Australian Adventure (Saturday, July 06, 2013)

40 Days Down Under (Day 23)

Saturday, July 06, 2013
Nobody ever said, "Hmmm...I think I'll go visit the sinkhole today." Or did they? Our first stop was the Umpherston Sinkhole. I was amazed to see this gorgeous fallen cavern of lush vines, craggy rock, and garden flowers. They have truly made this sunken ground into something spectacular.

On the drive I finished This Time Next Door by Gretchen Galway before we made it to the Great Ocean Road. I had been looking forward to this drive day, but the weather wasn't really cooperating with us. We would hang out in the JUCY eating lunch or biding time whenever it would pour. We were willing to walk in the drizzle.

I loved how easy our JUCY was to find in the parking lot.
It's hard to explain the magnificence of the coast, so I'll let the photos speak for themselves. I can't imagine how gorgeous the Great Ocean Road would be on a sunny day. We didn't let it stop us though.

Stop 1: Bay of Islands

Stop 2: London Bridge, which fell down in 1990 stranding tourists on the other side

The positive to rain on a vacation is a rainbow.

Stop 3: Loch Ard Gorge

Stop 4: The Arch

Stop 5: The Twelve Apostles which used to be called the Sow and Piglets.

They changed the name in 1922 to attract tourists. Even then, there were only nine rock formations, but twelve sounded better. One rock formation has fallen, so the literature says there are eight apostles as of 2013. I counted fewer, but what do I know?

Kris and the Twelve Apostles

Apparently, you must watch out for snakes on the route.

I wonder what they are warning the snakes about?
An unnamed spot was nice too.

Kris made a smart impromptu stop at the Melba Gully whenever the rainforest drive caught his eye. We took the 1.5 kilometer nice (albeit wet) Madsen's Track through the rainforest to Anne's Cascade and the big (now fallen) tree.

Before the tree fell in 2009, it had stood for 300 years. Now it is an impressive fallen tree.

The rainforest walk only took us about 35 minutes, but it was time well spent. The Melba Gully is a wet sclerophyll forest containing the world's tallest flowering plant (the Mountain Ash). We also saw Otway Messmates and gum trees. We unexpectedly encountered a wallaby, but we were otherwise alone with nature.

Both Kris and I were exceptionally glad that I had prebooked our evening lodging with AirBnB for the evening. We stayed in a studio apartment with a reasonable kitchen, nice bed, and furnace in Apollo Bay as it continued to rain outside. We were grateful for a night away from the chilly evening.

The studio also introduced me to some books I want to eventually read.

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