Great Ocean Road
Great Ocean Road
Since the surprise news we got on our Cape York trip last year, we have kept our outings to a minimum, with the birth of our first born Jaydon, it took us a little bit to get the nervs up to get travelling again, being new parents our world that we knew was turned upside down, we took a couple of overnighter trips and the boy was a great traveller!!
So it was time to think about our next destination, wondering how the boy would travel on a big trip, we decided to do a small 2 week road trip to the Great Ocean Road, limiting our normal 800 km per day down to 600km, we soon found that even 600 per day was just too much for us!
With the purchase of our new Camper Trailer especially for this trip, all I had to do to our Landcruiser was give it a good service and check over.
Our first day we struck trouble already, as soon as we left town we noticed the engine was getting a little warm, the only time that we had towed this trailer was when we brought it home, we stopped in at a friends birthday party and the investigation started, I soon found that the viscous fan hub had lost all its oil stopping it from engaging.
An emergency run into Newcastle secured a brand new aftermarket viscous hub, I fitted it straight away and we were off again, our first stop was Kiama NSW, the over heating problem didn’t stop at all, since it was only overheating above 90kph, we decided to just keep pushing on, with all the stopping we didn’t quite make it to Kiama but instead found a free camp about 30 minutes away.
Morning came and once again if you have read my other Trips I had charging issues with my alternator, but this time it was a quick fix, I popped out the brushes and gave them a good clean, I had a feeling they were sticking from a mud hole a week before we left and I was right, all back together and we were off to check out Kiama.
We specifically came to Kiama to check out the Blowholes but on this day the swell wasn’t in our favour, so no signs of anything coming out the blowhole, apparently there was two blowholes a big one and a small one, we headed off to check the smaller one out and it was blowing a little but not as much as we hoped to see.
The wives fed the kids and we were off again, our next target was Eden, being Bathurst 1000 weekend, I was in a hurry to get there to check out the end of the big race, one thing I’m learning on this trip is you cant rush babies! We finally arrived at the caravan park Garden of Eden, magical place and wouldn’t hesitate to stay again, quickly settled in and just missed the race! the amount of time it has been taking us to get to our destinations, we decided to fast forward our sight seeing so we could spend more time down on the Great Ocean Road.
Our next stop was Port Albert on the coast, we stayed in a free camp at the boat ramp, this place felt like a ghost town! the weather was horrible and blowing a gail, we went for a walk to check out the place and boys being boys, we had a pram race like no other, we lined our children up and let the wind do the rest, it had a cosy little pub that we went to dinner at and then off to batten down the hatches for the night. That night there was a massive storm that blew in, it felt like the camper was going to blow away and being the first time it has been in the rain or storm I was worried. Come morning and the storm had past and then sun came out, great place and the camper survived.
the most southern point of Australian continent
We pushed on to the very most Southern point of Australia at Wilsons Promontory, this is a big national park and a huge hiking place, it was a let down for us, my map showed us that there was a road that would put us 2km from the very bottom at the sign but the road was closed to public traffic.
Being a 32km hike to the sign, this would mean if we wanted to stand at the sign, it would more then likely make us camp over night on a hiking trail with two 6 month old babies, with no hiking gear or camping gear, the decision was made to make our own sign! and stand at the closest point we could in our situation, I guess it was still an achievement for us, being our 3rd point of Australia to reach. One thing I did find surprising is that there was Emus down here, I had only ever seen emus in the outback and here they were in the bottom of Victoria.
Phillip Island was our next destination, we really wanted to see the little penguins that come up the beach of a night time, so we had plenty of time to kill, booked into a caravan park and went shopping, we didn’t realise but the Moto GP was on that weekend, there was numerous road bikes zipping around the Island and the place was packed. a bit of sight seeing and off we went to check out the penguin show.
