View from the top of Old Man of Coniston hike in Lake District National Park, England.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Preston, Lancashire, England.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Wyke, West Yorkshire, England on May 29th!

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Our first koala bear sighting!

When we are parked up in the middle of a rain forest and it's a bit chilly at night, it only makes sense when we wake up first thing in the morning to get up and drive... even if it's just for a little bit. This way, we can at least get into the cab of the truck, and it doesn't take long to warm up once the engine is running.

Then, we can hopefully park up somewhere in the sunshine to have breakfast. It doesn't always work out that way, but at least that's the plan!

Sunday morning, we had planned on visiting two different waterfalls I had seen near the old logging road we had been parked at for the night.

So here we were at 7:30am (the sun doesn't officially rise until 7:45am or so!) trying to make our way on these steep old roads. We got to a gate and it was locked shut! Got ourselves turned around, and headed back to the main road. A few kilometers later, we're on another back road taking a different route.

We don't give up so easily!

Parked at the side of this dirt road.

The only thing I had to go by was the mapping system on the phone. It clearly showed a path that led to the Upper Chapple Falls. But we don't think anybody has used this path for years. The only references I could find online about these falls were from 2007 and 2011. The path was hard to follow, and there were a lot of fallen trees and branches and growth.

Taken just after sunrise!

We made it!
Ruth, modelling the falls. 

Lots of these big fern plants.

We drove down to the Cape Otway Lighthouse. This is the most southern point of mainland Australia. We knew there was a fee to enter the lighthouse, but we also knew that you could do some of the Great Ocean Walk from this point. 

The sun was shining, and it was the start of a beautiful day. So we set out to get some more exercise.

The view from where we stopped for breakfast.

Scenery along the way.

We got to the Cape Otway Lighthouse and saw the gate and fence they had around the property. You have to enter the tourist trinket shop to buy your ticket to the lighthouse. Unfortunately, we don't see the value in spending $19.50 AUD ($18 CAD, $13.50 USD) to climb a few steps up a lighthouse. So you will not be seeing the view through our eyes.

But, you can see the view from the free "after hours" route that we took...

Our free view of the lighthouse.

"I can see the sea!"

We drove down to the Parker Hill Campground in Otway National Park. You have to reserve in advance for this unserviced campground, and it's $26.80 AUD ($24.75 CAD, $18.50 USD) per night. No thanks. I can understand that during busy season, but at this time of year when there was only one occupied site out of the twenty available, it's a little overpriced.

However, we parked and had some lunch, and went for a hike down the 300 steps to the river below.

A beautiful day!

The erosion is amazing!

Amazing what you see at low tide.

Ruth, looking for whales. 
None to be found today!

Weird rock designs.

Gorgeous views on the way to the town of Apollo Bay.

Apollo Bay is an interesting place, and we'll show you some of it tomorrow. It's got the absolutely gorgeous hill and ocean scenery that you see in the three photos above. But then it's also got the influx of Asia tourists. Every second shop on the main drag is an Asian restaurant of some kind catering to the tour buses that come through. Like I said, we'll show you some of that tomorrow.

We stopped and bought some wine, and then it was time to find somewhere to spend the night. Once again, it gets dark by 5:00pm or so, and so we need to start looking for an overnight spot by 3:00pm at the latest.

I had some ideas though. I've learned that if you can follow one of the dirt tracks up into the hills, it usually leads to somewhere that is fine for spending the night.

Way up in the middle of nowhere was this oddball statue.

We drove way up a steep skinny dirt track road. There were a few homes along the way, and about 5 kms (3 miles) into it, we found a nice spot. Right by an antenna tower of some kind.

As we were getting parked up, a dog ran up to me outside, and his owner rode up on a bicycle. 

Where we parked up for the night.

The dog started barking at that big tree in front of where we are parked in the photo above. I looked up, wondering why the dog was barking. 

There was a koala bear up in the tree!

The best photo I could do. 
Sorry that you see more koala butt than you do koala face!

The local said that we were fine to park there for the night, and even suggested a nice walk we could do from here in the morning. He also said that we are likely to see more koala bears then!

The Original Tiki Brand Torch is on sale right now.

And in Canada...


  1. I am amazed at the off road places your find to park overnight.

    The sea erosion is amazing. I too might balk at the nearly $20 entry fee to the lighthouse but places like that are always non profit.

    You correctly referred to koalas many times but fell at the last hurdle by calling them koala bears. Don't worry, even Australians don't have that right yet.

    1. We simply didn't know about the koala name. We won't make that mistake again!

      Also, regarding the lighthouse, you are wrong in this case. The Cape Otway Lightstation was decommissioned in 1994 and is leased out to a private business as a tourist attraction.

  2. Thank you for sharing these beautiful ocean, vegetation, and Koala pictures! Ruth’s outfit colors today highlighted the pix , too! I feel blessed to see these pictures from my vantage point in Southern Michigan ! Look forward each day to see your discoveries!

    1. You are so very welcome, we are glad that you have enjoyed them.! :-)

  3. I think South Point in Wilsons Promontory National Park is the most southern most point in Australia. We were going to visit there, but ran out of time during our trip to Australia.

    Your blog brings back fond memories of our travel to Australia in Feb-March a few years ago. We enjoyed the Great Ocean Road views and towns.

  4. Replies
    1. Yep, and today's post will have a picture that is even better! :-)

  5. Butt it was still a Koala that you saw no matter what. Hoping you see many more during your trip.
    Agree with your decision about the Light Station.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

    1. You are correct, and we were so happy to finally see at least part of a koala. In today's post you will see an even better picture of a koala. :-)

      We read the reviews afterward and we were very happy to not have spent the money.

  6. Whew! I finally got caught up with your blog. What a fantastic trip, the scenery is beautiful (even if the weather isn't). How fun to see a Koala and all the other birds and animals along the way. Love the photos!

    1. Glad that you have had time to finally catch up with us! ;-)

      Yes, the scenery is amazing and we are having a fantastic time, even if the weather doesn't always cooperate for us.

      The wildlife and the birdlife has been fantastic. :-)


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