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  • Writer's pictureCelina

GRAMPIANS & GREAT OCEAN ROAD - Adelaide to Melbourne (21.-23.12.)

The only route not covered by Greyhound buses is between Adelaide and Melbourne. So when planning my trip I was wondering how I could travel this route without flying and at the same time seeing the most popular Australian coastal road "The Great Ocean Road". On the internet I found the perfect tour: 3 days from Adelaide to Melbourne Grampians National Park and Great Ocean Road. On 21st December I was picked up at 6.25 am by the tour guide and got to know the other participants of the tour. Our group consisted of Danes, Norwegians, Netherlanders, Germans, Canadians and the Australian tour guide. Everybody was super nice and friendly. So now we started our trip. Our first destination was the McKenzie Falls in the Grampians National Park. But before that we stopped for lunch and ate sandwich. The drive through the national park was stunning. To get to the falls we had to walk like 1000 stairs. But the view was worth it. Afterwards we headed to a lookout, from where we saw the landscape and forests, but a strong wind was blowing. Our accommodation for the night was in Halls Gap and was called Gang Gang villas. The town is located in the middle of the national park surrounded by mountains and forests. We ended the day with a delicious barbecue dinner and vegan alternatives. The highlight was that we walked to a kangaroo field and saw the big kangaroos eating from 1m away. One mother had her kangaroo baby in her belly.

My alarm clock the next morning rang at 3.15 am. It is time to get up. We had breakfast and packed our things, because we wanted to hike up a mountain to see the sunrise. Unfortunately it was very cold outside. Compared to 50 degrees in Coober Pedy, 8 degrees are very cold. We took the bus through the park and had to stop several times because kangaroos were trying to cross the road. With torches we made our way. The stars in the sky were still clear to see. The Pinnacle Walk is about 4km long and we needed 1 1/2h to get there and back. The way goes over stones, through woods and the sun was slowly rising. Partly the distance was challenging and exhausting. When we arrived at the Lookout we were all proud and were rewarded with an incredible view. Next we drove to an Aboriginal Culture Center: there we learned about the life of the Aborigines before the Europeans came; how they were partly missionized and how they resisted; the meaning of some symbols; didgeridoos; and so on.

Now we left the Grampians National Park and headed towards the coast. The lunch stop was Tower Hill: a volcano surrounded by a lake. We saw koalas and emus on the island. But we had to be aware that they did not steal our burgers. The tour guide taught us a special pose, a kind of bird to chase the emus away. The drive towards the coast continued and our bus turned into a party bus, we sang together and enjoyed the view of the fields, the cows and koalas crossing the road. In Warrnambool we made a short shopping stop at woolies. Bay of Island was the first point where we saw the coast. We were all amazed by the steep coast formation and the huge waves. More stops followed: The Grotto, The arch and twelve Apostles. However, everything was very crowded and people rushed to make a picture. But the view is unique and beautiful. After the long day we went to our hotel in Princetown, a small coastal town, and had dinner: mashed potatoes, vegetables and lasagne. At 8pm we decided to enjoy the sunset with the twelve apostles.

On the 23rd of December, the last day of the tour, we got up at 3.30am to have breakfast and watch the sunrise at Lorch arch gorge. At this place a ship sank earlier and only two people survived, because they were the only ones who could swim. When we were there the waves were crashing and the steam was rising. We also went down to the beach where the caves are located. Now we headed into the rain forest, which impressed me very much and reminded me of Cairns. Afterwards it was time for the Gret Ocean Road Drive right along the coast. We stopped at Apollo Bay, in Lorne, at the Great Ocean Road sign and in Aireys Inlet, where we had lunch and walked to the lighthouse. I was very fascinated by the route, an absolute must do in Australia. Best surfing possibilities, great coastal towns and many campsites if you want to do a road trip. Finally we spent some time in Torquay, home of the Surf Shop Ripcurl, which is known worldwide. Now our tour was almost finished and we drove 2h to Melbourne. As my bus didn't leave for Canberra until 10pm, I walked through the city, which was very crowded this day. Everywhere you could see Christmas decoration and listen to Christmas music. I walked through Chinatown, shopping malls, took the free tram and finally ate dinner. I had locked my luggage in a locker before, when I went there to get it, the worst thing happened: the locker could not be opened for technical reasons, what to do now? Do I have to travel on without luggage? After long phone calls to the customer service, I finally solved the problem and went to the bus station.

Grampians National Park:

Great Ocean Road:


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