Porcupyn's Blog

June 19, 2017

The Great Ocean Drive – Part 2

Filed under: Family,Travel — Porcupyn @ 5:19 am

The plan for the day was to drive up to Warrnambool or Port Fairy, and find a place to stay at Warrnambool on the way back. However, as I didn’t really get a clear idea of how far we might be able to travel that first day – not knowing how much time we would want to spend at the attractions along the way and driving conditions – we decided to play it by ear once we got to the evening.

As it was, by the time it was early afternoon, we were just about at Apollo Bay. I had looked at the maps and decided that I wanted to take some extra time near the Cape Otway peninsula to check out the Koalas as well as the Johanna Beach. When we reached here, it was about 3 pm. At one location along the drive, the scenery was reminiscent of that near Grand Canyon (north rim). The trees looked like they had been devastated by some supernatural event.

Because of fellow travellers who had pulled off the road in Cape Otway, we were able to spot a couple of Koalas up in Eucalyptus trees, one chomping on leaves and the other fast asleep. We were short of time, so we had to pass on other local attractions such as a lighthouse and a couple of waterfalls (this was near Apollo Bay) that required about an hour’s hike.

Johanna Beach we did get to visit. Any other time, it would have been the ideal time to spend an entire day as the surf was great, the sand soft and the beach slope very gradual. However, the water was likely going to be too cold for our liking and, per my estimate, even Port Campbell (and the Twelve Apostles) was still a good couple of hours away based on our speed thus far, so we had to get on with our drive.

Our next stop was at Gibson’s Steps which is a unique feature just east of the Twelve Apostles. Steps have been created for visitors to climb down to the beachline right next to the cliff so folks could enjoy the scenery at sea level. By this time, the sun was setting. I wanted to get some photos of the sunset from the beach, but in our hurry, Baab and I lost our way and kept going along the Great Ocean Road walking trail instead of heading to the beach. Because we lost those precious minutes, by the time we backtracked our way to the parking lot, the sun had already set for the day.

Waves - on the way to Apollo Bay

Waves – on the way to Apollo Bay

Seals at Apollo Bay

Seals at Apollo Bay

This answers one of my questions about what folks do when they spend a week or two along the Great Ocean Road - we did not have time for any of these, though I had half a mind to go have a look at those waterfalls

This answers one of my questions about what folks do when they spend a week or two along the Great Ocean Road – we did not have time for any of these, though I had half a mind to go have a look at those waterfalls

Official starting point of the Great Ocean Walk!

Official starting point of the Great Ocean Walk!

Figurines near Apollo Bay Visitors Centre

Figurines near Apollo Bay Visitors Centre

The Pacific/Indian Ocean at a distance (I originally had the misconception that this is the Pacific Ocean - look at a map. I wonder what the Aussies call this ocean?)

The Pacific/Indian Ocean at a distance (I originally had the misconception that this is the Pacific Ocean – look at a map. I wonder what the Aussies call this ocean?)

Of the three Koalas we came across, this was the only one up and about ... and eating

Of the three Koalas we came across, this was the only one up and about … and eating

In Cape Otway, the scenery reminded me of the drive along the Northern Rim of the Grand Canyon a few years back

In Cape Otway, the scenery reminded me of the drive along the Northern Rim of the Grand Canyon a few years back

That is more like it - a typical koala sleeps about 20 hours a day

That is more like it – a typical koala sleeps about 20 hours a day

Koala #3, also fast asleep

Koala #3, also fast asleep

What're you guys staring at? Move on along!! If you want to stare at sheep, go to New Zealand

What’re you guys staring at? Move on along!! If you want to stare at sheep, go to New Zealand

A languid, bucolic scene in the Australian countryside (Cape Otway)

A languid, bucolic scene in the Australian countryside (Cape Otway)

Getting close to Johanna Beach

Getting close to Johanna Beach

Another overlook of Johanna Beach

Another overlook of Johanna Beach

Johanna Beach

Johanna Beach

More waves

More waves

Loved the waves there ...

Loved the waves there …

 .. and the easy, gradual slope ...

.. and the easy, gradual slope …

... and the milky white foamy water

… and the milky white foamy water

In the meantime, the moon had made its appearance ...

In the meantime, the moon had made its appearance …

... when we reached the first of the (not really) Twelve Apostles

… when we reached the first of the (not really) Twelve Apostles

After walking down Gibson's Steps, a view from the beach level

After walking down Gibson’s Steps, a view from the beach level

That is how far below the beach is at this point

That is how far below the beach is at this point

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