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Tales of the travels, trials and triumphs as we explore Australia in a converted bus

Motorhome Travels - January 2008


Another year has come and gone and this New Years Day finds us in the Otway State Forest, South West Victoria, at a nice little camp spot called Dandos. Gavin has decided that his New Years Resolution is to make Tracey write the website for a while, so you will have to forgive the sudden change in style – I have big shoes to try and fill. (Tracey's New Years Resolution is to try and hand the job back to Gavin just as soon as possible!)


We now have almost a new front end (on the motorhome I mean) after spending the week before Christmas at Adrian's replacing the king-pins and bushes, tie-rods, brake shoes and fitting power assisted steering. The difference in turning the motorhome is incredible, we can now go round roundabouts without building up a sweat from the exertion, and turning around is just a breeze – it’s one of those things that you think ‘why the heck didn’t we do that 5 years ago??’ So that’s the good news, the bad news is we had to return to Adrian's after a test drive and wheel alignment as we were unable to get grease into the king-pins and the thrust bearings– long story short, after pulling the front end apart again we found that the king-pin bushes were faulty – some minor modifications to the bushes and a few days later we were back on the road, now consummate experts on Bedford steering.

Hopetoun Falls, Vic - [Click for a Larger Image]
Hopetoun Falls, Vic

Leaving the madness of Melbourne before Christmas seemed like a good idea so we headed back through Geelong and hit the Great Ocean Road. We found an area to park up for a few days overlooking the cliffs at Point Addis, and decided that this was a nice quiet spot to spend Christmas day, a magic view and only us to enjoy it. We took to the road again on Boxing Day only to discover that most of Victoria and half of New South Wales had also decided that this was a good time to travel the Great Ocean Road, making it reasonably difficult to find areas with enough free parking space to allow an 11m motorhome to stop and sightsee.

We eventually found a spot to stop for the day near Apollo Bay; we took to the water on the canoe and paddled out to the seal colony in the Marengo Reef marine sanctuary. These little creatures are just amazing to see in the water, the whole colony of about 60 seals came into the water to have a look at us and we were able to paddle right in amongst them. We even plucked up the courage to don our snorkelling gear and go over the side to snorkel with them. Diving under the water and seeing about 20 of these beautiful streamlined animals swim up and examine us with their large puppy dog eyes was just awesome – we didn’t spend too long in the water with them however, every time a big grey shape of a seal shot past us we both almost soiled our wetsuits thinking about sharks (who just love to dine in seal colonies).!

The old wooden bridge, Cape Otway, Vic - [Click for a Larger Image]
The old wooden bridge, Cape Otway,

After meandering down the coast we have now made it to Cape Otway and enjoyed some spectacular scenery along the way, we are just waiting for the ocean to calm down a little so we can get in and do some diving and maybe spear a fish or two.



The coastline from Cape Otway west to Warrnambool is a spectacular series of weathered limestone cliffs, outcrops and caves.

The 12 Apostles, Vic - [Click for a Larger Image]
The 12 Apostles, Vic

This is also where the famed 12 Apostles lie, a ‘must see’ for the tourist. So, being tourists, we parked up in the massive car park along side 9 Double Decker tour buses in the process of disgorging their loads, and a multitude of other vehicles who’s passengers, like us, were intent on viewing this spectacle. After walking to the cliff top lookouts and jostling elbows with around 600 others to get a view we decided to come back at sunset in the hopes that things would be a little quieter.

Only around 150 others had the same idea as us but watching the sun going down and lighting up the towering cliffs made it worthwhile.

London Bridge,on the Great Ocean Road Vic - [Click for a Larger Image]
London Bridge,on the Great Ocean
Road Vic

As the sun sank below the horizon we drove a couple of kms and descended Gibsons Steps to watch the landscape fade into darkness and to photograph the impressive limestone towers standing off the shoreline. While the 12 Apostles were worth seeing there were many more spectacular formations along this stretch, most of which had significantly less people vying for a view. We headed inland from Portland to Mt Gambier to explore the caves and sinkholes dotting this region.

After donning dive gear to explore the depths of the fairly murky Little Blue Lake sinkhole we obtained the required permit to allow us to snorkel in Piccaninnie ponds. The water here is crystal clear, welling up from a sinkhole that is over 90 metres deep. We were not permitted to dive here as a Cave Diving certification is required, however snorkelling over the chasm and seeing the walls drop away below, fading from deep blue into black is very impressive.


After a few nights on the coast around Port MacDonnell we are how heading back into Victoria to explore the Grampians.

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