The Great Ocean Road

Sunday, 12-10-2014, Day 53.

Lighthouses, Long Drives, and Trampolines

We started the day with a proper coffee at Moby Cafe in Torquay, then headed out to explore the Great Ocean Road. Almost right away, we felt that the Great Ocean Road was just an okay road that is sometimes next to the ocean. Maybe it was the hype built up around it, but the Great Ocean Road didn't live up to our expectations.

We stopped at Aireys Inlet and took a short walk up to the Split Point Lighthouse (link). Coincidentally, we were just in time to take a tour that took you to the top, but it cost a little more than we wanted to spend to climb all the stairs and look out over the Bass Strait, so we skipped it.

Split Point Lighthouse.

Split Point Lighthouse.

Instead, we checked out the two lookout spots here that offer great views of the Bass Strait and the small  strip of land known as Eastern View along the Surf Coast between Aireys Inlet and Lorne, the next town along the road.

The beach at Eastern View, looking toward Cathedral Rock and Cinema Point.

The beach at Eastern View, looking toward Cathedral Rock and Cinema Point.

The girls played for a few minutes in the playground next to the car park while Samantha and I revised the plan for the day. Our initial idea was to go as far as Apollo Bay (about an hour from Torquay) and back, but after driving up the east coast of Tasmania and visiting the Bay of Fires a few days prior, the Great Ocean Road just didn't measure up.

As we made our way to Lorne, the girls were getting a little nauseous from the twists and turns as the road took us through the huge Great Otway National Park. No one was having  any fun, the road ahead looked even more curvy,  and the views were just okay, so we turned around at Lorne and headed back to Melbourne, glad we didn't plunk down big bucks for an all-day (5:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.) bus tour of the entire Great Ocean Road.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Bass Strait.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Bass Strait.

On the way back to Melbourne, Frankie was a bit down that her birthday wasn't as exciting as she'd hoped, so we did a little research on the fly (thumbs up for the T-Mobile Simple Choice International Plan) and discovered that the Airodrome Trampoline Park in Geelong recently opened for business. So we surprised the girls with an hour-long free-jump session, and that seemed to cheer Frankie up a little bit.

After the trampoline antics, we continued on to Melbourne and checked Ciloms Airport Lounge, a hotel that was close to the Melbourne airport (and our first fully free, good connection wi-fi in well over a week). I drove the rental car back to the leasing agent just down the road, then walked back to the hotel. Not until I got back did I realize that I'd forgotten to fill it up with fuel before I dropped it off. Whoops.

So there we were, in a hotel without a car. There weren't many restaurants within walking distance, and we didn't want to hire a taxi to go somewhere (and back), so we had dinner at the hotel restaurant. Gotham was on that night, so after dinner we watched the first two episodes, got everything packed up, and got ready for an early morning—the shuttle left the hotel at 5:30 a.m. so we could catch our 6:45 a.m. flight to Perth.

Notable Statistics

  • iPadographers: 1
  • Kilometers driven: 215
  • Lighthouses seen: 1
  • Hours trampolining: 1
The Great Ocean Road
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