Today began early as I was anxious to tour everything the Great Ocean Road had to offer. I started by sipping my coffee in the sitting room at the b&b where I stayed the night. This was my view to begin the morning…..
After my coffee I packed up and drove about 10 minutes to Apollo Bay to find some breakfast. Apollo Bay (Google, Web) is a nice little town with several cafe’s and shops and (I believe) the largest town on the Great Ocean Road. I had a nice breakfast at an outdoor cafe and had a good chat with a very friendly, and funny, Australian “bloke” sitting at the next table.
After breakfast I backtracked (which I normally hate) to Kennett River. Kennett River is known as one of the best (if not the best) places in all of Australia to see koala’s in the wild. It was just luck (or maybe a little help from above 🙂 that I just happened to stay 15 minutes from Kennett River the night before.
As I mentioned in my FB post yesterday (for those on FB), even before I left the US people were asking me for pictures of koalas. I had been told and read seeing them in the wild was getting more and more difficult as the particular eucalyptus trees they feed on are dying off for some unknown reason. So after doing some research I learned that Kennett River was the place to go.
I had also read that the best way to see them was to get out of the car and hike the road into the mountain and knowing how much I love to hike….no problem. 🙂 So I took off up the Gray River road not knowing what to expect. For the first 1/2 mile I saw only a couple. Then in the next 2.5 km (1.5 miles) or so I counted 24 more!!! I was soooo excited! I even saw two trees that had two of them….which I witnessed was not always good (check out the video on the “View Photos” link to the right). Anyway, it was so very cool!
I was amazed at how high some of them were. Most were sleeping as the the eucalyptus leaves they feed on offer very little nutritional value so they conserve energy by sleeping up to 20 hours a day (sounds like a few people I know, ha ha….just kidding). Mostly they lay in the forks of the big trees with their arms wrapped around the trunk but some of them where way up in the small branches…sleeping. I read that they do something fall from the trees and after having seen them in the wild I can easily see why.
Here is a very small sampling of what I saw today. You can see many more by clicking the “View Photos” link on the right. I don’t know how the formatting will work with theses as picture formatting on Blogger is quirky at best. We’ll give it a try and see what happens.
I spent roughly 2.5 hours just hiking in the forest with my head straight up in the tree tops and I honestly could have stayed there all day. The only regret I had from the day was that I didn’t have a better camera. Most of them were so high in the trees that it was difficult to photograph them. If I would have had a good camera with a telephoto lens I could have taken some unbelievable pictures.
I also took some pretty dramatic videos (yes, even of creatures that barely move 🙂 but videos take much longer to format and insert and now that I’m traveling everyday I barely find time for this. You can view all videos by clicking the “View Photos” link on the right.
When I was finally able to pull myself away I turned my attention to the beautiful cliffs, beaches and ocean that was right in front of me….
I headed south on The Great Ocean Road passing the place I stayed last night and Apollo Bay on my way to Otway National Park (Google), The 12 Apostles (Google), The Arch (Google), London Bridge (Google) and several other places….
I drove from Kennett River to Port Campbell. From their I turned inland and did the 2:45 drive to Melbourne where I stayed for the evening.
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