Thunder Cave and Blowhole at Great Ocean Road *updated with videos*

Second last post on our Great Ocean Road adventure, I promise! After the Loch Ard Gorge visit, we followed the signboard and walked towards the Thunder Cave. This was the information board regarding the Thunder Cave. As you can see from the information below, there used to be an arch over the ocean but the continuous force of wind, sea and rain water narrowed the arch until it gave way to what it is today.

P1180167

Thunder Cave information board

This was the picture of Thunder Cave as of 2010. Look at the strong currents from the ocean. It’s no wonder the arch collapsed over time.

P1180163

Thunder Cave

Just next to the Thunder Cave was another cave. I initially thought this was the Thunder Cave, for the strong waves that hit the cave gave a resounding boom not unlike the thunder. A very angry and loud sound indeed. You could almost feel that the waves were trying very hard to eat into the cave walls.

P1180171

Cave near the Thunder Cave – observe the strong currents

P1180159

Receding waves from the walls of the cave #1

P1180160

Receding waves from the walls of the cave #2

P1180165

Thunder Cave top view

Video of strong pounding waves at Thunder Cave

P1180170

Saucer and witch at Thunder Cave

From Thunder Cave, there was a path that led inwards, going through a vast green field and ending up with more magnificent views of the ocean.

P1180175

A view of the great ocean

P1180174

Another view of the ocean

P1180172

Observing the angry and strong waves

P1180188

An isolated arch

P1180186

Magnificent view of great ocean

P1180183

The angry ocean

P1180180

The green field that we passed by

P1180179

Amazing isn’t it?

P1180177

The path that we walked

P1180176

Great Ocean Road view #1

P1180190

Clear turquoise water


Video of the Great Ocean Road

Even though the waters were rough and the waves were strong, one could not help but be amazed by the crystal clear and turquoise ocean. This was definitely a must-visit view of the Great Ocean Road. Final part will be coming up shortly! :)

Loch Ard Gorge of the Great Ocean Road

Another attraction that one should not miss while driving along the Great Ocean Road is the Loch Ard Gorge. Situated just 10 minutes from the Twelve Apostles, this place was named after a clipper ship Loch Ard which was wrecked on a nearby Muttonbird Island after a 3-month journey from England to Melbourne. The amazing thing was only 2 survivors made it out of the 51 people on board, thanks to the gorge that protected them from the very strong and fatal waves of the ocean.

IMG_9960

Loch Ard Gorge information board

If you just stand in front of the Loch Ard Gorge, you would feel so very close to the waves. There was a staircase that led down towards the beach, where the two survivors were washed ashore hundreds of years ago. The waves hitting against the limestone hills were humongous and very strong. It was as if the waves were in a constant anger, trying to knock down the limestone barriers.

IMG_9973

View of the shore with receding waves

IMG_9975

View of the shore with oncoming waves

IMG_9978

Loch Ard Gorge from the top

IMG_9985

Us at the Loch Ard Gorge

IMG_9990

witch with the strong waves taken at the shore

IMG_9989

Warning of unstable cliffs

IMG_9995

Inscriptions on the limestone

IMG_9997

So close to the waves

P1180128

The Island Archway (closer look)

P1180127

The Island Archway

P1180130

View of the cliffs

P1180132

Strong and angry waves

P1180137

Limestone hill by the Loch Ard Gorge

P1180134

Clear turquoise waters

P1180139

Beautiful Loch Ard Gorge

P1180141

Limestone hill by the beach

P1180142

Saucer posing *LOL*

P1180143

The protective barriers of the ocean

P1180149

A cave behind the beach at Loch Ard Gorge

P1180146

Look at the strong waves – imagine if the hills were not that to break them

P1180157

Saucer and witch at Loch Ard Gorge

PS: Apologize for the lack of words in this post. The fact is we’re now traveling in China and the connection here is pretty slow. Loading the pictures took me almost an hour! Do bear with me for we’ll be back in a couple of days! :)

Magnificent Twelve Apostles at the Great Ocean Road

Right after breakfast, we checked out from the Best Western Great Ocean Road Motor Inn and started our journey towards the Port Campbell National Park. Driving along the Great Ocean Road during day time never ceased to amaze me. The ocean was sparkling blue, while the limestone rock stacks on the coastline was just spectacular. Did I also mention that the road was clear? Just look at the road picture below! I even went all the way to take a picture standing in the middle of the road! *LOL*

