Decode: Adventure

Decode: Adventure: Melbourne Day #3

Decode AdventureAnother warning: This post will have a heck of a lot of pictures.

The Tiger and I were up and about incredibly early today, mostly because we did not want to get left behind for the Great Ocean Road Day Tour we were going to. After getting reorganized at Federation Square, we got shuffled up to our bus, where our Driver Guide, Tom from AAT Kings, was waiting.

Then, we were on our way!

Driving through and out of Melbourne City, Tom gave us a quick history of the place – Melbourne was considered a hostile land when the settlers first came: it was difficult to grow crops, climate was horrible, and people found it difficult to live. It was not until the 1800s, when settler John Batman came and started the settlement (against the governor of Sydney then), when Melbourne was started.

Melbourne Skyline
Melbourne Skyline
The bridge we crossed towards Aerys Inlet
The bridge we crossed towards Aerys Inlet
How fast we were going, pretty much
How fast we were going, pretty much
A town we passed before stopping at Aerys Inlet
A town we passed before stopping at Aerys Inlet

Our tour was scheduled to be 12 hours, so to give a quick rundown, this was the order of our day tour stops:

  1. Aerys Inlet
  2. Memorial Arch
  3. Cumberland River
  4. Cape Patton
  5. Apollo Bay
  6. Loch Ard Gorge
  7. The 12 Apostles
  8. London Bridge
  9. Port Campbell

Before I launch you into a barrage of photographs, I just want to say that this was one of the windiest experiences I had in Victoria. The Tiger and I were seated about two rows away from the back door of the bus and we could already feel the cold wind the moment the bus door opened.

Now that that’s done, I present you… The Great Ocean Road.

Aerys Inlet

Our first stop, we stopped here for coffee and a mid-morning snack, in a nice pub that looked like it was a cozy place to be in cold weather, seating near the fireplace and all.

The field outside the pub
The field outside the pub
Outdoor Seating
Outdoor Seating
Indoor Seating
Indoor Seating
The pub we stopped at in Aerys Inlet
The pub we stopped at in Aerys Inlet
We just love Australian humour
We just love Australian humour

Memorial Arch

It was the official start to the Great Ocean Road.

The Tiger and I tried to head to the beach, but we could not really go further than slightly after the entrance since the sand was incredibly soft. The scene was beautiful and the wind felt great on our faces though (despite what it did to our hair).

The Memorial Arch, starting what we know as the Great Ocean Road
The Memorial Arch, starting what we know as the Great Ocean Road
One of the few memorial sculptures there
One of the few memorial sculptures there
Information plaque get!
Information plaque get!
The beautiful beach next to it
The beautiful beach next to it

Cumberland River

This was a 15 minute or so stop for photo opportunities. Tom was nice enough to help some of us take photographs without us having to go into selfie-mode.

The Cumberland River... the Tiger made a Cumberbatch mention here, since he was in Australia.
The Cumberland River… the Tiger made a Cumberbatch mention here, since he was in Australia.
Incredible hillside view
Incredible hillside view
Waves crashing and wind howling
Waves crashing and wind howling

Cape Patton

Another quick photo opportunity spot. This was also where we learnt the reason behind why it was incredibly cold and windy despite the fact that we came during a relatively warmer season.

Since there is incredibly little land in the Southern Hemisphere, the next piece of land one will hit should you go in a straight line from the Great Ocean Road southwards, would be Antarctica.

Like the Cumberland River, the view was awesome
Like the Cumberland River, the view was awesome
It was something like this
It was something like this
I walk the lonely road, the only one... (okay it wasn't lonely)
I walk the lonely road, the only one… (okay it wasn’t lonely)

Apollo Bay

We stopped at the Apollo Bay Hotel for lunch, and it was rather amusing that the first thing we saw on the menu was Singapore Noodles. I had quite a nice serving of Fish & Chips (which some of the people in our tour group claimed was shark), before we headed out to take more photographs of the place.

