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Krista's Travels

Christmas on the Great Ocean Road

USA | Friday, 26 December 2008 | Views [413]

Twelve Apostles

Twelve Apostles

Hello! I just arrived in Tasmania this afternoon after a fun 3 day campervan relocation with my new friend Rebecca, from Germany, who I met on the outback bus tour. Actually it was a Toyota Bushcamper, which is a LandCruiser with a high top and all decked out for camping with a stove, fridge, beds, and the rest. A relocation is where the rental companies need the vehicle back to a certain location so they let you take it for no rental fee if you agree to move it during the dates they need. We only had to pay gas. On Christmas Eve we camped in the Grampians National Park, a beautiful rocky mountain area with plenty of windy scenic roads, waterfalls, vistas, and even an echinoderm crossing the road at night! We woke up on Christmas morning after a peaceful sleep in the wooded campsite and made our way down towards the coast and the start of the Great Ocean Road. The GOR is quite famous and quite a popular summer tourist destination. We got to the coast by lunch time and celebrated christmas with a dip in the ocean and a picnic on the sunny beach. Rebecca and I both kept remarking how wonderful it was to lay in the sun on the beach for Christmas! Our big Christmas treat was sharing the biggest mango I've ever seen. It was a Bowen mango (town on the east coast), which are excellent!  We enjoyed the spectacular rocky coastline all afternoon, stopping every few kilometers for yet another lookout point or trail to amazing beachfronts. It wasn't too busy til the end of the day when we hit the most popular location: the 12 apostles (12 seastacks). There were hoards of tourists and buses, an enormous full parking lot, and we visited it quickly! We drove on, stopping at a gorgeous hilltop "town" (really just a general store, campground, restaurant, and hostel at the top of a hill) of Princeton, where we popped in to say hello to our friends Andreas and Nadine (also German) from the outback bus tour, who were travelling the same route as us on the same days but with the tour bus. We also go to say hi to our awesome guide, Vicky, from the outback tour as well. What fun! We kept driving, trying to get farter down the road, and had to camp after dark in the parking lot of a golf course. We woke the next morning in Apollo Bay, a small seaside town with organic cafes (I had a soy chai and gluten free lemon cake for breakfast while Rebecca made her Christmas phone calls). That morning (the 26th) was rushed, trying to get to Melbourne in time to make my tasmania flight, and annoying with tons of traffic, trying to pass bicyclists on windy roads with narrow, cliff-bordered lanes (like the really rocky part of Chuckanut Drive), and motorcycles passing on blind curves!! But even though I stressed out like crazy trying to find the rental place in Melbourne, we made it in time, hopefully Rebecca is still speaking to me, and I survived driving on the left side of the road, even in pretty heavy traffic! All in all a great Christmas. I am hoping for a good New Years with my new wwoof hosts here in Tassie, I go to them tomorrow, the 27th, for a week or two. Merry Christmas Everyone!

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