2 Weeks in Melbourne: Day 3-4

 


Hi, friends! Hope you all are having a great day so far!

Today’s post is the second installment of my 2 Weeks in Melbourne series, in which I am sharing with all of you the fun things I did on my recent trip to Melbourne. If you didn’t catch the first post of the series, be sure to check it out here

On Day 3 and 4 of my trip, Justin and I took a road trip down the Great Ocean Road. For those of you who don’t know, the Great Ocean Road is a famous 243 km (151 mi) stretch of road along the south-eastern coast of Australia. Much of the road hugs the coastline between Torquay and Cape Otway (the Surf Coast), but also travels through rainforests and alongside cliffs made of limestone/sandstone. 

Poor Justin had to drive the entire way and it’s a LONG drive. But, I definitely did not trust myself to drive on the opposite side of the road and from the opposite side of the car than we do in America. (And I’m sure he didn’t trust me to drive either LOL.) There must be quite a few accidents on the Great Ocean Road because there are actually signs on the side of the road to remind people to drive on the left side of the road.

Okay, now without further ado, let’s just jump right in!

 

DAY 3

Aireys Inlet

Located between Anglesea and Lorne, Aireys Inlet is a small coastal inlet and town. It’s popular for its Split Point Lighthouse that overlooks the town, which has become somewhat of an icon of the Great Ocean Road.

We were racing the sunlight because we were trying to get to our end destination by sunset, so we didn’t venture down to the coast or go inside the lighthouse. However, the Split Point Lighthouse offers 30-45 minute guided tours, in which you can go all the way up to the top of the lighthouse – but just below the lantern room.

Split Point Lighthouse Information:

Address:

24 Federal St, Aireys Inlet VIC 3231, Australia

Daily Tours:

Every Day: On the hour, 11 AM – 2 PM (last tour starts at 2 PM)
January: On the hour, 10 AM – 4 PM (last tour starts at 4 PM)

Tour Cost: (All in AUD)

Adults: $14
Concession or Senior: $10
Child (ages 5-16 ): $8
Family (2 adults + 2 chlidren): $40, each additional child costs $8
*Discounts available for groups of 10 or more

Phone Number:

1-800-174-045

Book Online:

http://splitpointlighthouse.com.au/book-tour/

Website:

http://splitpointlighthouse.com.au/

 

The Twelve Apostles

This was the main reason we did this Great Ocean Road trip! Just from seeing photos of it, it looks like somewhere you just HAVE to see in your lifetime. It was also a first for Justin! In his whole life of living in Melbourne, he never made his way to the Twelve Apostles… Well, I guess it is quite a far drive. That’s like how I’ve lived on Maui for most of my life and didn’t see the sunrise from the crater of Haleakala until he came to visit me LOL.

The Twelve Apostles are located off the shore of Port Campbell National Park and is a collection of limestone stacks formed by erosion. Formerly part of the current cliffs, the soft limestone was gradually eroded by the Southern Ocean (Antarctic Ocean) to form caves in the cliffs, which then eroded into arches. The arches eventually collapsed, leaving the tall stacks of limestone that can be seen today.

Interestingly, there were only ever nine limestone stacks present, even though it is named the Twelve Apostles. (Does anyone know why it was named that? Please let me know if you do!) Today, there are eight remaining as one collapsed on July 3, 2005. The remaining stacks experience erosion at a rate of about 2 cm per year, so eventually they will all collapse. However, it is expected that the existing cliff face will become new limestone stacks in the future.

We got to the viewing point just in time for sunset and guys, I can say with 100% certainty that it was the most beautiful sunset I have ever seen in my life. And I’m from Hawaii! Even with how beautiful the photos came out, they don’t do it justice at all. It’s really something you have to experience in real life to truly appreciate.

Some people will say, “They’re just rocks!” But, aren’t rocks cool?! Like isn’t it amazing that nature created that?! Justin and I do have a slight fascination with geology, though… I mean, we walked a really long time in the rain to see basalt cliffs in Japan.    

