Sunday, 30 December 2012

From Adelaide to Melbourne: Kangaroos, Koalas and Coastline

I never thought I'd say this but I actually am learning to ENJOY flying! Usually I'm the sort of person that screws their eyes shut and holds their breath on take off and landing but the journey from Perth to Adelaide was so stunning I had to look out the window for practically the whole journey. I wish I'd taken more photos of the scenery but I was a bit scared of using my camera (electronic equipment messes up something right..?) so this is the only one I got...

Not bad for a plane window view!

After touching down in Adelaide I got my backpack from the luggage carousel and headed out to the bus station. My first impression of Adelaide was that everyone was so friendly - a woman on the bus helped me find my stop and then another person even walked me to my hostel when I asked directions! I dumped my stuff and went to find something to eat in the main shopping area where my opinion of Adelaiders was evened out as some bloke clutching a bible shouted at me that I was going to hell through a megaphone. I guess you can't generalize!

I was only in Adelaide three days but it's quite small so got a good feel for the city. I think it's a nice place just to walk around, visiting a couple of museums and sitting in the park and beach. The Adelaide Central Market is also really cool and definitely worth a look around. I bought my lunch of fresh bread and hummus there for about $3!

Central Market

Glenelg Beach

As I was only in Adelaide a short amount of time and in a small hostel I didn't meet many other backpackers. However on my second night I ventured out to a local bar with an Irish guy from the hostel where we ended up meeting a group of locals that invited me to their friends' gig. Turns out is was a group of sweaty teenagers in leather trousers playing to a crowd of about ten people who were swinging their hair around. Entertaining but maybe not in the way intended...

The next morning I joined my first organized tour group of my Australian trip to do something properly touristy: driving down the Great Ocean Road to Melbourne. The first day was spent doing a lot of driving as the more interesting parts of the route are all towards the Melbourne end. We eventually arrived at our first stop which was the Grampians National Park in Victoria. It is so named because the first European person to discover it thought it reminded him of Scotland. We went for a long walk (more than I imagined to be honest - the tour guide mentioned the word 'hiking shoes' and I almost wanted to cry) and saw a lot of stunning scenery. 


The best part however was after 3 months in Australia seeing my first real-life, in-the-wild, full-size kangaroo... I was so excited! Not only just one but loads of them, and we even saw a couple boxing. They weren't scared at all and we stayed for ages just watching them.

The next morning we went for another walk with our tour guide and saw loads more kangaroos, including one with a joey in her pouch as well as a kookaburra (in a gum tree..of course).


Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree...
The next day we were woken at 6am for a "morning hike" - yes, I didn't really know I had signed up for this! - and headed over to Otway National Park. I have to admit I didn't enjoy this at all. It was FREEZING even though I was wearing a t shirt, a jumper and a massive hoody, and I kept getting attacked by horrible green worm things that I was praying weren't poisonous. To top it off, the famous "tall tree" that we were trekking through the jungle to see turned out to have fallen down a couple of years ago and in it's place was just a hole. I didn't even bother taking a picture. I know I sound like Karl Pilkington moaning, but seriously it was just a hole in the ground?! Definitely not worth the effort of the trek and to make matters worse my flip flop broke on the way back to the coach and I had to walk barefoot through the mud.

I cheered up a lot once I'd changed shoes and when we stopped for lunch we saw emus and a koala! The koala looked almost fake it was just like a fluffy toy.  

The next part of the trip was the best part - finally the Great Ocean Road. There was so much dramatic coastline to see we stopped every few hundred metres to go for walks along the cliffs and take photos of the most famous formations.

Bay of Islands

The main points we stopped off at were the Bay of Islands, London Bridge and the Twelve Apostles. Apparently London Bridge used to be attached to the mainland but part of it collapsed twenty years ago leaving a couple stranded on the new island for hours before they were airlifted to safety. Rather them than me!

London Bridge

We were meant to go and watch the sunset at the Twelve Apostles - the main tourist attraction along this stretch of the road. However, as is always the case you can never predict the weather and we were really unlucky because it was SO windy and rainy that night. You'll also notice that there's only four visible rocks - that's because the others have fallen into the sea over the years. With this and the tall tree, I think the Australian Tourist Board should probably reconsider their marketing strategy. Anyway, here is a picture of the "four" apostles under a cloudy sky!

Twelve Apostles
Our final day on the road was spent stopping off at various beaches and villages along the way to Melbourne. It was too cold to stay too long on the beach or go swimming in the sea but we did a lot of walking and photo-taking!
Cockatoos - the new seagulls

Our final stop before we got to Melbourne was at Split Point lighthouse which was where the 90s TV series Round the Twist was filmed. I vaguely remember this being on when I was little but couldn't tell you what it was about, I don't even remember it being Australian! Only thing is it has a very annoying theme tune that was stuck in everyone's heads for the remainder of the day.

Split Point Lighthouse - Round The Twist

At Split Point

After that we headed straight on to Melbourne and I got dropped off outside my hostel. Absolutely love it here and I'll write another post in the next couple of days about my Christmas and New Year!

Jem x

No comments:

Post a Comment