The Great Ocean Road runs for 243 kilometres between Torquay and Allansford on the south eastern coast of Victoria, Australia. It is heritage listed and is one of the worlds most scenic coastal drives.
Since I am struggling to find suitable internet access on the road this year, I will post photos with just a few words to let you know what we are up to.
As soon as you get north of Port Augusta, Sth Australia, the scenery changes to a flat, treeless plain. This a a virtually dry salt lake set in the dry landscape.
This was the view from our first free camp on this trip. Why pay to stay in a crowded caravan park when you can wake up to a stunning view like this? Ranges View rest area is situated at Kootaberra Station, not too far north of Port Augusta.
Coober Pedy is unlike any other place I have visited. Many of the homes and businesses are dug into the ground, with multi chimneys sticking up out of the mounds to provide ventilation.
This is typical of the old vehicles used in the Opal mines that surround Coober Pedy. The drum at the top drops the tailings from the diggings into the distinctive mullock heaps.
In my opinion, no trip to Coober Pedy can be considered complete without a trip out about 30km north of town, to watch the sun set over the Breakaways. It is one of the most amazing places I have been.
Like many Victorians, we like to travel up to the north of Australia during our southern winter. Most years we hitch up our caravan and head off when the weather starts to cool, and our plan this year is to travel through Victoria and South Australia to the Northern Territory and Western Australia, and particularly the Kimberley region where we plan to camp out along the Gibb River Road and visit the many attractions there.
The start of our trip brought us to Wycheproof, an interesting little town where the train line runs down the centre of the main street. We woke to a misty morning, a reminder that it was time to move on.
Our next stop was at Hattah Kulkyne National Park where we camped on the edge of the lake and enjoyed our first campfire of the trip.
Again this was a brief one-night stop, since the warmer weather is calling and we have a long way yet to travel.
At the end of October the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix was help at Phillip Island attracting an even bigger crowd than usual because Casey Stoner, Australian motorcycling legend, announced his plans to retire from MotoGP racing following this series. Casey won his sixth consecutive Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix to the delight of the fans. I didn’t get to see the race live because I was volunteering with the Rotary Club of Phillip Island and San Remo in the secure motorbike parking area, but I did enjoy the atmosphere and all the great bikers that come through our gates over the three days of racing. Some of the bikes were amazing. But for me the highlight of the weekend was the spectacular display put on by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Roulettes aerobatic team.
As the RAAF’s elite formation aerobatic display team, the Roulettes perform breathtaking displays, using only hand-eye coordination to fly at speeds of up to 590 kilometres per hour. During a display, the six Roulettes flying RC-9/A aircraft experience up to 4.5 times the normal force of gravity. When the Roulettes are not showing off their skills, they teach already qualified RAAF pilots to become flying instructors at the RAAF Base in Sale, Victoria.
The RAAF Roulettes fly above the secure motorcycle parking compound at the Australian Grand Prix, Phillip Island
I think this photo is just one of those times when I was in the right place at the right time.
I am not sure if the yacht found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, or even won the race, but it certainly looked lovely in the evening light.
Our last stop on this trip before we arrived home was to spend a few days on our boat down on the Gippsland Lakes. The first night we tied up to a friend’s jetty, and the following day we ventured towards Lakes Entrance and stayed for the night at a lovely little spot called Barrier Landing which is a narrow strip of sand dunes separating the lake from the wild seas of Bass Strait.