Victoria Melbourne Aquarium Botanical Gardens Puffing Billy Phillip Island Great Ocean Walk Day 1 - Koala day Day 2 - shoreline sights Day 3 - up and down Day 4 - to the Apostels Day 5 - finishing up Wilsons Prom Short walk Daywalk Overnight hike The burned gum trees Tree fern jungle Sealers cove over the ridge at the camp ground Tasmania
General Marsupials Birds More animals Trees
The day began at beach level. Again, we enjoyed the interesting cliffs and little stuff one can find on the beach. Rather unusual is a big old-fashioned anochor in the tidal zone. It's from one of the victims of the dangerous Bass Strait out there. But the riddle are the holes the anchor sits in - and the empty holes around. One may believe the hole of the anchor was scratched out of rock by the old anchor and the tidal currents. That's at least what the shape of the holes can suggest. But on the other hand side, there are many more holes around with nothing sitting in there. So maybe there was something in there before that rot away as the times went by. But as a non-geologist, one can't be sure.
What one does not expect in one of these shallow holes, is a crayfish. It was low tide, so we believed that poor guy did not find it's way back when the water was higher. So Marie, our guide, grabbed it and put it back into deeper water. Just after doing this, some Japanese scuba divers came out of the water with their bags full of Abalones. We felt a bit sorry, but on the other side they most likely took more abalones than they were allowed to - so it was acceptable to put the crayfish back into the wild...
When I planned to visit Victoria, I was afraid everything was burned down or closed for fire danger. When I was there, many sites were closed for flooding. I was lucky enough to get 2 weeks in broad sunshine and warmth of below 30ºC between two rainy periods. But on some spots, even here the unusual situation was notable. So the area a newly opened part of the trail was supposed to cross, turned out to be a swamp sometimes. So it had to be fixed and adapted again to the changable conditions. We were some of the first people to cross this part.
Apart from that, I was deeply impressed - and became more and more impressed especially during that day - about the design of the trail. It crosses so many different types of coast and vegetation, each new bend provides new, exciting views and impressions. Only short time before, I learned "Trail designers" do exist. But it wasn't before here, I realized designing a track can be a piece not only of craftmanship, it also can be artful design and dramaturgy. This was the day of reaching the 12 apostles and the trail celebrated it. Opening the view sometimes along the coast, going back into the bush and later over rubble, playing hide and seek and show with the hiker. Yes, the Apostles are nice - the trail towards them is GREAT!
Getting closer, the vegetation gets low and different again - as if making way for the view. Indeed, from now on one can spot the Apostles in the mist of the coastline while passing this scenic rockery.
And shortly before reaching the Apostles, the Great Ocean Road meets the shoreline again. All these poor people in the cars and buses there, hundreds or maybe thousands day by day, went through the agriculture all day long from Melbourne not being able to enjoy even a faint bit of what we have seen. Most likely, many of them are disappointed comparing their impressions with the ads in the papers - we are soaked through with scenic views.
Yes, the apostles are something scenic to see. And it is great, that the beach here is inaccessible, so everyone of all these hundereds of people getting there same time can photograph the site as if totally empty and serene.
I enjoy ticking that entry on the list: have seen that place. But to me, it was a rather symbolic highlight. The real gems of the coast lie back along that track. The track that would not exist if it couldn't advertise with something that is in fact inferior.