Here we are… another new year under way! After the previous day’s 40+ temperatures the weather settled down a little and we decided it was time to do a bit of exploring.
I’d had the happy accident of a conversation with Mal Austin, a well respected photographer from the area, and had cheekily asked for the inside track on where to go to find good pictures off and on the Great Ocean Road. Mal sent us on a little side tour to the Sequoia park on the (gravel!) road that winds from the GOR cross country to Beech Forest
It was quite some time before we got there… and while the drive was picturesque we were beginning to wonder if we’d missed it before we finally went around the corner find it well signposted and well patronized by picnickers and campers.
It was a lovely (and thankfully cool) half an hour under these majestic trees. They’re still young by comparison with the redwood forests in California where you can find trees that are ENORMOUS and many years old. But this was a lovely diversion and very restful. I was wishing I had all sorts of wide angle gear to be able to fit the trees in…
We’d gone so far up the gravel road that we figured it was prudent to keep going up the short end so that we didn’t have to drive it all the way back to the main road and ended up coming out the other end very near the Otway Fly, an aerial walk through the Otway rainforest.
We went in and paid our entry fee and followed the bush path down to the walkway structure. In typical tourist provider fashion there were ‘prehistoric’ attractions for the kids and a dinosaur path that one ‘shouldn’t miss’… hmmm… but the bush walk was lovely and would only have been bettered if we’d seen a few wallabies or possums on the way down!
We went got to the aerial walk and followed it’s paths through the tree tops. It was a lovely way to see the area and get a close up on the gums. Again, a bit more action from the wild life would have made it ‘magic’ but it was a great way to spend a couple of hours and I thoroughly recommend it!
The shadow cast by the tower at the top of the Fly a walk up a narrow spiral staircase… my poor out of condition legs got a bit wobbly… not to self get back on the treadmill…
You’d think I’d have more pictures of what we’d seen there!! They were unremarkable… more because of poor skills than what was available to shoot… you’ll just have to go there and check them out for yourselves…
The next day was another exploring day and we made our way down to Kennett River because we’d heard there was a wild koala colony (is that the right collective noun?) down there. It was a short trip along the GOR which was lovely in itself, we parked the car at the Kennett River store (which was basically the sum total of Kennett River’s commercial district) and wandered up the road – darn, can’t remember what it’s called – to see the koalas.
Sure enough the brown sleeping lumps in the trees were easy enough to spot.
Koalas are well known for the amount of sleeping they do… 22 hours a day.
So, they were pretty high in the trees and not especially active so we walked along spotted as many as we could (5 or so) jumped in the car and headed back toward Apollo Bay.
But not far out of Kennett River we spotted a number of cars lined up just off the road obviously having a sticky at something interesting.
Not ones to buck a trend we pulled up too and got out with our cameras… sure enough there were more koalas only this time there was one putting on a bit of a show…
I don’t know how many times I’ve seen koalas in a zoo… seriously!! But I have to say there’s something magic about seeing them do their thing in the wild… It was a trip highlighted… eclipsed only by a similar sight the next day at a different colony.
We drove home and stopped for a Devonshire tea at a guest house which has an incredible view of the GOR and the ocean, got into a loooong conversation with the proprietress who obviously enjoys a good chat!!! It was beautifully accompanied by homemade scones and jam… A fitting end to another great couple of days!
Looking along the road heading east.
Looking west back towards Apollo Bay.