Our Great Ocean Road Adventure

As soon as we pulled into our camp site in Port Campbell I got a bling on my mobile phone …”

Victorian severe thunderstorm warning, large hail, heavy rain …Waarnambool … at risk for the next several hours.”

The sky was dark and ominous, so it was all systems go to set the swag up and secure our camp before rain hit.

Earlier that day we’d left the Grampians under a dazzling blue sky. It was goodbye to the mountains and the sunshine for awhile as our road trip continued.

Roads were made for journeys, not destinations. Confucius

After our lunch stop at Tower Hill Reserve amongst emus and koalas and a cheeky magpie that stole Catherine’s sandwich (what is it about her and crazy birds?) we hit the cheesery at Waarnambool for some serious tasting and stocking up.

The first sign of the ocean and the coastline is always exciting for me, even under a rapidly darkening sky. We skirted past the Bay of Islands, hoping to return (without the van in tow) before the day was done.

Port Campbell Caravan Park was our destination, a small park located close to many of the highlights of the Great Ocean Road. The coast was calling but, with stormy skies overhead, limited hours left in the day and a dinner reservation that night … well, we couldn’t do everything.

But I think we gave it a damn good shot. Once our camp was secured it was time to hit the spectacular Loch Ard Gorge with all of its scenic lookouts, London Bridge, the Arch and the Grotto, just some of the natural attractions that define this spectacular coastline.

Welcome to the Great Ocean Road.

This place is like an artists easel and, even devoid of blue overhead, there’s magnificence around every bend. At each lookout we saw the views as though with new eyes.

The late afternoon light was filtering through dark clouds, shimmering on the water, and illuminating everything, as though on show for us.

It was the ultimate light show.

As quickly as the storm came it disappeared, as they so often do on the coast. It’s a powerful reminder of how fast things can change. Whatever’s going on in your life, there’s always a way out, always a silver lining and a lesson to be learnt along the way.

No storm, not even the one that might appear in our life, can last forever.

We know that eventually everything blows over. The waves in the ocean know that, they never stop rolling.

Down on Shipwreck Beach at the Loch Ard Gorge it was misty and drizzly. We sheltered under our umbrellas and marvelled at the beauty around us. At one stage we had the whole beach to ourself.

Anyone who’s been here knows this place is usually crowded with tour buses filled with Chinese tourists, even in the wet. But not now, in the midst of the Coronavirus crisis. We relished the calm.

“Be the ocean, be ever changing but always the same. Be calm, be still, but let yourself get wild and lost in a storm from time to time … ” Michael DeBois

For me the highlight of our afternoon was the walk down the Gibson Steps.

It’s here on the shoreline that you truly feel the majesty and awe of those ocean swells as you look out to sea, taking in your first breathtaking view of an Apostle.

Sky above, sand below, peace within.”

Even gray skies couldn’t dampen our mood, if anything it added a new element. As Catherine so eloquently wrote in her post …

The weather wasn’t perfect but it gave a different feeling to our sightseeing. I think the threatening dark clouds and dimmed light accentuated the roughness of the coast, and the danger that awaited the sailors trying to tame it.

It’s not called the Shipwreck Coast for nothing.

It was just us, the ocean, imposing cliffs that surrounded us and those massive swells crashing on the shore. Nature is powerful, tempestuous and awe inspiring all at the same time.

Saving the rest of the Apostles for early tomorrow morning, and with stomachs rumbling, we decided to head off for our dinner reservation at 12 Rocks bistro in Port Campbell.

It was Valentines Day and it felt fitting to enjoy a meal out together, cocooned inside this popular bistro overlooking the bay. It was a long night filled with good food, laughter and lively conversation. Not to mention decadent desserts and a port all round to end the night.

Any port in a storm.

I think we were the last ones to leave. In fact, I’m sure they were putting up the chairs around us!

Back at camp we all fell into our respective beds, weary but content, having travelled from the mountains to the coast. You can read Catherine’s version of our day and see that cheeky magpie stealing her lunch here.

The forecast ahead was for more grey skies but that wasn’t going to slow us down.

Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint on it you can.” Danny Kaye

The next day would see us sampling some local gourmet produce before venturing deep into a rainforest, and ending the day with some more wildlife encounters … just another day on the Great Ocean Road.

As the journey continues, I hope you’re enjoying yours, wherever you are.

In light and love

To be a writer is to be the tour guide who takes you to worlds you have always dreamt of visiting. Pickwick.

“To sit in silence at the shore, watch the waves and hear the surf, is to appreciate the very breath and heartbeat of the Earth.” Doe Zamtamata

107 thoughts on “Our Great Ocean Road Adventure

  1. Wow!
    This scenic Loch Ard Gorge is resonating quite closely with Sapat Bandar Beach in Balochistan, Pakistan.
    Clear sands, peaceful coastline, calm waves and just nothing between you and nature. This should be the whole life honestly 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a great article and what amazing pictures you have clicked to complement it.. ☺️
    I specially liked the one where the rock seams are visible and differentiated. Looks as if someone has coloured them differently to help distinguish one layer from the other..
    Beautiful article Madam..!! Thank you for sharing.. ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Miriam, my talented and enlightened and gorgeous fave Aussie, I loved every word .
    I don’t think I tell you enough that, apart from how beautiful and inspiring your posts are, how like….imbued with kove and serenity and acceptance they are and how you delight our senses with your images and heartwords, you are a tremendous writer. Seriously. You have a beautiful flow straight from the heart and so honest and easy in your way. I feel part of your family when I read you.
    I love that the message here seems to be that the journey is beautiful,the destination is always on the hirison, no matter how many clouds lace the sky, let’s accept the rain and let it pour. It’s all part of everything and so are we

    So..did you get the message here that I heart you and your talent of reaching us with your words and gentle passion? ’cause that’s what I meant

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Fiery, what a gorgeous comment you’ve left me here. And coming from you, who writes such heartfelt magical words, I’ll take this as a huge compliment. Love the message that you took away from my post and you’re absolutely spot on. It’s the journey and all the wild stuff that happens along the way that’s the real magic and joy in life.
      Thank you my lovely friend. Truly appreciate it and yes, smiling here, I got your beautiful ❤️felt message. Big hugs xxx 😍

      Liked by 1 person

  4. How special to have all of that to yourself! I love all your quotes, especially the Pikwik one! You are a great tour guide, and a wonderful writer. Excellent post my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Such a beautiful coast line and loved London Bridge and the grotto and arch.. Shows just what erosion the ocean has done over the years..
    So happy your rain storm soon passed over…
    You are indeed that writer your quote spoke of Miriam… You certainly take me places I am never likely to see other than on your blog my friend..
    THANK YOU… ❤ 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Sue, thanks so much , you’re very kind. And it’s always lovely to have you along for the ride. We’re so blessed with natural beauty here and I love sharing it all. Have a wonderful new week ahead my friend. xx

