A couple of weekends back I was asked by some friends to head on a drive up the Great Ocean Road. I wasn’t quite sure why this road was so special or what exactly I was going to see, but MAN am I glad that my friends convinced me to stop being budget crazy and live a little. Here’s a little flashback into where we went!
So we obviously started our trip in Melbourne. There were 9 girls in total – 4 British, 3 American, and 2 Swedish. We rented out 2 small cars and loaded up – I was with my fellow yank Selvi and our cute Swedes, Matilda and Lisa. Lisa, being the brave woman she is, decided she was going to drive the entire trip. Props to her, because there was NO WAY I was going to drive on that side of the road! I might live in a different country, but I REFUSE to drive until I get my bearings straight. Plus I am a terrible driver on MY side of the road (Just ask any of my KC friends about the trashcan, the garage door, the basketball post…. The list is endless). So instead, I was the car DJ and we all jammed out to some ABBA (Had to bond over our love of Swedish things) while we drove to Torquay.
We ate brunch at a beautiful little stop by the sea, where I ordered cute pancakes with a random flower on top. It was lovely and I was coerced into trying the flower. It was in fact not edible! Shocking, I know. After eating, we played in the sand a bit and looked in awe at the endless horizon – it was my first time out of Melbourne, so I was shocked to see that the pictures of Australian beaches were REAL!
After that, we stopped at Bells Beach, which had an epic view and an immense amount of chilled out surfers. They all gave us tips on the best stops for pictures and peak times to see the tourist sights on the Great Ocean Road. We took some amazing pics, gasped at the fancy sand and crazy waves, and hopped back in the car.
We then stopped at Airey’s inlet, which is where the Split Point Lighthouse is located. This is a traditional lighthouse and was really beautiful in contrast to the sand colored rocks jutting out of the sea in random spots. Australia seriously has SO many beaches and rock formations- it’s like the Grand Canyon mixed with the ocean to create various beautiful sights that didn’t even look real.
Once we finished gazing at the lighthouse, we headed to the Memorial Arch, which is on the Eastern View. This basically marks the entrance to the true Great Ocean Road. It had a great art deco vibe.
Then Matilda insisted that we stop by the Lorne Rainforest. We walked down this seriously steep staircase, but the view from the bottom was worth it – because we were at the bottom of Ershine Falls! This waterfall was HUGE and surrounded by a tropical rainforest. It was like those sound machines but in real life! It was gorgeous, but the hike back up the stairs was NOT gorgeous. It hurt and there are many pictures of me taking breaks and looking like I am dying. Drama queen Kelsey strikes again!
After the Falls, we headed to Kennett River. I was pleasantly surprised to rock up to a tree and see a KOALA JUST CHILLING. The koala was seriously just a few feet away from us! It was incredible and the lil guy looked so cozy on his branch. We kept walking and saw at least 5 more furry guys just doing their thing up in the trees. I can now officially say that I have seen koalas in the wild! They remind me of Rory – sleepy and always looking for food….
We are all a bit knackered after such an eventful day, so we headed straight for our Airbnb in Apollo Bay. This Airbnb was located right next to the beach (Yay!) and was a baby blue shingled home on stilts. It was very homey and we ended up working together to cook fajitas. It was so much fun to make our own food and really team up to make the dinner as yummy as possible. After that, we whipped out some Whitney Houston and had a dance party!
The next day we headed towards the Cape Otway Rainforest. This was another scene from a movie in the tropics – the sounds of frogs, dripping water, and insects mixed together with humidity was a bit much, so we high tailed it out of there and headed towards the best sights on the trip = Port Campbell National Park!
I really was not prepared for the beauty of this national park. Thanks to my Grandpa, I’ve seen quite a few national parks in my time, but none of them could ever top this one. Its most famous feature is the 12 Apostles, which are 12 rocks that randomly jut out of the ocean. They were breathtaking and seriously didn’t make sense!!
We also saw the Loch and Gorge, which is where 2 rocks look like they are about to kiss each other. I’m not sure whether they eroded or just snuggled up to each other because of plate tectonics and such, but it was so cool to see with my own eyes. However, it was NOT cool when the tide came in way farther than expected and splashed me. After that, I was ready to call it quits.
We wrapped up our time on the road and headed back to the city while listening to – you guessed it – ABBA. It was the first time I saw the Melbourne skyline as I was driving towards it – it was like coming home! I seriously love the look of this city and find it so cool that I get to live here.
All in all, it was a marvelous trip with some pretty sights and amazing friends. I highly recommend seeing these sights if you ever come over to Melbourne, because they are only 3 hours away!
Thanks for reading,