12 apostles.jpg
12 apostles.jpg

The Twelve Apostles Information:

Address:

Great Ocean Rd & Booringa Rd, Princetown VIC 3269, Australia

Parks Victoria Phone Number:

13 19 63 within Australia
+61 3 8427 2002 internationally

Accessibility:

Although we took the stairs down to the viewing platform, there is a wheelchair/stroller (pram) accessible path. View full details on their website: http://parkweb.vic.gov.au/explore/parks/port-campbell-national-park/things-to-do/twelve-apostles

 

 Port Campbell

Overnight Stay at Southern Ocean Motor Inn

Although not the ritziest of inns, for just a short overnight stay, this inn was more than enough. The check-in counter is a small stand-alone house-like office that you just drive up to, park outside the door, go inside and the clerk hands you your keys. I’m pretty sure this person is the only person handling the entire hotel at any given time.

I would describe the room as a studio apartment with the bare necessities. I did like that there were some kitchen utensils available because we did make some coffee in the morning. Also, free wifi! The wifi was pretty bad, though. But, bad wifi is still better than no wifi.

To check out of the inn, you just drop your keys into a little box they have outside the office and that’s it!

We arrived to the hotel at night, so we didn’t even realize we were right next to the water! It was so pretty!

In the morning the next day, we went to a lookout that overlooks the town. The inn is that furthest building on the right across the water in the distance. 

Southern Ocean Motor Inn information:

Address:

2 Lord St, Port Campbell VIC 3269, Australia

Phone Number:

+61 3 5598 6231

Website: 

www.southernoceanmotorinn.com

 

Petrol Trouble at Port Campbell

When we arrived at Port Campbell, we knew we definitely needed to fill up the gas (or Petrol in Aussie speak) in our car. Knowing we had enough gas in our tank to make it to Port Campbell from Justin’s house, we decided to fill up there so we would have a full tank for the drive home the next day. Makes sense, right?

Well, we didn’t know how small of a town Port Campbell is and that there would only be one little gas station with only two pumps and only two types of gas – diesel and regular (octane level of 87). The car we drove requires premium gas (octane level of 93)…

We were at a loss for a long time. If we filled the tank with regular gas, that could damage the car. We had one bar left on the gas gauge so we definitely didn’t have enough to make it very far. After we spoke with Justin’s parents, we decided to find the nearest gas station that sold premium gas. After poking around on the car’s screen, we found where the car displays the mileage that the amount of gas left will take you. Fancy car!

After searching for nearby gas stations, we found the nearest one with premium gas was about an hour-long drive away… There was one a little closer (but still kind of far), but after calling them, we found that they didn’t have premium gas. The amount of gas we had left would just barely get us there.

So, without having much of a choice, we set out on our hour-long drive to the nearest station! By the time we got back to Port Campbell, it was after 8 and we were STARVING. 

 

Dinner at 12 Rocks Beach Bar

After reaching Port Campbell, we quickly realized there isn’t much around to eat. It’s a super tiny town! It only has a few restaurants to choose from and based on the hotel clerk’s recommendation, we chose a restaurant called 12 Rocks. I must admit it took me an embarrassing long time to realize it was named after the Twelve Apostles. *facepalm*

Because of our little car issue, we actually walked into Twelve Rocks after their cut-off time for ordering dinner. But luckily, the staff was so kind to accommodate us and offer a few choices from their menu that we could order. I think they knew that they were basically our only choice for dinner and we would starve if they didn’t feed us.

We both ordered a Chicken Parmigiana, or as Justin says, “a Parma.” And apparently that dish is one of the most Australian dishes you can have. For those of you who only know the Italian/American version, the Australian version consists of a MASSIVE piece of breaded chicken topped with a slice of ham, cheese, and tomato sauce, then baked. It is also usually served with a side of salad and some fries (or chips in Aussie speak). Amusingly, there is an ongoing dispute about whether the fries should be served under the chicken or on the side.

I really enjoyed it! It’s probably not something I would ever crave, but I would order it again if I saw it on a menu! And it pairs especially nice with a glass of cold beer yummm. And of course, we definitely had beer with it.

12 Rocks Information:

Address:

19 Lord St, Port Campbell VIC 3269, Australia

Phone Number:

+61 3 5598 6123

Hours:

Every day, except Tuesday and Friday: 9:30 AM – late
Tuesday and Friday opens at 10:30 AM
*During peak season, last-call for food take place between 8:30 PM & 9:30 PM and during off-peak, last-call is between 8:00 PM & 9:00 PM, depending on demand.
*Except Tuesday & Friday, when 12 Rocks opens at 10:30 AM, no breakfast, only coffee & cake served until lunch service at 12:00 PM

Website:

http://www.12rocksbeachbar.com.au/

After dinner, we just went back to the hotel to relax. We started the second season of 13 Reasons Why. Who has watched that show?! I want to know what you think! Especially about the ending! And then we fell asleep watching Brooklyn Nine Nine. Side note – why doesn’t Netflix in America have that show?!

