Roadtripping – Our Journey on the Great Ocean Road


Date: 20 January 2010 to 27 January 2010
Where I’ve Been: Adelaide, Halls Gap, Apollo Bay, Lorne and Torquay, Australia
Where I’ve Stayed: My Place Hostel in Adelaide, Grampians Eco YHA in Halls Gap, Apollo Bay Eco YHA Hostel in Apollo Bay, Great Ocean Road Backpackers in Lorne and Bells Beach Backpackers in Torquay.


So two major updates – after two months apart Ben, Mary and I reunited on 20 January at Adelaide airport and we have bought a car!!!

A NEW ADDITION TO THE TRAVELING FAMILY

I arrived in Adelaide at about 6pm on 20 January and Ben, Mary and I spent the evening catching up on our travels – they had been to Malaysia and then New Zealand, and their tales of New Zealand have made me very excited for my visit there. We even treated ourselves to dinner out.

So on Thursday (21 January) we set about our main priority for our three days in Adelaide – buying a car! We had decided that this would give us more freedom than the alternative, which was buying a bus pass, and hopefully at the end of our trip we would be able to sell it and not lose too much money on it.

Our new car!
Our new car!

The oppressive 40 degree heat made wandering around car lots more of a chore than it would have been at home, but eventually we made our choice and we shelled out $4,000 (so $1,333 each) on a Daewoo Station Wagon that we have ingeniously nicknamed Waggy!

We celebrated buying it by driving to Glenelg Beach in Adelaide and having good old fish and chips (Australian fish and chips, so far has been VERY disappointing I must say).

Glenelg Beach in Adelaide
Glenelg Beach in Adelaide

THE GREAT OCEAN ROAD

The past few days have been amazing as we have spent them driving the Great Ocean Road – one of the most scenic stretches of road in the world. Pictured the M25 on a cold, grey, wet January morning and now picture the exact opposite of it and you have the Great Ocean Road!

It is an 151 mile stretch of road, the majority of which, as you can imagine from the name, hugs the coast. So we have basically spent our time driving on a largely empty road, alongside the sea, occasionally passing through picturesque seaside towns and pockets of rainforest, past beaches and lighthouses, in the warmth of the sun.

The beauty of the Great Ocean Road
The beauty of the Great Ocean Road

HOSTEL PARADISE

We have also been lucky enough to find two of the best hostels of our trip so far. After leaving Adelaide we drove to a lovely small town, about six hours away, called Halls Gap in amongst the picturesque setting of the Grampians National Park. If you like walking and hiking, I can imagine this would be the base for some amazing walks.

Anyway we only had one night here, but we were lucky enough to spend it in the Grampians Eco YHA, a futuristic type wooden building, complete with solar panels, woodburners, an amazing kitchen and lounge area and, when we were there, not that many people. We made our dinner and then watched Platoon on the hostel video player!

The beauty of the Great Ocean Road
Apollo Bay Eco Hostel

Our luck was obviously in, as we left Halls Gap to drive the Great Ocean Road to Apollo Bay, another small seaside town, where we stayed in the Apollo Bay Eco YHA Hostel – this was also lovely! It had an amazing kitchen area and a lovely rooftop veranda you could sit out on and eat and drink with a view of the sea.. We did just this and really got stuck into the goon (cheap Australian wine), which we combined with a game of Trivial Pursuits and this ended up in us all going to bed slightly drunk!

The quaint town of Apollo Bay
The quaint town of Apollo Bay – view from the rooftop verandah!

CELEBRATING AUSTRALIA DAY

We went from Apollo Bay to Lorne, and at risk of sounding like a broken record here this was another amazingly pretty seaside town, albeit slightly bigger and busier than either Halls Gap or Apollo Bay. We made the most of this and wandered down to the beach to do a spot of sunbathing and then headed back to our hostel where we had a barbeque for dinner.

After a night in Lorne our next stop was Torquay, where we arrived yesterday. Bigger than Lorne, Torquay is very much a surf town and Ben took advantage of this when we went to the beach by having a surf. I just sat and relaxed in the sun!

Our unusual hostel mates in Torquay
Our unusual hostel mates in Torquay

Yesterday (26 January) was also Australia Day – the National Day of Australia. It marks the anniversary of the 1788 arrival of the First Fleet of British Ships at Port Jackson, New South Wales, and the raising of the Flag of Great Britain at Sydney Cove by Governor Arthur Phillip.

We celebrated in typical backpacker fashion – we had a barbecue and drank goon with a few of our hostel mates, watched Andy Murray beat Rafa Nadal in the Australian Open Quarter Final and then watched a Jean Claude Van Damme film!

Today (27 January) we are leaving Torquay for the big city – we are heading to Melbourne!

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6 Comments

  1. Mei Scarlet
    January 29, 2017
    Reply

    Wow! What an awesome adventure! The Great Ocean Road looks outstanding! You know, I’ve always wanted to do something like this 😀 ROADTRIP! I live in Canada, and had thought about doing a cross-Canada trip in some station-wagon… but I didn’t know if it’s something I could do on my own.

    Would you say that a road trip like this, someone could easily enjoy on their own as well? I figure you’d always meed awesome people amongst the hostels where you spend the night. I just can’t seem to find anyone else interested in doing this…. but where you are looks really cool! I’d love to do it there, as well!

    • January 30, 2017
      Reply

      Thanks Mei, I bet you could do an awesome trip across Canada and you could definitely do it on your own – like you say you meet so many amazing people in hostels and if you are traveling on your own you are more likely to get talking to them unlike if you are traveling in a pair.

      Get out there and do it – you won’t regret it!

  2. Lance
    January 29, 2017
    Reply

    Well I sounds like an absolutely great way to learn about your surroundings and meet new people.
    I have never stayed in a hostel before and wonder is there some form of etiquette with staying in hostels?
    This would definitely be a great adventure no matter where one decided to go.
    Thanks for the great info and you have definitely given me some great ideas.

    • January 30, 2017
      Reply

      Thanks Lance, staying in hostels is easy, just turn up, meet your roommates and have fun! Pretty simple. I’d totally recommend it. Glad to have inspired you a little bit!

  3. Kimi
    February 2, 2017
    Reply

    I was looking around for some travel information and didn’t think of going to Australia. I always think of Australian landscape as dusty and rocky, but the imagery and pictures of riding along the ocean and through forest patches gave me more of an appealing image. 

    It sounds like you are having a great adventure! Hope you able to sell the car!

    • February 4, 2017
      Reply

      Thanks Kimi! I am having an amazing time. 90% of Australians live on the coast so the majority of landscapes you will see will be beautiful, unless of course you do go through the Outback and then you will see plenty of dusty and rocky imagery.

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