At the end of my last post Ryan and I had finished our time in Alice Springs and hopped on our bus to start our long journey to Adelaide.
We stopped in Coober Pedy for a one night stopover to break up the journey a little. Coober Pedy is well known as a mining town. It’s a town in the middle of nowhere and is essentially only there because of the opal mining!
We stayed in a hostel which was underground (which is pretty cool I guess!) and owned by a creepy guy that just moaned to anyone and everyone and was really unhelpful with any questions you needed answering. We honestly heard him repeat the same story (what felt like 50 times) about a group of people wanting to check in at 5am and how they shouldn’t come earlier than reception hours blah blah blah!!
So you could say we were more than happy to be only staying the one night! We checked out the next morning and hopped on our bus to Adelaide.
We didn’t do to much in Adelaide; we checked into our little hostel which had free pancakes every morning (don’t mind if I do!) and took a stroll around a few museums and took in the graffiti on the streets. We visited the Migration Museum, South Australian Museum and the Art Gallery.
We then got picked up and started our 3 day tour of The Great Ocean Road from Adelaide to Melbourne.
Our first stop on the tour was a bonus stop at a pink lake! We were driving along the road and our tour guide swung the bus round so we could jump off the and take a short walk to the lake. We were lucky as the tours don’t normally stop there; we only stopped there as we were doing well for time!
In Australia they do this thing where they’re pretty much to-the-point when it comes to giving things names. The Great Ocean Road; because it’s a great… Ocean… Road. The Great Barrier Reef; because it’s a great barrier reef. The Sydney Opera House; because it’s an opera house in Sydney. I could go on but you get the gist; so the pink lake we visited was called *drumroll please*
We then entered into The Grampian National Park – we stopped along the journey at McKenzie Falls and Reid’s Lookout before making our way to our lodges to stay the night. We stayed up playing Cards Against Humanity with half the group, and it was so much funnier because we were playing with a couple of Germans and they didn’t understand a lot of what their cards said! And Jeff, a guy we met from Canada, couldn’t even read out the cards because he was laughing to hard!
The next day we took a short hike to The Pinnacle and were meant to be greeted with spectacular views at the top however instead got a view of cloud/fog! Our tour guide Em showed us pictures of what the views normally look like – as you can imagine seeing a picture is just not the same! ‘And here’s what you could’ve won’ vibes!
After our hike we visited a culture centre to learn some history about the aboriginal people; I read a section which spoke about how the aboriginals came forward to fight in the World War, many of them died and those that came back were still not treated as equal to the other Australians, even after fighting for their Country! Madness!
After walking around the culture centre we then saw kangaroos and wallabies in the grounds surrounding the centre. We then made our way to Tower Hill to have our lunch inside a volcano; which sounds WAY cooler than it was, it’s essentially a massive crater/base of a volcano that has parks inside ..you wouldn’t know you were inside a volcano unless told – like we were!
We did spot our first Koala in one of the trees at our lunch spot though – finally, only took us 10 months!
We started our drive along the Great Ocean Road and stopped at the Bay of Islands, the Grotto, London Bridge and finally visited the Twelve Apostles for sunset.
Our tour guide told us a story about two people that pulled a sicky at work to take a romantic visit to the rock formation that resembles London Bridge and whilst there one part of the Bridge collapsed leaving them stranded. There were reporters and it was all over the news of the couple that were stranded on the rock, the pair were being very camera shy and it turned out that’s because they were married.. to other people!! I guess there must be something said for being publicly humiliated in front of the nation as the couple later got married and are still together now.
After sunset we made our way to our overnight accommodation which was a large room full of bunkbeds where the whole group would sleep. Two elderly women were on our tour, both of whom it seemed had no bloody clue what they’d signed up for. Lynn was a fully self proclaimed princess and was very open about the fact she was way out of her comfort zone and all her friend could do was laugh about the situation. They were completely out of their comfort zone however both said they had an amazing time and really enjoyed themselves – which is the main thing, right?!
