Great Ocean Road Tripping

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Great Ocean Road trip this long weekend?





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Alright Team??

Nothing's written in stone yet, depends on the response I get on here, but I'm putting the feelers out for any of you Melbornians / travellers who might be up for the Great Ocean Road this long weekend.

It'll be a road trip this one, in my spanking brand new 16 year old car. We'll see the apostles and all the other touristy bollocks that comes with The Road. I'm not entirely sure what there is to see, though I figured you can read the Lonely Planet whilst I try do a bad impression of a good driver behind the wheel. Bit nippy for camping I reckon, hostels could be a better idea. I'm thinking leave on Saturday and return Monday - I don't really understand people who rush the GOR with a day trip.


Oh yeah, stats and all that bollocks: I'm a Brit guy, 27, and have five fingers on each hand. I'm on my own with this trip, means I got 3 spaces plus one hostage for the boot (that last bit was a joke - the boot I've discovered is too small). I live in Melbourne. Ah yeah, very important this - I'll be catching the opening game of England’s football campaign at stupid o clock on Sunday morning. Apart from that, I'm game for anything on The Road.

Get the idea? Mail me if you're interested; mail somebody else if you're not.



Visits: 127

This was the Gumtree advert that was going to kick off my road trip to Australia’s famous Great Ocean Road and its 12 Apostles, already much different to the ads I usually put up seeking casual sex. And what a right result I got an all, not only did I bag a French chick called Anna but I got a response from an Irish guy called Fearghal who told me him and two lots of cars are also doing the trip, so to take my car and join him and his convoy. A couchsurfing advert soon added 2 more travellers into the mix, another Frenchie called Barbara and her housemate Weit who’s Flemish. Score! Next day saw us rock up and meet Fearghal and his fellow 9 travellers. They were very almost ready to rock and roil with us once they got one last thing sorted for the road trip ��" a car. Only the Irish hey?? Being a public holiday weekend it was going to take them an age to sort out a car rental, so we figured the rest of us would crack on with the Great Ocean Road lark and meet them at Apollo Bay that night.


Before reaching Apollo Bay we read of a road where we could turn onto and see some real, wild ferocious Koalas lounging about in the trees. It was early dusk at this point, and what with koalas being nocturnal animals it would mean they wouldn’t be moving around. Koalas on the other hand, being so slow and lazy as they fucking are, don’t look like they’re moving even when they are moving ��" so it didn’t really make much difference what time we rocked up. Like a car full of Big Foot spotters we slowly drove around the woods for a whole 5 minutes scanning the trees for any signs of life, something quite pointless when you’re looking for a koala. But alas, after spotting a couple of crows and Predator, we saw what looked like a moldy bees nest plonked on a branch. Sitting there it was, our first wild koala, just sitting there. How we managed to stay excited for another 5 minutes was beyond me but we managed it, especially when we started to discover several more, just sitting there on a branch like cardboard ducks at a shooting range. Needless to say if I had a rifle on me there’s be many koalas moving 50km/h towards the ground. Before long though the koalas started to move by themselves as they began to wake up and go searching for some eucalypts leaves to chew on. A common misconception is that the leaves get the koalas stoned. It doesn’t, like I said they’re just fucking lazy, but try telling that to the hippy who was sat in a tree chewing leaves amongst the bears. Koalas also communicate with each other by making a noise like a snore and then a belch, known as a ‘bellow’ which meant I inadvertently had a smashing conversation with one of them. And get this, when koalas become upset and worried by the loss of their homes, they may get a disease called ‘Chlamydia’ Chlamydia? And once again, Chlamydia?? I’ve since written a formal letter to the Australian Wildlife Conservancy informing them that this Chlamydia disease has nothing to do with the loss of trees ��" instead stop pumping goon into hoards of backpacking teenage poms and you’ll discover an abrupt end to this Chlamydia problem.


Crashing the night in a hostel in Apollo bay left me nothing really to chinwag about, the seaside town is much like any other. Clearly I’d be pretty useless as an Apollo Bay tourism representative. Next morning in the bay say us catching us with Fearghal who finally managed to find a car for his road trip. Along with him, sisters Michelle and Lorraine, Brian and Dutch Vince to name but a few we decided our first destination of the morning would be this forest which had something in common with Australia’s very own cult artist Rolf Harris - it had been around forever, was really fucking old yet unbelievably still alive. The Otway National Park was where it was at and there were various nature walk around this woodland to choose from, on which we finally agreed upon tackling the gruelling 1km round circle. And around we went before deciding to fuck off somewhere more interesting.