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow, Miriam, the views and your photos are fantastic. And, while you dodged the storm, the light through the clouds and on the cliffs and water were stunning.
    And I love that bit “any port in a storm” lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. How wonderful! The Great Ocean Road is spectacular. It’s great you didn’t have to share with tourists, but how crazy that we have to endure Coronavirus.
    In the last shot of you, the rock in the ocean looks like a ship!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh you’re right, it does look a bit like a ship! And yes, the Coronavirus is all a bit crazy scary. I’ve just been reading about the lock down in Italy which is a huge worry. I have a lot of relatives there.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Awwww Miriam!!!!! Woman, how I loved this post!!! A) You are a pure delight and your playful, cheeky, and optimistic nature shines through so much in both your pictures and your writing!! B) I honestly felt you wrote this post just for me – such fitting and wonderful observations, quotes, plus – The Great Ocean Road is, up to this day, one of my all-time ever favorite road trips!! I still remember its splendor vividly even eight years later… man how I love that corner of the world!! Thank you so much for transporting me back there, and for sharing your deep wisdom, optimism, and bright light with us! I love ya mate, you bloody rock star-lioness you. C) How good are those quotes?? “Be the ocean, be ever-changing but always the same. Be calm, be still, but let yourself get wild and lost in a storm from time to time … ” Michael DeBois. This is is really helpful for me right now, but I loved all your quotes! Your writing is always wonderfully inspiring, deeply enjoyable, and just what this world including I needs! Goodbye negative nellies, hello marvelous Miriams!!💖💖💖 C) This might not even surprise you anymore, but I am currently writing my next post and storms are also taking place!! Haha. Conjuring up wild and fierce storm magic, my gorgeous friend… I hope you are well, wishing you a gorgeous start to your week with many full-moon-blessings my friend. Big hugs and so much amoreee from me!! 💖💖💖 xoxoxoxo also some kisses from Lucky hehe xoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Storm magic indeed my fiesty wild friend! How awesome that you’ve experienced the Great Ocean Road for yourself. Isn’t it the best! I’m so glad my post brought back wonderful memories for you and that you enjoyed all the quotes etc. I love those words by Michael DeBois too. It’s extracted from his poem ‘be the ocean’. Sounds like they inspired you. Well I can’t wait to read your next post Maria cos I have absolutely no doubt it’ll be utterly captivating. 💜 Thank you for always making me smile with your gorgeous heartfelt words. Sending big hugs and moochos love to both you and Lucky. I hope he’s behaving! Have an awesome week my friend. xxxxxx💕💕

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Cara amica, wonderful, I am gonna check out Michael DeBois´full poem 🙂 Thanks for your wonderful encouragement and warm words of friendship!! So grateful for you! Many hugs and much love from Lucky and me. Yes, Lucky is behaving for the most part haha. Still loves to chew on my hair as a snack lol. Talk soon sweetheart 💕💕 xoxoxo


  9. I feel like I should have my passport when I read these! What a beautiful account. I felt exhausted and full and content at the end just as you seemed to be. In my element and in awe all at once. Thanks again for taking me along with you.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. There is always “More Wonderful” in Australia, it never ends. Thank you again for terrific post and photo’s. X


  11. Those cliffs are simply breathtaking. Every picture you post is like a window for me, and I drink in the sights and breathe in the scents. I can imagine the salty air of the beaches and the cool refreshing scents of the mountains. It’s a little bit of heaven for me. 🙂 *hugs*

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww, heavy sigh, your words are like a tonic to my weary mouth (I’ve just returned from a particularly gruelling visit to the dentist!)
      Heaven! What a beautiful description. I’m so glad to be able to transport you my lovely friend. It’s the next best thing to being there in person. Sending big hugs back to you. 💙


  12. It is the most beautiful coastal area along there, regardless of the weather. You know how we were talking about your new van…we finally found what we were looking for too. It’s a New Age Wallaby – with all the extras for off grid and off road camping. Yay! We’re planning our first adventure with it soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. What a wonderful post Miriam! I remember seeing some of these pictures on Instagram. Your smile lights up the frame. You’ve shown me so much of Australia and I would love to visit it someday. Those rocks, water and sky look spectacular. It means all the more to me now that we’re cooped at home and don’t know when we would be able to travel again. Thank you for this! Stay well and healthy my friend. Loads of love!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Cheryl, I do hope you get to visit Australia in person one day. In the meantime you might have to binge watch a whole lot of travel movies from around the world! Just to alleviate that cabin fever! I feel for you. Stay safe and well. xx 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Thank you for the trip down memory lane. You have some magnificent photos of Warrnambool. A reminder that I need to go back to those amazing cliffs and winds. Haha, I haven’t been there for over 20 years. Your post has inspired me to travel again, love it!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. This is one of the road trips my brother and I would love to do some day. Right now we’re working on planning a trip along the Pacific Coast Highway. How much prep did you all put into the planning of your trip?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope you get to the Great Ocean Road one day Wayne. It’s a wonderful area and planning it is easy, there’s so much to see you can’t go wrong. Where’s home for you?


  16. I love the last quote. I would like to invite you to stop by my blog which contains excerpts from my book which is about growing up with undiagnosed Asperger’s syndrome. I hope to see you soon.

    Liked by 1 person

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