[WARNING: long post with lots of photos]
It’s been a hectic few days here in Sydney and what with the wifi being fairly dodgy at our apartment
it’s been quite difficult to write this post it was been extremely, extremely difficult and I’ve basically spent the entire day trying to upload photos and save my drafts.
Before coming to Melbourne, Alice and I hadn’t booked any tours for the Great Ocean Road and we weren’t really sure what the plan would be. Since we were both really keen to see the sights, we decided to book with Bunyip Tours as we had picked up a brochure from the local STA travel store. We also researched a few other companies online but felt it was best to settle for this one at $125 (all inclusive apart from snacks).
Saturday 12th December – Great Ocean Road Day Tour with Bunyip Tours
After a very early start (5:45am for Alice & 6:15am for me) we rushed about getting together our things, including preparing sandwiches for the day, before hurtling down the street to our pick-up point at 7:12am. We were eight minutes early (always a good thing).
Our tour guide was called Becc and she was extremely friendly and enthusiastic about the tour despite it being so early in the day. Alice was keen to sit on the left hand side so she could attach her GoPro suction piece to the window and film our road trip view. Since there were only single seats on this side, I sat in front. After about an hour and a half’s drive we made our first stop at Anglesea for some tea and biscuits. Oh, and a toilet stop!
About another half an hour later and we were by the ‘Great Ocean Road’ road sign where we got the opportunity to take some photos.
After about a 45 minute drive we were at our next destination: the Kennett River, where we got a chance to spot koalas and feed wild birds. On the way we passed some beautiful coasts.
Whilst by the Kennett River we saw two koalas fast asleep and very high up in the trees. The lighting was quite bad but hopefully you can make the koala out!
We didn’t buy bird seed ourselves, but a couple of kind people donated their spare seeds to us and with these we fed the native parrots.
Having finally managing to take a few cool photos with the birds, we hopped back on the minibus and took another hour to drive to Cape Otway Lighthouse (Australia’s oldest surviving lighthouse). On the way, we drove through the Otway ranges rainforest where Becc told us all about koalas and how they are practically eating themselves to extinction! We also learnt about some of the tallest eucalyptus trees in Australia which was fascinating and saw just how many dead trees there were simply because the koalas had eaten all of the leaves.
Lunch was included in our tour and consisted of a light barbecue: sausages with onions or falafel for the veggies out there. Having eaten a lot of sausages back at the apartment, Alice & I opted for the falafel option for a change (plus I really love falafel – ask Priya, she knows). There was also pasta salad, bread and salad with various sauces on the side.
After a filling lunch we opened the red packet of Doritos we brought with us, only to find that these were cheesy ones instead of chilli heatwave. Sad times.
We then had about half an hour left so we climbed up the lighthouse and took in the gorgeous view.
Our next stop was… The Twelve Apostles!
Sadly, there aren’t actually twelve – only nine. Unfortunately, in July 2005 one of the apostle stacks collapsed overnight, leaving only eight remaining. They are still an amazing sight and I’m so glad I got the opportunity to see them before they are all potentially gone(!)
Alice and I were so captivated by the apostles that we ended up spending a while taking lots of photos and video footage (GoPro included) which meant that despite my rushing ahead, the toilet queue was still too long. Since we had been told by Becc that there were no toilets at our last stop-off, I knew I had to go here. I had been queuing for a good three minutes when one of the workers said that there were more toilets round the front and that she would have to be closing soon – uh, oh. I was already about five minutes late back to the minibus. I hopped on and explained that I really needed the toilet: Becc said she would have to come back to get us since the wait was too long. Alice, by this point, was nowhere to be found. She had been strolling back along the path from the apostles enjoying the view and filming her walk on her GoPro.
By the time Becc had come back to get us, Alice had also been to the toilet and we were both ready for the last stop on our tour. We made the five minute drive down the road to Port Campbell National Park to see Loch Ard George: the famous shipwreck site.
‘The Razorback’ was a particularly interesting sculpture as the rock’s sharp edges and bumps were formed by wind-blown spray.
We then had a three-hour drive all the way back down the coast to the heart of Melbourne. I read some of my book and also fell asleep (who doesn’t love to sleep?) We had one toilet break on the way back: McDonald’s and then it was back into the city.
We were dropped off where we were picked up from which was a god-send; we were far too exhausted to walk much distance back to the apartment and all we wanted to do was lie down!
Overall, our Great Ocean Road day tour was jam-packed and definitely worth every single penny. The weather was also perfect for sight-seeing as it wasn’t boiling hot, nor too cold. Bunyip Tours provided us with an affordable and enjoyable experience up the south coast and stopped off at all the vital points along the way – we would definitely recommend them!
If you’re not following the adventure already, here are the links:
Instagram & Twitter – @violahelen_
Snapchat – violahelen
Peace and love,