Leaving the Otway National Park it was finally time to go a tad further down the road and see the main event of the weekend, The 12 Apostles. These are rock formations which were formed after breaking away from the main coast before I was born, sometime between 10 to 20 million years ago. Originally they were called the Sow and Piglets but the Victorian Tourism Agency thought that name was bullshit and changed it to The 12 Apostles, despite the obvious fact that there were only 9 of these rocks. That’s Australia for you. Unlike the chicks on any internet dates I’ve been on, these rocks looked exactly like they did on google, which meant spotting them was easy. There they were, standing on their own like outcast penguins when they huddle together to keep warm. Like the koalas we met the day before, these things didn’t move much either, except in July 2005 when one of the 9 lumps decided they’d had enough of the paparazzi and decided to fall over in the sea, leaving the remaining 8. After taking a few Kodak moment we soon realised we’d only end up with the same photos as every other bloomin’ tourist who decided to visit The Apostles, which sucked, so Dutch Vince, French Antione and me hopped over the security railings to the cliff fully expecting a Bush Ranger with a stubbie of VB in his hand to come running out of nowhere, shouting at us to get back. Until that moment however we were going to run towards the edge of the cliff like a group of teenage emo’s finally fulfilling their threat to end their lives. And some cracking photos we got an all, much better than the ones the hundred or so other tourists got from the viewing balcony. After these shenanigans we watched Fearghal and Brian’s face contort as they took a helicopter ride around The Apostles whilst in the middle of an acid trip before making our way to the last site we could be arsed to see on this trip, the Loch Ard Gorge.


The Loch Ard Gorge is exactly that, a gorge, which already makes much more sense than naming 9 rocks The 12 Apostles. The place got its name after a boat called The Loch Ard finally completed its 3 month sailing trip from England TO Melbourne one day in 1897 by running aground and killing 49 of the poor buggers inside. Talk about finishing your journey with a bang. Anywho there were 51 passengers in total on board, which meant 2 of them were stubborn enough to go and survive the shipwreck. One of them was Eva, an Irish chick, 18 years old, probably good looking, who whilst still in the water was screaming for help. She was heard by a bloke called Tom, also 18 years old, and as the ships apprentice was probably the reason the boat ran aground in the first place. He was on shore at the time and upon hearing Eva’s screams for help promptly done a runner to raise the alarm. Personally I would have left the chick to drown with the rest of them thus taking the glory as the sole survivor ��" it’s the sort of chat up line you could live off for years…


After knocking around Port Melbourne for an hour we decided to begin the journey back to Melbourne using their dark, unlit country roads. I was driving like a Sunday pensioner high from a dosage of valium returning from mid-day church, literally every fucker was over taking me. Even the bloody road kill kept ahead of me. So I picked up the speed a little bit didn’t I, especially as I went through a crappy little town in the arse end of nowhere. Then the inevitable happened, as I left the town there was suddenly bright red and blue flashing lights behind me car. Oh bugger, please let this be an alien abduction I thought. And if it was an alien abduction, then it was a fancy dress alien abduction cos E.T the Extraterrestrial was dressed as a policeman. And upon seeing the creature was well over 3ft tall it was becoming more and more likely that this was indeed a genuine Victorian copper. ‘Morning officer!’ I said, hoping he miss the fact it was 7pm in the evening. No nerves from my part then. Maybe this was a friendly social call, or he was simply lost and needed directions? However, a quick chinwag soon discovered that I, the valium pumped pensioner, was speeding through the town centre. In most eastern European countries that sort of thing carries a bribe. He asked for my licence - I didn’t have it. He wanted to have butchers at the rego on my car ��" but I couldn’t let him cos I didn’t have that either. One could say this experience was going right tits up. I did however pass the breathalyser test with flying colours although such tests don’t carry a certificate of achievement to write home about. Mr Policeman then told me he’d be back in a minute to after he wrote out my ticket. Again, bugger! When he came back he explained that cos I was doing 74km/h in a 60 zone I was getting fines 230 bucks, and whilst he could fine me another 500 bucks or something silly like that for not having me licence, he was going to let that one go. One does believe it’s the first time I’ve ever said ‘Thanks!’ after being fined over 200 bucks. From there on in I was practically reversing away from Melbourne I was going so fucking slow until we eventually arrived in the city.


And what of the Lumps of rocks I hear you ask, was it worth it? Making 3 great friends in Barbara, Weit and Anna was worth it alone, however the Apostles, along with driving the Great Ocean Road itself and the other lesser publicised sites was brilliant. Seeing wild koalas doing absolutely nothing rocked. All in all the Great Ocean Road is well worth the trip, unless you happen to live in Zimbabwe in which case travelling all that way for some rocks probably isn’t economical.


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photo by: jendara