Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Melbourne Travelogue 09: Loch Ard Gorge + London Arch + The Grotto + The Arch + Bay of Martyrs

Continuing on our journey on the GO drive, which triggered my wanderlust again (what's new whenever I reminisce about our holidays). Majority of the people who embarked on the GO drive would normally end the journey at 12 Apostles. However, we decided to venture further and drove along the coastline to visit the surrounding attractions. While these formations may not be as famous as 12 Apostles, I think they are worth visiting too. 
After leaving 12 Apostles, we drove for a short distance and reached Loch Ard George. The gorge is named after the clipper ship Loch Ard; the ship was bound for Melbourne from England but was wrecked at Muttonbird Island and only 2 survivors were found. 
The arch of the nearby island archway collapsed in Jun 2009. The feature now appears as two unconnected rock pillars and are named Tom and Eva, after the two teenage survivors of the shipwreck. 
There are stairs which allowed visitors access to the beach and a pathway allowed access to the eastern side of the gorge. Unlike the 12 Apostles which was crowded with tourists, it was very peaceful at the gorge with just a handful of visitors here. We sat at the beach and listened to the waves crushing against the structures - it really relaxes the mind! 
Loch Ard Gorge
Great Ocean Rd, Campbell VIC 3269, Australia
We moved onto London Arch, formerly known as London Bridge. Before 1990, this was literally a bridge that connected the arch of land to the mainland. However, a part of the bridge collapsed into the ocean in 1990, leaving two tourists stranded on the outer span and had to be rescued by helicopter. 
Impossible to get a decent picture without hair flying all over! Leecher had to pretend to put his hands around me, while in reality he was trying to "clamp" down my hair from flying all over his face. 
London Arch 
Great Ocean Rd, Peterborough VIC 3270, Australia
The stairway leading down to the next attraction.
The Grotto is essentially a sinkhole, where the limestone cliffs fall apart to meet the receding cliff line. The geological formation is reachable via the flight of stairs that leads down from the viewing platform at the top. We headed down to explore it at eye-level, which supposedly offers the best view where you can see the horizon, the pools and the jutting rock formations in one go. 
The Grotto
LOT 2 Great Ocean Rd, Port Campbell VIC 3269, Australia
The Arch, another rock formation formed through erosion along the GO drive. It was sure therapeutic to watch the waves crashing through the opening and cascading out of the other side. It almost formed a lullaby that lured us to sleep, with the constant breeze circling around us. 
The Arch
Great Ocean Rd, Port Campbell VIC 3269, Australia
After a series of rock formations, we made one last stop at Bay of Martyrs. Don't be deceived by the bright sun, it was freezing cold that even Leecher had his hoodie up to keep warm. We lingered around the place and took some pictures before carrying on the journey to Port Fairy. 
Bay of Martyrs
Bay of Islands Coastal Park, Nullawarre VIC 3268, Australia
❤ ❤ ❤ Read the rest of our Melbourne adventure here ❤ ❤ ❤

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Melbourne Travelogue 08: Sunrise and Sunset at 12 Apostles

Welcome to the new blog layout :) I wanted to revamp the skin completely but that will take up too much time so I did some tweaks here and there just to satisfy my 三分钟热度. So, Jan and Feb came and went and now, we are almost at the end of Q1. Weekends are more precious and my preferred way is to be couch potatoes in front of the TV spend quality time with Leecher at home. 
 
We slept for only 5h before we woke up to begin our journey to the 12 Apostles, hopefully to catch the sun-rise. The journey took around 40 min from our accommodation, but we miscalculated the timing so we missed the sunrise. It was also cloudy, so we couldn't see much sun rays along the journey too.
Then, it started drizzling when we arrived. We stayed in the car, waiting for the rain to stop. A full arch rainbow greeted us when we stepped out of the car, how lucky! Wonder if we'll find gold at the end of the rainbow, lol. The place was still pretty quiet, though we can see a couple of cars in the car park. With our gear in place, we began our journey towards the park.
 
 The pathway which will bring you to the 12 Apostles.
 
First view of the 12 Apostles - item on bucket list checked! After years of procrastination (while I was checking bucket list items elsewhere), we finally got to witness the beauty of the 12 Apostles - technically 8 are standing now, with the last collapse in 2005. It certainly felt surreal as we stood there, taking in the sights. We probably would have seen lots of pictures splashed across the internet, but nothing beats seeing it with your own eyes.
 
At the end of the path, you will see this circular lookout area. For shorties like me, you can't get a decent picture with the apostles due to the fence-like structure which branched out from the walls. 
 
This area is much better for picture taking, low fence and a splendid view. #photographytips 
 
Being at the edge of the coastline, it was extremely windy and the wind was playing a game with my hair, arg! I was also freezing and had to use the blanket for extra protection.
 
No matter how I try, hair kept getting into my face and it took Leecher several tries before he can get a decent pic of me without-hair-in-my-face.  
 
Perks of having short hair, lol #oneshotonekill
When the sun is up, the crowd starts streaming in. We took it as a sign that we should head to the next stop. We walked back to the visitor center and headed towards Gibson Steps Lookout.
Along the way, we came across a field where lambs were roaming freely, such a carefree sight. 
Halfway, we decided to turn back for the sky looked threatening and we were in the middle of nowhere with no shelter in sight. We struggled with our return journey for the wind was really strong. We hopped onto the car, soaked in the sights along the coast line before ending the trip at Port Fairy (more on that for another entry). As we drove back from Port Fairy, we decided to head back to 12 Apostles to catch the sunset.  
Lucky us caught sight of the rainbow on the way back. It felt so surreal seeing the rainbows, which added to the beauty of the coastline. 
A huge group of camera enthusiasts has gathered and lined up the bridge with their DSLRs and filters, hoping to capture the magnificent sunset. The pathway was crowded, but everyone still made space for all to witness the wonderful moment. We lingered till the last ray of sunlight before deciding to call it a day. 
12 Apostles
Great Ocean Rd & Booringa Rd, Princetown VIC 3269, Australia
❤ ❤ ❤ Read the rest of our Melbourne adventure here ❤ ❤ ❤
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