Roadtrip #4: The Great Ocean Road (& wildlife park)

The initial plan regarding the Great Ocean Road was that we'd do it on the way from Adelaide to Melbourne by grabbing another relocation and just driving our way down. Unfortunately (sod's law really) there were no relocations available for the dates we could do and that idea had to go in the bin.

It would've been a crime to not see at least some of the Great Ocean Road since we were down here so we got our heads together and made plans to do another roadtrip using a car hired from Wicked Campers that would also double up as bed for two nights... Two in the car, and three in the tent that was, by the way, on the roof. 

Wicked Camper picked up we piled the bags and sorts into the back. Easy right? The camper itself wasn't too shabby. Yes it was pretty rustic, the interior laden with writing that they encourage, various messages from names, dates, to who shagged who, and who smoked what. It was a good read! 

So we left Melbourne with the intention of getting to Craig's wildlife park (as it became known!) for nightfall, easy peasy. We shot up the freeway stopping at an Aldi by Geelong for important BBQ and beer supplies, as well as a $10 box of goon, standard roadtrip right? We were meeting another group down at Torquay so we hit the road again until we met at Zeally Bay off the esplanade. A little chat and we were back on the road for another beach, this time in Lorne, where the boys had fun running in... It felt bloody freezing so I kept myself dry on the sand instead!

A lot of driving followed to reach the park in Princetown and the weather wasn't too kind which was unfortunate. We saw a lot of beautiful coastline and then whisked into the forests where we drove past a controlled burn out for the bush fires. Interesting really, I'd never seen one before.

We finally arrived at the wildlife park, off loaded our things whilst we attempted to set up the tent. Okay. I left the tent to the boys, I played with the kittens... Extremely adorable and oh so fluffy! Anyway, that night was good fun. We met Joseph, the owner of the park, and got the low down of the do's and don't's, and then proceeding to make a fire and cook about 40 sausages amongst other things. Perfect. It was an amazing evening despite the fear of snakes in the bush (they'd killed a brown snake earlier in the day!) but after the fire was out and the lights were off we were plummeted into darkness... And the most beautiful sky I'd seen in a long time. I wish I could explain the sheer beauty of what we saw but I can't.... So just imagine a very clear and very starry night with a few shooting stars thrown in. I wished on both. 

The next morning we had a tour of the park from no other than our own Craig. I fell in love with the park, its layout, the animals, the enclosures, the ethics. Everything just fit into place. We were given a bag of feed for the herbivorous animals and went around into the enclosures feeding all of the different animals: kangaroos, wallabies (I'd never seen one before!), emus, even the dingoes (more on that in a second). It was wonderful!

I saw my first two huntsman spiders up close and personal, they were only juveniles but still looked pretty beastly to me... I'm definitely not a spider lover... Remind me again why I'm in Australia?!

The highlight - oh I was so excited about this - was to see the dingoes. There's a common misconception amongst Australians that dingoes are savage beasts that must be eradicated on the account that they hinder profits when they feed on grazing animals... I guess in a similar way the fox is seen as a threat in the UK. There has been a marked shift in attitudes over the years towards these lovely animals and their existence is slowly but surely being valued. At the end of the day these are top down predators, complete removal is going to cause a boom in their prey - feral cats and foxes for instance - which can have a severe ecosystem impact. There are a number of sanctuaries that are aiming to conserve, preserve, and help to introduce these animals back into the wild.

Back to the wildlife park... We all came face to face with the resident pure bred dingoes, played with them, fed them, cuddled them, and had an awful lot of fun. These are adorable creatures, yes they could be vicious just like any other animal but that's completely normal and definitely not an excuse to kill them. 

We had another little wander to finish exploring the park... Beautiful setting huh? 

After a spot of lunch we left to check out the Twelve Apostles, one of the most iconic views of the Great Ocean Road.

We then proceeded to some of the coldest water I've ever swam in at Loch Ard Gorge about 10 minutes west from the Twelve Apostles. It's part of Port Cambell National Park and is incredible... I didn't take a photo but stole one off Blair :) thanks pal.

Since we couldn't shower at the park since they only use rainwater (reserved for the volunteers) we had to scope out a beach and utilise the public facilities.... The joys of being a backpacker, hey? 

Exhausted after a long weekend we had a relatively early night to get on the road bright and early in the morning since we needed to get the campers back to Melbourne.... Leaving a few hours later than planned (always the way, ever so typical) we just about made it in time but we may or may not have broken a few speed limits along the way.... All part of the adventure hey? 



Post a Comment


Blogger news



Follow on Bloglovin