Posted by: Moon | May 21, 2010

No. 12 The Great Ocean Rd – Australia

This place is very special to me. Following on from my last entry into my top 15 places in the world, after my travels to Nepal, I had the travel bug. I was working at a very nice easy job for The Wellcome Foundation in Berkhamsted, really going nowhere, but taking life so easy. On one of my treks, in Morocco, I met an Aussie girl, Leanne. She was on the normal Aussie trip around parts of the world, and she suggested I should go and have a look at Oz. I looked into this, and found, at the time, that you had to be 24 or younger to get a years working visa. I was 22 at the time…. best get my skates on. So, working 2 jobs, I saved and saved… and found my way to Adelaide, 1996.

Why Adelaide ?.. most people head to Sydney, Melbourne or North Queensland. Well, I had developed a friendship with a cricketer who had visited us in Northchurch, and took him up on his offer to play cricket with him in Oz. Perfect.

I bought a 1971 VW Combi Van and spent 5 months driving ‘Tom’ around Oz. It was a great time, first time on my own, a growing experience everyone should do. Of all the places I saw, and trust me, Australia has soooo many great places.. I chose here, The Great Ocean Road. I love the crashing seas, the atmosphere, the energy of the Ocean amazes me. I would sleep at night and listen to the constant noise of the waves. I love the deserted, wild beaches. I would walk for hours, not meeting a soul. To wander amongst the huge rocks, and out crops was wonderful. I love the solitude, the space and then the occasional meeting of fellow travellers. I am not one of  those travelers that likes to meet up and spend much time with other travellers, but to pass greetings, a quick story, then back off on my own. It was perfect.

If you go to Oz, you will all visit ‘The’ bridge, ‘The’ Opera House, ‘The’ Reef, Uluru etc .. and so you should… and even though it will be out of your way… go hire a car, and spend 4-5 days meandering along this stunning, world class piece of scenery. It will always be in my mind as one of the greatest times of  life. I started to grow up here, took my life into my own hands… not a good move I guess, after all, I have never really settled ever since.. but the memories, noise, taste of salt air that Australia gave me… well… go see it.. it will change you ! I did manage to return to the Great Ocean Road in 2003. I traveled back along the drive from Adelaide to Melbourne. It was just a wonderful, just as spectacular… but.. somehow, in a decent car, spending nights in hotels, being with people… It was quite the same as those nervous, new times of being on your own… just me and old ‘Tom’ …

Why ??

Well, leaving Adelaide, all on my own, I was a little nervous, would old Tom get me around, or would I be stranded 100 miles out of Adelaide.. ? I needn’t of worried, ‘Tom’ got me from Adelaide, to Cairns and back across the center. What a drive and what a wonderful trip. I reached Mt Gambier, only a couple of easy days drive out of the West of Adelaide and then discover the incredible scenes. The crashing waves on the rocks, the sheer cliffs, the stories of old shipwrecks lining this particular piece of coast. It was magical. I grew a lot in my year in Oz. Made some incredible friends, and experienced a life close to perfect. The Australian way of life is much to be admired… I love the place, but this is my favourite.I thought I would give you the final three… not taken in South Australia, but further north, just outside of Cairns …… Well, life is too short not to enjoy yourself !

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Responses

  1. BLOODY HELL!

    I could never do that bunjee jumping malarkey – you’re dead brave.

    Beautiful photos and touching narrative as ever Moon. You’re such a great story teller xx

    • Funny, it just doesn’t scare me, neither do roller coasters etc.. not a buzz at all really … and, when I jumped here, they have had over 1 million people, and 1 injury.. a woman broker her leg… she changed her mind at the top, and walking back down she fell and broke it !!

      you know, know has ever called me a good story teller ….

  2. You mad wranger! I love the 12 Apostle leg of the Great Ocean Road. Only went there for the first time a couple of years ago and it’s even more spectacular than it’s photos. Just awesome. Mind you, your pics definitely do it justice.

    • It’s a stunning part of the world. To be fair, you, like the Americans, and spoilt for wonderful scenery aren’t you …

  3. Are they all your photos? I had a crap camera when I was there, so I don’t have any good photos :o(

    • No.. they are not all mine, like you, too long ago

  4. wonderful wonderful photos! the last 3– Holy Moley, you’ve got guts!!

  5. What a fantastic trip. Funny I did exactly the same thing, a voyage into myself to find myself, when I finished varsity, aged 20. I travelled all around Oz and Asia for over a year on my own. It was the most grounding experience of my life I think.

    • I think everyone should do it, gives you independence, experience and a chance to see what other amazing countries and cultures there are, and take back home all the good parts of those cultures.

  6. Looks very familiar. Even the bungy!


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