We left the PROM National Park in the morning. In front of us was a 3-4 hour drive to Torquay the official start point of the Great Ocean Road. We made it there safely in the afternoon, but a bit behind the schedule. The weather had changed and spoiled us with more sun and less clouds. A great start into our trip.
Torquay is well known for surfing. Actually it is one of the places which stands for surfing history in Australia. Even tough it is smaller than a village, it is home to a big number of surfers and the famous surfing gear companies Quicksilver and Ripcurl. For a late lunch we ordered some fresh Fish&Chips for take away and had them right at the beach. Fully recovered we went to Bells Beach which is the actual surfer spot in Torquay. These guys know how to surf big waves for sure. (Special greetings at this point to our friends Michi and Oscar, who are both truly passionat surfers.) Back on the road, we were lucky to find space for the night at a campsite in Lorne.
The next morning we got up early and moved our van straight to the main beach in Lorne to have breakfast there. Touched by the warm sunlight of the morning it was a perfect beach for swimming. Some students of the local surf & life saving club went swimming in the ocean and motivated me to follow them. The water was cold but the incoming waves did not give me a chance to hesitate. Once I was in the water it was just amazing. A nice breakfast with Natalie in the warm morning sun completed our perfect start into the day. Our goal for the day were the 12 Apostles.
We enjoyed the exposed and curvy road squeezed in between the mountains and the wild Southern Ocean and stopped several times to take pictures. Our stop in Kennett River was motivated by the chance to see koalas. Immediately Natalie transformed into her PROM approved ‚spot the native animal‘ mode :-). Only a few minutes away from the Great Ocean Road we found them in the gum trees. We had lots of fun walking around and found them mostly resting high up in the trees. We spent almost an hour watching them before we continued.
After that point the Great Ocean Road leaves the actual coastline. We passed over some mountains among wild native coast forest and green farmland. The landscape became more open with green flat hills. The road returned back to the coastline just before we reached the 12 Aposteles, our goal and highlight of the day.
The 12 Aposteles are one of the most famous places in Australia and indeed the whole scenery is breathtaking. The Southern Ocean hits the exposed and vertical coastline with its full strengh. The limestone cliffs are permanently carved out by the ocean. Just a few abandoned rocks resisted the strong ocean.
These are the 12 Aposteles which are actually 8 to 10 rocks depending who you ask and how you look at it . We were lucky and found a bench close to the lookout place for a late lunch. It was for sure one of the top lunch places during our trip!
From there we started our way back towards Melbourne in order to stay at a wild beach campsite for a sundowner and camping in the dunes. We opened our bottle of Chandon Sparkling Pinot Siraz that we had brought from the Yarra Valley and enjoyed it while watching massive waves coming towards us. What an impressive view.
The next morning welcomed us with sunshine again. I moved the van a couple of meters, so that Natalie could catch a view of the deep blue ocean straight from our bed. After a last goodbye to Johanna Beach, we were back on the road. Our van had to be dropped of at Melbourne in the early afternoon. We both were excited to drive the whole road back again. Driving this magnificant ocean road is just stunning but on top we were blessed to have it almost just for us. Thanks to the state Victoria for all its beauty and great weather during this almost winter month.