So to set the scene properly, here are the beginning facts. It’s 2018, specifically the 2nd of January, Alex, Wouter and I have recovered from our NYE events, and its time to get on the road again.
It’s again for us, but as Wouter joined us only in the last few days of 2017, this was our first road trip with him, and we were excited.
Now in the beginning we had planned on setting off very early, like 5-6am early, ensuring we got the most out of our day driving the Great Ocean Road, however once we woke and by the time we ate and got everything in the car, it was well around 9am. Seems like a reasonable time to set off on a long full day in a car right?!
Well off we went.
In the beginning of the road we got to see the amazing scenery all around us, with the ocean right next to the single lane road. But we had also heard there were hidden gems along the road. We stopped after about an hour of driving at Kennett River and got out of the car. The hidden gems we were searching for were apparently in the trees…and within 10 seconds after exiting the car we spotted what we were searching for…
This amazing shot was taken by Wouter (thank you) and just shows how beautiful and close the Koala’s were to us on the ground. Definitely worth the quick stop and to this day the only time in Alex and I’s entire trip driving around Australia, that we saw one in the wild. Just amazing!
Now back to the road…
Given it was the 2nd January we knew it was going to be very busy, but damn I guess we hadn’t realised quite how much! You see before we set off, even weeks before we had attempted to book one night somewhere along the road to stay, just to ensure we took our time. However every place we tried was either fully booked because it was school holidays or we had to book for a week minimum because it was school holidays. So when we set off we understood every caravan park would be packed with families, which included towns overflowing with people. But I guess we hadn’t imagined the roads would be so packed! Seriously when we got close to the town of Lorne, we were I think about 10km out of town and we were at a stand still.
For us it wasn’t a problem, but I guess what I’m saying is firstly WOW and secondly, maybe be smarter than us if your planning to visit, because single lane roads kinda makes things difficult.
When we eventually arrived in Lorne, successfully we found parking quite quickly and by that time we were starving. My cousin had told us about this amazing burger place and so we beelined for the restaurant. Cannot remember the places name but successfully with a table we ordered. And what made it even better was they had vegan burgers YAY.
After refueling for some more intense crowds we set off in search of the 12 Apostles. Again it was busy but by this point we were all pretty used to it. But that did not distract in any way from the amazingness that was the 12 Apostles! Not even the cloudy, cold and almost rainy weather, nope it was stunning!
After stopping there and taking in as much of it as possible before we got too cold, we decided to check out the other iconic stops further up the road. In the end we stopped at London Bridge and the Grotto, which were beautiful stops. And then afterwards we drove by a few others.
And then we had another few hours of driving till we reached our stop for the night. During that time we all concluded that the 12 Apostles were beautiful, but the other sites along the Great Ocean Road, with maybe less traffic or advertising, were in fact just as nice, if not more spectacular. To us that is.
With some seriously fun and interesting music choices for the long drive, we arrived in Warrnambool.
When we arrived we headed for the closest caravan park, only to find it was fully booked….onto the second one. Well that was also a bust because their office was closed. So at that point we called the third place that Google produced, and luckily for us they had one place left.
We were right around the corner so arrived less than 5 minutes later, just in time set up before the sun went down, and incidentally before it rained.
But we weren’t just setting up like normal, because Wouter was with us, and it was Wouter’s first night camping with us and setting up his new tent.
And really from memory it went quite well didn’t it Wouter? We had brought a new tent and mattress for Wouter because of the sad ending to our last tent and mattress which was a hilarious story in itself, and so Alex and I were just as excited to see it set up as Wouter was.
With ourselves all protected by the rain for later on, we all retired to the kitchen. And remember I mentioned it was a little cool that day? Well that night without the sun, it got cold. And I know when I say cold in Australia its not really that cold, but well that day we were cold. Our dinner reflected the weather. Wouter did the honors and cooked us an amazing risotto that we still talk about.
It was definitely a great start to our holidaying for 2018 and our roadtrip with Wouter! Stay tuned for more.