14 October 2007

Cruising

Before J had to fly back to Germany on business, we took advantage of the only full weekend that she had downunder and got the hell out of Dodge. To be accurate - it was out of Melbourne, and a very spontaneous escape.

After a confusing week at work where stuff just seemed to be going wrong, I was ready for change. Coming home, I put it to J that we should cruise down the Great Ocean Road and go see the 12 Apostles - a sight that I had always wanted to see, and I knew that J was going to also love the area.



On Saturday after visiting
the South Melbourne markets for food supplies, we picked up a Saab Turbo convertible from Avis; a quick stop home to stuff some clothes into a bag, and we were off!

A warm, clear Spring day meant that the car roof was down, and remained that way for most of the weekend. Clearing the motorway, we were soon passing through Geelong (sorry Wendy, we will pop in one day!) and on our way to the coast.

The Saab - our baby for the weekend!

It was heaven. The cool salty sea air, the warming heat from the sun, great company, a cool car and stunning scenery - we couldn't have had it better.


We briefly stopped at Apollo Bay for a stretch before carrying on.

The fishing boat harbour at Apollo Bay

As we had heard that the 12 Apostles were best viewed at either sunrise or sunset, and we had no idea of how long it was going to take us to get there, we didn't want to risk arriving too late.
Our timing was perfect, and we joined the hundreds of other people lining the cliffs to watch the sun set behind the main cluster of outcrops. The crowd reminded us of our similar experience when viewing the sunset at Ia on the Greek Island of Santorini!

The 2 Apostles to the east of the main bunch - the light was sublime

We hadn't booked any accommodation, and the number of people that were at the 12 Apostles lookout had us worried that we would be sleeping in the car. We headed into the nearest town of Port Campbell, and were lucky enough to get the last room in one of the better looking motels; albeit highly overpriced. After a less than memorable meal in the motel restaurant where the chef had used about a kilo of garlic in our pasta, we were soon in the spa bath in our room, drinking wine and relaxing after a great day in the fresh air.


We weren't in any hurry on Sunday morning and made it out of the motel by 10am. J was desperate for a caffeine fix, so we bought coffee and croissants and sat by Port Campbell Bay before starting the drive back to Mel
bourne.

Port Campbell Bay

Moving more leisurely now, we first stopped at Loch Ard Gorge, so named after a ship of the same name foundered on rocks in a storm; 52 lost their lives and only 2 managed to survive.


The Loch Ard Gorge reserve is part of the Port Campbell National Park (which also includes The Twelve Apostles), and is a beautiful area with lots of walking trails to the various bays within the park. We did a couple of the shorter walks before continuing on our way.



We stopped at the 12 Apostles again to see them during daylight. I doubt that there would be any time of the day in which these promontories would not be picturesque - it's a magnificent part of the planet.



We were reminded that we were in Australia by sighting koalas in the gum trees lining the road that lead from the main highway to Cape Otway! The cape was often the first sighting of land that ships would have of Australia if they had ventured around the bottom of the African Continent on their travels eastwards.

Built in 1848 and only the second lighthouse to be on mainland Australia at that time, the 18m sandstone tower was decommissioned in 1994 and replaced with a small solar-powered beacon.

The telegraph house could send telegrams by morse code to anywhere in the world, but was mostly used for local transmissions between ships and the shore.

Cape Otway played a part in the mysterious disappearance of 20 year old aviator Fred Valentich, who disappeared in his Cessna 182 in 1978, during a flight from Melbourne to King Island. Fred reported to air traffic control that he had reached Cape Otway, but soon came back on air to say that he was being buzzed by an unidentified object while flying over Bass Strait. Fred and his plane were never seen again, and no trace or wreckage has ever been found. Read more about it here.

After leaving Cape Otway, we drove back into Apollo Bay where we stopped for lunchtime fish and chips from the Greek-run fish shop, before driving for home.

There's so much area and variety to explore in Victoria, and we have great intentions of doing it all whenever J can make it back here. This week however, we're meeting in Mauritius for a week of sun, relaxation and catching up with some dear friends.

See you on the other side!

25 comments:

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Way to go and super photographs of the most photographed part of Victoria. We've been down there a few times and stayed at the caravan park. I've researched and written up lots of info about the Loch Ard shipwreck. The Apostles rock stacks are falling one by one, and London Bridge actually collapsed in the middle one time when people were standing on one end. They had to be rescued by helicopter I think.
w.

Anonymous said...

Awesome pictures! Thanks for sharing :) Could you tell me how you copyrighted your pics btw?

Ah you are going to my homeland, Mauritius. Have a blast :)
Island Girl

Anonymous said...

P.S
If you like wilder spots than the usual beach photos you see from Mauritius, visit Gris Gris/ Roche qui pleure and the South coast of the Island, you'll like it :)

Island Girl

Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

I'd give alll the chocolate I have to be there right now! The 12 apostles are so breathtaking in picture I can only imagine what it is like to see them in real life.

Glad you're both enjoying yourself down there girl :)

nzm said...

Wendy: thanks. Is the Loch Ard info on your blog - would love to read it. Yes, the Apostles are slowly being reclaimed by the sea, and you're right about the people being rescued off London Bridge!

Island Girl: Welcome to our blog! I created the copyright text in Photoshop in a separate file, and then when I choose images for the blog, I open them up in Photoshop and then add the copyright text to them by dragging and dropping the text onto the images.

Thanks for the tips in Mauritus! We did Flic en Flac and the 7 coloured earth region last time so will hopefully do your suggestions this time, although we have 2 boys with us this time who dislike travelling, so we'll have to see how far we venture!

