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A traveller standing on a rock in the Blue Mountains, Australia

GREAT Ocean Road!

By Madeleine Carter

Last updated: 27th January 2013

Absolutely the best 3 days if our trip so far!

All aboard the bus and first stop- coffee and fresh fruit stall to make sure we stay awake for the days activities to come! – I highly recommend the nectarines from the fruit stall! Now we were all awake and full of fruit sugars, it was time for some games. Our tour guide Nyree got out some window pens and we all had to draw our names on the windows and the pair that made the best window display won! …yep. My team won!

Madeleine and a group of fellow travellers on the roadside with mountains in the background

First stop was Surf City in Torquay- the home of surf. It was really cool strolling around all the giant surf stores where wet suits and surf boards were first developed. Not to mention- absolutely loads of awesome beach clothes and bikinis for cheap prices!

Before lunch we had already then seen the start to the Great Ocean Road where we all stood under the iconic sign for pictures and learnt a bit about the history of the road and how it was built by the World War soldiers home for war, incredible beaches with the whitest sands and clearest waters as well as stopping at numerous lookout points along the mountainous drive to see the most magnificent views!

Next- a true highlight… Lunch! Delicious sandwiches and fillings and fresh fruit and veg and dips and sauces and drinks was just the start of our yummy food for the next few days!

Lunch in Koala Cove, watching the cuddly koalas sleeping in the trees, then off to spend the rest of the day leisurely exploring the great ocean road. On the bus and en route to the rainforest! The weather took a bit of a turn and… It started to rain! :O this was not good news- but to keep us cheery, we delved back into the world of bus games! A playlist full of famous soundtracks and a bag of sweet treats to pass out for everyone you could first name the programme that the soundtrack belonged too… It got intense and at one point someone was actually rapping along to the whole of the Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme song! So funny!

Arrive at the rainforest and we were definitely not prepared- everyone trying to find a jumper or waterproof for the trek. Personally- I sported a very attractive sports trackies, friends jumper… And flip flops! Come the end of the trek we were all a little bit soggy to say the least… But a tactical music choice from our awesome bus driver of Flight of the Concords and spirits were soon lifted.

A final stop at the Twelve Apostles before heading to the hostel- as a surprise to us all the weather was windy and almost cold at the twelve Apostles! But luckily enough for us, our hostel was super close by so come morning time, straight back to the Apostles with the sun shining through making everyone happy as we got some awesome pictures.

Day two was a day of iconic and historic stops. First stop- back to the twelve apostles, then to Lord Ard Gorge and then to London Bridge. All amazing to visit and see how the huge landmarks where made by the rocks and the ocean. Not to mention the really funny love stories that go with the landmarks…!

Another delicious lunch follows but this time… BBQing in a national park surrounded by emus just strolling around! Having previously said I couldn’t be tempted into trying kangaroo… I did it! And I did it of my own accord- I tried kangaroo sausage, and I’m proud to say I did it (I’m not exactly the most adventurous eater so this is quite a milestone for me!) …I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy it…but one bite was definitely enough for me

After lunch we began the drive into the Grampians. Once we arrived we visited a cultural centre where we learnt about some aboriginal beliefs and more about their culture, then as we drove through on we saw kangaroos bouncing along the sides of the road, then when the bus stops, it was for my personal highlight of the day! We went to a waterfall in the Grampians- we climbed down about 300 stairs to the most amazing waterfall! We must have stayed for an hour just taking pictures in front of the waterfall, being very careful not to fall in! The only challenge… Trying to get back up those 300 stairs!

And then there was day 3. Everyday of the trip was amazing, but day 3 definitely brought the most wow factor! Today we climbed a mountain!

Short bus drive to Hollow Mountain in the Grampians and then all tiger, we climbed to the top! The views were just something you can’t even describe- you could see for miles and miles!

After the high of being on top of a mountain, we gradually wound down as we made our way back to Adelaide, stopping to visit an Olive grower and a cheese factory and stopping for BBQ lamb chops and sausages for lunch. By the time we arrived in Adelaide I was exhausted and I felt like I just hadn’t stopped moving and exploring in weeks and yet the three days went so quickly and would do it again in a heartbeat!

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