Welcome to Part 3 of my solo travelogue! If you are headed to Melbourne in this December holiday I hope this guide would be useful! :)
I went on an impromptu Great Ocean Road Trip on the third last day of my stay in Melbourne after chancing upon some magazine I took at Tullamarine airport before I went to my airbnb. The idea of a tour was really intriguing so I went to the website with the hopes of booking the trip. To my disappointment the tours were almost all fully booked so I googled for other websites where two factors affected my booking decision:
1) If the trip could take place within 1 or 2 days of booking (Most of the tours had to be booked days in advance!)
2) If I could conveniently get to my pickup place to board the tour van/bus. The pickup van/bus for the tour only stopped at certain landmarks (like hotels). I was staying in an airbnb so I had to choose one that was nearer to me
After considering several options I booked via this website. They also offer tours in other part of Australia like Sydney, Adelaide etc as well, so it is great if you are visiting other parts of Australia and decide to go on a tour! Lunch was provided so it was not much of an issue.
I made a mistake when booking so I emailed the person and the guide was so kind to drop me a call on my phone almost immediately and a partial refund was given to correct it! :)
Day of Great Ocean Road Tour
7:30am: On the day itself, the guide from the tour bus gave me a call before arriving at 7.30am. I was supposed to wait at 300 spencer street in front of the Atlantis Hotel but they were nice enough to drive a few blocks down to pick me up. It might be because I was the 2nd last passenger to get on the bus so they had time to do so, but nevertheless it was major plus points for the tour company.
First stop: The trip began with the tour guide's introduction of Melbourne's history. After about 20 minutes out of Melbourne's city area, the bus stopped for us to answer the call of nature. While everyone was herding off to the toilet, the glutton in me hurried to the Macdonalds to get my coffee fix and a McMuffin. When I unwrapped the paper I found out the breakfast muffins in Australia HAVE BACON BETWEEN THEIR PATTIES INSTEAD OF HAM! I spazzed and ate it before I could take any pictures lol. We returned to the tour and this was the first scenic stop we got off at.
Chilly wind bantering between strands of my hair. It was so cold!!!
People prancing around taking pictures
After some time the tour guide gathered us around for a standing picnic that he prepared for us. He had warm drinks and homemade Australian food, how thoughtful. As usual, I was busy eating so no food pictures lol. The bus continued to make different stops along the way.
Another of the random stops to watch the sea
Spotted this lovely shed and tractor thing while we were on the way so I quickly whipped out my camera and snapped a picture of it. If you look closely you can see the reflection of the glass.
About to enter the Great Ocean Road!
Got off the tour bus just to take a picture because I was too excited.
Another stop: trudging through the greens. I was glad I had boots on.
It was quite a long journey so we got off to have our lunch at this pizza place which was already designated by the tour. By this time I had already made friends with a Singaporean girl (the only other Singaporean on the tour!) and coincidentally, she studied psychology too. Her friend had decided to go shopping instead of going on the road trip so we sat together most of the time with people from all over the world at the table. They were mostly middle aged couples.
After lunch we went off to this award winning ice cream shop to get some ice cream! My heart did a little dance at the array of choices but quickly fell when I realized my mortally metabolism rate only allowed me to pick one flavour. Sobs.
Look at the cabinet of awards behind!
The tour bus stopped for us to see the twelve apostle and we made it to see the rocks thing which was amazing. Just standing atop the coarse rocks, hearing the sound of waves crashing against the surface, you suddenly realize how small and insignificant you are in this world. I felt so lucky to be able to witness that sight.
Look at those foamy white waves!
I did not manage to witness the twelve apostle because my partner and I veered off the path unknowingly. We were supposed to go to the path on the RIGHT but walked to the path on the LEFT, which saw us walking a great 30 minutes among a huge and winding field with grass lumbering above our heads. We realized we took the wrong way after we could not spot any sight of the twelve apostle so we RAN back to the bus in the rain. I continuously sputtered rainwater out of my mouth along the way. It was quite a funny experience.
Back at the tour bus we were given the option of walking to the next destination or choose to be chartered by the bus. Having ran at least 2km (I am not kidding!) I felt super tired while my Singaporean friend still had alot of energy so she decided to walk. At the destination I went off to explore the beach with this cute lady from Indonesia. Her daughter had also chose to walk but we reached earlier. Pity I lost her contact when my phone crashed so I was not able to send this adorable picture to her.
As the day drew to a close, the whole tour pulled up at this quiet place to have our dinner which was not provided by the tour. My partner and I walked around and could not decide on a place so we joined the Indonesian lady who was seated with her daughter. For some reason I only ordered drinks and the lady was so kind and kept asking me to "help" her eat her food. I think I was too full from the Pizza or felt too cold to eat or something haha. She was just so motherly!
So that sums up my Great Ocean Road Trip that I have been wanting to blog about for quite awhile now. I am so glad for all those fond memories made and I hope this post has been useful to you. Feel free to email me for any questions! :)