Driving to Melbourne through the Great Ocean Road was always on our list. The Great Ocean Road is probably one of the most famous scenic drives in the world. We did extend it a bit and started in Adelaide. A lot of people skip Adelaide, but we heard nothing but good about Adelaide, so we were very curious.
After being in the city for about an hour we were fans. We loved the vibe. It has great spots to hang out, a beach around the corner and it is surrounded by parks and hills to workout. Yep. We could definitely live here. We stayed in the Majestic Minima Hotel and we would recommend this to anyone. It is arty farty, not too expensive and the laundry is complementary. COMPLEMENTARY. Arriving with a bag full of stinky goods, I was grateful. For food and drinks put on your hipster suit, whatever that may be, and head to Leigh Street and Peel street. And if you are there in summer do check out Moonlight Cinema. This is an outdoor summer cinema that is organized in different cities. We went in Adelaide, but also in Sydney. They have great food and nice bean beds to lounge on. Niccccceeeee!
Adelaide – Victor Harbor (Kangaroo Island)
I really, really wanted to go to Kangaroo Island. Somewhere online someone said it is Australia’s answer to the Galapagos Islands..Yes, please. For me this was hands down the highlight of our entire trip. I don’t even know were to start. We went on a day tour with Luca from ‘Hire a Guide’ and Luca did a great job in showing us the island. It is so beautiful, it is insane. And animals. Everywhere animals. Not like ducks or something, but seals, sea lions, koalas, kangaroos. Cool animals. We caught one koala crossing the street and had the opportunity to really see him from close by. So special! Yep. This day was awesome. People. Do not skip Kangaroo Island!!!!!
We went to Kangaroo Island during the day but stayed 2 nights in Victor Harbor, which we liked. Because the summer vacation was over it was a bit quiet but we didn’t mind that walking along the beach. And of course we entered another Parkrun there. 🙂
Victor Harbor (Kangaroo Island) – Mount Gambier
A vibrant blue lake. We had to go see that. So we did! It was nice to go some more inland and the lake was gorgeous in real life! Apparently it turns blue for just a few months and than turns grey. We never found out why though…
Mount Gambier – Port Campbell
After Mount Gambier we headed to Grampians National Park to explore that a bit before we would drive to Port Campbell to start driving the Great Ocean Road. We had crappy weather so the Grampians were wet. We drove for an hour for a lookout point and when we arrived it was all rain and clouds. 🙁 I guess you cannot be lucky every single day. 😉
Port Campbell was interesting. It almost seemed like one big tourist visitor centre. Busses and busses filled with tourists. And besides some restaurants the town itself didn’t really have much to offer. Would have definitely chosen a different town to stay in if I could do it again.
Port Campbell – Apollo Bay
Our experience in Port Campbell made us a bit nervous about what we were going to experience on the Great Ocean Road, but as soon as we left Port Campbell that touristy vibe stayed there. And the Great Ocean Road is beautiful! The Gibson Steps, the 12 apostles. Just gorgeous. And Apollo Bay was much, much better than Port Campbell.
Apollo Bay – Lorne
Lorne was quite similar to Apollo Bay, a lead back beach town. We went to the movies there at night and I can really recommend that. This movie theatre is really old and they simply kept it this way and not to be trendy or anything. It was a movie experience unlike every other. We thought it was the coolest thing ever.
Lorne – Hepburn Springs
After finishing the Great Ocean Road drive and visiting Torquay for lunch we headed inland to Hepburn Springs. Kelvin really wanted to see more of the inland and we were both interested in seeing something else than a beach. We had a really fancy hotelroom there which was awesome. And to top it all of Hepburn Springs is famous for it’s mineral springs and spa’s so we went on a major spa day with massage and everything. Whoop whoop!
Hepburn Springs – Melbourne
In Melbourne we stayed in a glamping on the top of a roof in a mall. It was so cool to walk at night to the bathroom between all these lights and skyscrapers! And the tent was really cosy and the crew went above and beyond to make it special; Great breakfast delivered at the tent, snacks, bowling next door, cocktails, all complementary. If you want to have a special night, go there.
Melbourne gave us the same feeling as Adelaide, within an hour we loved the city and could imagine ourselves living there. It is so vibrant and so fun! Do leave the center to visit all the funky and different neighborhoods like St. Kilda, South Yarra and Fitzroy. Like Adelaide it is also parks galore where tons of people workout. We loved walking in the Botanic Gardens with a backdrop of the city. Beautiful. We also entered another Parkrun in Albert Park, but this one was a bit different because around a 1000 people entered as well! It was like a full on race, such a nice way to explore another park, meet some locals and get your training in.
After all that training comes eating and Melbourne got that down. If you like cheese (we are Dutch, duh) you have to visit Milk the Cow for a cheese and wine fest. So good! We also went to Asian food heaven at Gingerboy. Come hungry and take their banquet menu. So. Much. Food. You will have to take breaks and wish you could eat more. Even with Kelvin we did a very poor job. So it was a lot.
And after 4 days of Melbourne it was time to head to our final stop; Geelong. Right now we are there preparing for the Ironman coming up this sunday. It will be painful to leave Australia on Monday. We had such a great time here and it was so beautiful! We will be back for sure!