Don’t tell anyone, but I’ve been looking forward to writing this post best of all; even if it is coming to you two months after my first arrival in Melbourne and two months after my trip down The Great Ocean Road, but trust me, it doesn’t make any of the experience any less amazing.
I had arrived in Melbourne fresh faced and bushy tailed right off the plane from spending a month back in Thailand, I was ready for a whole new adventure and I couldn’t wait to get started on it. I went to my hostel, introduced myself to my dormmates to be greeted with a stony silence, no excited ‘hellos’ no immediate friendships, nothing like any backpacking I had done before… Australia was going to be hard. But, I had something huge to look forward to, two days after getting to Melbourne I’d be going to Geelong (the second largest ‘city’ in Victoria I’ll have you know) to go stay with one of my most favourite people I’ve ever met travelling, Andy.
Andy and I had met a two years ago when I first landed on Koh Tao; we had the best week spent together with a mutual friend Sarah, experiencing Songkran and exploring the island. Andy and Sarah eventually left the island and it was nine months before I saw Andy again, as his round the world trip took him to England and to my house to spend my birthday with me. At this time Australia was all but an idealistic dream away, it was another year that took me from England to his home in Geelong where Andy and his friends and family opened up their homes and lives to me for a week, the feeling of gratitude was unreal.
Andy had planned to take me on a roadtrip down the Great Ocean Road with his amazing boyfriend, Hayden and his best friend and personal babe, Mish. We packed up our belongings and set off down the coast for a day of roadtrippin’, music, beaches, apostles, koalas and more. The Great Ocean road is everything that you could ever want in a trip to Australia, the beaches are out of this world, turquoise waves crashing into the shore line, sandstone jagged rocks jutting out from the ocean floor, it was to be one of my most favourite days in Australia.
The route we followed:
Bells Beach >> Cape Otway Lighthouse >> Waterfall >> 12 Apostles >> The Grotto >> Private bay for sunset
We first headed to Bells Beach which is the first stop along the Great Ocean Road for many, it’s made famous by hosting the Rip Curl Pro surfing competition there every year, not only are the waves intense but the beach is just absolutely beautiful. It doesn’t have the tropical sand, nor palm trees, but it was raw, the sound of the ocean crashing into the rocks was resounding, the four of us walked down to walk along the beach, our feet sinking deep into the sand. As someone who has the love of the ocean etched deep in their heart this beach ticked every single box that I could want, from spending almost a year dreaming of getting to Australia this was the moment that I couldn’t believe I was finally there.
We spent the day driving on from Bells Beach, heading in the direction of the infamous Twelve Apostles, but as all good travellers know is that it’s not about the destination that’s important, it’s the journey. Let’s just say that our journey along the great ocean road was definitely one to remember, the sun was high in the sky, the sky the brightest blue I have ever seen, below it the perfect sapphire sea was rolling into the shoreline. We drove along the coast with our roadtrip music playing, singing along at the top of our lungs, hugging the coastal road as we drove around bends with the ocean below us, smiles on our faces as we stopped off en route to explore waterfalls, walks, koala hangouts, the grotto and more amazing sites that this world famous route provided us with.
We followed the route down the Great Ocean Road, with the ocean on our left and the road ahead of us, we stopped off along the way to admire the view, indulge in some fish and chips and move ever towards The Twelve Apostles. It didn’t take long before we started to see the signs directing us off the main road and to a car park; we were a walk away from seeing the world famous sight, the crowds guided us towards the Twelve Apostles, walking towards it the coast came into sight, and there jutting out of the ocean stood the limestone soldiers, as amazing as I was expecting.
Walking along the viewing platform we took photos and tried to see where the apostles had fallen in the past, the wind was whipping around us with a fury as we gazed out to the ocean. Following on from the Apostles we moved down the road to view the Thunder Cave and what was to be my highlight, The Grotto. It was absolutely amazing, this sink hole in the ocean, where, when the tide is low you can see directly out into the ocean, it was one of those magical moments in your life when it feels like the stars and the world aligns and everything makes you happy to be alive.
From our hideout in The Grotto we headed off to find a bay where we could sit and watch the sunset fall over the ocean, we found the most perfect spot on a secluded bay where the four of us watched the suns final show. I was quite literally in awe, the twelve apostles and the Great Ocean Road stood to me as a the most amazing welcome to Australia, I was finally here and happy. I can’t thank Andy, Hayden and Mish for taking me along for the ride, it was one of the best roadtrips of my life.
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I had the best time exploring the Great Ocean Road with my friends, there’s nothing quite like a road trip with some amazing people, creating memories which will last a lifetime. What’s been your favourite road trip so far? Where did you go? Comment below, I love chatting to people about their travel experiences.
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