Last month my family visited me in Australia for two weeks. As part of their holiday we all did the Great Ocean Road & Grampians tour from Adelaide to Melbourne together. If I have to describe this tour in one word, it would be: ‘awesome’! We saw a lot of beautiful landscapes, had lots of fun with the tour group and saw a lot of wildlife.
Day one of the tour, we escaped the city and cruised through the Adelaide Hills to the first stop where we could buy our morning Cappuccino. Back on the bus, we headed to the Grampians. It was a pretty long drive to the Grampians but it was definitely worth it. I was quite surprised because we were just driving in the middle of nowhere, barely cars and a lot of scenic farm lands. As we entered the Grampians we saw some wildlife, kangaroos that were hiding from the rain under the trees and even some emus! It was really cool to see emus as I’ve never actually seen them in the wild before. The next stop was Mackenzie falls, where we hiked to the bottom of the falls and viewed a big beauty of a waterfall! We also hiked the Balconies, where we could view beautiful scenery from the mountainous lofts. We stayed overnight at Awonga, which is right in the heart of the Grampians. At the accommodation we had Spaghetti Bolognaise for dinner and we played a classic card game, Uno!
Day two started early with a hike in the magical Grampians. It was a long walk but definitely worth it. The Grampians is such a wondrous place and when we reached the top of one of the mountains in the Grampians it really reminded me of landscapes from the movie: ‘Lord of the Rings’. Throughout our trek to the top, we saw a lot of kangaroos and even some koalas. Some of the roos were ‘boxing’ (pictured) and I also saw a joey in its mothers pouch for the first time!
After the hike through the Grampians we headed to the start of the Great Ocean Road! We learnt a lot about the history of the Great Ocean Road from our tour guide. We saw the famous rock formations of the area: London Bridge, Bay of Martyrs, Loch Ard Gorge, the Twelve Apostles and more... The Loch Ad Gorge was definitely my favourite. The history of the Loch Ard Gorge contains an interesting story about a couple who were shipwrecked and we actually got to walk along the beach where the story happened years ago. We spent some time on this beach to take pictures and check it out. The lime stone rocks along the Great Ocean road are amazing and its history also very interesting. At the end of the day we had a sunset at the twelve apostles, unfortunately it was a little rainy though. After dinner and some drinks at the cafe of the accommodation, we spent the night at the 13th Apostle Backpacker Hostel.
Unfortunately it came to the last day of our Great Ocean Road & Grampians tour. Back on the bus, we headed along the Great Ocean Road and up to the Otway National Park. Here we hiked through a temperate (cool) rainforest. It was pretty awesome to experience such different environments from lime stone rocks on the Ocean road to the lush green rainforest. After the hike through the rainforest we did a particular walk where many koalas live and we saw many! Koalas sleep for 20 hours a day, but we were able to see lots moving around in the trees. We also fed some colourful birds here, which was very funny and entertaining. As soon as you get some bird seed in your hand, they appear from everywhere, even landing on your head! They are crazy for it! Back on the bus and along the Great Ocean Road for our last coastal drive. We also stopped at the Split Point Lighthouse, which was made famous in the Round the Twist television series. We arrived in Melbourne around 7pm and even though we were exhausted from our massive 3 day adventure, I have to say that overall it was awesome! I made some new friends on the tour and really enjoyed my travel through this part of Australia, seeing, experiencing and learning so much along the way.
Just a tip... When in Melbourne, if you have some free time, take a single day tour out to Philip Island and watch the Penguin parade. You can book this with Groovy Grape and receive a discount if you also book their 3 Day Great Ocean Road & Grampians tour.