Thursday, December 10, 2009

Great Ocean Road

I'm a bit late with some recent updates on my adventures so I have to back track a bit... Two weeks ago Lizard, Ashley and I traveled about an hour and a half drive to get to the "Great Ocean Road". It was a long road trip that ended up being about 15 hrs long due to so many stops and site seeing detours.. but it was all well worth it!!
I have copy and pasted some wikipedia facts about the Great Ocean Road so you guys can get the full low down of all the incredible sights!
I had to post more pics and less writing, because writing about what we saw just doesnt even do the place justice! Hope you enjoy :)

The Great Ocean Road is a 243 km (about 150 miles) stretch of road along the south-eastern coast of Australia between the Victorian cities of Torquay and Warrnambool.The road was constructed to provide work for returning soldiers and dedicated as a Memorial to those killed in the First World War. It is one of Australia's great scenic coastline drives.


The Great Ocean Road starts at Torquay and travels westward to Allansford. The road was previously designated as State Route 100.



The Great Ocean Road was built by 3000 returned servicemen (or "Diggers") as a war memorial for fellow servicemen who had been killed in the First World War.
The idea for the road was suggested as far back as 1864. Surveying began in 1918 and construction took place between 1919 and 1932.
Parts of the Great Ocean Road run around steep coastal mountains. These were the trickiest and the final sections to be built.
In 1922 the section from Eastern View to Lorne was completed.
In 1932 the section from Lorne to Apollo Bay was finished, thus completing the entire road.

 Coastal sections

Much of the road hugs the coast tightly, offering outstanding views of Bass Strait and the Southern Ocean.
Between Anglesea and Apollo Bay is a particularly scenic stretch of road which passes through many towns where mountains meet the sea. The main beach in Lorne offers great views of Louttit Bay nestled in a natural amphitheatre of hills, and Teddy's Lookout is not far from the main street.
The section near Port Campbell provides access by foot or helicopter to some of the most scenic coastline in the world, because of its striking and dramatic natural limestone and sandstone rock formations. These formations have been created by erosion from waves and rain and include Loch Ard Gorge, the Grotto, London Bridge (renamed to London Arch after the 'bridge' partly collapsed), and most famously the Twelve Apostles.

Mountain and forest sections

Around Lorne there are many forest walks which visit impressive waterfalls. Erskine Falls is a 15 minute drive inland from Lorne. Kennett River is a popular spot for koala spotting. (We were lucky enough to see about 8 Koalas spread out in different trees!)
Between Apollo Bay and Gellibrand Lower, the road passes through the Great Otway National Park, which includes some of the last surviving temperate rainforests in the south of Australia. A walk at Mait's Rest offers spectacular views of tree-ferns and Myrtle Beeches.
Otway Nat'l Forest

The Great Ocean Road in a nut shell! :)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Phillip Island and Edithvale Beach!

Last week my friend Elizabeth "Lizard" arrived in Australia! We became friends/roomates this last summer in Portland and it just so happened that she had been planning a year long back-packing adventure through Australia. After signing with a team here in Melbourne, it worked out perfectly that she come stay w/ me and my roomies for a few weeks while she tours around this enormous city of about 4 million people!

Since Lizard has been here we have gone and done some really fun things! She definitely did her research before she arrived, thank goodness because I had been here two  months already and hadn't even seen a Kangaroo yet! (Which by the way.. contrary to popular believe, Kangaroos do not just hop around every where in the city and all over the place! haha) I usually stay pretty busy with basketball obligations as well as coaching clinics, but we do have a few days off, so its been nice to take full advantage!


We traveled just over an hour drive to Phillip Island, its a very "beachy" type area with lots of touristy things to do! It is where a few world renowned professional surfers are from and a place that many Melbourne people travel to for holidays. We visited a chocolate factory, penguin parade and the wildlife park where I got to see so many of Australia's great animals; Koalas, Tasmanian devil, Wallabis, Wombats, Kangaroo, and several types of birds, snakes and reptiles!

The best part was being in an open range and able to feed the Kangaroos! I would go back every day just for that if I could! They just took the food right out of your hand and let us pet them, as you can see in the pics :). Next we went to "The Nobbies" which is the edge of the coast line where you can go seal watching. Then off to the "Penguin parade" where we sat on the beach and watched the "Little Penguins" come in from the sea to their nesting grounds on land.
These "Little Penguins" (which is their actual name) are different from Antarctic penguins because they are only about a foot tall, and they have blue backs, not black. Also they are warmer climate penguins so they would not survive in the freezing arctic waters. They come onto shore at dusk till about 10pm so they are camouflaged with the rocks so the birds wont try and eat them. (Just a couple fun facts for you guys :) Unfortunately we were not allowed to take any pictures of the penguins. Apparently it disturbs them.

Very pre-historic looking, scary bird!
The wildlife park and watching the Penguins come onto their nesting grounds was the best part of my trip to Phillip Island, although the beach was beautiful and I was able to collect lots and lots of sweet looking sea shells! I definitely plan to go back to Phillip Island soon! There is so much more to see there.

I can't wait to go back and find more!

Just a few days ago Lizard, my other American teammate (Ashley) and I traveled to Edithvale beach, which is part of the bay here in Melbourne. There are several "beaches" and obviously one of the best things about living in a city on the coast line. I 'reckon' I like  going to the bays because the water is much more calm and its such a laid back, fun atmosphere. Going to the beach is like a daily thing for everyone here in the summer, day or night, soon as you get a break everyone is at the beach!
Yes that is a giant Jelly fish, but don't worry, its dead.

The water was perfect temperature for how hot its been here. We are having a mid spring heat wave. 32 degrees Celsius, which is about 95-98 degrees Fahrenheit. Except it feels like your sitting on the sun here...Another fun fact; the o-zone layer is so thin in this part of the world, almost non-existant. Therefore the sun is so much more intense and harmful. Skin Cancer is the leading cancer in Australia by a long shot. If you know me, you know I'm usually anti-sun screen, but here I wear SPF 30+ and still I get a tan! As long as I'm protected, I'm safe...right? :)

As you know it is Spring time here in Oz, and we all know what season that brings!... :)

Sorry, I had to...It's not every day you get to see Kangaroos gettin busy in the woods. :)