Just north west of Australia's Great Ocean Road.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Galetta, Ontario, Canada.

Where are they going next? Ecuador on October 13th.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Seashore sights and shipwrecks

We never planned on taking this much time to get from Adelaide to Melbourne. After all, it's only an eight hour drive! But, that's if you stick to the freeway and don't see anything along the way.

If you take the coastal route, it's about a twelve hour drive... again, if you don't stop to see anything along the way.

But if you're like us and you want to see everything there is to see?

Then it's a three week drive!

Near the Twelve Apostles.

It was raining (again!) when we woke up. They were calling for some clearing though, so we drove back down to the Twelve Apostles parking area and had some breakfast. But it wasn't clearing enough to make a difference for photography, so we drove down to Gibson Steps a little further east down the road. 

We did the walk down the steps, but couldn't get onto the beach because it was high tide. Our timing actually turned out to be good for later on in the day!

Coastline scenery.

The Great Ocean Road.

You can stick to the main highway the entire route... but there are a lot of little unsealed (gravel) off shoot roads from the Great Ocean Highway. Usually, we are the only ones on some of these dirt roads. This is where it's so handy to have a 4 wheel drive vehicle. Most of these roads are suitable for 2 wheel drive, but there has been a lot of rain lately. So knowing that I have 4 wheel drive if I need it is a big confidence booster!

Bundy and Joyce, off exploring!

Scenery along the way.

We took a 13 km (8 mile) detour along a dirt road. Lots of great scenery, and we didn't see another vehicle the whole time. Most people stick to the main road.

This is actually the original Ocean Road. 
They call it the Old Ocean Road.
I guess it floods sometimes!

Things sure are green with all the rain.

I don't think we ever got out of second gear!

There are a lot of black swans in Australia.

More scenery.

A white-necked heron.

We got back on the main road... but only for a few kilometers, then we turned off onto another track... the Wreck Beach Road. This lead us down to both the Gables Lookout, and Wreck Beach. I had seen online that you would still see the original ship's anchors from two different wrecks. But you had to arrive there at low tide.

Low tide was at 3:00pm, and we were early, so we went for a circular 3 km (2 mile) walk out to Gables Lookout and back. It used part of the path of the Great Ocean Walk... a 100 km (62 mile) hiking trail that follows the coastline. 

There's a pretty fellow! 
Turn around, so we can have a better look at you.

That's better!
This is a crimson rosella.

Us, at Gables Lookout.

The view from Gables Lookout.

Back at the camper, we drove down to the parking area at Wreck Beach. There are 360 steps leading from the parking area down to the beach... and of course you do need to go back up again that same route!

Ruth, heading down the 360 steps.

Yep, there are lots more... keep going!

Wreck Beach.

And why do they call it Wreck Beach? There were two different shipwrecks here. One in 1869, and one in 1891.

The anchor from the Marie Gabrielle in 1869.

Despite it being low tide, we were not about to risk going further.

The anchor from the Fiji (1891) was placed here by recovery divers in 1961.

The anchor has been lying here for 150 years!

More pretty shells in this area.

By the time we got back up to the camper, it was after 3:00pm, and of course it gets dark by 5:00pm. So we needed to start looking for our overnight spot. Again, there is not much free camping close to the Great Ocean Road, but you don't have to go that far north to find something that will work.

Again, because we have a 4 wheel drive, we're probably a little more adventurous than we would be otherwise. I found a track that was signposted "Dry Weather Only", and despite the recent rains I decided it would be fine... and it was!

It led us to a logging road that was dead ended and that is where we are parked. It will be perfectly quiet tonight!

The view from where we are parked.

Parked for the night at GPS -38.697808, 143.324314

So, we drove a total of 49 kms (30 miles) today, and yet we didn't get very far...

Saturday's drive.

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And in Canada...



8 comments:

  1. Interesting to learn of all the extra places you can visit with a 4WD and funnily enough that was one reason we thought we might have a 4WD for our next big trip in Aus in order to get to different places along the routes we had previously travelled. You should be in an area where you have a good chance of spotting koala now. Looks forward to tomorrows episode.

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    1. Kevin rarely hesitates to take Bundy down one of these unsealed roads. Our only issue is the height and so far that hasn't been any problem, I think we are about 10' 3" or 3.1 metres or close to it. We definitely like having the 4 wheel drive ability. :-)

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  2. Looks like you are still Enjoying the History and natural Beauty of the area while getting your exercise.
    Be Safe!

    It's about time.

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    1. We certainly are! There is lots going on for this area, scenery, history and lots of hiking. :-)

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  3. Your photos are just gorgeous! I am really enjoying your trip vicariously, tho I am a bit behind the times. And that Crimson Rosella -- wowza! What a colorful, exotic bird!

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    1. Thank you emily, we are glad that you are enjoying our pictures.

      Yes, that Crimson Rosella is a beauty! :-)

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