Melbourne and the Great Ocean Road

This is one more / the last post from our recent trip to Australia.  Over a two-week period, we were fortunate to be able to pass through (though without actually seeing much of it) Sydney, and this was followed by a few days in Port Douglas /a day in Cairns, including several outings to the Great Barrier Reef; Katherine and Katherine Gorge via Darwin; and finally Melbourne.

The slideshow above (click right to advance, and you can make it full screen using the arrows on the bottom right) covers Fitzroy, where we found a nice AirBnB apartment, and the Central business District. The video below is an overflight of Fitzroy.

The thing that really struck us was how few people there seem to be. It’s probably because we’re used to being in India, which is a wonderful country, but you forget just how many people you’re surrounded by constantly. In the aerial footage of Melbourne you can clearly see there is hardly any traffic – granted, on a Sunday morning, but still… and Melbourne is strikingly clean. The amount of graffiti in the absence of trash made me think maybe the graffiti had been placed with the blessing of the city authorities and/or building owners – like paid murals. So I started digging around a bit – and discovered that the graffiti in Melbourne gets online raves as a tourist attraction in its own right!

Besides lots of shopping and walking around town, one of the best things to do in Melbourne is actually to leave town.  For the purpose of taking a drive along the Great Ocean Road, that is…

Though it’s a road, ironically one of the things we saw a lot of, besides scenic views of southern Australia, was wildlife.  Specifically, koalas.  At many points along the Road, but notably inside Great Otway National Park, on Australia’s southermost tip, we’d come upon a cluster of parked tourist cars surrounded by groups of tourists pointing their cameras skyward at the upper reaches of the eucalyptus trees above.  And this is what they would see:

Koala

Koala

Sleepy, furry, grouchy old men living in trees.

The farthest we made it along the Great Ocean Road was to Port Campbell, where you’ll find such attractions as the “12 Apostles” and several huge arches.  The one below, called “London Arch,” apparently had a span connecting it to the shore.  Which unexpectedly collapsed one day in 1990, leaving two tourists stranded (they were later airlifted by helicopter):

Broken Arch

These are the “12 Apostles.” I’m not sure if there are really 12. I so wanted to fly the drone/camera over them, but there were constantly helicopters zooming over, and hundreds of tourists. I didn’t want to be the guy who caused them to change the law governing personal drone flights in Australia.

12 Apostles

But later on, we got to this amazing arch, with hardly anyone around, and I sent it out for a quick flight.

It was late in the afternoon. We had driven all morning through beautiful sunshine, and kept thinking we would stop at all the amazing beaches we were seeing. Then it turned cloudy, and we hit the farthest extent of our drive as the sun was setting. Which we would have missed, had we stopped for a swim. And then suddenly the clouds opened up one last time so we could capture a bit of the spectacular view, the size of which can’t really be conveyed by photograph.  Want to see more koalas, or pictures of the things we saw in and around Melbourne?  Check out this album on Flickr.

Sunset

Sunset at the 12 Apostles

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