Brimpaen, Australia, Australia
I woke up this morning at about 7am, hopped in the shower and had my breakfast to be ready to start the day at 8:30am. Our first excursion was a tour of the Cape Otway Lighthouse, the oldest lighthouse on mainland Australia. It was a good tour and the view from the top was spectacular! We packed up the bus, thanked the light keeper and headed off down the road. The road to get back to main Great Ocean Road was littered with koalas hanging out in the trees, so Cameron was nice enough to stop off a few times and let us check them out and snap a few photos.
The first thing we were checking out today was the Twelve Apostles. These are a series of rock formations that are standing in the ocean just off the coast. It turns out there were never really twelve of them, it was just a cool name to give them to get tourists in. There were initially nine of them, but one collapsed a few years ago, so there are really only eight apostles left. We stopped a few different times down the road to get a different view point and each one was excellent. I took so many pictures, I’m going to have a hard time picking out which ones to include with this blog update.
These rock formations are all naturally made from the sandstone that has built up from dunes over thousands and thousands of years, so it’s very soft and erodes really quickly. The cool thing about this is that all the cliffs and formations in the water have small caves and overhangs cut into them which gives it a really cool look. Some of the rock formations end up looking like bridges when a part of the rock is worn away so much in the middle that it falls out.
One of the most famous examples of this is the London Bridge here on the coast. Unfortunately, in 1990, one of the arches collapsed, so there is only one left, but it is still pretty awesome to see. We took a walk down to Loch Ard Gorge, and it was absolutely stunning. It’s this little cove surrounded by cliffs and you get some pretty big waves crashing into and there are some caves down there and stalactites as well. It was all very cool looking, like something you might see in Pirates of the Caribbean. Unfortunately, I found no buried treasure.
We moved on the Bay of Martyrs, which is a bay holding a series of very small islands just off the coast. I actually thought this was more impressive than the Twelve Apostles. We went down on the beach and took some pictures and then walked down a path to a different view point. I’m so glad we did because it ended up being the coolest thing I saw on the trip so far. We walked down to Halladale Point where there is a long, tall and very narrow peninsula sticking out into the water. It was roped off and we weren’t supposed to go out there, but some of us just couldn’t resist and we took turns walking out to the end of it to get some pictures. It was pretty intimidating to be out there looking at the massive waves crashing in and seeing the really jagged rocks down below, knowing that this whole structure could collapse with any one of these wave breaks. Luckily we all got back alright, and we have some pretty awesome pictures to remember it by.
We left there and headed into a town called Warnambool to get some more groceries for tonight, and then took a short drive over to Tower Hill. This is a protected nature reserve so you get to see an abundance of kangaroos, wallabies, emus and other animals in their natural habitats. It was a very cool thing to see up close. We only stuck around there for about a half hour because we had to hit the road and get up into the Grampians to our accommodation for the night.
We got to Asses Ears Wilderness Lodge at about 7pm and got settled into our bunks. I shared a room with Daniel, Phillip and Alex. The girls had their own cabin and Cameron had his own as well. We made burritos for dinner and relaxed in the reception/bar area of the lodge. They had an old beat up pool table that we made good use of and had a few drinks from the bar before calling it a night. We have an earlier wakeup call tomorrow morning, so I’m calling it a night!