It’s always hard to find the right words when a trip comes to an end.  It’s something that I struggle with every time.  I don’t like saying good-bye, no matter how much awesomeness might lay ahead…saying goodbye is always hard.

I can’t speak for everyone, but I for one -have had an amazing trip.  We drove at least 1200 miles -not including the detours, trips, backtracking, or day trips.  1200 miles on the wrong side of the road, on the wrong side of the car -just two months after I got my license.  I think I have put more miles on this side of the road than I have on the normal side!

We have seen some amazing places, some breathtaking views, made memories for a lifetime, and really had an amazing time.  Honestly?  I don’t think this trip could have gone any better if we tried.  We packed everyday to the brim with new and exciting things.  In once sense, it was good -doing as much as possible in as little time as possible.  But in another way -it wasn’t.  Because the time went SO fast.

We stopped at every point possible -and spent the night in 12 different locations along the way.  It took a lot of planning, but I managed to reserve 12 different houses/motels along the way for our trip.  We stayed in everything from old motels with holes in the wall to brick mansions with servants rooms.

We have seen dessert and ocean, farms and forests.

While we have really only covered a relatively small area (when you consider just how big Australia is!) it was amazing.

It’s hard to sum the trip up, hard to say what was the best part, hard to say where it started and where it ended and hard to say good-bye when it feels like it just started.  But like every other time, it’s not good-bye -it’s see you later, because while Australia has been put on the “Done” list -it is definitely on the return list as well.

Until next time….

I hope you guys had as much fun as I did!

I hope you guys had as much fun as I did!

 

Day 20: Adelaide Zoo

When we went to the zoo yesterday, they were running a special that if you bought the tickets that day -you could get tickets to the Adelaide Zoo 1/2 price.  Being suckers for good deals -we jumped on it and bought tickets to go to the zoo.  The temperatures today were over 100 (in the shade!) but we went for it anyway and had a great time.  There was enough shade that we didn’t completely pass out!

This little guy was busy watching the airplane flying overhead…

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He was so cute.

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If you couldn’t tell, the meerkat’s are my favorites.  :)

We saw some birds…

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Some wild looking animal that I can’t remember the name of!

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Some sheep, deer, panda and penguins and monkeys:

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And of course, no trip is complete without flowers:

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Day 19: Victor Harbor – Adelaide

We drove from Victor Harbor to our final destination today.  Just outside of Adelaide.

Since we had a few hours to kill before showing up (David’s aunt and uncle who we are staying with were out until late) we decided to check out a local zoo (Monarto Zoo).  It was an African Safari styled zoo, and since the weather was so hot (around 100!) they closed the walking trails and only allowed a bus to take us around.   The animals weren’t in cages, and instead were free ranged in a park like area built for them.  To see them the bus drove down roads through their fenced areas to give us a chance to see them.  Some walked right up to the bus while others stayed off in the shade.

It was really neat -seeing the animals that close.

Buffalo:

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Meerkat (my favorites!)

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And finally, the cheetah.  This one was hand raised and trained by the zoo.  They were able to hand feed her.

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Day 18: Robe – Victor Harbor

We spent a majority of the day driving today.  Not too many amazing stops along the way, although we were in a bit of a hurry and didn’t feel like stopping too much since it was seriously hot!  Once we got to Victor Harbor -we went to check out Penguin Island (Granite Island) to see if we could see any penguins.  Three years ago when David and Amanda were down here, they referred to the island as Penguin Island -they never saw any penguins and we were determined to have better results this time.

We spent a good 5 minutes debating over whether this was a penguin or not:

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We were really close to calling it a penguin (we were desperate!)…

I am NOT a penguin!

I am NOT a penguin!

But then he flew off.  And even for our imaginations -a flying penguin just seemed a bit much.

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We circled the rest of the Island in hopes of finding a penguin…to no avail.

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At least the views were nice.

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Aside from the wildlife, we spotted a few wild nuts…

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Day 17: Mount Gambier – Robe

Our stops at night this trip have been a combination of motels and houses from airbnb.  Our preference has quickly become staying in an airbnb, since not only do you get a bigger place to stay, you get personal recommendations from the people who you stay with, and the wi-fi works much better!

