Started blogging is just a very random idea. Maybe it is because I just sent my girlfriend off to the airport and it is one of the ways to kill times. On the other hand, it might be helpful for enhancing my writing skill since it always makes me frustrating and struggling . Anyway, cut to the chase, I am just back from my road trip for driving the Great Ocean Road, that lots of people will consider it as a must-do while visiting Melbourne.
I’m not a morning person. On the day of our departure, it was already noon when I drove my car out of the rental spot. Driving in the CBD of Melbourne is always making me nervous but things got smoothed when we merged onto the highway toward Geelong, the second biggest city in Victoria.
(Eastern beach, Geelong)
I’ve heard of tales from others, seems like driving on the great ocean road is not an easy task due to the coastal and hilly terrain. I was not sure if I was fully prepared. But once I was finally there, it turned out that it was more like a reward than a challenge, it was absolutely stunning as a tourist drive, and the route was much smoother than I imaged. There are plenty of lookouts en route so don’t hesitate to stop by for a little rest and a photography section.
Btw how to make self-drive trip more epic? Besides splendid views out the windscreen, drving music will make a big contribution to it. ‘The Way’ by Fastball is one of the songs we played in non-stop loop. I would say lyrics and tune of the song creates perfect vibe for any road trip.
We arrived at our first two-nights acommondation around 4pm. Luckily it was not too late so we’ve got to see the sights from the window, and yes it was AMAZING. There were flock of white furry sheepies wandering around at the ocean’s edge, which I’ve found strong connection with.(Perhaps I was born in the year of sheep lol)
(A room with a view B&B, Wongarra)
However, there was no wifi access here and the phone signal was tragically weak. Although we have been saying that we really want a relaxed and secluded holiday, we did feel anxious over the super slow internet connection at the very beginging of check-in. Eventually we found the views from the room was really worth the “pain”.
Once we settled in, we wanted to get our stomach settled as well. So we headed straight to Appolo bay for some food. After a round of searching and selecting (and fighting as well) process, we decided to have some “fish and chips” to heal our hangriness. You will have lots of chance to have fish n chips along the great ocean road since it is very “local”(?)
I believed that most of the typical asian traveller who was obessessing with good food, would always tend to take some nice shot of the cuisine. We used to be one of them but this time we did not do anything other than swallowing down those crispy battered seafood. We got along pretty well again when both of us overcame that hungry feeling. And much appreciated to the pinky sunset out the cafe window too, although we did not manage to take a picture.
While we drove back to our B&B lodge, we witnessed someone was drving on the right side of the road. We found it very dangerous but funny at the mean time after someone honked them back to the left side. But it did not take too long till I got my bad karma by laughing at someone else’s mistake. I found myself was driving on the right side as well when I turned in to a very dark road which I was hardly seeing the lines. Luckily there was no other car around. So take it as a reminder again: always drive on left in Australia.
We started off the second day of our road trip by having the fresh home-baked crossaint and eggs on toast. Of course, a cup of coffee was needed before the long distance drive. Balcony was a great idea for enjoying breakfast, accompany with the breathtaking view and brilliant sunshine. The only reason we wanna squeeze back into the room was probably driven by the instinct of keeping ourself away from bee attacks, and dog barks.
Cape Otway Lightstation is our first stop of the day. Apparently it was famous for its historical heritage as it is the oldest and most important lighthouse in Australia. At the same instant, this area is also known for bumping into wild koalas. I guessed our level of luckiness is not high enough to see one.
But the lightstation still gain its attractiveness. Climbed up to the top of the lighthouse gives you another perspective to view the great coastal line.
Then it was a nearly 2-hour drive from the lightstation toward Port Campbell National Park. Most of time the road roughly followed forests and hills so we’ve encountered countless sharp turns. But thankful for the travel calm capsule, none of us was suffered from motion sickness. We drove all the way up to the London bridge, which partly has fallen down.
We had lunch at the town centre of Port Campbell. During the break I came up with a sudden idea: I wanna take the helicopter ride over landscapes. While my girlfriend was still doubting if it is worth the price, I’ve already grabbed her on the way to the twelve apostles visitor facility for the last-miniue scenic flight tour.
That was the most correct decision I’ve made in my life so far, and I was so speechless while I overlooked the shoreline:
After the chopper tour we went to the look out point for twelve apostles, it was definitely the most buzzing area due to scores of tourist inflow. However, even though the look out spot provided a much closer vision of these rock stacks, it was still difficult to observe since the weather was very foggy on that day. Fortunately we were able to snap some awesome shot from the sky high angle. Our moods were boosted by the excitement and we brought these positive impacts to the next two destinations before we headed back: Loch Ard Gorge and Gibson Steps
After saying goodbye to our B&B host, we went back to Apollo Bay for having our first meal of the day. I glimpsed Apollo Bay bakery’s billboard the other day and it claimed that it’s the home of scallop pie on the great ocean road. In my perception, scallop pie has always been a Tasmanian local pastry, so I was quite surprised by seeing it elsewhere. We quickly grabbed two scallop pies, one was mild curry-based and other one was creamed. Actually these were quite decent pies, but the one from Tassie is still unbeatable in my flavour memory.
