Great Ocean Road and Grampians Ntl. Park

Adelaide Travel Blog

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McKenzie Falls

After two nights of raves, I spent a lot of time resting on Sunday. I badly needed that, but the result of all the sleeping during the day is that I lay awake in night, unable to sleep. And when I finally fell asleep, Monday morning got around the corner really really early. I had to get up though as I booked a Wildlife Tour, who would pick me up from my hostel at 7:20. Ouch. Originally I booked a three day tour, but since I was the only one, they transferred me to a 2-day tour instead. As I got onto the bus, everyone was fairly quiet. Obviously I wasn't the only one who had had a short night. After picking up some other passengers, including a Dutch family, we set out to Torquay. We had tea and coffees above Bells Beach, and the sun and the salty winds woke everyone up some more.

London Bridge
We all got to know each other a bit better. On the bus were one elder English couple, two UK and one Irish girl, four Japanese, a Brazilian babe, Lee from Alaska, me from Amsterdam and or course our driver, Bill, a fair dinkum ozzie. He had a great sense of humour, eager to crack some jokes or pull some pranks. He acted a bit like a father for most of the youngsters, made you feel really comfortable and made sure everyone was okay. At the same time he would tell heaps about the surroundings and their history. Because there were too many names for anyone to remember, we got used to give each other simple nicknames. The girl from Brazil had studied for a year in Brisbane, so she got called 'Brisbane' or 'Paulo', as she lived in Sao Paulo.
This is how we roll baby!
I became 'Amsterdam', there was 'Alaska', 'Irish', 'Tokyo' for the Japanese couple who lived there, and 'Japan' for the two girls that lived elsewhere in Japan.  Fun times.

 

Bill led us along the Great Ocean Road, stopping often to point certain things out or to tell some more about the place. Passing through beautiful towns along a magnificent coast, we had a great day. The weather also helped, as it was the most perfect day you could wish for. Bright blue skies, 24C degrees and a comfortable sea breeze made the trip very pleasant. On we went, and in the mid afternoon we got to the twelve apostles. The most famous part of the Road, this is where gigantic rocks rise up from the Bass Strait to Victoria’s beautiful coast, formed by millions of years of erosion. You could either check them out from the path on top of the cliffs, or take a helicopter flight.

So early, so cold! Good fun though
Tough choice. Not really.

 

I have never flown in a helicopter before, but I like it! It’s so peaceful to be up there and just hanging there. Maybe that’s partly because of the gigantic headphones that cancel out a lot of noise. You gently take off and before you know you’re 200 meters up in the sky. We made our way to the end of the apostles, turned around, lowered a bit and made our way across again. One word, Awesome. Note the capital A too. But of course, once you’re up there it had to happen: the batteries of my camera failed. Ah well, that’s technology for you I guess. I still got some decent shots, so no worries there. Although it’s a really short flight, I can recommend it to anyone. Well worth my money.

 

Things to do before I die: helicopter flight: check

 

We continued the tour and arrived in the Grampians Ntl.

Grampians Ntl. Park
Park in the evening. Bill told us some stories about how a bushfire had completely destroyed the area to years ago, and how he must be the luckiest man on earth to be able to see nature recovering and repairing itself. He really showed his respect to Mother Earth and spiced up his stories with a lot of marvelous’, magnificents, fantastics, awesomes, amazings, beautifuls and more extreme. What a class guy. That night in the hostel we had some good talks, and I had fun with the two Japanese girls teaching them Dutch, and them teaching me Japanese. Ichi, ni, san, shi, go, roku, nana, hachi, kyu, ju, Japan Ichiban! Watashiwa Nikonda desu! My Japanese skills are mad, you have no idea.

 

The second day we set out early to some scenic lookout points over the park, had some short bushwalks and went to the base of McKenzie Falls.

Japan Ichiban at McKenzie
After that we picked up another Dutch backpacker, said goodbye to everyone and together with the six of us boarded the connecting bus to Adelaide.

 

The coach bus driver was a bit of a Nazi though. As soon as we got on the bus, he explained all his rules to us. We were not allowed to do this, this and that, and certainly we were not allowed to eat hot food, as people would surely get sick of the smell.. Righto. Would have been alright if we hadn’t just bought our warm lunches. Just stating the rules was not enough, and he went on trying to scare us in his creepy slow way of talking.

 

'So... If I were you.

Grampians Ntl. Park
.. I would just stick to the rules... You know... It's not hard for me... To call the police... Yes? They'll take your name... Address... Passport number... Give you a fine... Ten... Thousand dollars... Yes... And that... Is the end of your trip... You know...?'

 

And repeat that several times during the six hour bustrip. Another one I love: 'I didn't make the rules... You know... I'm just... Enforcing them... Yes?' We survived the bustrip and arrived in Adelaide where Alicia Genet picked me up. Alicia is the daughter of Marijke Genet, and as I am a Genet too, we're somehow related. Don't ask me how though, hell if I understand. Just weeks before I departed Holland, my mum told me we had family down in Adelaide. A week ago I got the right emailaddress and mailed them wether they would have time to show me around the city. Marijke replied that she was happy to host me for a couple of days, so that was pretty awesome. Alicia showed me around Adelaide and we had a nice dinner and some drinks afterwards. We then drove to Marijke's place where she welcomed me in her house. How wicked is it to have family all over the world!

JeAr says:
i think i just might! thanks for the info! :)
Posted on: Apr 24, 2008
Ape says:
The helicopter ride was 50A$, 30 euro's or so. Very short though, but definitely worth it for me! You gotta try it!
Posted on: Apr 23, 2008
JeAr says:
that driver was straight out of hell, hahaha! very nice story :D

btw, was the helicopter ride really expensive? any estimate u can give me? mgith be useful when i go to Oz, should definitely try it :)
Posted on: Apr 23, 2008
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McKenzie Falls
McKenzie Falls
London Bridge
London Bridge
This is how we roll baby!
This is how we roll baby!
So early, so cold! Good fun though
So early, so cold! Good fun though
Grampians Ntl. Park
Grampians Ntl. Park
Japan Ichiban at McKenzie
Japan Ichiban at McKenzie
Grampians Ntl. Park
Grampians Ntl. Park
Grampians Ntl. Park
Grampians Ntl. Park
Along the Great Ocean Road
Along the Great Ocean Road
The cave of Loch Ard where the wre…
The cave of Loch Ard where the wr…
London Bridge
London Bridge
Leigh won the coin toss, got to go…
Leigh won the coin toss, got to g…
Ape
Ape
With bark over an inch thick, the …
With bark over an inch thick, the…
The Grampians Ntl. Park
The Grampians Ntl. Park
Bells Beach, home of the RipCurl P…
Bells Beach, home of the RipCurl …
Beginning of the Great Ocean Road
Beginning of the Great Ocean Road
Great Ocean Road
Great Ocean Road
Grampians Ntl. Park
Grampians Ntl. Park
McKenzie Falls
McKenzie Falls
With Japan
With Japan
With Alaska
With Alaska
With Tokyo
With Tokyo
Adelaide
photo by: shirlan