I had originally planned to visit the Great Ocean Road on the following day, but when unforeseen circumstances arouse, I had to change my itinerary.
Arriving into Melbourne’s Southern Cross station at 7:25 in the morning, I joined Escape Discovery Adventures to begin my journey to the Great Ocean Road. My tour guide, Paul and I had spoken numerous times before the trip thus leading to a quick bond. Paul knew exactly what I wanted to photograph and did everything he could to get me in positions to do so.
After driving west out of Melbourne for about an hour and a half we had our first wildlife encounter, Kangaroos. And although these Kangaroos were completely wild, we found them in an interesting place, one that really felt natural, on a golf course. Yep, these kangaroos were simply laying next to the putting greens and hopping throughout the fairway. Apparently a rule of Australian golf is that Kangaroos have the right of way.
After photographing the hoppers we hopped back in our van and continued to the Great Ocean Road. It was very apparent when we had arrived as the ocean came into view next to large forest covered mountains. The narrow road wound it’s way along the side of these mountains with hundred foot drop offs on our lefts to the ocean below. It really is one of the most spectacular drives I ever been on.
Whilst taking a break at a town along the famous highway, Paul was able to attract about a dozen cockatoos over to our location which allowed me to photograph them in very close proximity. The cockatoos were so habituated that they would even land on your arm or shoulder if you were offering them food.
After checking off kangaroos and cockatoos, there was one final animal that we wanted to spot in the wild, koalas, and of course, Paul knew just the spot. When we arrived we immediately saw two koalas sleeping in the tree. As we ventured around we spotted a koala in almost every tree we looked in. Although they were resting, they occasionally opened their eyes or scratched their backs so I could take a photo of them.
That afternoon we ate lunch in a small oceanside village, hiked a short trail in the forest, and then made our way to the main attraction, Port Campbell National Park. This park is home to the legendary 12 apostles (of which there are really only 8) and the famous Loch Ard Gorge. Although Loch Ard Gorge is a stunning geological wonder, I was probably most excited because it was also the location of the finish line on the most recent season of the Amazing Race Australia.
We got some dinner at a local cafe and then began a 3 hour drive back to Melbourne.
The Great Ocean Road can be summed up in one word: “Wow”