Great Ocean Road Day 1 – Torquay to Apollo Bay

It’s our first day traveling down the Great Ocean Road.  Built as an engineering project to employ soldiers returning from WW1, it runs from Melbourne to Adelaide. Technically the true “Great Ocean Road” only runs from Torquay to Warambool, but highways connect both cities. The road is a curvy thing that rides along the shore line, providing stunning views of the Southern Ocean as well as rolling green farmland.

We left Melbourne early enough to avoid rush hour traffic and arrived at Torquay around 9.  The town is famous for its surfing as well as being the birthplace of Quicksilver and Rip Curl. We pulled over for our first grand view of the ocean at Point Danger, which also stands as a memorial to honor fallen soldiers. Next, we zipped down the coast to check out Bells Beach, which is a world famous surfing hangout.
Anglesea is home to a golf course that has a court of kangaroos living on it (Yes dads, we went to the golf course. No, we didn’t play). Our friend Maggie is visiting, and she was super excited to see her first wild ‘roo.  She also got to see her first koala, kookaburra, and a bunch of parrots (more on that below).
We took a small detour and investigated the beach at the  Airey’s Inlet. The rocky beach reminded us of the beaches near Laguna in California. The tide was going out but the waves were breaking heavily on the rocks. It was great to take off our shoes and walk along the beach barefoot.
After a quick lunch in Lorne, we made our first foray into Great Otway National Park to check out Erskine Falls and Teddy’s Lookout. The fall was very dramatic and we enjoyed the giant ferns that surrounded it. We didn’t like the number of stairs we had to climb to get back up from the bottom however! Teddy’s Lookout was absolutely stunning – the picture at the top of the post is from our view there.
Our last stop before Apollo Bay (our destination for the night) was Kennett River. The caravan park there is known for having easy to spot koalas and for parrot feeding.  Everyone was excited to see a grey fuzzy bum up in the trees…until we brought out the birdseed.  The sulfur crested cockatoos got a bit too aggressive with Ashley, but the king parrots were very friendly.  All of us had several birds perched on us happily munching away at the available seed. Continuing the tradition of birds eating off of Drew’s head, Ashley decided his hat would make an excellent feeding bowl so a female parrot was very happy to sit and have a nice afternoon snack.
We made it into Apollo Bay after driving through more curving roads and breathtaking scenery. Tomorrow promises to be just as beautiful and exciting as we journey to Port Campbell. More picture of the day can be found here.
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One thought on “Great Ocean Road Day 1 – Torquay to Apollo Bay

  1. Loved these photos, and the ones on the Picasa site–the boat on the water and the furled fern were my favorites!! Love, Kim

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