Great Ocean Road: Port Campbell to Adelaide

After a refreshing night in Port Campbell’s youth hostel (yes, really.)(That just explains how much we slept the previous nights), we were on our way again to see more cliffs. But first: picking strawberries at the strawberry farm (ah, childhood memories, picking tons of strawberries in my granddad’s garden). Next stop: London Bridge. Nice rock :-)

London Bridge, Great Ocean Road
London Bridge, Great Ocean Road
Picking strawberries at a farm near Port Campbell
Picking strawberries at a farm near Port Campbell
We also wanted to see the Bay of Islands rocks, but somehow, we passed them. “Hey, I think I saw them there, shall we turn back?”. “Nah, let’s just take this dirt road, it looks like it’s going in the direction of the beach. Maybe we can see them from there”. Again, with a car fit for its purpose (Toyota Corolla, for those interested), and 15 minutes of serious bumping later, we arrived at the seaside. Cliffs yes, Bay of Islands no. But it was lunchtime and there seemed to be a path leading down the cliffs, so we decided to head down to the beach. So beautiful!
A steep descent to our own private beach, Great Ocean Road
A steep descent to our own private beach, Great Ocean Road
"She started it"
“She started it”

While Leentje and I are running our hearts out, here comes our French chaperon Pierre, who could not have foreseen what it's like to travel with "3 crazy Belgians" (day 4...) ;-)
While Leentje and I are running our hearts out, here comes our French chaperon Pierre, who could not have foreseen what it’s like to travel with “3 crazy Belgians” (day 4…) ;-)

As we had to travel some distance, we planned to go to Mount Gambier in one trek. We got there just in time for the sunset (again :-) )
Mount Gambier crater lake
Mount Gambier crater lake

The next part some of us want to delete permanently from their memories, because the sun set, it got dark and we didn’t have a place to sleep yet… Camping at the crater lake wasn’t possible (see picture); all hostels and motel receptions on the Great Ocean Road seem to close at 6pm, and you can’t get in unless you pre-booked (thanks very much Mount Gambier Goal for your rudeness). So 2 hours later we finally found the Motel Mount Gambier, where late check-in is possible and we were very friendly received (and got lots of tips on the neighbourhood too!).
Entering the Coonawarra wine region, we visited Balnaves the next morning for a wine tasting. Happy breakfast!
Early morning encounter at Balnaves of coonawarra winery
Early morning encounter at Balnaves of coonawarra winery
Day 5 on the road
Day 5 on the road

After lots of driving and nearing Adelaide, we wanted to free camp at Kuitpo National Park, but it was closed. We decided to drive on to Moana instead, a sleepy coastal town in the Adelaide Hills. We learned our lesson well, so pre-booked a camping place for the night. We desperately wanted to visit another winery before heading down for the night, but they also all close at 5pm… Luckily, Dionysus was with us, and we found one that would still receive us. Charming, enchanting, beautiful Magpie Springs is one of those places only serendipity can bring you to. And they have good wine and coffee too!
Magpie Springs, Hope Forest
Magpie Springs, Hope Forest
Magpie Springs, Hope Forest
Magpie Springs, Hope Forest
Wine tasting at Magpie Springs
Wine tasting at Magpie Springs

After another beautiful sunset at Moana Beach (with fish&chips of course), we reached destination Adelaide the next morning.
Getting ready for the sunset with take-away fish&chips from Deep Blue Cafe, Moana
Getting ready for the sunset with take-away fish&chips from Deep Blue Cafe, Moana

Read more on the Great Ocean Road? See previous post From Melbourne to Port Campbell here.

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