Gotta get in early to get good seats at the Penguin show, I thought they were going to be bigger but they are tiny little things and hard to get photos of, we managed to sneak a couple of pitcures from the walkway on the way out, to go home, it was a good experience and well worth the look.
up for an early start to check out the rest of the island before heading to Sorrento to catch the Vehicular ferry to Queenscliff, we stopped down at the beach and the sound of the engine just didn’t seem right, checked it out and looked like the internal bearing had failed in the water pump, so with no time to lose we set off to find a Repco, I like to use repco as they have most parts available, I found a nice little shady spot in a park nearby and began the task of pulling the motor apart, I thought pulling apart close to the parts store would help me if I stumbled across things that I might need tools that I didn’t have, and thank god I needed a large allen key. With time ticking by I quickly threw the pump in and off to catch the ferry.
We had the discussion about travelling through Melbourne of catch the ferry, we weighed up the costs and time and found that the ferry was only a little dearer then travelling the distance, but it was more of an experience going on a ship with my family for the first time, much better then to get stuck in traffic in Melbourne for a few hours. The trip was pleasant and we all loved it.
Once off the barge it was a quick dash to find a place to stay the night, which was Barwon Heads, we had a nice stroll along the water then into bed, Kym had to drop into Geelong in the morning to catch up with some business and I started to brain storm what we could do for they day in that region, we decided to go play some Putt Putt golf, its a game I love and this place was amazing, it was a little difficult with the two kids and prams especially carrying them over the obsticale but it just made it so much more fun. the kids loved it I mean “Us big kids”
so far on the trip we have been pushing ourselves everyday to get to a camp site, So I put my foot down and said I wanted a 2 night stay somewhere to recharge our batteries and sort some things out “fishing” we found a Big4 at Anglesea and this place blew me away, I would have to say it was the cleanest caravan park that I have ever been to! it had an indoor heated pool, large jumping pillow, large human size chess board, and the amenities where stat of the art brand new, there was no cubicals it was all separate bathrooms like you were at your own home.
The boys went one way and the girls went the other way, not sure what the girls got up to but pretty sure they just went shopping, us boys however went checking out the beaches and rivers, went for a little fish but had no luck, went checked out the surfers down at the famous Bells beach.
GREAT OCEAN ROAD
Finally the time has come to start the Great Ocean Road, first stop was checking out the waterfalls at Erskine Falls, Note. The section of road leading down and the car park is not suitable for large caravans, very steep and usually packed car park, as well where towing a camper we risked it but still hard to find a park.
Our next destination was to Otway Treetop Adventures, being afraid of heights especially suspended bridges I sat this one out and looked after my boy while he had a sleep, the reports from the crew were great, I some times wish I can face my fear but there is always some doosh bag that will start jumping up and down on the walkways making them sway.
DISASTER STRIKES AGAIN
We returned to the car after having a little lunch at the café to find that my Land cruiser had lost brakes, it appeared that a rear brake line had been damaged and leaked out all my brake fluid. A quick google search and we found a Supercheap auto at Colac, I needed to get there asap for some brake fluid and a brake line clamp so I could isolate the rear brakes until we could replace the line, with very little braking from the cruiser, I cranked up the braking power from the camper trailer, this was enough to provide sufficient braking to get us to the shop, once at Colac it was a quick bleed of the brakes and clamped off the rear and off we went to catch up with the others for the night at Princetown.
Princetown is a little community with a caravan park and a pub, I was not too impressed with the caravan park as it was small and a lot of uneven ground, there was swarms of tiny fruit flys so doing anything outside was annoying, we unhitched and went to check out the 12 Apostles just down the road at sunset, wow magnificent views! so we opted to have dinner at the pub, it was a good feed and great to relax while listening to live music.
Early morning rise to check out the rest of the Apostles and the different lookouts along the road, there is plenty of angles you can get a photo of these Apostles, checking out some of the gorges are worth the walk, these secluded little beaches right underneath these big cliffs, if the weather was a bit warmer it would be great for a swim but its has been very cold even being October Im surprised how cold it has been this whole trip. A quick drive through the rest of the Great Ocean Road as we headed for Warrnambool for the night.
We stayed at Figtree caravan park in Warrnambool, it was a little out dated but every site had its own ensuit and it even had an indoor pool and spa, after soaking up some bubbles in the spa for the afternoon we got ready for a Laser light show at the Flagstaff Hill Historic Village, if this isn’t on your list to see then I strongly advise you to add it, I was very impressed with the night show and the story of Lockhart Gorge, it would have to be the highlight of the whole trip!!