The next day we carried on with our journey on The Great Ocean Road. We stopped at Loch Ard Gorge then took a stroll through Mates Rest Rainforest and got SOAKED!
We continued on our journey (now disgustingly wet) and stopped at Apollo bay cafes for a cuppa and snack. Ryan and I tried the yummiest salted caramel cheesecake brownie and I am determined to find a recipe to try at home! *wipes drool from mouth*
Next we stopped at the famous Great Ocean Road sign – I mean, have you even travelled the Great Ocean Road if you don’t get a picture of the sign? Thought not.
Bells Beach was our next destination, we stopped to view the large group of surfers catching waves there. There were loads of them! How they didn’t smack into each other I will never know!
We hopped on the bus one last time and made our journey into Melbourne – waved goodbye to our group and hello to our hostel – our last hostel! Can I get a hallelujah?!
Of course we had to have issues in our last hostel, didn’t we?!
We got to the hostel and some how they had Ry and I on separate bookings, so we weren’t in the same room! Reception sorted it out so we could be in the same room but it was a bit of a faff and turned out we were put on the top floor with people staying long term.
The people in the room were really nice; one guy, Jimmy, is a musician, and he was kind enough to give us his CD. He was also very spiritual and believed that the higher spirits control our lives, he said they had put us in that room and they wouldn’t do anything they didn’t think we could handle… Which was really spooky as Ry and I had been discussing upgrading to a private room as we were slightly thrown by the long term room, so it was like he had read my mind or had heard our conversation somehow!
We didn’t have long left in the hostel so decided to remain in the long term room.
We had one day tour booked in for our time in Melbourne which was to see the Penguin Parade on Phillip Island.
Ryan and I booked quite a few tours for our time in Australia but didn’t do to much research into what they included; this was better for us, so we had no expectations and lots of what we did was a surprise. Phillip Island was no different, all we knew was that we were going over to the island to view the Penguin Parade, whatever else we did was a bonus.
It turns out the Phillip Island tour was actually one of my favourite tours!
Our first stop on the tour was at Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park. This first stop made the day for me!
The sanctuary was home to loads of wallabies and kangaroos roaming freely around the grounds and you could hand feed them so they would come up close enough for you to pet! It was great!
It was also home to many birds, dingos, Tasmanian devils and koalas!
It was nice to finally see koalas so close! We didn’t hold one in the end – fun fact: it’s actually illegal to hold a koala in most states in Australia, most people hold one in Queensland where it IS legal.
We then continued on our journey to Phillip Island. Whilst on the island we took a quick stop at the Koala Conservation Centre to spot even more koalas climbing the trees there.
Next stop was Churchill Island Heritage Farm for us to take a look into the old farming ways. There was sheep shearing, working dogs rounding up sheep and whip cracking. Some visitors had a go at whip cracking and one guy almost took his ear off!
There were lots of animals at the farm including Cape Barren Geese which reminded me a little of Buckbeak from Harry Potter!
Our tour guide accidentally ran over one of them when we left the farm – poor thing!
Then it was time to spot some Penguins!
We took a stroll along The Nobbies coastal boardwalk to see if we could see some penguins in their huts/pods – it was very hard to see into them and I could only just see the fluffy belly of a penguin inside one of the many pods!
Then it was time for the main event, the Penguin Parade.
Each evening, after sunset, the many Penguins return home after a day of fishing and it’s become a tourist attraction to see these beautiful creatures swim ashore and make their way up to their pods.
It is made perfectly clear to everyone that photography is not allowed – the cameras are damaging to the little penguins eyes unfortunately. We were told we couldn’t even take pictures without our flash on as this could still harm them, and also because sometimes the flash automatically comes on. The amount of people who did not care about this actually made me so angry! Especially when we were close to the penguins when they were making their way up the hills to their pods – people were taking pictures so close to the penguins, flash on too – it made my blood boil!
It was a beautiful thing to see but seeing people have total disregard for the penguins made me feel quite sad!
We spent the next day getting ourselves sorted for our flight out of Melbourne to our next destination – Fiji!!
‘Til next time!
Love Bumble x