We booked Great Oceans Road Classic Tour (125AUD) with Bunyip Tours. Same as the previous day, we hopped on a 20 seater van but we had a more interesting and animated group of people today. Our guide/driver Cameron was cool and a noted plus was that it barely rained.
We drove through Torquay, the hometown to brands such as Quiksilver and RipCurl. Bells beach is situated in this small town and holds one of the largest surf contests. We had a bunch of tourists from around the world on our tour – Germany, France, Ireland, Thailand, Japan and Korea.
Cameron told us that the great oceans road was built by the returning soldiers of WWI. Since they did not have jobs when they returned they were shown gratitude by being given this task which proved to be difficult and actually take some more lives, adding to the many already lost in the war. The roads are windy and have a beautiful view the whole way. So clear that we saw multiple rainbows.
Our next stop was Split Point Lighthouse which was a location for an old comedy that aired in Canada. We stopped at a koala park where there are wild koalas unlike the ones I had seen earlier on this trip. Cameron reiterated the rules that are in place in different states in regard to Koalas. In Queensland, you can do whatever you like to them (as in hold them, take a photo with them) but in Victoria, you are not allowed to touch one or you will be fined. The reason being, the koalas in Cairns are in the humidity and much smaller (anorexic let’s say) while in Victoria, the climate is much cooler (giving them the ability to be full weight and larger – plump). Cameron told us some stories of animal accidents that took place involving koalas and others with kangaroos. A girl on one of the tours came to Australia with her mind set on cuddling a koala, but being disappointed that the first ones she saw were up in the trees too far to hug. On her way to the toilet she spotted a koala sleeping on low tree and just had to get her hug! She ran up to it and tried to pry it off of the tree to no avail. Managing to wake the male koala, it held out an arm and she saw it is an invitation and ran in… Only to receive a nice big slash in the cheek 75mm deep.
Our next destination was to Loch Ard Gorge that I must say is one of my favourite locations of this trip. It is located in the Port Campbell National Park. There were 3 paths you could walk to and view view beautiful rocks. This rock formation is named after a shipwreck story with a romantic twist.
The Loch Ard, an iron clipper rumoured to be jinxed, set sail from Gravesend (I’m not kidding!) in Scotland in 1878 with 54 passengers and crew on board for a 3-month voyage to Melbourne. It struck Muttonbird Island near the Loch Ard Gorge. 52 people died and eight-foot high wreckage was spread across the golden sands, along with the only 4 bodies that were retrieved – and later buried in the clifftop cemetery in coffins made from piano cases! Tom survived, was recuperating in a sea cave and heard cries from the water. He valiantly dashed out into the raging sea to rescue Eva, who was clinging for dear life to a chicken coop and then a ship’s oar. large image Tom rescued Eva, they sheltered some more in the cave, drank some brandy and, unfortunately for the romantics amongst us, did not go on to live happily ever after, but went their separate ways. (link here)
We then drove over to see the 12 apostles and I must say it was stunning. I ended up running out of battery and running back to the van to get a new one but it was so amazing how all the photos turned out without even trying. Apparently the formations were named the 12 Apostles to attract tourists especially Europeans. Before heading home, we stopped by a nearby town and had a pizza dinner at Red Rooster. Had a long day but a fun one. Met some cool people although didn’t get their names.