Thursday, March 1, 2012

Mom and Michael Come to Australia! First Stop - Great Ocean Road

After a lot of flying, Mom and Michael made it down under! My mom was a little worse for wear with her broken foot but it didn't end up being an issue for us. They first stayed near my place in Coogee down by the beach. It was so nice having them here and so close! We took a ferry to Manly on their first day but it poured rain after lunch so we just decided to head back into the city which ended up being nice. They got to see the Opera House and Darling Harbour where we had dinner. After three days we all flew down to Melbourne to do the Great Ocean Road drive. It was amazing! Gorgeous beach views.

Bells Beach

First koala in the wild!!

The first place we stayed was an Eco Lodge in Cape Otway. When we first pulled up it looked a bit like a hippie commune as we were greeted by a girl in bare feet who kind of talked like she was a little high... turned out she was just a cheerful intern and the owner was out at the time. The place was amazing though, probably one of my favourite places I've ever stayed. It's all ecologically friendly and they also have an animal rescue center on the property where they nurse injured wildlife back to health. They had three baby koalas, one full grown, a wallaby named Mel, flying squirrels, spotted quolls and two dogs (not wild, just pets). There's also a 'mob' of kangaroos that live on the property, I can't remember now but I think there were atleast 70 of them who hopped by the lodge every morning and every evening. It was spectacular!

The lodge

Mel the wallaby

The intern and an injured joey

Amazing! Two males fighting in the wild
A female with her joey in her pouch

After two nights at the lodge we kept going down the route and stopped to see the famous 12 Apostles on the way. There aren't actually twelve anymore, erosion has toppled a few over but they're still amazing. We took a helicopter ride above them which was definitely the way to do it, the views were unbeatable.

We stayed two nights in Port Fairy which is a small fishing town. It was pretty quiet and the locals weren't too friendly but still had a good time. We went to a small island off the edge of the town to watch Mutton birds coming in at night to their nests. It was pretty dark once they all came in but you could still see them, thousands of birds all coming in at once - pretty cool! After our time in Port Fairy we continued on to Cape Bridgewater which is a very small town (only one bar!) but very beautiful. We went on a seal watching tour here and did some hiking up near the beach. We stayed in a little bed and breakfast that was right on the water, very friendly people and a gorgeous beach.

A petrified forest near Cape Bridgewater

Cloudy but gorgeous
Finally after five days on the road we headed back to Melbourne for one night. It was a bit of a shock to be back in a busy city after all the nights on the road in small towns. Melbourne is a very cool city but I was starting to get used to the small places and quaint towns. We looked at some famous alleys in the city with lots of legal graffiti then out for dinner. The next day we took a bus trip and I did some shopping then caught our flight in the afternoon to Brisbane.

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