Last night we stayed in a motel after doing a stretch of airbnb’s.  I guess you can say we had been spoiled, because our motel last night while clean, wasn’t up to date at all and had a lot wrong with it.  We were pretty happy to leave it behind…

This morning we had cut it close for check out, I was talking with mom while we were loading the car up so wasn’t paying any attention to anything going on around me (which is probably good!!).  After we were mostly loaded up, I jumped in and started the car.  David was putting Judah in his seat when he started casually mentioning that there was a “Pider.”  I thought he was just messing with us, stalling for more time until David jumped back yelling.

This is what he saw:

Picture thanks to David.  Amanda and I were not about to get that close, not even for a photo!

Picture thanks to David. Amanda and I were not about to get that close, not even for a photo!

Amanda and I very much dislike spiders, so seeing a spider that was about 5 inches around THAT close was too much.  Having no idea how long he had been there, where he came from and KNOWING that I was JUST leaning over him?  Well…lets just say it was a scary moment for us all.

While Amanda and I went to check out, David planned how to rid the car of the spider.  Some well meaning by standard came over to help out by tossing a towel at the spider -making it scurry under the wheelbase of the car.  We didn’t want to drive the car with a spider that big, that close so went to the car wash to try and spray him out -to no avail.

Having no other options, we convinced ourselves that he was most likely, probably gone.  And took off down the road.

“Now if you see him, just scream, ok?” Amanda warned.

“No.  We will not scream.  If I see the spider I will tell you to pull over so we don’t get killed.” David wisely cautioned.

About 20 minutes later, driving down the main road I saw hairy legs wiggling down the driver side window.  Thankfully there was a parking spot right next to where we were, and I was able to pull over and didn’t have to crash the car.  David then put an end to all the spidery nonsense.

The rest of the day was fairly uneventful as far as spiders go!!!

We visited a few things in Mount Gambier, like the Blue Lake (Which was amazingly blue!), another smaller lake -and then made the drive to Robe where we spent the afternoon on the beach.

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It’s no mystery where it got it’s name!

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We have spent a lot of our trip asking this question, a very fitting shirt!

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The beach.  It reminded me of Italy.

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Day 16: Warrnambool – Mount Gambier

We backtracked today to see the 12 apostles.  The first stop (that we saw yesterday) wasn’t that impressive.  It was neat -but we could only see one of the apostles.  So today we went a bit further -there was a parking lot we parked in, then took a path under the road, to a lookout where we could see all of them lined up.  Was well worth going back for!

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Up a bit further was a pull off for the London Bridge.

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And London Bridge’s little cousin:

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The rest of the trip was not very coastal.  Just trees, fields, cows and sheep.

 

Day 15: Anglesea – Warrnambool (Great Ocean Road)

Today was by far, the most amazing part of the drive along the Great Ocean Road.  We saw all sorts of amazing things, and are going to spend part of tomorrow backtracking and picking up some of the things we missed (it was just that awesome!)

We left Anglesea and headed towards Warrnambool.

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While much of the route was coastal, there are bits that go inland and through some National Parks.  The drive is amazing.  The roads are windy, and people love to go fast -and seem to get upset when you go slow.  I took it slow and pulled over when possible.  I was given some advice to take the roads slower than the recommended speeds.  The road is really not meant to go fast on.  Take it slow, enjoy the sites, and make it to the other side alive.

A few people had given us pointers, and with our own ideas -we had a list of places we hoped to see along the way.  A few of the highlights were: Split Point Lighthouse (Lorne), Teddy’s Lookout (Lorne), Erskine Falls (Lorne), Koala Kafe/Walk (Kennet River), 12 Apostles, and the various look outpoints from the 12 Apostles to Warrnambool.

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This was our route with the stops we made. I would recommend spending more time stopping in between the green circles as there are some amazing views. Then as you can see, the rest is somewhat inland.

All three places in Lorne are fairly close to each other:

  • Lighthouse:

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They offer tours, and we arrived right as one tour began.  It was $14 per adult, and we decided not to do it.  The views alone were enough for us.