 

DAY 4

The next morning, we had some coffee in the room and checked out of the hotel by 10. We figured we needed to get something to eat before starting our day, so we stopped at a small cafe in town. I just had a toasted ham and cheese croissant sandwich and Justin had a meat pie.  Then, we headed out to see more sights along the Great Ocean Road!

 

The Arch

A rock formation molded out of limestone by the waves, The Arch is one of the many crazy rock formations on the Great Ocean Road. It seriously looks like it was placed there on purpose just to entertain the thousands of tourist that visit.

We stopped at The Arch, but didn’t want to walk down to the lower viewing area so we only got a view of it from the top. So we weren't able to get this view:

Oh the regret! The lower viewing area offers a unique perspective looking back towards The Twelve Apostles from the opposite direction than you would normally view it at. If we go back again, I’ll definitely be sure to head down to the lower platform.

Even though the Arch isn't in this photo, it was taken there LOL

The Arch Information:

Address:

Great Ocean Rd, Peterborough VIC 3270, Australia (about 6 km west of Port Campbell)

Parks Victoria Phone Number:

13 19 63 within Australia
+61 3 8427 2002 internationally

Accessibility:

The walk to the first viewing area is quite level and accessible for wheelchairs/strollers. However, the path to the lower area is very steep. More accessibility information can be found here: http://parkweb.vic.gov.au/explore/parks/port-campbell-national-park/things-to-do/the-arch

 

London Bridge (London Arch)

This has got to be one of the coolest rock formations I have ever seen. Like, how does a double bridge happen naturally?! Now it is no longer a double bridge, but an arch that is disconnected from the mainland. The bridge that connected the arch and the mainland collapsed in 1990, leaving two tourists stranded.

This is what it reads on the sign:

“On the evening of 15 January 1990 the main arch connecting London Bridge to the mainland cracked and fell into the sea. Fortunately no-one was injured. Two people marooned on the new island were rescued hours later by helicopter.”

Before the collapse:

London Bridge Information:

Address:

Great Ocean Rd, Peterborough VIC 3270, Australia (about 7 km west of Port Campbell)

Parks Victoria Phone Number:

13 19 63 within Australia
+61 3 8427 2002 internationally

Accessibility:

Not really suitable for wheelchairs/strollers (prams), but thorough accessibility info can be found here: http://parkweb.vic.gov.au/explore/parks/port-campbell-national-park/accessibility/london-bridge

 

The Grotto

I don’t even know what to classify The Grotto as. It’s kind of a cave, kind of a sinkhole, kind of an archway, and kind of a blowhole. I’m certain of one thing though – it’s really freaking cool. And although you have to walk down quite a bit of steps to get to view it up close, it’s totally worth it.

We were the only ones there for most of our visit, which makes me think that this sight is not very popular. I think the main reason for that is because it’s at the end of stretch of cool rock formations on the Great Ocean Road and gets overlooked after visitors already had a long day of visiting the attractions leading up to it. Don’t miss this if you go, though! You definitely won’t be disappointed.

So, how was it formed? This is what the sign reads:

“This charming feature has been formed by erosion from the coast…and from inland.

Water from swampy depression has percolated through the 10-20 million year-old limestone of the escarpment here.

Weak acids in the water slowly dissolved the limestone, first forming a depression or ‘sinkhole’, and eventually hollowing out the Grotto.

Rust-coloured pebbles scattered near the top of the limestone are a product of the same swamp. Known as ‘buckshot’, they were formed when magnetic iron-rich particles were drawn together in the still waters at the bottom of the swamp.”

Isn’t nature cool?

