Within easy access of Melbourne (but warranting at least one overnighter), lies the Great Ocean Road. The road itself hugs the wild and rugged coastline of Victoria's west, and its construction began in 1918, a massive 20 year undertaking, with the road built by manual labour, picks and horses, and providing work, purpose, and comaraderie for the returned soldiers.
At approximately a 2 hour drive from Melbourne to reach the commencement of the road, it is not an arduous drive. We decided to make it super relaxed for the family, stopping at the country town of Colac for brunch at Hulms Bakery, a well reviewed bakery cafe.
The reviews were well deserved, fantastic pies, cakes, shakes. We ended up buying big on the country cakes to bring with us on the holiday.
Our destination was a holiday home we had booked in Apollo Bay, and our intention was to visit the Otway Fly on the way. The Otway Fly is a treetop forest walk, about 600 metres long. If you are super adventurous (which I am not!), you can also do the zip lining.
As we drove towards the Fly, ominous dark clouds appeared in the distance, making for some good photography! We arrived about 11am, and grabbed our tickets (you can get a discount purchasing on liine beforehand). Tickets in hand, we walked out the door, only to be greeted by customer service, advising that just that moment, they had to close the structure as lightening was about, but we could return later or over the weekend.
Our accommodation was the most awesome 2 storey typical beach home, just set back from the shops, but a minutes drive from the coast and the typical local shopping facilities of Apollo Bay.
The rain set in, and we were pretty well trapped in the home. Thank god for puzzles, and TV! On Sunday morning, we had a small window of sunshine, and headed for a coastal drive just down to Kennett River. A winding dirt road took us amongst the eucalypts, and literally every 100 metres we spotted a Koala!
The weather was still foul, the sunshine belied the cold temperatures, but protected within the confines of the car, we were able to enjoy the day, and the magnificent seaside cliffs of this region.
The wild weather had set in, so much so that we said goodbye to our opportunity to walk the Fly on this holiday. Kindly though, customer service organized a refund, and then we drove down the road to the Twelve Apostles.
Shattered by the terrible weather we soldiered on. Parking is on the other side of the highway, and one passes through a tunnel under the road. Unprepared with cold weather jackets, we suffered, but the sight and sounds and the spray of the sea over us was nontheless breathtaking.
Never has one seen so many cameras pointed in so many directions. The only thing lacking here are facilities worthy of such a spot. Note to the relevant authorities, this location deserves a place where one can sit and enjoy coffee and good quality food, behind big glass windows, and a deck for the better weather. There is a small takeaway without real seating, and we decided to head down the road. Pity, as the Twelve Apostles is quite an isolated spot.