Sightseeing

A night beneath the stars: The Great Ocean Road

If you’re going to visit Melbourne you’d be a fool to miss out on taking a drive on The Great Ocean Road. Thanks to a spontaneous bunch of pals at our hostel, we did exactly this in one of the best kind of ways – road tripping and camping overnight beneath the stars.

Checklist includes:

  • Driver’s license. Hiring out cars was certainly the way to go as we had the freedom to do what we wanted, when we wanted. It also meant we could change who was behind the wheel to give everyone a much needed rest.
  • Great company – this is a no brainer.
  • Basic camping goods – we took the duvets and pillows from our hostel so this can be as basic or as glamorous as you like.
  • Beer – well duh!
  • Suncream – no matter if you’re as pastey as the milky bar kid or if you’re lucky enough to be sun kissed – you need to lather up. Shit got hot. Skin got burnt.
  • Bikini / swim stuff

Our first stop was Torquay, a surfer’s town equidistant from Melbourne and the Great Ocean Road. The beach itself was beautiful, nestled amongst tropical greenery and crashing white ocean waves. We wanted to hit the boards and do some surfing of our own, but only our friend George got the opportunity as we’d arrived just a tad too late. Instead, the rest of us sun bathed and braved the Baltic Sea water in between. This took me back to being a kid and being classically British by jumping into sea regardless of its temperature. The only difference was it was scorchio in Torquay in Australia.

After the beach we grabbed a beer at a nearby bar, still overlooking the ocean. Then, it was onto finding a spot to crash for the night. This didn’t take long, even though we did lose the other car a number of times. The spot we found was pretty perfect too – right on a hill, with the sea in sight and in enough distance for us to hear the loud crashes of waves as they pulled into the tide. A short walk down the hill was another beach. The three most daring of the bunch camped there.

What was even more perfect was our decking area. This is where the drinking happened. Only visible by the dim lights, an occasional camera flash (apologies) and one of the most beautiful night skies I’ve ever seen, this couldn’t have felt more tranquil. Sparkling away in the night, the stars steered the conversation toward space. Pretty sure we spoke about life on Mars / holidaying in Mars for quite a time.

One thing I cannot miss from this post is that I saw a shooting star – something which I assumed people just made up! Apparently not!

The next day a few of us (the blue car) took a trip into a nearby town for brekkie. It hit 30 degrees that morning, so we knew being in the car for any length of time was going to be painful.

Our first stop after that was the tower from Around the Twist. Don’t act like you don’t know the show. It’s a classic. The views here were insane. As were a few members of our party, who climbed over the metal fence onto a cliff that looked suspiciously like a death trap. The message on the fence next to it that concluded with “RIP” also indicated this. They survived though, so we are all good.

These are the nutters that climbed the fence ^^

We got moving again. And about forty mins later we finally arrived at the huge sign that says THE GREAT OCEAN ROAD. We actually thought we’d been on it for ages. What fools we were. The breathtaking views had only just begun. But none were more breathtaking than the twelve apostles. Unfortunately by this time the skies had turned grey and the wind was worryingly fierce. But it was still beautiful. It’s recommended to go when the sun sets, so if you are planning a visit, try to do this.

The Twelve Apostles

All in all the trip was a special one and one of the best memories I’ve made so far on my travels.

The gang, minus George who busy taking this photograph at the time

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