P1180063

Great Ocean Road towards Port Campbell National Park

IMG_9795

Picture in the middle of the road

IMG_9791

Gorgeous view of the ocean

Getting to Port Campbell National Park was a breeze! There were signboards (brown colour) along the way and before long, we reached the lookout point for Twelve Apostles. It was really a well-developed attraction, as can be seen from the picture below. There was even a very modern building with washrooms and a cafe inside.

IMG_9803

Cafe and washrooms at Port Campbell National Park

Without further ado, we walked towards the Twelve Apostles Lookout point! It was a very nice path that went underground to cross the road over to the cliff.

IMG_9804

Twelve Apostles lookout point

IMG_9807

Path towards the lookout point

Soon enough, we came to another signboard that said “Twelve Apostles”. We’re there!

IMG_9810

Twelve Apostles signboard

Lying beneath us was not just a huge blue canvas of sparkling water, but an amazing work of God. The feeling was almost too hard to express, and to comprehend even. It was not just breath-taking, it was overwhelmingly so. The sound of strong waves lapping up against the limestone hills and the sight of the blue ocean coupled with the cool breeze were almost too much to handle. I assure you, you simply need to be there to appreciate the magnificence of it all.

IMG_9816

The magnificent Twelve Apostles

IMG_9821

I could almost touch it! *LOL*

I must have been so engrossed with the beauty that I wanted to capture it right away and tweet! Saucer caught me red-handed! :P

IMG_9882

Snap snap

IMG_9883

Tweet tweet

There were metal wires surrounding the edges of the cliff, so you have to be careful not to cross them, or else!

IMG_9880

Warning of unstable cliffs

I would just let the pictures do the talking from here onwards.

IMG_9842

witch with the Twelve Apostles

IMG_9860

The Twelve Apostles

P1180061IMG_9959

Information board about Twelve Apostles Underwater life

Oh I have to say this, while we were snapping pictures, a couple asked for our help to take a picture for them. In return, they also helped us take a picture. And after chatting for a while, guess what? They’re Malaysians too! What a coincidence really! This was the picture that was taken by them. Lovely!

IMG_9953

Saucer and witch with the Twelve Apostles

IMG_9935

Another lookout point

IMG_9913

Twelve Apostles

IMG_9931


P1180096

The Twelve Apostles looking east

IMG_9908

Look at the crystal clear water!

IMG_9887

One of the lookout point

P1180077

Strong and angry waves

P1180073

Twelve Apostles – magnificent work of nature

P1180068

Twelve Apostles as seen from Port Campbell National Park lookout point

It was an entirely eye-opening experience and we spent so much time there just admiring the sea and listening to the strong and angry waves. How could something that sounded so angry be so beautiful? We almost didn’t want to leave, but time was running out. It was almost noon!

Port Campbell National Park
Coordinates: 38°37′S 142°59′E

*Update: Great Southern Touring Route application from Apple helps to plan your Great Ocean Road journey better:

GSTR on iPhone

Thank God for Best Western Great Ocean Road Motor Inn

Since we’ve decided not to stay at Cape Otway, we had to continue driving to reach the next nearest town, which was Port Campbell. At this point of time, it was already getting dark, past 5.30pm. And the route from Cape Otway to Port Campbell was another 90km, with a large part of it through the rain forest! Just refer to the map below, driving through the dark rain forest with trees looming above you and a winding road was NOT funny. Plus, it appeared that there were no other cars passing by, and with no street lights (only reflectors which worked well actually), I was driving nervously.

portcampbell

From Cape Otway to Port Campbell (~90km)

What else could be worse?

