Melbourne and the GreatOceanRoad
'Kort maar krachtig' This has to be the best description of my trip to Melbourne. It is a city with a lot going on from all kinds of festivals, streetmusic, parties to markets, streetart and museums. From many different people I have heard them describe Melbourne as a place with an amazing 'arty vibe'. Doing such a big amazing city like this one in just over a week was difficult but I think I did pretty well.
After the disaster journey to get there The hostel was really nice. Sharing a bathroom with seven boys of which six where german a little less so. St Kilda is an amazing area though with its lovely beach, pier (where I did see a fairy penguin in the rocks, yay!), lovely cafes, luna park, markets and clubs. Luna park had a market going on on thursday evenings so I went down there with someone fom my room. Great food, music and all kinds of stalls filled the usually so peaceful grassfield. After also having the best chocolate-caramel-banana cup in this little chocolate shop anyone would agree you could stay entertained in St kildas for quite some time.
But as I didnt have that much time I went to explore the city aswell. Just walking around I found so much. From great big malls to china town, the harbour and ofcourse I went to see Melbourne Museum. After meeting up with Julie, having 'the best icecream in Australia' and walking through Brunswick street music festival my time in Melbourne was almost up.
Ofcourse I couldnt of been to Melbourne without seeing the Great Ocean Road so I booked a two day trip. Leaving at seven in the morning the long journey to the end of the road began. Ride tours, the company I went with, do the road backwards to avoid being crowded in all places by other tours. As ther where only nine of us on the tour we all got to know each other pretty well and we had a great tourguide 'Jude' who could keep us all entertained and informed. The sights we saw where amazing and the stories of some places very interesting. I'll. give a short summary of all the places now. Short, unlike the explanations of Jude who could go on and on and get distracted and very passionately tell us everything in extreme detail.
First point; Logan beach. During the winter months you can see whales coming to give birth in these waters but as its summer here now it was just a very lovely beach.
Tower Hill. Which is actually a volcano that has so much nature and animals in it that it has become a national park. We saw koalas, kangaroos and emus really up close here.
Cheesefactory. The bus needed petrol and there was a cheesefactory right next to the petrolstation with free cheesetasting so ofcourse that had to be done.
Bay of islands. Just an absolutely beautiful site!
Bay of martyrs. This is where many aboriginals were forced to 'walk the cliff'. After losing battles their hands would be tied together and they eouldbe led off the cliff to fall and drown.
The grotto. An archway shaped over the years into the limestone rock giving a real good view of the blue blue sea. And as our tourguide said 'the most amazing place for pictures'.
London bridge. This massive archway used to be a bridge until it collapsed. Nature playing with karma. The bridge was full when it collapsed but most people managed to run of it in time. Except for one couple that got left stranded on the rock. The news was there before the rescue helicopter and both these people refused to show their faces. Only a week later did ghe news find out why; they whee having an affair and didnt want their partners to see them on the news together! Ofcourse we all learned how to say 'they are having an affair' in chinese, this being an extremely useful phrase and all.
The twelve apostles. Sunset and penguins coming in. Has to be the best sunset i have ever seen. So many different colours and the perfectly round ball of fire dropped into the seavery slowly. And then millions of little tiny black dots scrambling up the beach to their hiding place for the night.
On our way back to the hostel in the dark we had at least 6 kangaroos jump in front of the bus. Frightening but very cool to see. Just like the stars and the milkyway you could see very clearly from the top of the hill we were on.
The next morning after seeing the twelve apostles again we had our next stop.
Lock art gorge. This is where a very big ship sunk and left only two survivors. An irish girl and one of the crew members managed to get to this lovely beach and survive.
Gibsons steps. The only way to get down to a beautiful little hiden beach. Surrounding by steepcliffs its impossible otherwise. Named after the boss of the workers that build the stairs orignally to be able to relax on the beach after work.
We then did a little walk through the rainforest and saw the second tallest treei n the world and many more beautiful nature.
Apollo bay. Nice little seaside town with loads of little cafes and a really nice beach where we had lunch. Also stopped at a campsite not far from Apollo bay where we saw loads of koalas and colourful birds just in the trees.
Memorial arch. Te fourth arch build after the others all collapsed due to road widening or weather. To remember all of the soldiers that build the entire road by hand. Very impressive.
Splitpoint lighthouse. The lighthouse from 'round the twist'. Got me very exciting. Me being the only one on the tour to know the program I was called a nutter quite a couple of times for walking around singing the themesong.
Bells beach. The last stop on the Great Ocean Road. The great surfers beach with loads of waves where the film 'point reak' was set (but not filmed!)
After getting back to Melbourne it was quick food, pack, goodbyes and sleep and then off to Byron Bay in the morning for a more relaxed week.