The first port of call today was Erskine Falls. Erskine Falls are at the end of Erskine Falls Road 10km north west of Lorne. There is a viewing point above the falls and a walking track, steep in places which leads to the base of the falls. The falls cascade over one of the highest drops in the Otways. The car park is very small but we arrived early morning and found getting a spot no problem. The day we visited there were quite a few people walking to the base of the falls but they did not obstruct our view which I’m sure you agree is beautiful…..
Next stop to refuel the Kombi and ourselves was in the picturesque town of Apollo Bay. As we drove through the town I spotted BBQs at the side of the road with picnic tables dotted around – eh?!? As the sun was shining we decided to pull over, park up and cook our lunch on one of the communal BBQs (no charge). We were lucky that one was free so we chucked our snags (sausages) on and had ourselves a roadside picnic as other tourists took pictures of our delightful Gracie – obviously not every day a Kombi rolls through Apollo Bay. As I found out later on our whistle stop tour of the Great Ocean Road these communal BBQs pop up everywhere (some are coin operated approx $2 for 30 mins).
After lunch we decided to take a trip to the Cape Otway Lightstation which is a 30 minute drive (1 hour round trip) off the Great Ocean Road. The drive itself was worth it solely because I saw a koala (the first koala I had seen in Australia). He was very happy sat in his tree, fast asleep as a bunch of tourists snapped away from below. Anyway, the lightstation….. Cape Otway Lightstation is the oldest, surviving lighthouse in mainland Australia. The light, which has been in continuous operation since 1848, is perched on towering sea cliffs where Bass Strait and the Southern Ocean collide. For thousands of immigrants, after many months at sea, Cape Otway was their first sight of land after leaving Europe. The entrance fee is $19.50 (£10.20) and is well worth it for the beautiful, uninterrupted views you get from the cape. There is also a cafe and gift shop on site with numerous free tours offered throughout the day.
Our next stop on the Great Ocean Road was probably the most famous landmark on it…the 12 Apostles. The apostles were formed by erosion, the harsh and extreme weather conditions from the Southern Ocean gradually eroded the soft limestone to form caves in the cliffs, which then became arches, which in turn collapsed; leaving rock stacks up to 45 metres high. There are currently 8 left which are susceptible to further erosion and collapse. The Apostles certainly are a sight to behold and again something I had always wanted to see. When we were stood there it did seem slightly surreal. My only regret is that we had not got there earlier in the day as time was not on our side and we were losing the light. Please note this was a very busy attraction considering the time of day and time of year it was. There is no admission fee and I can only imagine the number of people here in Summer – time your trip well.
Our last stop on day 2 was Port Campbell. We pulled into the Port Campbell Caravan Park which cost around $35 per night (approx £18.30) for a powered site and included free wifi! This holiday park was again quiet but not empty. The amenities block was perfectly fine for a holiday park of it’s size. After setting up the van and having a couple of tinnies we decided to eat out that night in Port Campbell and found the only place open in town….the 12 Rocks Cafe and Beach Bar. It was an interesting place and as the name suggests it was a cafe AND a bar and never the twain shall meet – you had to order food and one side and drinks at the other. I’m not complaining though the portions were massive and the beer, at $16 a jug, was cheap! Happy days!