1. We had no hotel reservation for Port Campbell, since we initially booked to stay at the Caravan in Cape Otway.

2. The petrol in the car was running really low.

3. I wanted to pee badly!

4. There was no phone line coverage (Vodafone)

As I was driving in anxiety along the winding roads, Saucer kept calming me down and even offered to switch places since he thought that I wouldn’t be rational driving under the stress of wanting to pee. But I didn’t feel comfortable with the idea of stopping the car in the middle of no where and in a pitch black road! So I persevered, while Saucer tried to contact our friend in Melbourne, Kendal. Fortunately, we had 2 sim cards, one with Vodafone (for phone coverage) and one with Telstra (for data network) and Telstra’s reception was pretty strong! So Saucer communicated with Kendal using MSN through the data network and within minutes, Kendal had managed to book a room for us at the Best Western Motor Inn in Port Campbell! Yay! I felt so much relieved after that, and about an hour later, we saw the quaint town of Port Campbell and immediately pulled over at the gas station.

Great Ocean Road

Our room at Best Western Great Ocean Road Motor Inn (picture taken in the morning)

After filling up the car and relieving myself :P we were on our way to the Inn, which was just down the road. Checking in was a breeze with the kind and warm lady Stephanie. We told her we were freezing cold and she actually went to our room to start the heater while we parked our car and unloaded our luggage. How sweet!

Great Ocean Road

Double bed in Best Western Inn

Words could not express how very relieved and happy we were when we saw the room. Yes, it was nothing grand but it was all that we needed that night! A comfortable bed, a warm heater, hairdryer, hot shower, mini fridge (to store our beers), microwave (to cook instant noodles), water kettle, flat screen TV and a dining table. Thank God! It was already past 7pm by then and outside was freezing cold. We quickly changed, took a hot shower, and made some steaming hot instant noodles that we brought for the trip. Then we kicked back and laid on the bed while watching TV. It was just perfect! :)

Great Ocean Road

Everything that we needed

Great Ocean Road

Shower and toilet

While resting on the bed, I couldn’t help but feel grateful and proud of myself for making through the winding and dark road just before that. It was an experience that I’d remember for a long long time. Don’t get me wrong, the roads were not dangerous, it’s just a little scary for me since it was dark and trees were all around – left, right and above us. My advice? Try not to drive along the Great Ocean Road at night.

Great Ocean Road

Outside our room

The next morning, we planned on where to visit. In a way, I was really glad that we drove past Cape Otway to Port Campbell. If we had followed our original plan of staying in Cape Otway, we would have gone back  to Melbourne the next day without completing the whole stretch of Great Ocean Road. But since we were already in Port Campbell now, we might as well just went all the way to complete it. And we did!

Great Ocean Road

Surroundings of Best Western Great Ocean Road Motor Inn

Great Ocean Road

White daisies

From Port Campbell, our plan was to visit the Port Campbell National Park which was about 10km away, where some of the great attractions of Great Ocean Road were at. The pinnacle of it was the Twelve Apostles, of course!

Great Ocean Road

Car park area

Once again, I must say that I really thanked God for Best Western Inn to provide us shelter when we thought we had no where else to go that night.  If I’m not mistaken, the room rate was circa AUD85, which was value for money, in my humble opinion.

Great Ocean Road

Our room key

Great Ocean Road

Best Western Great Ocean Road Motor Inn, Port Campbell, Victoria

If you’re planning to drive along Great Ocean Road like us, I would highly recommend staying at this place for the night. It is at the perfect location, just minutes away from the Port Campbell National Park (12 apostles) and furthermore, you’ll reach here around the evening if you start from Melbourne in the morning. Just the right timing and the right place, don’t you think?

Great Ocean Road

On to Port Campbell National Park

Best Western Great Ocean Road Motor Inn
10 Great Ocean Road
Port Campbell VIC 3269
Australia
Phone: +61 (0)3 5598 6522
Website: http://www.greatoceanroadmotorinn.com/

The Great Ocean Road Adventure – Cape Otway Misfortune

Continuing our journey after admiring gorgeous views at the Split Point Lighthouse, we reached the Great Ocean Road Memorial Arch. Historically, the Great Ocean Road was built by returned soldiers between 1919 and 1932, and is the world’s largest war memorial dedicated to casualties.

Great Ocean Road

Great Ocean Road Entrance

Great Ocean Road

Great Ocean Road Memorial

Great Ocean Road

An excited witch! :)

Quoting the information board below:

The arch commemorates the construction of the road and symbolises the sacrifice made by so many in the First World War. It stands astride the largest enduring war memorial in the world, “The Great Ocean Road”, a living memorial to our forefathers.

