February 1-3, Great Ocean Road
We were anticipating a rough trip across Bass Strait after a week of such bad weather. But weather gods were kind, clear skies, sunshine and smooth seas made for a great trip back to the mainland. So sad to be leaving but we leave with wonderful memories of places visited, people we met and so much more that we wanted to see and do. And at the same time we are excited about what was next – Great Ocean Road, Victoria, first stop Queenscliff.
We got into Queenscliff just before 8pm, straight off the ferry and were very disappointed to find that nothing was open. Quite a few businesses were shuttered up and up for sale. We pushed on and it was nearly 10pm before we found a motel with available rooms, at Ocean Grove just before the bridge to Barwon Heads. So tired and so relieved.
The next morning we woke up to warm weather and brilliant sunshine. After breakfast at Uncle Jacks at Ocean Grove and a walk around town, we meandered along the Great Ocean Road stopping at Barwon Heads, Torquay, Winkipop and Bells Beach and Split Point Lighthouse. We stopped for the night in a great campground at Ambervale Mill about 2km out from Lorne. Such a delightful rediscovery of this stretch of amazing coastline. So great to see that the whole coastline is not developed. The hinterland around Bells Beach still retains much of its wild and natural landscape. The ocean is an amazing emerald green colour and so invitingly clear. The visible rocky reefs would be great to explore by snorkling or scuba diving.
The changes along the Great Ocean Road were such a surprise. Huge car-parks at the Twelve Apostles and so much busier than the last time we came through here many years ago. We later found out it was due to the Chinese New Year holiday. Lots of Chinese holidaymakers enjoying the natural wonders of this section of coastline. We finished up at Port Fairy, where we had stayed before. So delightful to find that it is still the nicest coastal town (apart from Bermagui) we have ever visited.