We realized only after we had allocated all our Australia days that the Great Ocean Road (GOR) is less than half of the distance between Melbourne and Adelaide. Smart cookies. So, when people say you are supposed to give several days to a week for the GOR, we thought it meant 1000km when actually it meant a 300km stretch. Oops.
All that aside, we had a nice morning at the beach in Anglesea, along with hundreds of locals, before meandering up the Grey River Road where we saw lots of wild koalas, and then onwards to Lorne, where we ate a decent burger and the saltiest fries I have had in my life, and on to Apollo Bay, where we went to the beach some more and played on the playground (“Kiddo LOVES playgrounds!”) before going back to the motel to eat vegetarian Chinese takeout.
The motel, Comfort Inn – The International, was nice, but the proprietors were so rude. I always joke about the reviews we see on TripAdvisor that lament bad service – “Really?” I think, “It was a comfortable bed and a clean room and you are pissed about bad service?” – but it really put a bad taste in our mouths. They advertised free Internet, which was really exciting, because if it is just a password protected wifi account, we can connect from all our many devices, spring our megabytes of purchased data. Plus, I can download videos onto the iPad for Kiddo. With all the long car rides, a couple of new videos every few days really helps. So Hubby went to go get the Internet password and she handed him a slip with a voucher for 100mbs. “That´s not free internet then if it is only 100 megabytes,” he said. “It´s enough for email.” she said. “Well, my wife needs to check her email too on her computer. Can I have another one?” “No.” This went on for a while. She finally gave him a second voucher. I used it up in 10 minutes putting a couple of new Yo Gabba Gabba videos on the iPad that Kiddo didn’t even like. Crap!
The next morning we hit the road (or as Kiddo puts it, “It´s time to get the go!”) towards Princetown, Port Campbell and Warrnambool, the official end of the GOR. We didn’t have any breakfast foods for me to eat, except some stale crackers that I buttered to give it some oomph. This meant that we were on the lookout for food from the get go.
Luckily, we took the time to drive to the lighthouse at Cape Otway, because on the way we saw dozens of wild koalas. There were several other cars there stopped to take photos, but it didn’t detract too much from the awesomeness of the experience. We even saw two koalas on a low branch until one decided he didn’t like it, swung down and scampered off. Koalas can scamper! It was great.
My hunger was turning to crankiness so we stopped at Lavers Hill, a sunburned little postage stamp of a town and bought some really overpriced food. There were some awesome people watching opportunities, including a group of four teen girls who took forever to order and were debating the Australian names for things with the cashier as well as a group of shirtless, longhaired motorcyclists who seemed to be very concerned with their abs, since the kept flexing and rubbing their stomachs as they walked around. We bought ice creams since Kiddo wouldn’t eat anything else and she ate a few bites, but had a heck of a time and really enjoyed it.
After that we saw all the amazing Shipwreck Coast sights, like the 12 Apostles and the London Arch. Kiddo slept through it all except for the first one, and we took turns running out to the sights, breathing it in (and snapping and photo) and running back to the car so the other one could go have a look.
We saw a really cute beach in Port Campbell, but Kiddo was asleep. We grocery shopped in Warrnambool and found our way to our place to stay in Port Fairy. It was a Big4 Holiday Park. Kid paradise! We took Kiddo to the playground, jumping pillow and pool right away. (By the way, jumping pillows are amazing. I want one, she said, whining.) Kiddo was up late, probably because we were in the car so much and she napped for three hours, but it was cozy in the cabin and we had a nice evening.
The Great Ocean Road was a fun trip. Definitely recommend it!