Now that we have a young baby, we have had to change our style of travel, massively! The packing list is longer than ever with every gram of the airline luggage allowance limits being utilised. The days of the backpack, camera and a suitcase between us have transformed into a jam-packed suitcase, an extra bag for nappies and who knows what, a travel cot, a stroller, a car seat and the list goes on…
So to keep things manageable, we decided to plan a 10 night trip to Melbourne and some of the towns along the Great Ocean Road in southern Victoria, Australia. We flew to Melbourne, collected our car and headed to Torquay to ‘Peppers’ where we were staying the first night before setting off onto the Great Ocean Road. The resort was close to the beach (a five minute walk past the golf course), and given the extreme temperatures of Summer in Australia, the beach was a popular place for people to enjoy the sun. Being a Queenslander, from where the water is always warm enough for a surf, I headed to the beach while it was still hot. Surprisingly, though I should have known better, in Victoria the water was certainly brisk, and there were only a coupe of people in the water. That didn’t matter, more beach for me!
In the morning we headed along The Great Ocean Road to Port Campbell, a lovely small coastal town, near the Twelve Apostles rock formation on the coastal cliffs. Due to the bushfires that had lasted for days causing road closures and many lost homes, we had to drive around the section of the Great Ocean Road between Lorne and Port Campbell. It added a bit of time to the trip but let us see more of the Victorian countryside and open roads.
As the sun sets so late in Port Campbell with it being west of Melbourne and having daylight saving, the late afternoon was a perfect chance to have a swim in the port, a beer at the 12 Rocks Bar, then a magical way to see the last sunset of 2015, looking over the 12 Apostles with my family. The next day we walked the Gibson Steps trail to see the 12 Apostles from on the beach, then drove to see the collapsed London Bridge, the Grotto, and the Arch. We’d recommend visiting the Gibson Steps walk the most, soon after dawn.
On our last days outside Melbourne we drove to Cape Nelson to stay at the Lighthouse Cottage. We will remember our night there vividly for a long time to come. The lighthouse cottages are amazing! The cottage had two bedrooms, decorated in antique decor, a modern bathroom, a beautiful kitchen with coffee pod machine, breakfast of bacon and eggs, cereals and sourdough with condiments, all ready to cook on the BBQ, a gorgeous lounge with an open fireplace, puzzles, board games and leather lounges. Next time we will need to book for a couple of nights and to share the opportunity by bringing along other people too.
There are some great walks around the lighthouse, some of which we could still do with our baby with us. There are hundreds of kilometres of walks in the region, but those can be for another time! The lighthouse is built upon a clifftop headland with expansive views in both directions. We followed the paths in both directions for a while to see what we could find. The high winds stirred up the seas and made the cloudy skies perfect for a sunset photo walk. We even ran into some sheep, huddled into the cliffs on one of our walks!