Great Ocean Road

Saucer at the Memorial Arch

Great Ocean Road

witch with the Great Ocean Road Memorial statue

Just next to the memorial arch was the great ocean! So very blue and vast. As usual, wind was strong and cold. *Brrr* I believe the beach would be more crowded and popular during summer!

Great Ocean Road

Saucer by the beach

Great Ocean Road

Us at the memorial arch beach

This time, we were up close and personal with the great ocean. Not only could we see it, we could touch and feel the water and the soft sand on the beach. It was surreal.

Great Ocean Road

View of beach #1

Great Ocean Road

View of beach #2

Great Ocean Road

View of beach #3

OK, enough of pit stops already, we said! It was getting dark and if we didn’t keep on moving, we would end up driving in the dark! So from the Memorial Arch, we continued our journey towards Cape Otway, which was our destination for our night. We had booked a place in a Caravan park near Cape Otway and thought of staying there for the night before returning to Melbourne tomorrow. You see, our initial plan was just to drive half of the road for the experience of it. This was the road leading to Cape Otway – along a rain forest.

Great Ocean Road

Rain forest route towards Cape Otway

This stretch of road was nothing like before, because the ocean was no longer in sight now. We were driving across the rain forest instead, towards the southern point of the Great Ocean Road. Soon, we saw the signboard and heaved a sigh of relief.

Great Ocean Road

Cape Otway

Referring to the GPS, we continued our drive and horror of all horrors – we met with a dead end! Well, it’s not a ‘dead’ end technically, but it was a road that we couldn’t proceed any further, for there was a herd of cows blocking us! Gosh! What were we going to do? There were so many of them and they’re so huge that we didn’t dare to go and shoo them away. *LOL* Worst of all, they were all standing there still, looking like they had no intention to move. So we waited in the car for 5 whole minutes, wondering if they were going to move. Luckily, an oncoming car came after that, and the guy in it actually shooed the cows away. So we quickly drove past, but in my heart, I was already worried that we’d have to go through the same path again when we returned.

Great Ocean Road

Road block!

Great Ocean Road

Taken from the car

After we crossed the cows, Saucer spotted something from afar. It was a kangaroo! Oh my, there really was a kangaroo in the wild!

Great Ocean Road

Kangaroo spotted!

We drove by towards the lighthouse and it was 4.50pm. What did we find out? The lighthouse was CLOSED! I knew we were playing it close because the lighthouse was supposed to close at 5pm, but they were supposed to be open for another 10 minutes. :( Oh well! We didn’t manage to take any pictures too because it was drizzling. Ah, what could be worse! It was really an unfortunate incident.

800px-Cape_Otway

Cape Otway (source)

So, all that was left to do was to turn back and hunt for our shelter for the night. The place that we were planning to stay in was a Caravan park just a few kilometres away from the lighthouse, but when we reached there, it was so quiet and somewhat eerie because it’s in the middle of a forest, that we decided not to stay there. And hence, we continued driving in the dark… (to be continued)

*Update: Great Southern Touring Route application from Apple helps to plan your Great Ocean Road journey better:

GSTR on iPhone

The Great Ocean Road Adventure – Torquay & Split Point Lighthouse

Finally, I got to the part I enjoyed the most in our trip to Melbourne - The Great Ocean Road! I must admit, this post is long overdue but I was really just saving the best for last! *LOL* Remember we rented a car from Hertz to Lake Mulwala before? We used the same car to drive towards the Great Ocean Road! It was really a durable Nissan, and a very comfortable one too. Definitely value for money. :) Look at the map below for the route that we took. We initially just wanted to do it halfway, but … you’ll see what happened during the adventure. ;)

GreatOceanRoad

Great Ocean Road route from Melbourne

After crossing Geelong, our first stop was Torquay – the Gateway to Great Ocean Road. The signboard of Torquay was so majestic that we couldn’t help but stop by to take pictures. The good thing was that the road was quite empty, so that’s a good break from the traffic jam in the city!