(Feeling tired? Perhaps an award-wining ice cream will fix. Don’t sleep on it when visiting Apollo bay)
I’m not that kind of person who’ve made clear and elaborate travel plan in advance. Most often I started searching on Tripadvisor for things to do by the time I arrived at the destination. Usually, the first-ranked activity is the one you should not have missed. So there was Erskine Falls, the top rated spot we visited while driving through Lorne.
It was the highest drop in the region. We stepped down a very steer pathway to the lookout at the bottom. As a result of the burning off of some forests, the haze did not allow us to roll down the car window while driving but in here I felt like I could finally breathe. But–well, the exhausting walk from/to the carpark is another reason to cause your breathing a bit heavier.
Then it was the time for some late lunch. When reaching the end of our journey, me and my girlfriend’s craving for asian food would be maximized. Some internet sources recommended us an restaurant called “Chopstix Noodle Bar”, and it sounded delicious already to the hungry Asian soul.
I ordered the sweet and sour pork with jasmine rice. Yes it was very typical but I found sweet and sour sauce is the best way to deal with loss of appetite. And my girlfriend would not have taken her six-years stay in Singapore off mind for just one second, she ordered Singapore noodle, not surprisingly. Except for those, we ordered a drink named ‘Coconut panda’, which tasted weird at the first sip, but you just could not stop drinking and it slightly became weirdly good, and my reaction was captured by the camera:
This restaurant was a cool and fun place by filling with lots of Japanese animation features. If you have chance to check out its toilet, you would get what I meant.
We made our way to AIRBNB which located in Ocean Grove afterwards. That meant we had to bid farewell to the great ocean road at this point. Since we had a strenuous but enjoyable trip here, we did have some sad feelings, but mostly came from the fact of school reopening. Hence, we stopped by the memorial arch, to caught a last glimpse, to took a picture at dusk.
We finally reached to Ocean Grove. Just rushed into the butcher for a whole chicken. It has became the tradition of our trip: A hot stew of ginseng chicken for the last night. Therefore, a full equipped kitchen was always expected in order to do so.
It was our first time to cook in an open air kitchen. It would have been a good experience when gathering with bunch of friends. However, for two exhausted travellers, the soup took forever to boil, and mosquitos were buzzing in our ears, all we’ve left was the crying and laughing face. But at least we were able to have some hot chicken soup to energized us two hours later.
Finally, it was the last day of our journey. We drove to the town centre of Ocean Grove and looked for a great brekkie joint. We found ‘Driftwood Cafe’, a delish egg and bacon was served by their friendly staff with some good coffees. Still we have not got any food photo taken by that time, it was really unusual for enthusiasts like us. Nevertheless, I highly recommend this little piece of gem when you are traveling around here, since it lived up the high rating from ZOMATO.
I’ve heard of Queenscliff a couple of times before I came. I’m always eager to take a good look of those historical sites. Although we did not have enough time for taking a guided tour, a glance outside of the fort was another form of meed.
The weather was just perfectly right for today. It was a good angle to take some shots and be chill as well. I could not turn my eyes away from these ancient architecture, since I was a big fan of Assassin’s Creed series, it reminded me of being a great pirate by occupying these kind of forts in the game(lol). It was like an extension of my exploration from the virtual world and it took me a while to soak up the history as well as the sun.
Geelong was not too far away from Queenscliff, and Eastern beach is a must-visit location. What is here famous for? I was pretty sure you have seen those on several travel guides of Australia, and a picture of them were inserted earlier in my post:
These bollards was transformed from reclaimed timber pier pylons (Sources: walking maps), and they were scattered along the foreshore walk. Expression of their faces were laughter triggers for me sometimes, I could not really explain why but in the end, I was really appreciated for those artists who created them.
I saw someone who was full of curiosity.
We left for Mount Macedon after a hour stay in Eastern beach. It was a random plan since this was the last day of our journey and we wanted to explore somewhere new. Then it was another approximately 2 hours drive.
On the way to the top of the mountain, we came across dozens of maple tree, as we could feel a touch of autumn. I had lived in Canada for three years during my life as a high school student, I have seen plenty of stuff with a maple leaf on it. The national flag, the coin, the ice hockey team, the badge on my school uniform. All those memories were brought back to me.
Nonetheless, it did evoked my teenage memories, and it was silently slicking out of mind in the mean time. Back in the days I was a first-time student aboard, I was away from my family, I was experiencing the culture shock, I was fighting with the language barrier. It was hard to image that a couple of years later, I can drive a car around by myself for discovering new places, trying new kinds of stuff, more importantly, started living my life freely and fearlessly.
I would always love to make a visit back to Canada, but at least for now, the meaning of maple leaf has moved from the significant symbol of a North American country, to a perfect ending scene of my epic self-drive journey in Victoria, Australia.
We took a little break at the trading post of Mount Macedon, we had some delicious beef pie and vanilla slice, and we ultimately managed to take a photo of food we ate.
Before we headed back to our home, we had Thai massages as a final indulgence of our holiday.
Driving the Great Ocean road is going to be absolutely memorable, at least I’ve recalled it for hundreds of time since then. I’m feeling so great when browsing those photos and now literally recording my saws and thoughts here. It’s been a long time since I wrote something that long other than my school assignment, and I hope I could keep up with this habit for the rest of time.
That’s a wrap! Thanks for reading.