Loading Map...

Great Ocean Road, Melbourne, The Prom

Written on: Wednesday January 24th, 2007

A journal entry from: The Winter of 2006/2007

Saturday morning we started towards the Great Ocean Road but it was raining all the way, we kept hoping that it would stop so we could enjoy the coastline but our first two stops we got soaked, after that we did manage to get some drier weather and took lots of pictures. The limestone has been worn away to form some fantastic shapes, this is an area that is touted as one of the most spectacular coastal roads in the world - we've seen lots and it's definitely up there with the best. Take a look at the pictures and see for yourself.

We arrived in Apollo Bay late afternoon and were lucky to get just about the last campsite and I think we only got that because of the bad weather, some people had decided to cut their holiday short and go home. Apollo Bay is a cute community with a fabulous shore-line, we walked into town that night to get something to eat.

So here we are January 21st, 2007 ? my 60th birthday!!   We left Apollo Bay and drove along the coast for half a day taking in some breathtaking scenery, this was completely different from yesterday as the geology had changed and we now had beaches and bays. As we left Apollo Bay it started to rain, we stopped at a lookout and there was a huge rainbow hanging over Apollo Bay, I took about 30 photos, I?ll only show one though. One of the highlights of the trip was when we took a side road down to a cape and came across an area that had koala bears in the trees. We?ve had great difficulty in seeing koalas in the past but there must have been ten of them in various trees along the side of the road. We actually saw a couple move which is quite unusual, they seem to be very lazy animals.

We arrived in Melbourne early afternoon, checked into our campsite and then drove into Melbourne centre for a look around. On the way in we passed through an area that is reminiscent of some streets in our home town of Hull but they have been gone for many years now. Melbourne centre is clean, lots of high rises but a beautiful river front with restaurants, cafes and some greenspace. Once again it was brown though as there?s been a drought here too. The Australian Open Tennis was taking place right near the river so we had problems getting parked up but once we did we were able to go for a short walk along the river, it was Sunday and extremely busy, we felt we?d got an idea of what the city was about so the next day we drove to the Mornington Peninsular. We didn?t have time to go too far down the peninsular but did stop at some lovely beaches, Brighton Beach is quite famous for its colourful beach huts, I just had to take a picture. Our RV site was at the north end of town and it took quite some time to get from the north through the city to any of the places of interest, with hindsight we should have stayed on the Peninsular as this would have made our escape route easier too.

Melbourne seems like a big busy city and as neither of us are really city people we were glad to drive out the next day and head for Wilson?s Promintary. One of Kay and Ian?s friends had told us that this was a must on our trip and we?re glad we listened to him as it was a bit out of the way and we didn?t originally plan on going that route. The Prom as the locals call it is yet another peninsular which is totally National Park, it took us two hours to get out of Melbourne and another three to get to the park. I?d read that there were 480 campsites none of which had services so we thought it would be a doddle to get a site even though it is summer here,- wrong. When we pulled up to the Park Gates there was a sign stating that the park campsites were fully booked, in order to turn around we had to go through the gates first so Roger explained that we were just turning around as we had hoped to stay on the campsite. Hearing Roger?s accent the guy at the gate said we could stay on an overflow campground that night and being internationals we were assured of a campsite the next day down in the main area. The overflow campsite was 30 kms from the main centre but we decided to stay there, there were toilets and showers. The price was right it cost $21.00 for camping and entrance to the park for the day, we?d been paying over $30 for campsites alone. We drove down to the main area where most of the  beaches and most of the walking trails are and did one of the trails which took us around a headland with amazing views. The area with 480 campsites was extremely busy and there were children everywhere so we decided to stay at the overflow campsite for two nights and I think we made the right decision. It was very peaceful where we were, well apart from the cockatoos who squawked for about an hour every evening as they tried to settle down in the trees behind us for the night, there were hundreds of them. There were only five couples camping in the overflow area, no lights so the stars were brilliant and then there was this light in the sky that looked like a searchlight, couldn?t figure what that was until the next day when we checked in at the gate again and the camp guide asked us if we?d seen the comet last night. Well we?ve been away from TV and newspapers for so long we didn?t know about the comet, I guess it was too low in the sky for us to see because of the surrounding trees but the tail was right across the sky. We did manage to just see the comet the next night by walking a little way but by the time we saw the whole thing a few nights later it was far less impressive than it would have been at The Prom.

On our second day at the Prom we drove as far up Mount Oberon as we could and then did the hike to the peak, it was an hour?s walk steadily uphill but worth it for the view from the top (had very sore calf muscles the next day). We took a few more walks mainly to beaches, stopping at one for a read and a sunbathe saw a few kangaroos, well we actually think they were wallabies as they weren?t too big. They were pretty used to humans though and would just sit and look at us, we could get quite close before they hopped away. We?re glad we made the detour to The Prom, the views and the walking trails were well worth it even if our camper battery ran out in the middle of the first night so we were without water, fridge or lights. Needless to say we were in bed early on the second night ? the torch batteries were pretty low too!!