G’day friends, family and followers,
We have returned to Melbourne after a three day trip along the Great Ocean Road. We started our trek along the Great Ocean Road on Sunday, traveling along the Bellarine Peninsula and “Surfcoast,” and stopped at a couple lookouts and coastal towns. We started off at Bell’s Beach, the famous surfing beach, before traveling on to Point Addis with it’s beautiful view of coastal cliffs and ocean. After stopping at the coastal tourist towns of Lourne and Apollo Bay, we arrived at Bimbi Park. While walking down the road to the camping grounds, we spotted multiple koalas. Some group members actually found a mother with her joey inside the actual camp grounds.
The second day started with a walk along a coastal environment with Richard, a local guide of aboriginal heritage. We learned more about aboriginal culture and the environment we are visiting. We went on to visit the Cape Otway Lightstation and Lighthouse, where we experienced a 360 degree view of the area from the top of the lighthouse. We also participated in the Otway Fly Treetop Walk, where we hiked up from the forest floor to the canopy. The group favorite was the tower rising to the treetops, 46 meters above the ground and the cantilever extending from the bridge into thin air. We ended the day with a walk through an old growth dry schlerphyll forest at dusk. We explored the centuries old trees and looked for glow worms once darkness fell. We were lucky and found a large colony of glow worms visible from a short bridge, and were able to watch them in awe for a while.
The third and final day of our voyage along the Great Ocean Road had us visiting the 12 Apostles. Interestingly, there have never been 12 Apostles standing together and were only about nine still standing when we visited. It was an amazing place. Here we took our second group photo with our Great Ocean Road tour guide, Mike Evans. From there we traveled along the coast to Loch Ard Gorge, the location of a number of shipwrecks.
Now we are back in Melbourne, staying in nice apartments near Federation Square and Flinder’s Street Station. Our time has mainly been filled with lectures at different colleges in the city area. Today we had the chance to visit the Western Water Treatment Plant which employs a more natural water treatment process using lagoons and ponds for multiple stages. Some areas once used for water treatment are now conservation areas for coastal birds, pastures for cattle and sheep, and agricultural land growing feed for livestock. After tomorrow’s classes we will head to an Australian Rules Football match, also known as Footy. It should be an exciting triple exhibition between St. Kilda’s, Sydney, and Geelong.