And here we are again, on another tour yay! I have done the Great Ocean Road 10 years back but the other way round from Melbourne to Adelaide. With a group of 8 and a lovely surprise, Izzy from our trip Perth-Broome was on the trip as well, we were ready for the first day which included bus driving most of the time.
The first trip was actually pretty cool - we stopped at the McKenzie Waterfall, it was really stunning. Only downside when you go down a lot of stairs - you have to go up again. Well, some call it training :) Later on we had a fantastic view over The Grampians. Another incredible nationalpark where I can only imagine how great it would be to hike there several days. But time is limited unfortunately but at least one very cool hike was awaiting us the next day. Before evening, we had another kangaroo shooting (pictures obivously!) and had a fun evening playing cards against humanity. This game showed us as well some limitations as we are not too familiar with specific Aussie words children don't learn, but nevertheless a lot of fun. I also heard that there is a Swiss Edition (Kampf dem Bünzlitum) but it can't be that fun as the English version :)
Next day we did the Pinaccle Walk at the Grampians where we got rewarded by fantastic views. We almost got lost as well, but we made it safely back and headed further to another cultural center to learn more about aboriginal history, told by aboriginal people which was different than other centres we've visited where you get mostly the "white" story told on how the country got discovered. do
We also had lunch at a very special place, it was actually a former vulcano but you don't see a lot of it. It was fun anyway trying to get rid of cheeky emus which seemed to be hungry as well :)
After lunch it was time to hit the Great Ocean Road where we stopped at different hotspots. I have to say it was the first time since I was back in Australia where we've seen so many tourists and Asian touristbuses but we still found our space to enjoy some space for us. After a Pizza Dinner we got back to see an amazing sunset at the twelve apostels which is probably the most famous spot on the road and I don't have to tell you that there are not 12 anymore :)
Next morning we went to the so-called shipwreck and gorge and it was lovely to be there without a tourist crowd. On the way, we had an easy walk through a rainforest (still impressed how to get this biodiversity in such small distances) and had a stop at Apollo Bay to get a famous icecream (it got rewarded, but honestly I don't trust anyone offering Vegemite Icecream) before we had lunch with a view - we could view to the beach and it's talented surfers.
Last stop was at the famous Great Ocean Road sign where it neither start - or ends, it is just a good place for a sign :) and stopped at Bells beach - this time without any view. Normally you would see some brave surfers catching massive waves there. Bad luck but we stoppe dat Turqupoise, Surf City, famous for its surfing brands and outlets but neither shopping was that successful (my backback says thanks god for that - I can't carry more).
And finally we made it to Melbourne. I almost forgot my hiking shoes in the bus but thanks to good guys on tour they throwed them at me so I couldn't have missed them :)
So Melbourne here we are! Time for a huuge pasta dinner where we met Ivy from the Secrets of Esperance - another Swiss and it was fun to hear her travels and adventures she had so far the last month.
Starting the day in Melbourne, we had a lovely breakfast at Oliviers and decided to do then a Free Walking Tour through Melbourne. What a great idea by having 38 degrees in the shade and a crazy wind blowing and a crazy hayfever attack! :) Still fun tough, and finally we made it to Chin Chin in the afternoon fur a yum lunch (we tried to get there for dinner without any reservation -no chance!) but defintively worth!
As I have booked in advance The Ghan trainride from Adelaide to Alice Springs, it was time for me to go back to the Airport and flying back to Adelaide. Strange feeling to split up with my travelbuddy and friend Elly after being 4 weeks and almost 24 hours together, but we will survive and re-unite in Alice Springs again :)
Back in Adelaide, I had one full day to spend on which I decided to go on a Barossa Valley Vine tour where we had stops in 4 different wineries and the most famous is probably Peter Lehmann, where we had a delicious cold platter for lunch. The wines were delicious but you know it - my bag doeesn't allow any space for wine bottles but it was a lovely day tour I can recommend when you're in Adelaide (the area is much more appealing than Adelaide itself, at least to me :))
But I have to say my last night in the city was fun too, I just went out to eat something at Miss Hanoi, next to the trainstation. As there was a cricket game going on (Australia - India, and no, I still don't get that game), some Aussie Cricket fans joined me and I had much fun talking with them and having some beers altough I didn't understand that much of their bloody Aussie-Farmer-Slang :) Soon it was time to pack again, as on the next morning the very special trainride was waiting for me.....