View Full Version : Australia - South Australian border to Melborne via Great Ocean Road and 12 Apostles

30-03-08, 22:55
22nd - 29th November

South Australian border to Melbourne via The Great Ocean road and The Twelve Apostles.

We awoke to the alarm at 05:15 for the third of fourth time of the night. We had a couple of calls of nature and then we were just kept awake because it was cold. We negotiated with ourselves for a few more minutes in bed. Finally I said we have to go or there is no way we will reclaim the lost km’s.

We both took showers even though they were located in an unheated port-a-cabin type site. We then packed away a very wet tent from the condensation from our breathing and the rest of our equipment. I wasn’t feeling that good as my cold still hadn‘t cleared and I was low on energy. ……so that’ll be a full fried breakfast for me please chef and an Omelette for the lady. :D

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It was cold............!......very cold, ...... A nice shower in a freezing Porta-Cabin for Sir & Madam ??

Breakfast done we set off in the cold. As we neared the end of our first session we saw a German cyclist making his attempt on the Perth-Melbourne record(if I remember rightly), something like 500km’s per day for 5 days. :bow It was 09:30 am and he’d already ridden 190km’s. For this challenge he had to ride for 20 hours per day !! I slowed the bike down enough to ride beside him and chatted with him for a few minutes, wished him well and we took off. The roads were clear so we were enjoying them :D until we stopped at a cafe which turned out to be the local Police station as well. Whilst we where there we saw three Highway patrol vehicles in about 5 mins. :yikes :yikes :yikes

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Eucla, home to the last point of Western Australia before crossing to Southern Australia, a whale & three Police vehicles !!

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Returning to the road we drove to the limit of 110 for most of the time. :augie Before coffee there had been no wind, now I was having to fight it and by the time we stopped for lunch I was very tired. By the time we got back on the bike again I felt as tired as when we stopped and by 100km’s later I was struggling to stay awake. :bnige Eventually I stopped the bike for a rest and immediately as I laid down on the ground, went to sleep…to Sylvia’s surprise. Sylvia also crashed out and we ended up snoozing for about 30 mins before returning to the bike. Our 1000km target already unachievable we determined to go as far as was safe today.

After a quick stop for some more refreshments we knocked out another 160 or so km’s, making the days total a neat 800km’s and getting to a good point for tomorrows start. Having battled now for around 3-4 days to get some Km’s behind us and reclaim our ‘form’ of a few weeks ago it was apparent that we were both now feeling the backlash for all the riding and sight-seeing we’d squeezed into the last 5-6 weeks and we just weren’t up to it at the moment. We were supposed to be covering 700-800km days back to back for about 4 days and it was really taking its toll on us, so we decided somewhere between lunch and a coffee after our ‘nap’ that our itinerary was too intense. As a result we dropped our planned visit to Coober Peedy for now, and may possibly return in a hire car when the bike is being shipped back from NZ.

Our new alternative travel arrangements were to take in some more of the coast line at a more leisurely pace to Melbourne. The additional 160km’s we’d aimed for got us to a revised target of Ceduna where we found a reasonable campsite and learnt (from the camp-site Manager) that one of the local restaurants was having a Schnitzel night for $10, (as it turned out it was for $9 ! :D). As it was due to finish soon (around 20:30-everthing on Australia closes so early), we hurriedly put up the tent and raced to the restaurant. It was good value for money, not amazing food, but good value. We had a few drinks whilst we recovered from being battered by the wind and cold for most of the day. With the revised coast-line plan now ‘in force’ we decided the following day we would visit Streaky Bay and Point Labatt where a ‘wild’ sea lion colony existed.

The following morning was not a quick start (getting the feeling that you’ve read this before somewhere) as we were still feeling pretty battered. :handbag We went to Point Labatt and managed to see a number of seals on the rocks. Unfortunately the viewing point for this colony was about 200-330m away so whilst we could see they were there that was about it! After looking & photographing for a while we moved onto a DOC(Department of conservation) camp ground for the night.

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Point Labatt, home to a Seal colony.

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... the seals themselves ....if you look closely........

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........and for those of you don't !!

We were the only campers there and enjoyed our dinner and night. I took the GS for a ride on the beach which started off well but became troublesome when the GS started digging itself in the wetter sand and so I returned for dinner !! We’d pitched the tent in a sand dune and enjoyed a different location from normal. We’d loved this location and sadly left it for Port Augusta’s BIG4 camp site.

