Story of some Brits living in New Zealand for the Southern Hemisphere Winter in 2004
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Saturday, September 04, 2004

The Great Ocean Road - "A Very Long Way"

Noel from our office in Melbourne arranged my trip. He went out of his way to make us feel welcome and was generally a superstar, he even loaned us his car - for 2 weekends!

The Great Ocean Road is THE drive to make from Melbourne but it's quite a long way, even though it doesnt look far on the map because the road is quite a twisty tourist road. When the second person explained to us, "go through Geelong, which isnt far, wait, you're english, well it's a Long Way to Geelong then". It seems Aussies realise Brits dont share the same concept of driving distances! Actually I think it's quite a big problem that Aussies routinely drive quite long distances given the number of roadsigns out there reminding you to take a break and not fall asleep at the wheel (or "zone out").

The news about the twisty roads was quite funny too. On the great ocean road, the road is quite wide, it has crash barriers and no rocks in the road - after New Zealand ski roads (and normal roads), it was a nice relaxing drive.

The Great Ocean Road is however a really nice drive, over stretches roadsigns warn things like 'kangaroos 7km'; 'koalas 5km'; 'echidnea 3km' etc. At one stage Ann-Marie said, "stop" and we pulled over to take a look at some parrots in the trees by the road (Victoria seems full of parrots). On another occasion she claimed to see a koala but there was nowhere to pull over then (and koalas arent exactly circus performers - they mostly sit like a big ball asleep (drunk!) in the trees).

We eventually got to the 12 apostles towards the end of the day. These are rock stacks left by and erroding cliff face along the beach. Very impressive. From there we headed to the next town for a cup of tea and far too much cake!

We headed back in-land in the pitch dark. Quite exciting really not really knowing the kind of bush or forest we were driving through and not knowing what was out there, apart from miscellaneous marsupials, snakes, etc!

We returned, and navigated back to the hotel through a tram crammed city, very grateful to Noel for the loan of the car.


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