for lunch but generally pushed on through the small towns until we arrived at Peterbrough in the evening. We found a lovely campsite, although it was very much family and senior friendly, so we got some odd looks for our camper and had to explain to the site owner that it was only a rental!

I drove us to the Bay of Islands and Martyr Bay, just west of Peterbrough. Next, we continued east again to the Grotto – a really cool arch in the rocks with a pool below. All of these locations looked awesome on my new high definition camera. London Bridge and the Arch looked really cool when sped up on timelapse. London Bridge actually collapsed a few years back, leaving a couple stranded on the rock out at sea. They hid from the helicopters and photographers as it later transpired they were having a secret affair! We stopped at the beach at Port Campbell and then moved onto Loch Ard Gorge, named after a ship that crashed there in the early 1900s. There were loads of rock formations jutting out to sea and a little cove beach with a cave that we climbed down to.

But all day we had been building up to the main attraction which was next – the Twelve Apostles. It was our busiest stop yet, but despite the tourists was so worth it. It looks even better in real life than it does in pictures and videos. We headed down the road to Gibson Steps for lunch and walked down to the beach, all of it such epic photogenic landscape. After finding a campsite, we headed back to the Twelve Apostles for sunset. It was even more glorious and spectacular – a mix between Cornwall and California’s Pacific Coast Highway.

We were on the road early for our last day as there was lots of driving to do. The roads got windy very quickly, first through forest, then farmland, then rainforest, then coast, and then suddenly it felt like the Pacific Coast Highway. We drove through most places to save time but stopped at the pretty Apollo Bay to take pictures, then Kennett River to see some koalas in the trees at a campsite, just chilling in the trees! Our next stop was picturesque Lorne, where we walked along the pier over gorgeous blue water, before our final stop at Bell’s Beach, home of the Ripcurl Pro, one of the most famous surf contests in the world.

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Now we are living in Melbourne, it’s my goal to go back to the Great Ocean Road and explore more of this magnificent scenery. What a hell of a road.

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7 thoughts on “Driving the Great Ocean Road

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