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Our camping spot for the night.

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The beach seen from a viewing point very near to our tent.

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It'll have to do !!

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Bike fresh from a trip on the beach.

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Sylvia prepares our dinner in the DOC campsite.

Port Augusta’s camp site was ok but quite close to the road. We found a local bar/restaurant and had one of their highly recommended meals….which turned out to be just ok. When we returned to the campsite we were kept awake by the German cyclist group we’d seen a day or so ago. I would have asked them to keep the noise down but their rider had had a problem and had to be flown to Sydney for medical attention(from what I could understand). As a result he’d had to retire from his record attempt and so they were commiserating…..I think….as there was certainly a lot of laughing. :rolleyes: We finally fell asleep at around 02:00am.

After breakfast we left for Adelaide with the main intention being of getting some web-updates made. Which as I write, and perhaps as you read, may seem a little crazy when on a trip such as this, as this decision effectively meant that we wouldn’t actually do any site-seeing there, just use the facilities of the campsite and get the web updates done. :nod :loopy In the end we spent 2 nights there making Internet updates and a number of House-keeping chores such as washing. :rolleyes:

When we left we headed for Portland and took a slight detour to see Hahndorf, a German sub culture in the form of a village alive in the foothills of Adelaide. We found a small café and Sylvias eyes lit up when she saw that WeissWurst (German white sausage) on the menu, along with sauerkraut. After so many horrible sausages in Australia ‘even’ the Weisswurst tasted good to me-In fact it was very nice….:thumb2 I can’t say the same about the sauerkraut though !! :grin

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Our German Cafe in Hahnsdorf.

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Weisswurst....tasted as good as it looked....not something most people would say about sausages made in Australia.

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Yep, frightened me as well !!

After a pretty uneventful ride we got to Portland and managed to find a reasonable camp-site after some worrying late-in-the day moments where all we could see were expensive or grotty looking Motels. We then shot into town before the Australian ‘food ban’* was enforced at 20:30. We found a friendly Hotel in the centre of town and were able to relax a bit whilst we ate dinner & were given complimentary coffees.

The following morning we set off for all the landmarks along this stretch of coast including the Twelve Apostles. Whilst they were pretty, the weather was not in our favour at the beginning which necessitated us wearing our bike over-suits, which are not photographer friendly. I didn’t really enjoy the earlier part of the day as I was tired and fed-up that the weather wasn’t ideal for photographing....and with all the stop-starting that this stretch of coast-line requires for viewing.

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Some of the rock formations we saw on our way to the 12(8) Apostles

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This one is called London Bridge. There was a span of rock joining the Island to the mainland but that fell in the sea.

In the afternoon it brightened up a bit, and so did I, so enjoying my picture taking was back on the menu and we finally arrived at the Tweleve Apostles where we stayed until Sun-set time. In the end the sun-set wasn’t that spectacular but we were glad to have seen what we did. :nod

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The Twelve Apostles.....now there are only eight left I think

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Some of the last light hitting the surf.

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The sun-setting.

We headed back to Port Campell to find somewhere to pitch our tent and get some dinner. A camp-site was quickly found and we were advised to get dinner first & pitch our tent after as the ’food curfew’ *would be in operation soon. All the main restaurants had already stopped serving food at around 20:00. We were beside ourselves again ! - Do other Tourists not want to watch the sun-set AND have dinner ? Fortunately, we found a rebellious Pizza restaurant who was openly defying the ‘food curfew’*. Not only that, but they served a great Mariner Pizzas at a decent price. No sooner had we sat down than the secret appeared to be out and the restaurant was quickly full. Surprise Surprise !!

We packed up the following morning and made for Melbourne. We were both very tired and struggled a bit to follow the instructions as to how to find our camp-site from the free-way. :forry Finally we understood the very unhelpful map & got to our campsite. We checked in with all sorts of confusion as to when we were supposed to have arrived and a whole load of further complications they’d made by messing up our deposit & camping charges. That resolved, we were give a choice of where to pitch the tent and found a nice shady spot where we’d be able to prepare the bike for shipment to New Zealand after it‘d been serviced. :thumb2

* 'Food ban' - This must be part of a hidden Australian Government policy for so many restaurants, Country-wide, to be closing so early. Drove us crazzzzy as I've said.