From above . Image credit

The Grotto Information:

Address:

Great Ocean Rd, Peterborough VIC 3270, Australia (9 km west of Port Campbell)

Parks Victoria Phone Number:

13 19 63 within Australia
+61 3 8427 2002 internationally

Accessibility:

The upper viewing area is accessible for wheelchairs/strollers (prams), but after that it’s all stairs. The area can be very slippery when wet, so be careful! You can find full accessibility details here: http://parkweb.vic.gov.au/explore/parks/port-campbell-national-park/accessibility/london-bridge

 

Bay of Martyrs

Part of the Bay of Islands Coastal Park, the Bay of Martyrs is a 33 km long stretch of coastal reserve, protecting coastal heathland, plants, animals, and scenery. There are two self-guided walks you can take, with accompanying signs to teach you the history of the area as well as giving you a glimpse of the wildlife. If you’re lucky, you may spot very rare and endangered birds – the hooded plover and bristlebird!

Along with Massacre Bay and Massacre Point, there is interesting history about this area of Victoria. Can you take a guess by the names? Although no written evidence has ever been found, stories suggest that Europeans killed a very large amount of local Aboriginals by running them off the cliffs. There are other stories to the area and no one knows truly what happened, but it is known that the population of Aboriginals dropped from thousands to almost none. I’ll leave it to you to decide what to believe. :)

I’ll be honest, I had no idea about this place before we got there. It’s very near The Grotto, so we figured we’d stop to have a look. We basically got out of the car, took some photos, walked down to the beach, took some more photos, and got back into the car to leave LOL. I kind of wish I knew about the supposed history of the place before I got there because it would’ve made the visit so much more fascinating. Nonetheless, it’s a super pretty beach!

Bay of Martyrs Information:

Address:

Bay of Islands Coastal Park, Nullawarre VIC 3268, Australia (Between Peterborough and Warrnambool)

Parks Victoria Phone Number:

13 19 63 within Australia
+61 3 8427 2002 internationally

Accessibility:

The main viewing area is very accessible from the car park, however access to the beach required going down some stairs. View more information here: http://parkweb.vic.gov.au/explore/parks/bay-of-islands-coastal-park/accessibility/bay-of-martyrs

 

Loch Ard Gorge

Easily one of the most popular stopping points of the Great Ocean Road is the Loch Ard Gorge, which is not only a picturesque landscape, but also has a fascinating history. I’ll let the sign tell the story of the two survivors in the Loch Ard shipwreck that happened in 1878:

“Only two of the 54 people on board the Loch Ard survived: 18 year old Eva Carmichael, one of a family of eight Irish immigrants, and ship’s apprentice Tom Pearce.

After the ship went down, Tom drifted for hours under an upturned lifeboat. When the tide turned at dawn, he was swept, bruised and battered, into this gorge. Shortly after reach the beach he heard cries from the water, and saw Eva clinging to a spar.

Tom quickly swam out and struggled for an hour to bring her to the beach. He sheltered her in the cave and revived her with some brandy, which had washed ashore. Then, exhausted, they both slept.

Upon waking, Tom climbed out of the gorge to search for help. He came upon two stockmen from nearby Glenample Station.

The owner, Hugh Gibson, made immediate arrangements to get Eva out of the gorge and back to the safety of the homestead.”

Fascinating, right?! This is another spot that I wish I had researched before visiting because I had no idea of the rich history it holds. (I always let Justin plan out what we’re doing. I’m bad, I know.)

The area is a very large area that include viewpoints of Loch Ard Gorge, the Loch Ard Wreck Site, and the Island Archway. We didn’t have a chance to walk around the entire area, but I wish we went to see the Island Archway! The archway collapsed in 2009, so now it’s two rock pillars which have been named Tom and Eva after the two survivors. Look at this beauty!

Before:

After:

There are also trails that’ll take you to view the Loch Ard Cemetary, Muttonbird Island (where the shipwreck took place), Thunder Cave, and Broken Head. The sign said to allow 3 hours to do all of the walks, and we definitely didn’t have time for that!

We walked down the stairs to go into the gorge and cave, where Tom and Eva took shelter, but left shortly after that. And went to Twelve Apostles again LOL. 

Loch Ard Gorge Information:

Address:

Great Ocean Road, Port Campbell VIC 3269, Australia (about 3.5 km northwest of The Twelve Apostles)

Parks Victoria Phone Number:

13 19 63 within Australia
+61 3 8427 2002 internationally

Accessibility:

The lookout to the gorge is definitely accessible for wheelchairs/strollers (prams), but they definitely can’t go down into the gorge. View more info here: http://parkweb.vic.gov.au/explore/parks/port-campbell-national-park/things-to-do/loch-ard-gorge

 

All of the sights mentioned above (with the exception of Bay of Martyrs) are part of the Port Campbell National Park. A free map and visitor guide can be downloaded from the National Parks website here: http://parkweb.vic.gov.au/explore/parks/port-campbell-national-park. Scroll down to Related Publications to find downloadable PDFs. 

