Friday, 6 September 2013

Travel Blog: Australia

1st - 3rd September - Driving the Great Ocean Road

There were 5 of us in the campervan, "Berry" - me, Rik, Jodie, Lauren and Carl.  We knew the van was called Berry because the previous renters had left us a message on the roof.  By the end of our short trip, we loved Berry and Berry loved us.  The places she took us were phenomenal, and even though she'd probably seen them a million zillion times she had a good time too.  Apart from when we left her lights on and we had to get a stranger to come and jump start her...(Bad decisions...good stories).

The main part of the trip I want to share is where we camped on our first night. We drove the long drive to the Twelve Apostles - wrongly named. as I don't know how many rocks are in the formation but it's definitely not twelve!  Stunning views, but unfortunately along with them were fifty coach loads of tourists.  It was a surprisingly sunny day, so the holidaymakers were out in force, making it rather overcrowded and hard to get the shots you wanted.  After this we made our way back to the Great Ocean Road.  It turns inland for a while, into the forest behing Apollo Bay which is where we found our campsite.  On a quiet road along the way, a car parked by the side of the road flagged us down.  Automatically we presumed they had broken down or needed our help in some way, but when they started pointing high into a tree and getting their cameras out, my heart jumped and I knew it - THEY HAD SPOTTED A KOALA.
Sure enough, high in the branches was one lone koala, doing what they do best, chilling in a tree. I was so happy, I had finally found the wild koala I had been hunting for for the past ten months.  As we carried on driving, we soon began to spot them in almost every tree that laced both sides of the road.  The campsite where we were staying, Bimbi Park, was in the heart of this forest - and to mine and Jodie's delight, the koalas were all over the campsite aswell.  We slept metres from real, live, wild koalas!  It was amazing to see them in their natural habitat, and encounter the loud crazy noises the males make.  We even saw one incredibly close, when he adventured down to the ground to swap trees.  This was a dream come true and definitely one of my highlights of the whole year.

The following day we headed to the next town along, Lorne. We spent the day relaxing on the beach, having a pub lunch in a beer garden and camped a minute's walk from the sea. We discussed running away with Berry and just living life on the road as we really didn't want to give her back. We'd seen so much wildlife, including cockatoos and kookaburras and possums, but unfortunately the only kangaroos we seen were roadkill.  In the morning we drove to Erskine Falls, a beautiful 38m waterfall deep in the forest, before dropping Berry off with a tear in our eye. We returned to Melbourne to our beds and our jobs, but luckily for me I only have 2 shifts left! Then I am off adventuring again, this time to the outback - and I'm definitely not driving there!