Day 7: To the Grampians

We woke up to a very grey sky, and found out it even drizzled with occasional showers. This was not what we had bargained for! As we had a trip planned for this morning, we decided to skip that, and just do everything at a snails pace. Therefore, we had a very long breakfast and even slept in a little!

Leaving Warrnambool for Halls Gap actually proved to be a great idea, as the weather got better and better as our journey progressed further inland. We eventually were tempted to pull out the shorts! Along the way, we have encountered a variety of animals, which all were nice enough to stop doing what they were to pose for our cameras. Among the nices ones were Ibis, various types of parrots in all sizes, a few different species of Cockatoo and even a fox!

After arriving at Halls Gap which lies smack dab in the middle of the Grampians National Park around 1, we went for lunch sitting in the delightful sun, getting our tan on. After filling our stomachs, we went out for a drive into the park to visit the places easily accessible by car. We have visited The Balconies and the Lookouts of both Reed and Boroka, all of which present wonderful vistas of the Gap and the surrounding plains. The Gap itself is a narrow valley in between two crests made of rock being pushed up to about 45 degrees. The town of Halls Gap lies in between these two crests. We have also visited the Mackenzie Falls, where we walked the trail to the base of the waterfall. This is 283 steps down a flight of stairs and quite a tough little walk, but the view of the falls is really rewarding. It however, did end our yearning for some exercise as going back up is strenuous after a long day driving.

The town of Halls Gap is quite famous for the abundance of Western Grey Kangaroos. A story we quickly dismissed as untrue, as we felt it would probably be a exaggerated to be a nice attraction for tourists. It most definitely is not exaggerated. We have encountered dozens of them, all carelessly browsing the green pastures of the town. And not only the publicly accessible greens, but also the lawns and garden of the residents of this town, as the Kangaroos easily scale an 8 foot fence. This is so cool! We even sat down in a field filled with Kangaroos and peacefully watched them feed.

Today is Sunday, and also the last day of the annual Wine Festival in this town. Apparently, it also means that all shops, restaurants and bars of the town are closed, because we had a really hard time getting some food. Luckily, we found a café still open for business, so all ended well tonight. Tomorrow, we have a full day of walking in the National Park planned, so I hope we’ll be able to get a good night of sleep!


Day 6: On the Great Ocean Road

A quick look out the window this morning told us the weather changed overnight from clear skies to overcast and grey. Today, we are driving the second leg of the Great Ocean Road, all the way to Warrnambool. The first stop today for us however was Cape Otway, where the Cape Otway Lighthouse stands. This is the first Lighthouse around there, and it has been in active operation since 1848. Unfortunately, you can only visit the grounds around it by paying an entrance fee and going on the full tour, and we passed on this as the road ahead was quite long still.

We were there for another matter anyway: koalas. The road leading from the B100 to Cape Otway Lighthouse is famous for the number of Koalas living alongside it. We, however, failed to see any on route to the Cape. It might have been due to the weather though, as it started drizzling. Luckily for us, the rain lifted pretty soon after this, and our luck finding animals returned: on a dirt road just off the main road, we got lucky and found not 1 but three sitting in the same giant tree! With another Koala resting in the tree next to it, the tally went up to four right there! We stood by them and watched the closest one perform acrobatic feats while feeding. Awesome!

On the way back, we even spotted more up to a point where we could look left and see one, and look right to see another. All very fluffy and generally ignoring our presence, these animals are just a treat to look at. The rest of our journey took us further down the Great Ocean Road where we visited the well known highlights on it. These are the Twelve Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge, the Arch, the London Bridge en the Grotto. They all are formations of the limestone rock set out in the sea or right on the shore of the ocean. And they all are really beautiful!

The weather still was acting up, we basically have had all weather types following each other up every 10 minutes. Ranging from drizzle to rain to full on sunshine, it all was there. Tomorrow, we are heading further inland towards Grampians National Park. It’ll be sad to say goodbye to the great views of the ocean, but we imagine it’ll be beautiful up there as well!