I’d like to be able to say that we were up at the crack of dawn, all packed and ready to hit the road in no time, but of course that was not the case! After all we are ‘cruizin’ so we lived up to our name.
So after a leisurely preparation we sadly said goodbye to Johanna Beach and headed back up the Red Johanna Road to rejoin the Great Ocean Road.
We thought we would like to do the Otway Fly Treetop Walk, and to that end we had decided we would stay a night at Lavers Hill. The closer we got to Lavers Hill the colder and foggier it became and add to that misty rain so it was difficult to see very far ahead. We had to stop and ask where the Lavers Hill Hotel was because that was where the caravan ‘park’ was situated. When we found the Hotel we sat and had a discussion re what we were going to do.
The weather was miserable. We decided we wouldn’t be able to see anything if we did the Treetop Walk. On checking out the caravan ‘park’ – park being the operative word as it just looked like a bitumen carpark; that fueled our reserve to soldier on and hope for better weather. Make no mistake, we were under no illusion that this was going to be a 4 star caravan park, but given the weather and the bitumen we weren’t prepared to stop there.
Feeling rather disappointed, we elected to brave the elements and head inside the Hotel/Roadhouse for a hot coffee and some lunch. I took a couple of photos at Lavers Hill but had to use my mobile phone (so please excuse the quality) as the batteries in the camera had died while we were at Johanna Beach.
Heading off into the mist again we started the descent down the range and at the end of the day into Port Campbell. These would have been the worst driving conditions we encountered while on the Great Ocean Road. Rob was contending with the steep winding road as well as the misty rain/fog and some wind. Eventually we emerged from the cloud and the road improved making driving less stressful.
Of course between Lavers Hill and Port Campbell we had to pass the Twelve Apostles!
This fact had somehow eluded my brain until we were almost there.
Our first sight of the Apostles was unbelievable. To realize that I was actually here looking at these pillars was incomprehensible – but here we were!
And to top it all off there was an amazing rainbow over the Twelve Apostles. I couldn’t believe that we had such an amazing sight right before our eyes.
I wasn’t going to waste this opportunity to get some photos, so the trusty phone came to the rescue again. At this stage I didn’t know if we would be able to come back to have another look at the Apostles and I sure as eggs didn’t want to miss the photo opportunity. I would just like to say here that there was ample parking at the Twelve Apostles Area. There is designated areas for buses and caravans as well as the regular car parking. It was the middle of the afternoon when we arrived and despite the weather conditions there were still plenty of people around and a few bus loads of tourists.
There is an underpass crossing from the carpark to the Apostle’s side of the road, and plenty of wide designated paths.
As with all the viewing areas along the Great Ocean Road there are warning signs posted along the paths indicating that the cliffs are unstable and you could die if you veer off the path.
Gosh, I didn’t realize there would be so much to see when we arrived at the Twelve Apostles! It was amazing and I was totally in awe of the view – whichever way you looked. The paths were set up in such a way as to give you the best possible view, with platforms in strategic places. I’d hate to think how many photos are taken here each day – there were people everywhere with cameras, phones and even Ipads lining up what they thought would be the best angle to record their visit to the Twelve Apostles. It never ceases to amaze me just what people do take photos of!!
You can see from my photos it was pretty cool, and intermittent light showers were still floating over the Apostles but in between the showers the sun would poke it’s head out and I was grinning from ear to ear.
I would have to say that for me seeing the Twelve Apostles was a ‘spiritual’ experience. I was in awe and wonder not just at the pillars that are the Apostles, but the big picture which included the Southern Ocean and the amazing cliffs the Apostles were carved from. It doesn’t matter how many photos you have seen – there is nothing like the real thing, and nothing will prepare you for seeing the Apostles in the flesh (or rock as the case may be!)
Even Rob had to admit the Twelve Apostles area far exceeded his expectations. We had a pretty good look around, and I could have stayed there for hours just drinking in scene before me as it changed from showers to sunlight and back again.
Not wanting to arrive at Port Campbell too late, we took to the road again with a promise to come back for a longer viewing.
We booked into the Port Campbell Caravan Park and pretty much had our pick of where we wanted to park the van. Now it’s one thing to be told “Go to site 14” but when you have free reign there always seems to be a great debate as to which site is actually the best! When we arrived there was only 1 other van and reception had suggested a site next to them, however we decided that since there was the whole park we would prefer to be a bit further away from neighbours. Bear in mind here that there had been a considerable amount of rain and the whole park was pretty much a quagmire. Well that might be a bit harsh, but it was fairly wet all round. After much discussion with the new ‘neighbours’ we decided on a site and got on with the job. Well a picture tells a thousand words, so this should cover a few thousand words.. .. .. .. .. ..
As you can see we encountered a spot of bother when unhitching the van and the drawbar hit the mud! Our new neighbours Tim & Sue came to the rescue with his hi-lift jack and we were soon sorted. I’d be interested in hearing any other stories of hiccups during set-up, surely we are not the only ones!!
Boy was it good to have a nice H O T shower again after our 3 days of free camping. It’s great to be able to appreciate the simple pleasures in life like hot water on tap!