Friday morning we departed our Lavers Hill ‘roadhouse’ overnighter and continued our journey down the Great Ocean Road. Our first stop for the day was breakfast 30km on at the little seaside town of Princeton. As it was Australia Day weekend this weekend, we were surprised when we got to the café that we were the only ones there. We both ordered French toast and when the meal arrived we then understood why there was no one else there – the meal was a shocker!
From Princeton we carried on down the Great Ocean Road to the ‘Twelve Apostles’. The Twelve Apostles (formerly the Sow and Piglets) are individual stacks of limestone formed in layers with the youngest rock closest to the surface. The cliff alongside the Apostles is a vertical geological record of millions of years. However it is thought the stacks themselves developed during the last 6000 years. The landscape is a stunning sight.
As we drove toward Peterborough we stopped at the impressive rock formation sites of ‘London Bridge’ and the ‘the Arch’. Again, all very impressive when you consider that it has taken millions of years for the formations to evolve.
From Peterborough we continued into Warrnambool where we spent the night at the showground. We had heard that the Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village in Warrnambool put on a brilliant laser light presentation depicting the sinking of the schooner Loch Ard in 1878 with 52 lives lost.
It was a brilliant evening. The laser screen itself was a fine spray of water that enabled the viewer to watch the laser show against the backdrop of the Flagstaff Hill village, a cluster of typical 1800’s coastal buildings. The theatre in which we sat ‘moved’ with the ship as it battled the waves on the screen. It was great technological wizardry. Unfortunately no cameras were allowed.
Sunday morning we arose to discover that the showground was the host to a bi monthly market so we were obligated to have a look around. No purchases were made with the exception of an early morning coffee.
Later that morning we made our way up the Hopkins Highway to catch up with our kiwi friends Jo and Brent. Both hail from the Waikato/BOP area and are farming in Pernim, Victoria. We spent two lovely days on the farm and we were most appreciative of the ‘inside’ bed offer. Thanks guys – while we love being in the van, it was great being in the house for a couple of nights. We will see you again early next year.
This morning (Tuesday) we continued our way west along the Princess Highway towards Portland. It is superhot here again today (41C with hot northerly winds) so we have pulled in for the night at an off the road spot called the Sawpit Picnic Area in the Mt Clay State Forest (493 in the Camp 7 book). The area is providing us with plenty of shade and is not so exposed to the wind.
Depending on the weather, we may stay here two days as the forecasters are predicting a lowering of temperatures and a drop in the wind.