 

Hopetoun Falls

On our way back to Melbourne, we decided to stop by The Otways, which is a very rainforesty area near Apollo Bay. We also tried to go to Beauchamp Falls nearby, but were stopped while driving in because they were logging in the area. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think much of the area is used for logging. It seemed that way because of the very grid-like placement the trees were in.

The trek down to the Hopetoun Falls is not for the faint of heart, guys. Actually, going down isn’t bad at all because it’s downhill and there are very well-maintained stairs leading the way. If anything, areas can be a bit slippery and muddy because of the moisture in the area. It is a forest after all!

Climbing back out was a completely different story, though. It seemed like the stairs were never-ending. I thought I was going to die. I told Justin that he almost killed me that day. I was not prepared for a hike at all. And I’m the type of person that needs to be mentally and physically prepared for that kind of activity. And I was not at all. Just a heads up for those of you thinking of going there – it’s not easy if you don’t regularly exercise (ME LOL).

There is a lookout where you can view the waterfall from up top, which is only a 30m walk, but you honestly can’t really see much of it from there. You might as well go down to the falls if you’re there. Despite almost dying that day, I will say that it was a very beautiful walk through the forest and being completely surrounded by lush nature. It also doesn’t seem to be a very busy waterfall, which makes it great for taking photos!

Also, the drive to the falls is comprised of mostly dirt roads. It can be dangerous if it’s muddy and you’re driving too fast because it’s very windy and bumpy.  

 
 

Hopetoun Falls Information:

Address:

Aire Valley Road, Beech Forest , Victoria, 3237

Accessibility:

The upper viewing platform is definitely accessible for wheelchairs and strollers (prams), but further than that, I’d advise against it unless you really want t a good workout that day! I read a review on TripAdvisor where a group carried their baby in a stroller back up the stairs. So… it can be done if you really want to.

Related Post:  The Otways - Australia

 

The Redwoods

Located just a short drive from Hopetoun Falls, the Redwoods is an 85 year-old plantation of California Redwoods. It started out as crops being planted for harvesting, but after never being harvested, it turned into a magical forest.

Being surrounded by massive trees that block out any outside sound really feels enchanting and like you’re in a fairy tale. There’s no better way to describe the silence other than deafening. You’ll only hear every little crunch your footsteps make, every little chirp a bird makes, and the peaceful sound of the nearby creek.

There isn’t really much to do there other than breathing in the fresh air, appreciating the serene moment, and just admiring the beautiful trees. But, for these very reasons, it is a popular spot for picnics!

If you’re already in the area visiting the waterfalls, I’d say it’s definitely worth a stop. You probably won’t spend more than 15-30 minutes there, and it’s a nice break from reality! It’s also a great spot for taking photos.

The Redwoods Information:

Address:

Beech Forest, Victoria, Australia (just off Binns Road)

Accessibility:

Further than the picnic table near the car park, I wouldn’t take a wheelchair/stroller (pram) into the forest as the ground is very uneven

Related Post: The Otways - Australia

 

And that's it for our Great Ocean Road trip! Many thanks to Justin for taking and editing the pretty landscape photos - I'm sure you can tell which ones he took and which ones I took with my phone LOL.

Here are some other photos we took along the way:

Stay tuned for the next installment of my 2 weeks in Melbourne series. Sneak peek: on day 5 and 6, we hit the city and went to see the Brighton Beach Boxes!

Thanks for reading and until next time! <3

signature.png
 

Don't forget to subscribe! :)


PIN IT!

great ocean road pin.png
great ocean road pin 2.png
great ocean road pin 3.png
great ocean road pin 4.png

YOU MIGHT LIKE...

 
Snapseed 4.jpg

Hey, it's Liana!

On lianadesu.com, you'll find lots of makeup posts, some travel posts, some lifestyle posts, some food posts, and some fashion posts. Basically everything you could ever want, right? 

Join me on my adventures through life - discovering good makeup, good food, pretty places to visit, and hopefully some good life lessons. <3


Let's Be Friends!