Last year we got a tour bus from Melbourne to the Twelve Apostles via the Great Ocean Road. You can read about it here, when I was a lot less verbose in my blog posts. We really wanted to drive ourselves so told Laura it was an unmissable opportunity, bundled her into the car and off we went.
The Great Ocean Road is a lovely scenic drive, featuring lots of ocean. It's roughly four hours total driving to the 12 Apostles, but it took us seven because we kept stopping. I tried to keep everyone on track, reminding them about nightfall, pointing at my watch and getting agitated but they were all too busy enjoying the beautiful scenery to pay me any attention. It was only when I said the toilets at the Twelve Apostles visitor centre might close at 5 that we got some movement.
En Route we saw the Lighthouse from Round the Twist. I only know this, because our guide last year told us. He also told us that it wasn't a great lighthouse, as they go, so we're better off going to a different one and pretending it's the one from Round the Twist. We spent many minutes trying to remember anything about Round the Twist other than the theme song, and Dan reckons there was an episode with a ghost in the toilet. One day I'll watch all the episodes again on YouTube, but I'd really have to have a full time office job to warrant that amount of procrastination.
The scenery is great and all, but it pales in comparison to the wild koalas. Last year we saw some furry lumps at the very tops of the trees. This year we saw about 9 koalas, one mother and baby, and one at head height. Even I found it difficult to point at my watch as we all gathered around the gum tree, inches from his little furry hands. I still did though. Because I'm relentless.
If you're actually driving the Great Ocean Road because you're really keen to see the Twelve Apostles - Limestone stacks out in the sea - be aware that there are only eight now. You can imagine the devastating disappointment of arriving, walking the 1.5km to the viewing deck, and only counting eight limestone stacks. No amount of cuddly koalas can compensate for four missing stacks of rock.
For us it didn't matter, because all we really cared about were the koalas. I've forgotten the lighthouse and the Twelve Apostles already.
It was at the Visitor Centre (where fortunately the toilets were still open) that I discovered my favourite Australian thing so far: Smiths (Australian version of Walkers crisps) Chicken Flavour. It sounds weird, but so delicious. We figured that chicken crisps are basically like eating a roast dinner because it's chicken flavoured potato. We didn't have any actual dinner on the horizon so we ate a lot of them.
Ever listen to the lyrics? Christ