What a welcome. We’d just checked in when we spotted him. He wasn’t asleep or high or chewing on leaves. He was alert and a real cutie. And then he came down, as though to greet us.
Welcome to Kennett River.
What a perfect way to begin the final night of our Great Ocean Road adventure.
Let’s backtrack a bit.
We left Port Campbell under grey skies that morning but the mood was light.
Our first stop was the 12 Apostles, Victoria’s number one tourist attraction. Normally it’s a jostle to get a photo and the boardwalks are filled with tourists, but this morning it’s quiet. It’s just us and the pounding of the waves below.
I loved the poetry boards on the boardwalk. Poems that speak of the ocean, the fury of the waves and the savage history of this shipwreck coast …
However, words and photos can’t compare to seeing the real deal.
There are now only eight Apostles left, these huge limestone stacks that once were connected to the mainland cliffs but now rise out of the Southern Ocean and reach into the sky.
Over the years the relentless power of the waves, the wind and nature’s fury has carved and sculpted them and eroded them down.
Majestic. Magnificent. Ancient. This morning they appeared mystical, like sentinels standing guard on the Southern Ocean floor. They appear to have their own ever changing moods of colour and intensity, depending on the sky above.
More might tumble over the years. Who knows when, in time, more stretches of the cliffs will become pillars and Apostles.
We continued on our journey and agreed that the wet weather was conducive to some indoor tasting. Knowing how much our guests loved cheese we detoured to Apostle Whey Cheese in Cooriemungle, not far off the Great Ocean Road.
“The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese”
Cheese lovers take note. “This is a genuine paddock to plate operation which means all cheeses are made from pure milk that’s been produced by a speciality bred herd of Aussie Red/Jerseys.”
Their cheeses were divine. Honestly, they were so good it was hard to decide which I liked best so I did the only thing I could. I bought a whole heap of them! Lunch/dinner was looking mighty fine.
“Happiness comes in many forms, Grated, Sliced, Diced, Melted.”
Blissfully content, we continued along the Great Ocean Road, as it weaves in and out of the magnificent Otway Ranges. Before we knew it we were at Melba Gully, one of the pristine pockets of rainforest in the area.
A thirty minute walk through this magical lush rainforest awakens all the senses. It’s a land of green giants, an oasis of towering tree ferns that hints of magic, elves and goblins.
At night time the glow worms come out and play. They’re mesmerising. You just need to take a torch so you don’t fall down a hole and end up in Alice’s Wonderland.
We skipped the night walk this time but even during the day there’s magic around. I could have sworn I saw a troll underneath this bridge!
By the time we got back to the car, tummies were rumbling. We stopped off at the Bakery in Apollo Bay, which was in the throes of its annual Seafood Festival, but our sights were firmly planted on our last destination, Kennett River.
And it was there we met our furry koala friend. Did you know that the koala can run as fast as a rabbit? And it’s not actually a bear, it’s a marsupial, related to the kangaroo and the wombat.
Considering that koalas sleep for up to 19 hours in a day we were lucky to see them as active as we did. If you follow me on Instagram you’ll see a couple of my videos on these furry creatures.
Food at last. Finally!
It was a late but much anticipated lunch after we’d got camp set up.
And boy did we enjoy the bounty of our travels.
In between our late lunch and even later pasta dinner there were more local walks and koala sightings. Right behind our camp there were koalas grunting, groaning, playing, threesomes, tiffs, stand offs. We saw it all.
I think we might have encroached on a koala convention or maybe something a bit more amorous!
Not to be outdone by the koalas, Kennett River is also a haven for colourful bird life. Catherine seems to attract them everywhere she goes.
Later that afternoon was spent at the beach which was right across the road from our campsite.
As our feet enjoyed a touch of summer, we revelled in the small things, enjoying each other’s company, reliving the last few days, knowing that tomorrow would be the final day together. It wasn’t ideal beach weather but we made the most of every moment.
I guess that’s the aim of each day, even when we get caught up in the ordinary stuff. Looking at everything with grateful eyes and realising that all that we do and think is a choice.
Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful.
Take care and make time for rest and relaxation. And keep enjoying the journey, that’s where joy lies.
Just ask the koalas.
In love and light
The trail is the thing. Not the end of the trail.