Great Ocean Road

Torquay – Gateway to Great Ocean Road

Great Ocean Road

Look at the endless road behind

After Torquay, our next stop was Anglesea, just because we were looking for toilet and food! *LOL* I really liked the Great Ocean Road drive because we got to pass along lots of quaint little towns at intervals, not to mention the magnificent view of the ocean accompanying us as well! Anglesea was one of the towns along Great Ocean Road, and we randomly chose a cafe for lunch. This was Chicken Parmigiana, which is one of Australian’s popular dishes – chicken chop with ham and melted cheese on top! Very indulgent and good!

Great Ocean Road

Chicken Parmigiana (~AUD14-15)

Opposite the row of cafe was the Anglesea River that we stopped by to snap pictures. Look at happy Saucer! :) Loved the cooling weather in the afternoon!

Great Ocean Road

Saucer at Anglesea River

Great Ocean Road

Beautiful view of Anglesea River #1

Great Ocean Road

Anglesea River #2

Great Ocean Road

Anglesea River #3

After that, it was my turn to drive! We proceeded along Great Ocean Road and saw lots of magnificent views of the sea. I kinda regretted driving along this stretch, for I was really distracted by the gorgeous views but I had to focus on the road! I should have driven the first part and let Saucer drive this second leg of the journey. :P

Next stop, we spotted a lighthouse from far and wanted to stop by. It was the Split Point Lighthouse, along Great Ocean Road.

Great Ocean Road

Split Point Lighthouse

I am impressed with the signage in Victorian roads. It’s very clear, direct and never confusing. For foreigners like us who were driving there for the first time, we never really had much problems with directions. Throughout our drive here, I noticed that they used Brown colour signage to signify tourist attraction spots, just like the one shown above. Therefore, anytime I saw a brown sign, I would stop by to take a look! :)

Great Ocean Road

Walking towards the lighthouse

I have to admit, we had to get used to going to tourist spots here by ourselves. Even though it’s an attraction, there were not many people around. In fact, when we stopped by the lighthouse, we were the only 2 persons around, walking alone towards the lighthouse. I was a little nervous, but soon enough, I was more than comfortable. I mean, how often do you get to have the whole tourist spot to yourself? It was awesome! We could take pictures however we wanted to, without anyone blocking us. *LOL*

Great Ocean Road

Split Point Lighthouse

This was the path that we had to go through to connect to the lighthouse.

Great Ocean Road

Walking towards the lighthouse

It was a very windy day, so I had to always keep my hair in place while taking pictures or I’d look like a crazy witch!

Great Ocean Road

witch at Split Point Lighthouse

Once we got near the lighthouse, we were treated to a breathtaking and scenic view of the ocean. It was really mind-blowing – to see a vast canvas of blue before us, and to know that we’re merely a small speck compared to it. It really made me see how small I was and how big the world really is.

Great Ocean Road

View from lighthouse #1

Great Ocean Road

View from lighthouse #2

Great Ocean Road

witch at the viewing deck at lighthouse

IMG_9725

Saucer and witch <3

Standing there at the viewing deck was really therapeutic in a way. The cold air blowing against my face, the sounds of waves lapping up the beach and the amazing sapphire blue sea – I almost didn’t want to leave!

Great Ocean Road

View from lighthouse #3

Great Ocean Road

View from lighthouse #4

Great Ocean Road

View from lighthouse #5

Great Ocean Road

View from lighthouse #6

From the Lighthouse, we spotted this information board telling us about the Lighthouse Discovery Trail! So we followed the trail down…

IMG_9747

Lighthouse Discovery Trail

And down…

IMG_9750

Towards the Lighthouse Discovery Trail

.. To see another gorgeous view! An apostle lookalike? :)

IMG_9748

An apostle lookalike?

IMG_9752

witch at Lighthouse lookout point

IMG_9755

Saucer and witch at Lighthouse lookout point

We stood there for another 10 minutes or so, admiring the gorgeous blue ocean, but I knew we had to leave or we wouldn’t make it before dark. Our intention was to stay at Cape Otway, which was the lowest point down south along the Great Ocean Road (refer map) and we were merely halfway there! We had to buck up!

*Update: Great Southern Touring Route application from Apple helps to plan your Great Ocean Road journey better:

GSTR on iPhone