Great Ocean Road 2017 Day 8 – Otway lightstation, 12 Apostles and the other rocks

Before 7 and I woke to make a bottle for K. He fell asleep soon after the milk and I sneaked out of the bed and the cabin, armed with only a jacket and my bag of lens. I was heading to the beach of Apollo Bay to check out the sunrise, happening just after 7am.

I made my way to the main entrance of the beach, passing through the visitors information center. There were a couple of people on the beach already, mad enough to be out there in the cold and getting a look at a specific moment in time. The skies weren’t very clear but at least when the sun came up, we could still see it. The fleeting moment came and gone and I returned after taking my pictures.

Sunrise at Apollo Bay
Another sunrise view
Coastal Motel in the day

Back on the bed, I completed my blog for the day before and did some packing before mommy woke up and started her routine. We would expect that K would be waking a little earlier since we slept early that night before but he woke up almost close to 9am. We got him changed and out of bed, a daily struggle everyday.

A rainbow on the morning we left

After loading everything into the car, and all suited up for the cold, I returned the key to the staff whom was busy with clearing the other rooms and bidded farewell at 945am. We continued the second part of the GOR, first stop was another lighthouse, Cape Otway lightstation.

As the road diverted inland and through the forest, I thought the worst of the winding roads was over. It was the same amount of winding as the road cut through the forest, now the Great Forest Road, and as we travelled on the 10km road towards the lightstation, it was even worse being bumpier due to poorer road conditions. Thankfully K survived that 40mins trip there.

It was drizzling and I had to retrieve the rain coat for K from the luggage when we parked at the car park. After that, we walked to the entrance to purchase 2 adult tickets for Aud19.5 each and took a map which revealed quite a few buildings that could be visited instead of just the lighthouse, and walked in.

Otway lightstation entrance
Map of the lightstation
Ship wreck model

The telegram house was the first building that we saw and took shelter from the cold strong wind. Spent a bit of time there mostly to shield from the cold and see the historical exhibits on display, and K being interested to spin the yarn spinner. Then we walked to the lighthouse another 5mins walk away.

Inside the telegram building
One of the rooms
Yarn spinner in one of the rooms
Telegram building

The wind was merciless as it blew strongly. We only took refuge in the lighthouse and climbed the narrow flight of steps upwards till we reached the rotating lights that were still moving (but not lighted up). There were already some people there with the staff giving a talk on the lighthouse and we looked around and went outside for a quick walk.

Path to the Otway lighthouse
Lighthouse up front
Gloomy view from Otway lighthouse

Again the wind came and we had to move  back quickly. The lighthouse got really crowded in the narrow space and we took our leave as soon as we could. K got fussy wanting to descend the steps by himself after I carried him down.

Anchor and flags

The map that was given was a little challenging to read and as the drizzle came back, we wore the rain coat for K and walked back the same route to the entrance, which was the only route. Didn’t buy anything from the souvenir shop and drove to the next location.

The highlight of the GOR, the 12 Apostles, was an hour and 15mins away. K fell asleep soon after getting onto the car and so did mommy. I drove close to the speed limit but as the drizzle came and went, and I took caution to negotiate the bends. The road improved and became wider and better as we approached the coastline.

We arrived at about 1245 and parked at the center which was situated across the road from the coastline. Thought that there was a cafeteria to have a meal but it was just a small area with a souvenir shop and a counter selling coffee. We walked across the underpass and towards the coast and the sight that met us was really beautiful with the mighty ocean waters crashing into the standing rocks. The wind was very strong too and after we took a family selfie, mommy and K went back to take shelter at the center while I spent some time exploring the 3 viewpoints around the area. It was really difficult to steady the phone or camera for panoramic shots and had to take multiple times and settled with whatever I could muster, against the wind.

12 Apostles center
12 Apostles signage
Walk path at the 12 Apostles
12 Apostles
The other 2 at the other side

I only met up with my family back at the center, the only real shelter from the cold and wind. I got myself a Latte before we took our leave. Because of the wind conditions, we dropped the thoughts of visiting the Loch Ard Gorge 5mins from there and headed straight to Port Campbell for lunch, 13mins from there.

