Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Melbourne to Adelaide via GOR - Day 2

The beach is just a short walk across the great ocean road from Kenneth River Holiday Park.

HT and I woke up at 6am for sunrise photography. We enjoyed a long tranquil moment before the sunrise at 7:30am.

Kenneth River - view from the beach

After sunrise, we walked back to the Kenneth River Holiday Park and found that it's time for wild life spotting again.

All the native animals are active in the morning, and the holiday park is a heaven for wildlife photography lovers. Even we are not so into it, we still took tons of animal pictures.

King parrots, rosellas, koalas (yes, again!), and birds that I don't know their names. These native animals were not shy around human. We could walk up close most of the time. One of the king parrots even tried to fly to me when I tried to take his photo!

We cooked a simple breakfast, enjoyed great time setting up camping table and chairs outdoor, and had a great breakfast surrounded by birds and koalas.

After a hearty breakfast, we tidied up the pipes, cleared the black water, and continued our journey.

First stop was to go raw material shopping at Apollo Bay. However, even though the distance between Kenneth River and Apollo Bay is less than 25km, it took us more than one hour to complete that journey. Why? Because there were too many scenic look out points in between, and we couldn't resist to stop!

Apollo Bay is a beautiful coastal town. I think it is getting touristy now because I even spotted Chinese Restaurant here. Anyway, we didn't stop for long at Apollo Bay.

Apollo Bay

After Apollo Bay, soon we turned into the mountain of Great Otway National Park, crossing farms and the lush rainforest.

After the rainforest, we were supposed to turn into Princetown. According to the information on the internet, this is THE spot for wild kangaroos spotting along Great Ocean Road. However, we missed the turn. I was considering whether or not to turn back but we decided to continue our journey. We had faith that we sure will spot wild kangaroos in their natural habitat during our stay here. After all, this is Australia!

Our first stop at the Port Campbell National Park was the Gibson Steps. We of course MUST explore the wild beach. One can actually walk to some of the 12 Apostles during low tide but we didn't plan for it.

Before descending the Gibson Steps

Wagyu sausages and 12 Apostles. Best combination!
After Gibson Steps, the famous 12 Apostles Visitor Center is just minutes away. We parked our mobilehome at the designated car park, took a short rest and prepared a simple lunch (of course we must try the Wagyu sausages that we just bought from Apollo Bay!). The girls didn't feel comfortable to have meals in the park so they decided to eat in the mobilehome. Meanwhile, I packed my sandwiches and milk, walked all the way to the viewing platform, and had my wonderful lunch at the bench facing the 12 Apostles.

This is the most famous spot along Great Ocean Road so be prepared for the flocks of tourists! Be grateful if you managed to take photos without other tourists blocking :)

If you a few hundred AUD extra to spend, you can consider taking the helicopter scenic flights too. The shortest route, from 12 Apostles to London Bridge (15 minutes) costs AUD290, while the longest route, covering 12 Apostles, London Bridge, Bay of Islands and Cape Otway Lighthouse, costs AUD1,140. Yes, it is very expensive (especially if you convert it to RM), but please note that the helicopters made endless trips when we were there. Rich tourists are abundance here.

By the time we left 12 Apostles, I knew it's impossible for us to reach Warrnambool before dark as per original plan. I remembered there's an award winning caravan park at Peterborough (but I couldn't recall the name) so I decided to stay at Peterborough for the night.

After changing my plan, suddenly we had ample time to continue to explore the Port Campbell National Park before dark. We covered almost all the important lookouts (here's the map) before Peterborough, including Loch Ard Gorge, The Arch, London Bridge and the Grotto. 

By the time we reached Peterborough, it's already dark. We saw the sign of Great Ocean Road Tourist Park immediately on our right after we cross the bridge but I was still unsure. I turned left, following the sign of "to town", but found only quiet housing area. While looking for a suitable place to make a U-turn, we reached the car park by the beach and were awed by the moonlit beach.

After the photography session by the beach, we turned back to the Great Ocean Road Tourist Park (and now I confirmed this is the 2013 Winner of Australia Best Holiday Park since there's only one in Peterborough).

The owner is very friendly. He made the effort to check if I rent any cars from specific Rental services so that we could get the 10% discount (lucky me, Apollo is one of them), got me a site closest to the river (without me asking), and showed us all the best places to spot wild kangaroos along the Old Peterborough Road.

After we parked our mobilehome (which also very close to the bathroom), the girls were super happy to see the facilities in the park (not that we planned to use any of those though). There's a very well equipped kitchen, BBQ facilities, TV room, game room, laundry room, basketball ring etc.

We love the bathroom design (later we found out that most of the campervan parks have similar design) where there are dry and wet area. The dry area came with hooks and a small bench for clothes and others necessities. After shower, you can dry yourself at the dry area. However, among all that we stayed, only this holiday park provides shower curtain and shower mat. Very considerate!

This holiday park costs AUD58.50 (after 10% discount for Apollo Rental). Though a bit pricy compare with our later stays, we had no complaints! We love this place!

Please refer to my post about "Melbourne to Adelaide via GOR on a Mobilehome for 5 Days 4 Nights" for the driving route

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