Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Kinda Like Tofino but with Koalas

Just finished the end of the second week of J's April school holiday.  I'm in the middle of all the fun that is unpacking, laundry, and re-organization.  Unpacking, laundry, and re-organization following our return from our second Annual April Apollo Bay short break with my mum in tow this time.

We lucked out with some spectacularly warm Fall weather, dare I say,  it was hot!  How best to explain Apollo Bay...it is along the Great Ocean Road on Victoria's surf coast about 3 hours west of Melbourne.  The surf coast is most known for the spectacular surfing at Torquay (home of Rip Curl, Quicksilver and Billabong brands), Jan Juc, and pretty much any of the little surf towns and at any of the beaches lining this visually stunning and winding route which stretches 243 kilometres from Geelong to Warnambool.  It is lined with natural splendours galore, but Apollo Bay itself, is an unassuming quaint, quiet fishing village.  If you are Canadian, you will understand this analogy - think Tofino but warmer and with Koalas.

We rented a sweet little house with a Passionfruit vine winding around one side of the property and from here, beachwalked, ate lunch many times at our favorite Cafe 153, witnessed the amazing 12 Apostles at sunset, read our books whilst half-watching J at the skateboard park, chased Murphy into the surf, let mum mooch in and out of the shops on the little high street, and generally relished in lots of family time.

What J is doing now
What J WANTS to be doing now

One really memorable adventure was driving into Cape Otway, the southern tip of Western Victoria where the Southern Ocean meets the Tasman Sea.  The forests toward the Cape are home to a colony of Koala and we took a short stroll finding dozens snoozing in the trees or munching away on Eucalyptus.  We followed this with an off-road bounce down to a lightly travelled beach called Blanket Bay, one of the stopping points on the 91km Great Ocean Walk.

Another fave was a morning spent at our favorite Australian beach, Johanna Beach, a remote and wildly beautiful stretch of sand that is a balm to any troubled soul.

Our lovely Johanna Beach

Johanna Beach

Later in the day, we carried on to the 12 Apostles, an iconic Australian landmark.  They are a collection of limestone rocks jutting out of ocean adjacent to the massive limestone cliffs that line this part of the Great Ocean Road.  They have been formed and carved by erosion and the harsh weather conditions of the Southern Ocean.  We ambled about exploring various gorges before arriving to view the Apostles at sunset.

The Loch Ard Gorge from above

The Loch Ard Gorge from below and a little unexpected splashing

The 12 Apostles

We took out time driving home at the end of the week, stopping at Wye River for another beach walk, and at fashionable Lorne for lunch, another beach walk, and another go at the Skateboard park for J.


Jen said...

awesome! such different weather than your last trip there, how lovely for you! And the photo of J....wow! Can't wait for him and Nate to get together for some warm weather sports!

Sheila Cook said...

Magical! It's also kinda nice to know that I can share in the magic as I have seen the 12 Apostles too.
Still wish I was there with you though!x