On our way to the Apollo Bay hotel
On our way to the Apollo Bay hotel
We sat next to the pub (but didn't drink! LOL)
We sat next to the pub (but didn’t drink! LOL)
My fancy Fish & Chips
My fancy Fish & Chips
The quiet streets of Apollo Bay on a drizzly Wednesday afternoon
The quiet streets of Apollo Bay on a drizzly Wednesday afternoon

Loch Ard Gorge

This stop marks the start of a trio of incredibly beautiful pictures. After lunch and a nap on the coach, Tom drove us to Loch Ard Gorge first since the Twelve Apostles was crowded with other tour buses.

There were three main trails for this area though: The Razorback Walking Trail, The Shipwreck Walk, and down to the Gorge itself. Like the sand near the Memorial Arch, walking here was almost like sinking, but the views we caught were awesome.

We were told to keep on the walking trails for safety
We were told to keep on the walking trails for safety
Pretty bush flowers!
Pretty bush flowers!
The bush had wild snakes around, so we were told to be careful and to not explore the bush
The bush had wild snakes around, so we were told to be careful and to not explore the bush
Part of the Shipwreck Trail, one of the three trails we walked.
Part of the Shipwreck Trail, one of the three trails we walked.
The Razorback Ridge.
The Razorback Ridge.
Other limestone structures in their natural beauty
Other limestone structures in their natural beauty
Explaining the brief history of the place and how it came to be.
Explaining the brief history of the place and how it came to be.
An overview of the Gorge
An overview of the Gorge
The steps downwards...
The steps downwards…
Reaching, reaching...
Reaching, reaching…
The beautiful Gorge itself.
One word: GORGE-OUS.

The Twelve Apostles

The highlight of this tour – and also the reason why we were on this Great Ocean Road tour in the first place – was the Twelve Apostles National Park. And I shall leave you to admire them in their natural splendor. (Spoiler alert: There are only 7 of them)

We're here!!!
We’re here!!!
One of the photo points of the Apostles.
One of the photo points of the Apostles.
ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS
ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS
The two Apostles on the other side. They didn't seem to get as much hype =(
The two Apostles on the other side. They didn’t seem to get as much hype =(
One of my favourite moments of this trip, hands down.
One of my favourite moments of this trip, hands down.

The Twelve Apostles were so named because there was a naming contest for the limestone structures off the Great Ocean Road cliffs and the winner of the contest gave the name, “The Apostles”. They changed it to The Twelve Apostles for a nicer ring to it.

Also, you could fork out another AUD95 and take a helicopter ride around the Twelve Apostles and Loch Ard Gorge. We did not do that, but it would be a good experience.

London Bridge

The last of the awesome limestone scenery trio, it attracted quite a bit of media attention because the arch towards the limestone island actually collapsed, trapping two people on the island while their friends went to get help.

London Bridge. The gap is where the arch collapsed.
London Bridge. The gap is where the arch collapsed.

I would give you a description about what happened, but we have Google for that, so I’ll leave you with what Tom had been waiting to tell us about London Bridge (all day long).

Tom: So you see, the people trapped up there – David and Mary were married, but to different people. And because of the amount of time the two of them were trapped up there, you could say that after the whole ordeal, their marriages were… ON THE ROCKS. YES!!!

Port Campbell

We stopped at Port Campbell for a bit of sustenance because it was going to be well into the evening by the time we reach Melbourne City. Going to the supermarket and gift shop for a bit of trinket shopping here and there, it was a nice, quiet town if someone wanted a retreat out of the hustle and bustle of the city.

We rounded up the tour with “Red Dog”, an Australian movie about the Western Australian town of Dampier, and how the real statue of Red Dog came about.

One of the most memorable trips I’ve had, the Great Ocean Road tour was both inspirational and exhilarating; Many thanks to AAT Kings and Tom for their great service and hospitality as well. For more information on AAT Kings and the tours they offer, click here.

P/S – You can follow our Adelaide-Melbourne adventures with the tag “adelaide-melbourne adventure 2014”Blanket Fortress Logo

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