Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Vroom! Driving away from the city

On the morning of our 5th day, we were really excited of the prospect of driving southwards to the Great Ocean Road! We had been awake around 9 in the morning, lazed about in our beds, and went out for a quick breakfast at QV Market; for the love of coffee and free WiFi, everything is good there within a walking distance from where we stayed.

By 11am, we had already booked a car with Alpha Car Hire, Melbourne for a 2 day drive. The payment was quite cheap, as it did not come with a GPS unit. Trying to rent a separate GPS unit from other car hiring companies was also impossible. So, we were given a pink Nissan Micra for the price of AUD112, and navigated our way down to the coastal area using iPad tethering on an iPhone, and a map of Melbourne.

Driving in Melbourne requires strict adherence to the rules and regulations. Each turn we made must be indicated with a signal (unlike back home, so I heard from an aunt after I got back from my holidays). What we did was to observe the locals driving on the streets for the first few days, before adventuring out on our own. The Melbournians are respectful of pedestrians (even to the jay walkers)..slowing down for them to cross the street, unless they are in a hurry they would honk and the poor pedestrian would have to step back and allow the vehicle to pass. No road bullies around I presume...

So we started our journey southwards toward Great Ocean Road. The journey took us on average 5 hours, crossing the Australian plains on the freeway. Saw lots of remnants of where the great trees used to be before being burnt down by bushfires. The locals get teary-eyed everytime they talk of it. But we got to see all the local cows, sheep, horses along the way under the clear, blue, and sunny sky.

We took the road to Tourquay, went past Anglesea, drove along the Great Ocean Road where we stopped by Urquharts beach to absorb some fresh air and beautiful seaside scenery.

View of Urquharts bluff beach from the cliff

After a lot more of really curvy roads on the cliffs, we stopped by for a while at Lorne, a sleepy looking town with clean lawns and small cosy homes. Had a quick munch (hot drinks and pastries) around 5:30pm before continuing our journey. Drove a whole lot more, passing by Apollo Bay, which was a shame that we had no time to stop by; went past the great Otway Lighthouse and also drove on the winding roads that separate sections of the Otway National park. It was getting to  6:30pm and it had grew really dark on the roads in the forest. Only road reflectors were available and lighting was dependent on the vehicle's headlamps and the diminishing sunlight.

It was slightly stressful at times having to focus on the road for small animals and trying to rush to our hostel on time, lest it closes before we were able to reach it.

We had drove through the Great Ocean Road where the famous rocks lie... (the Apostles). Couldn't see a thing as it was pitch black out there. The dark sky was filled with twinkling stars though, where one was the brightest, seemingly guiding our way towards the hostel in the night. The towns weren't really brightly lit, and my iPad had ran out of battery, so we had to depend on our instincts to locate Port Campbell using the map, as not a soul was present on the road. Sounds scary? Hell, yeah!

By the time we reached our hostel in Port Campbell, I swear I could've had a few tears trickle down my cheek with joy - the many hours of driving and concentration was -EXHAUSTING-. Nevertheless it was a good adventure on the road. Wouldn't mind doing it again someday!


  1. Lovely fluffy clouds!!! Kudos to you! I won't be able to concentrate driving next to beautiful seaside scenery!

  2. i had mixed feelings having to drive! but it's ok coz there are stopovers ..yay!!


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