Last Sunday morning started bright and early with a trip to the Great Ocean Road. This road, which was built by WWI servicemen, winds along the southern coast of Australia west of Melbourne.
First stop, London Bridge, which used to have two arches like the real London Bridge, but one of them collapsed several years ago. When it collapsed, two people were actually caught on the outer part of the rock and had to be rescued by helicopter.
As we continued along the road, it was cloudy out at sea, so we saw several rainbows that day. Can you see this one over the bay at Port Campbell?
The cliffs at Loch Arn Gorge were the site of the shipwreck of the Loch Arn, which left only two survivors. You can see in this picture how beautiful and clear the water along the coast is.
The coastal highlight of the day was the Twelve Apostles, just a bit further down the coast. This is the only place we encountered very many other tourists, since the Australians think it is much too cold to be out sightseeing right now!
While we were at the Twelve Apostles, we could see whales way out at sea. All you could see of them were their blowholes and streams of water coming up out of the ocean. It was really amazing, though not much to photograph.
Further along down the road, we turned off on a side road to see a lighthouse. We were greeted by this sign, featuring the world’s creepiest rendering of a koala:
As we approached the lighthouse, we did indeed see cows, but none of the other promised wildlife. It turned out to be somewhat expensive to tour the lighthouse, so we headed back out down the road to the Great Ocean Road. Along the way, Josh suggested we just pull over and get out of the car and look for kangaroos and koalas. I was skeptical. “We’re just going to get out of the car and see kangaroos bounding by? Yeah, right.” But just as we stepped out of the car, I spotted something fuzzy looking up in a tree. Sure enough, KOALAS!! They were adorably curled up, sleeping away the afternoon.
Once we saw one, we started spotting them all around, including this guy, who was hanging on a branch dangling over the road, munching away on his eucalypt.
They were incredibly cuddly and adorable, and after watching them for a while and taking lots of photos, we headed back out. It gets dark around 5 p.m. here, so we figured our day was pretty much over and we prepared to just head back to Melbourne. However, as we continued along the Great Ocean Road, we noticed some cars pulled over and Amanda spotted some whales right close to the shore!
As you can see from this photo I stole from Amanda, there appeared to be at least two of them close to shore, and we watched for a while as they turned about in the shallow water. It was a perfect end to an amazing day at the ocean!