From one Island Girl to another: I feel very at home on Mauritius. It's just like my home country of Fiji, but it also has the French influence which Fiji doesn't have. Apart from that, all is very similar - history, sugar cane, indentured Indian labour, climate and driving on the left side of the road! :-)

Sha'ira: Welcome back! I think that you hibernated for Ramadan! LOL. When you come over to stay with us, we'll take you to the 12 Apostles!

moryarti said...

again, fantastic photos ... its glad to see you back in (blogging) business :)

A world of Symphony said...

Gorgeous pictures of the 12 Apostles.

Lighthouse; let's just say that I'm crazy about lighthouses :)

Say Hi to Mauritius and please have a glass of bubbly for us. Thanks :)

Have a safe journey :)

Sandie said...

Ooh, fantastic pictures!! I bet one of you is a professional photographer! I just love Australia. Hope you are adjusting well over there, I am sure it will not be difficult.

Pandabonium said...

Thanks for sharing your trip. Beautiful coastline well captured with your camera - as always. I've done some flying around Sydney in the past, but judging from that story, I'll give this area a pass. :^o

Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

Girl I have been in serious hybernation lol But, am back now, even on Al Baal which hasn't seen my face in yonks!

And thank you for the offer, you know I will take you up on it one of these days :)

Have a wonderful time in Mauritius, not that it will be hard to do that! :)

Island Girl said...

Thanks for the photoshop tip :)

Ah, you haven't been to the North part of the island, maybe you want to try it..? Some of the best beaches are there - Pereybere, Trou-aux-biches, Choisy. The boys would prefer to the South I think :)

If you are the type who likes to discover the behind-the-scenes (read beaches!) as I suspect you are, here are some suggestions: visit Bazaar Port Louis for handicraft and to drink alouda, eat Dewa's dhalpourri at Rose-Hill, throw yourself a sega beach party by sunset with my folks, the locals :)

Otherwise we seem indeed to have lots in common between our islands :) Did Fiji also have naval battles (between the french and the british in our case) and slave-labour (ours came mainly from Madagascar and black Africa)?

When are you leaving for my lil paradise?

Mise said...

Hi Guys....what a glorious life of travel you lead ... I thought I'd had my fill of flying, but you've just reminded me that what's at the other end is usually worth it :D

kaya said...

OH MY GOD!!
Is this where you will be taking me next summer when I come over?
Wow what pictures. Truly breathtaking.
And that name 12 apostles. How original calling them that.
Oooh! I need to pack my bags now.

Qatar Cat said...

Amazing scenery and great photos, thanks! Loved it :)

Glad you had a great time! Can't wait for Mauritius photos.

Jin said...

Cracking photos as always hon! I love the lines of natural eriosion on the rocks & cliffs - if only they could talk, what wonderful tales they could tell!

Seabee said...

Good to see you still blogging and with the usual stunning pics.

AM said...

Hi nzm, thank you for the encouragement on my blog.

For what it's worth, I LOVE your blog, I keep checking it out from time to time though I don't always comment. Your pictures are AWESOME!

:)

Keefieboy said...

Incredible pics!

i*maginate said...

Sounds like you are both having fun ;-)

Nice nice.

BuJ said...

wow.. completely gorgeous pictures!!! haven't been here in ages.. apologies!! anyway, the pictures are yummy.. reminds me of Solva in West Wales.. but much nicer here of course.. mainly coz you know how to click :)

Lilliy said...

These are really great pics.. I love traveling as I too post my pics of my travels on my site DRLILLIY as a Blog entry and slide show TEXT
I had gotten a digital camera for the first time 2 years ago and havent stop clicking ever since especially that it also had a video recorder too.. then I got my other camera almost last Dec its small and fits in my handbag.. I carry it always.. and started blogging usiny my pics.. I enjoy it very much now..
I always dream of seeing Australia and New Zealand together.. just one long vacation and never had the chance yet.. I always imagined that it would be very beautiful.. now form ur pics.. I know..
Thanks for sharing.. very nice blog..

Lilliy said...

Sorry typo mistake what I meant by TEXT was my Podcast
Cheers

Radha said...

Those are lovely pictures!! Its on my "To See" list already!! :)

nzm said...

Mory: Good to see you here. That Facebook has a lot to answer for!

Louis: I think of you and Catherine when I see lighthouses. You are the rock on which it sits, and Catherine is the light - your Sunshine!

Sandie: You're correct. I was a pro photographer photographing weddings and portraits. My travel images are for fun!

Pandabonium: Yeah this area has its mysteries. Boats have disappeared too, but then the waters are really rough.

Island Girl: We'll have to go back to do your suggestions because all we did was swim and visit with friends which was awesome too. Fiji was used as a naval base as well!

Mise: Come on over! Bet our weather is better than yours right now!

Kaya: Yup - will take you there!

QC: Thanks - didn't take many pics in Mauritius at all. it rained a lot and we didn't do much apart from laze around or swim.

Jin: Thanks! The 12 Apostles are now only about 7 Apostles because the sea keeps knocking them down!

Seabee: thank you! I still haunt your blog!

AM: Love your images and thanks for the compliments!

Keefie: am loving reading about Madrid. Hope that we can visit you some time.

i*maginate: thanks - we are!

BuJ: you're forgiven! I'm a regular on your blog even though I don't always comment.

lilliy: Welcome to our blog! You have some stunning images on yours also!

Radha: If you come on down, please let me know!

BuJ said...

that is one LONG comment.. M&J ur very welcome on my blog all the time :)