The Great Ocean Road Drive - Adelaide to Melbourne in 5 days
Leaving Adelaide, we had managed to land an awesome deal for our next means of transportation/accommodation, as we were about to do one of the world’s most beautiful drives in the world – and it did not disappoint. Read on to find out how we did that.
We had spent three days in Adelaide, enjoying not packing up and moving on every day, after our two week and 4000+ km. road trip from Perth to Adelaide. But 3 wonderful day in this calm city was enough for us, and we were ready to get back on the road and explore more of Australia.
A Good Deal
We were in need of a new set of wheels to take us on the road. For this, Martin had found an app that became very useful to us: Imoova. This is an app that lets you relocate either a car, campervan or motorhome. You choose your country, and look for the destinations that you’re interested in. You pay from $1 a day for the vehicle, which was what we did, and we even got a contribution to pay for fuel. We were given three days to re-locate the vehicle but were able to buy additional days for Aus $100 a day (normal rental price for this type of vehicle was around Aus $350 a day).
In our new six-berth motorhome we were now making our way south of Adelaide towards Melbourne. With a total of five days, we would have enough for some exploring on our way, and of course, plenty of stops along The Great Ocean Road.
Pink Salt Lake
On the first day we enjoyed driving through the beautiful vineyards that Adelaide is famous for and had a nice afternoon stop at a pink salt lake by the Coorong National Park – the pink color is caused by the algae, and driving on the Princess Highway, you can’t miss it.
We spent the evening and night in the cute little town of Robe, where we had a delicious and memorable meal of shellfish at the Caledonian Inn. This place was crowded with locals, so we knew it had to be among the best places in town.
The next morning was the special one, as our Philip turned nine years old. We are a big on birthdays celebrations in our family, and especially in the morning. We woke Philip up by the three of us singing happy birthday (as is tradition in Denmark), and then it was time for breakfast and presents. Now, as full-time time travelers and travelling fairly light, there aren’t room for many presents. Gift cards of all sorts in-stead, a few little games and the right to decide all of today’s meals and activities was his presents. The most popular one, however, turned out to be a yo-yo. A good old yo-yo. This little toy has been following Philip around everywhere he goes since his birthday and he is becoming quite the little yo-yo pro.
Blue Lake in Volcanic Crater
After some playing at an awesome playground at the campsite, we drove on to Mt. Gambier, and even though our intention was to just stay for a short stop, we ended up spending the rest of the day there and even the night. First up was a stop at the spectacular the Blue Lake, which is a monomictic, crater lake in a dormant volcanic maar. However, it only has its bright blue color from December to March, then it changes to a gray color. It still a mystery why this happens, and the color change usually happens within 24 hours of the same date every year.
After some playing around at the Blue Lake we had crepes and ice cream at the Royal Copenhagen Ice Cream shop – what an appropriate place for a birthday celebration for a Danish birthday boy. We are of course all enjoyed it, and then went on to the local bowling place, as that was what Philip wanted to do. We finished off the birthday celebration at a restaurant with supposedly the “Best pizza in Australia”. Only thing was, that the specific article was also on display by the entrance when I visited that exact same restaurant in Mt. Gambier 18 years ago. This made for a good laugh though, and a great evening with good pizzas and a happy nine-year-old birthday boy.
The next morning we left and moved on to Port fairy, where we made a stop for lunch. We happened to arrive during the annual Jazz Festival, which made for a very enjoyable lunch in a local little café where we happened to be waited on by a young Danish girl.
Koalaspotting gone wrong
Next up, was a place I had been looking forward to, as I really wanted to see koalas in Australia, and I knew Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve was the place for this. We could drive around in our own vehicle looking for the koalas. We looked and looked and looked and we didn’t see one single koala. We did see three curious emus, though, which came up to our motor home to have a closer look at us, but unfortunately no koalas. With wild animals there’s never a guarantee – and that’s how it should be. I had just really hoped to see one.
Great Ocean Road Stops
The disappointment of not spotting a koala didn’t last long though, and soon after we made it to the beginning of the Great Ocean Road, and here the first stop did not disappoint. The Bay of Islands was so spectacular. With the sun slowly setting behind the clouds, it was a magical silvery light over water and on the cliffs. We decided to continue down the coast as the sun was setting. There were barely any people at any of all the different stops along the Great Ocean Road, which isn’t the norm, so we decided to continue until it got too dark to fully enjoy, which meant that we had most of the lookouts to ourselves. The Bay of Islands, The Grotto, London Bridge and The Twelve Apostles were the favourite spots, and we spent lots of time at each stop. As the road took us a bit more in-lands we experienced the most incredible sunset sky. What a day at the Great Ocean Road.
Wild Stormy Weather
The next morning, we were ready to do the last bit of the gorgeous drive, but for the first time in months, the weather wasn’t with us. It was raining and very windy. It wasn’t all bad though, as we got to see the ocean from a completely different and more wild side, and still very beautiful and raw. We had a great but wet playground stop in Lorne, one of the most famous surf beaches in Australia – but we kept to a warm cup of coffee, while the boys had a blast in the rain on the cool playground.
Awesome Aussie Playgrounds
Generally, we can conclude that Australia has heaps of really cool playgrounds all over the place – and these are playgrounds that are cool and fun for our 9 and 12-year-old. Lots of challenging and different playgrounds and usually they are divided into areas for the youngest kids and a different part for the older kids.
When we came through Anglesea we went by the local golf course as, once again, I remembered from my trip to Australia 18 years ago, that this particular golf course was home to lots of kangaroos. This time we were not disappointed. The kangaroos were still there. Huge ones and littles ones. They weren’t very active though, but we couldn’t blame them in the wind and rain.
Finally, we carried on to our last stop – the drop off of our motorhome in Melbourne. It was five super great days in a really great motorhome, with great sights along the way and one very spectacular Great Ocean Road drive – how we enjoyed it.
If you are into road trips or just curious about what else can be explored in Australia, why not have a look at our 4000+ km. trip in a 4WD with rooftop tents, where we drove from Perth in Western Australia to Adelaide in South Australia - you can read Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 right here.