Friday, November 14, 2014

Time to Explore The Great Ocean Hiway



Leaving Melbourne we drove southwest and stopped at Cherry Lake.  This was an area of biodiversity and  after we picnicked in the park, we walked around the lake.  There were pelicans, Superb Fairy-wrens and Crested Pigeons. 




Crested Pigeon

Cherry Lake also had a talking toilet.  I took my phone with me hoping to make a video but fortunately for all of us, it failed!  Push a button and the door slides open.  Push a button and it closes.  Then it informs you that you have 10 minutes to do your business and when you are finished the toilet will flush when you wash your hands.  The music plays and sure enough….when I washed my hands, ‘’whoosh”!  Push the button and the door opens.  Made my morning!

Talking Toilet

We drove past beautiful yellow fields of rapeseed used to make canola oil. 

Rapeseed field

Next stop was Angelsea and the volunteer “I” center.  These information centers have a wealth of knowledge, suggestions, helpful hints and of course, things to buy.  We were told to stop at the center in Lorne and they would help book a room and answer our questions.   



The drive along the coast to Lorne reminded me of Big Sur, California (only more of it).  The ocean, rocks, and birds were stunning and so relaxing.  We had to stop several times for those Kodak moments!



Lorne was a pretty town and sure enough, the ‘I’ center suggested the Chatby Lane and booked a room for us.  Then told us were the bottle shop was and a couple of places for a casual dinner.  This was a great help and made me wish we had a system like that at home. The hotel was tucked on a hill in a residential neighborhood and the proprietor could not have been nicer.  After dinner, we focused on the ‘bird list’ because it was getting out of control! We’re going to have over a hundred species.

Dinner!
Continental breakfast and coffee!  Packed and ready for the day along The Great Ocean Highway.  

When we arrived in Kennett River, we found the Grey River Road (a dirt road through a forest of eucalyptus trees) where Koalas are supposed to hang out!  Peter parked and we each walked in opposite directions hoping to see koalas.  Those eucalyptus trees are very tall!  I heard Peter say, “I found one!”  It was in the tree directly across the road from our car and had been watching up the entire time.  One of the things that I noticed was the amazing ability of wildlife to disappear into their habitats.  Bright King Parrots could fly into a group of trees and literally disappear.  The koala sat in a Y branch and was the color of the tree.  We really had to look to see him.  This was definitely a highlight of the day.

 



We wanted to see “The Twelve Apostles” famous sea stacks (coastal rock formations) near Port Campbell.  We stopped for lunch at a little store/café and also got directions.  In order to see the stacks we pulled into the visitor center and walked under the hiway to a series of steps and overlooks.  They were imposing, vast, spellbinding, worth the trip. 




Time to drive back to Melbourne and check into ‘The Vibe Hotel’ and get ready for the morning flight to Sydney.  The end of our trip is getting closer!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Time to Explore The Great Ocean Hiway



Leaving Melbourne we drove southwest and stopped at Cherry Lake.  This was an area of biodiversity and  after we picnicked in the park, we walked around the lake.  There were pelicans, Superb Fairy-wrens and Crested Pigeons. 




Crested Pigeon

Cherry Lake also had a talking toilet.  I took my phone with me hoping to make a video but fortunately for all of us, it failed!  Push a button and the door slides open.  Push a button and it closes.  Then it informs you that you have 10 minutes to do your business and when you are finished the toilet will flush when you wash your hands.  The music plays and sure enough….when I washed my hands, ‘’whoosh”!  Push the button and the door opens.  Made my morning!

Talking Toilet

We drove past beautiful yellow fields of rapeseed used to make canola oil. 

Rapeseed field

Next stop was Angelsea and the volunteer “I” center.  These information centers have a wealth of knowledge, suggestions, helpful hints and of course, things to buy.  We were told to stop at the center in Lorne and they would help book a room and answer our questions.   



The drive along the coast to Lorne reminded me of Big Sur, California (only more of it).  The ocean, rocks, and birds were stunning and so relaxing.  We had to stop several times for those Kodak moments!



Lorne was a pretty town and sure enough, the ‘I’ center suggested the Chatby Lane and booked a room for us.  Then told us were the bottle shop was and a couple of places for a casual dinner.  This was a great help and made me wish we had a system like that at home. The hotel was tucked on a hill in a residential neighborhood and the proprietor could not have been nicer.  After dinner, we focused on the ‘bird list’ because it was getting out of control! We’re going to have over a hundred species.

Dinner!
Continental breakfast and coffee!  Packed and ready for the day along The Great Ocean Highway.  

When we arrived in Kennett River, we found the Grey River Road (a dirt road through a forest of eucalyptus trees) where Koalas are supposed to hang out!  Peter parked and we each walked in opposite directions hoping to see koalas.  Those eucalyptus trees are very tall!  I heard Peter say, “I found one!”  It was in the tree directly across the road from our car and had been watching up the entire time.  One of the things that I noticed was the amazing ability of wildlife to disappear into their habitats.  Bright King Parrots could fly into a group of trees and literally disappear.  The koala sat in a Y branch and was the color of the tree.  We really had to look to see him.  This was definitely a highlight of the day.

 



We wanted to see “The Twelve Apostles” famous sea stacks (coastal rock formations) near Port Campbell.  We stopped for lunch at a little store/café and also got directions.  In order to see the stacks we pulled into the visitor center and walked under the hiway to a series of steps and overlooks.  They were imposing, vast, spellbinding, worth the trip. 




Time to drive back to Melbourne and check into ‘The Vibe Hotel’ and get ready for the morning flight to Sydney.  The end of our trip is getting closer!