When last we spoke, we were about to get back on the road after Phillip Island. Our plan had been to get on the road earlier and see a little bit of the Great Ocean Road today. That didn’t quite happen. Instead, we detoured to the Mornington Peninsula to check out a few more bathing boxes!
On a gray(ish) day, these colorful bathing boxes made my day brighter. I thought these boxes had a lot more personality and character. A few of these were in use today and it was neat to surreptitiously peek inside as we nonchalantly strolled by. I would have loved to spend more time exploring but we still had a way to go to get to our hotel.
Since it was winter, daylight didn’t last too long. We debated driving along the Great Ocean Road to our hotel. However, the whole driving on the wrong side of the road, in the dark, on a twisty road with the ocean to our left, at the bottom of a cliff, didn’t quite appeal to us. Instead we decided to drive the twisty, windy inland road. And then it started to rain. And the wind started blowing. Then there was the kangaroo off to the side of the road (at least it stayed on the side of the road!). Lets just say, it was an interesting drive.
We were very close, oh so close, when it happened. A car coming in the opposite direction flashed its lights at us. Hm, wonder why? But we slowed down, thankfully! Around the next corner was a downed tree, blocking almost the entire road. We came to a stop and tried to figure out what to do.
Let’s back up a second. Remember back a couple years when we were in Italy and hiking in Cinque Terre? We came across part of the trail that was washed out and instead of turning around, we tried to get through it and I ended up falling off the cliff and tearing my MCL. Makes for a fantastic story (remember that time I fell off a cliff?) but we weren’t sure we wanted to repeat the story. Even though we were SO close to the hotel, we decided to turn around and backtrack (probably adding another hour or so to our drive time) and not drive under the downed tree (as we didn’t want it to fall on us). We had even turned around when another car came and was able to make it under the downed tree!! We took that as a good sign and decided to turn around again and we inched our way under the tree. Hallelujah we made it!!!! And 20 minutes later we were at our hotel!
We woke up early the next morning to take advantage of as much daylight as possible. How early? Well, we watched the sun rise prior to getting on the road.
Our first stop was Cape Otway Lighthouse. The long drive to the lighthouse passed by gum trees where a few koalas were taking a nap!
Cape Otway Lighthouse was the oldest operational lighthouse (until it was decommissioned in the early 90’s).
We made our way back to the Great Ocean Road. Our next stop was Gibson Steps. Sadly, due to the high winds and waves the steps were closed. Boo. So we gazed out at the ocean at the top before continuing on.
Just up the road was the 12 Apostles (due to erosion, there are not quite 12 Apostles left). The sun and the rain kept playing tag. Always present was the wind! It was still an amazing view, and I loved hearing the waves crashing. Honestly there is something so soothing to me about listening to the waves.
We decided to make one more stop before heading back to Melbourne – London Bridge! I was excited about this, well because I love London and also since Jessica and I would end the trip in London I thought it would be fun get one London Bridge picture in Australia (and later pair it with a Tower Bridge picture in London).
While it would have been fun to continue exploring the Great Ocean Road, the wind and the rain were starting to take a toll on us, plus we didn’t want to be driving in the dark on the windy roads, so we headed back towards Melbourne.
But we had a few more stops to make! The first one was Anglesea Golf Course (or at least the road up to the golf course). Why a golf course? Because we had read this was a great place to spot kangaroos! And it was! They were still fairly far off, but it was fun to see them.
And our last stop was Lorne, as we had read we could find really good seafood there. However, most of the restaurants weren’t open until 6. Since it was still an hour or so drive back to Melbourne, we found a hole in the wall fish place which turned out to be delicious!
And so ends our very quick trip along the Great Ocean Road. Next up – Port Douglas!