We arrived at a very small town center and found a parking near a nicely located restaurant, 12 rocks cafe and had our lunch there, at almost 230pm. Ordered a soup with sourdough bread and a chicken salad with Quinoa for aud34. The cashier wasn’t all too friendly and had an attitude that felt like she couldn’t care less.

12 Rocks cafe
Has a view of the foreshore
Soup with sourdough
Chicken salad
12 Rocks cafe outside

K ate his lunch and had some more cake from us, a desert that mommy bought after. He was eating well. I took some time to go the pier side to take some pictures of the waters and also flying seagulls that people were throwing feed into the air to watch them glide in the wind close to the ground. Then we changed diapers for K in the restaurant toilet that had a diaper changing facility and left.

Port Campbell foreshore
Gliding seagulls
Port Campbell shore

10mins away was the London bridge, parking at the open air carpark, it was a short walk to the viewpoints. Spent some time shooting the natural arch rock formation, again a beautiful sight that I took away by getting a selfie for myself with the camera. After returning to the car, I showed he photos to mommy as both of them wanted to avoid the cold.

London bridge Pano

Another 10mins down was Bay of Martyrs, this time the carpark was just next to the view. It was quite a sight but the sun was making the pictures dark. The final viewpoint was the Bay of Islands, 5mins away. This was also a viewpoint of a large area, not visible from the carpark. After my photo taking, we proceeded to drive to Warrnambool Coles supermarket to get groceries for the night, 40mins away.

Bay of Martyrs
Bay of Islands pano

K was not too cranky, quietly listening to the apps nursery rhymes as we drove to the huge town. While at town, I saw the APCO easy shop stations again, and as usual, they had the cheapest price of Aud1.27 per liter. Filled up to full for aud28 and left for Coles.

As the road was closed for roadworks, I had to go around and that’s when we saw Target, and mommy decided to do some shopping there. We parked at the carpark opposite and proceeded into the mall. K wanted to spend some time at the kiddy ride, mommy went shopping in Target herself, a store we knew from past travels that sell stuff at really low prices.

Target at Warrnambool
Target inside the Mall

K had fun spinning the coin into a charity collection point and running up and down a straight stepless escalator until mommy was done with shopping. Then there was a walk through to Coles on the other side of the road that we took and visited one pharmacy, Artz + Kay to get some nasal decongestant. Went around the huge Coles to get the foodstuff and water and then I went to get the car to drive into the huge open space carpark to allow for easier transfer for the stuff that we bought into the car.

Artz + Kay pharmacy
Coles supermarket
Inside Coles

Then it was another 30 mins drive to our Airbnb at Port Fairy. K fell asleep as we arrived at the cottage. The landlord left the keys at a location and I found it with the help of my iPhone light as it was very dark. Went into the cottage alone to turn on all the lights and it was huge! There were 4 bedrooms, a huge kitchen, huge living room, a playroom and 2 toilets. It fell a little scary though. But the problem was also that there wasn’t a aircon unit to warm up the place. There were only a few air warmers that didn’t do much and it was just cold throughout. There was a central fireplace but I didn’t know how to set up. I didn’t want to smoke out the place.

Master bedroom
Guest room 1
Kitchen with dining room
Guestroom 2
Toilet 2
Living room

Mommy cooked fried rice for everyone and we had the dinner in the living room. K was playing with the new Paw Petrol toy that mommy bought from Target and with crayons that we bought along. He also played with some of the toys in the playroom but there weren’t much toys there to begin with.

We proceeded to bath in the bathroom where it seemed to be the warmest place in the house. K had stayed in the bathroom for a while due to constipation and after bathing and getting dressed there, I quickly put him onto the bed as there was internal mattress heating which I already set up to warm up the bed.

As K watched his YouTube on our data plan, as there weren’t any Wifi, we bathed and got ready for bed. Turned the heat to low to prevent being too hot under the sheets, we turned off the lights at about 11pm. It was a cold night.