  • Teddy’s Lookout:

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This was probably one of my favorite stops -easy to get to, and the views were outstanding.

  • Erskine Falls:

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The Falls has two different sets of walks you can do -the first is fairly easy, down probably 50-70 stairs (that are nicely built) and you are at the top lookout.  If you feel inclined, you can continue to the bottom (which was 200+ stairs).  We only did the first set of stairs since we had Judah and again, were pressed for time.

Koala Kafe / Walk (Kennet River / Gravel Road):

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Kennet River was a hidden gem that some locals told us about.  There aren’t any signs, or indicators and the place can get wild with people -but its an awesome stop.  We brought along some bird seed and were able to hand feed the parrots.  We also saw numerous wild Koalas (I say wild because we stopped at the Koala Conservatory a few days ago in case we didn’t get to see any wild ones.)  It was an amazing stop!!!

Look for the “Koala Kafe” and “The Gravel Road” -right at the beginning of the road there are dozens of parrots you can feed, then follow the road up for Koalas!  You won’t be disappointed (or at least we weren’t!).

Just as a side note: We were really unsure of where to stop and how long to stay at each of the stops, and couldn’t find much information before we left…

The stops along the way from the 12 Apostles to Warrnambool (there are a few of them) are probably some of the most amazing views there are.  We are going to backtrack tomorrow and see more of them because we didn’t stop as much not knowing how many stops there would be.  There are quite a few stops in a short period of time -and then nothing for probably 20/30 miles when you will reach Warrnambool.  If you have the time -stop and enjoy them!

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The Apostles themselves (or the one that we saw) was cool -but not blow you away amazing.  This could change tomorrow, but if we did it over again I would really have planned on spending more time seeing ALL the stops along the way and not making a mad dash / bee line for the 12 apostles lookout.

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We attempted to find the Cape Otway Lighthouse (which we were told was also awesome, and the site of an old shipwreck).  A few miles up the road, however and we saw a bunch more Koala bears (some that were really close!).  We didn’t end up making it to the Lighthouse since we were pressed for time and decided to turn around.  But if you have the time, it does sound incredible!

Now for some more pictures (because pictures make it all better!!!)

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Day 13: Altona – Angelsea

Today was a slower day for driving, yet still took us just as long to get to our destination.  We stopped along the way to get some infusers and candles -one of the houses we stayed at along the way had these AMAZING scented candles -and we chased the brand down the coast trying to find it.  It took a few tries, but we finally had some success!

We also stopped at McDonalds -to let Judah use the play area, or, at least that was our excuse!!  We all had a bit of fun :)

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Day 12: Leongatha – Altona

Had an awesomely long day today! The highlight of the day was seeing the Koalas! And the beaches!  Always the beaches!  After not seeing the coast for quite a few days, we were all pretty excited to see the beach again.

We stopped at the Phillip Island Koala Conservation because we wanted to see koalas and we weren’t sure if we would get to see them in the wild or not.  We weren’t disappointed.

Once we got on the road, we hit some crazy traffic.

We came up over a hill, and the seemingly quiet road turned into a 5 lane road –that’s 5 lanes each way! I’m used to driving on roads that have one lane going each way, two max. So five lanes was something else. But that wasn’t even the best part…we hit rush hour traffic downtown Melbourne. That. Was something else.

Our GPS quit working right in the middle of it all, because the tall buildings threw the signal off!

It was a wild ride, but we survived, and arrived at our destination mostly unscathed.

Now for the pictures…

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Day 11: Lakes Entrance – Leongatha

The past couple of days have found us driving through wooded areas, farm land, and tiny towns.

While it has been pretty, I for one, am getting a little bit tired of trees and am ready to see some coast!

I’m sure most people would make the drive in an hour or two, or resort to the bigger highway to make the journey go quicker.  We have opted to stay to the quieter road (Princes Highway) so we will take what we get I suppose.  Aside from a few close calls with crazy drivers (someone speeding through a parking lot causing us to almost hit them, and someone getting mad because I stopped before entering a roundabout) a thunder and lightning storm -the day was pretty uneventful!

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I am ready for some sun, some heat, some coast and some swimming!

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But I’m sure that is coming.

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