Melbourne with the folks (Day Three)   1 comment

Sunday, 23 February, 2014

I needed to be up early this morning even though I had a late night last night, because we had booked a hire car for a couple of days in order to take a drive down the Great Ocean Road. The GOR is one of those iconic Australian things, like the Sydney Harbour Bridge climb, Bondi Beach, Gold Coast, Federation Square etc. that you must do before you leave this great land. Anyway, I had arranged to pick the car up at 10:00am at a location across the CBD and I still needed to get up, sort myself out, have a swim/shower, jump on a tram and take some daytime pictures of the artwork on some of the lane ways (alleys) that I spotted last night and be at the car hire place.

Picked up the car with no problems, which is more than I could say about trying to get back to the apartment! It looked fairly straight forward on the map, but when it came to taking a left turn at the appropriate place I found that it was a one way street, which meant that I had to go around the inner city ring road looking for a suitable exit. Anyway, I eventually got back to base and picked up the folks ready for our drive down to the GOR.

I love technology! Being a fairly new car, the radio had Bluetooth connectivity and once we had paired it with my iPad and plotted a route down to the point where we wanted to join the GOR, all we had to do was follow the nice lady’s instructions over the sound system. Hopefully sometime soon they’ll bring out a car that will do the driving for you as well!

Just after we joined the GOR, I spotted a sign for Bells Beach. Now Bells Beach is famous for its annual surfing competition to which the world’s best surfers flock too in the hope of being able to ring the bells for being the winner of the competition. Its board cast all over the world and is one of the oldest surf competitions out there. Obviously, it’s also a bit of a Mecca for your average surfer too, as when we arrived the car park, beach and surf was swarming with people in wetsuits. We walked down to a lookout point to take in the breathtaking scenery, where my dad spotted a paraglider soaring into the sky on the next headland. Being an ex micro-light/hang gliding person himself, he was interested in taking a look, so we drove over to see was going on.

Turns out this area is a designated paragliding area with a special take off/land in strip on the slope leading over a cliff into the sea. There were a couple of guys setting up their equipment and the first ready simply took a couple of steps down the a ramp and he was off. After watching these guys for a few minutes, we was off down the coast again towards the town of Anglesea where we had lunch. The next stop on the GOR was Aireys Inlet and the lighthouse that sits on the headland, it was a bit of steep climb for mother to negotiate, but once up to the top of the hill the views made the walk worth it.

We had planned on taking a swim in the sea at some stage today, but time was pushing on, so once back in the car we drove all the way along the GOR to the town on Lorne. It was a shame that we didn’t stop as there were some truly spectacular beaches along the way. Once we had parked up the car and took a short walk along the beach boardwalk, we found ourselves in the Lorne Hotel at the end of the beach, where we had a well deserved drink. On the way through town, we spotted a sign for the Erskine Falls and I remembered that Nick had told me that these were worth a visit if I ever found myself in these parts. We had always planned on returning to Melbourne tonight, so I suggested that we find somewhere to book into for dinner, go visit the falls, have dinner and then drive back to Melbourne in the dark. Another place Nick had told me about was the Grand Pacific Hotel located just out of town, so we called in and booked a table for dinner at 18:30, then drove up to the Erskine Falls about 10km up the mountain out of town.

Up at the car park at the top of the falls, we were greeted by a sign that told yes that there were two viewing platforms, one at the top about 80m away and one at the bottom about 300m down a steep looking set of stairs. The look of horror on mothers face told me that she wasn’t going to attempt the bottom viewing platform and after my dad and I had done it, I wished that hadn’t either! The falls themselves were impressive but there wasn’t a lot of water coming over the top, but I can imagine what it looks like when there’s been a decent amount of rain previously.

Back at the Grand Pacific Hotel  we had an excellent meal in the large open (too open for some, as we had to move indoors when the sun went down!) dining room, before retracing or steps back along the GOR to Melbourne. When I was planning this little trip, I had considered the option of spending the night somewhere along the GOR in order to explore it more. After today’s trip I now wish that I had.


Posted February 23, 2014 by yermandownunder in Observations, Out and about, Travels

One response to “Melbourne with the folks (Day Three)

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  1. Great text Mario should be working for the Australian Tourist Board. love Alan and Mary xx

    Alan and Mary Logan

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