Great Ocean Road, Australia

So you’ll probably notice that I didn’t write a ‘farewell’ post for New Zealand. I thought about it, but it’s hard to reflect on a single place you’ve visited when the journey is continuing. I think the best thing to do will be a full-on reflection post when my trip is over. In the meantime – NZ was fantastic, you should go, and I miss it already.

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The Great Ocean Road, located between Melbourne and Adelaide on the south coast of Australia, is something special. Built by returning soldiers from the First World War, it is dedicated to their fellows who fell and is the largest war memorial in the world. It’s a bit humbling to think of the road being built – the road winds around mountainous regions and valleys, directly on the coast, sometimes on the edge of a sheer cliff face. To have built this road essentially by hand as they did is quite the impressive feat.

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Koala! Not a bear!

My original plan had been to rent a car in Melbourne and drive to Adelaide, taking a few days to see the sights. However, I forgot to account for one thing – Easter! I would have been driving over the holiday season, and literally EVERY accommodation on the road was booked. Since I didn’t feel like trying to rush through it, I went with a guided one day tour instead. We left Melbourne before the sun was up.

20150401-IMGP5976.jpgThere were a number of stops throughout the day. One of the earliest was a random point where you can sometimes meet Koalas, and today luck was with us! They generally are extremely low energy creatures, sleeping 20+ hours a day, which almost puts them on the same level as my cats. It’s apparently due to their low-calorie diet, although if any zoologists want to chime in…we also saw some pretty birds that I completely forget the name of.

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Some of the remaining Apostles

We stopped at a few different beaches, and one quick rainforest walk. The Twelve Apostles are pretty interesting, even if there’s only eight now (and apparently never twelve). Interestingly, the name has no real meaning. It used to be named the Sow and Piglets, then was renamed in the early 20th century purely for tourism purposes. Go, capitalism! They’re impressive to be sure, but…I think I’ve had a surfeit of impressive sights on this trip, and have reached the point of being very hard to impress :-). We also stopped at London Bridge, which did, in fact, fall down! There were actually people on the other side of it when it suddenly collapsed a few decades ago, necessitating a helicopter rescue.

A very long, but fun day!

 

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London Bridge, in need of repair
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Experimenting on the drive back.

 

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