Australia – the Sydney Opera House, the Harbor Bridge, the Great Barrier Reef, the Outback and Uluru – all amazing and thrilling places to visit in Australia. Each comes with exorbitant prices. Australia is an enormous country and not cheap. You need a hefty budget and enough time to travel to fully experience the country.
On my thrifty budget, from Melbourne, a three-day Great Ocean Road tour was sufficient. I have never been camping; and excited that this tour had a cheaper package, an opti0n for camping instead of a room. I chose camping. On my first day, we had a heavy downpour, and my tent collapsed in the rain. I had to grab my backpack and looked for cover. The second day was much better. If camping is not for you, there are many free things to do in Melbourne.
We camped on a kangaroo farm. At first, I was a bit nervous because I did not know if the kangaroos would wonder around my tent while I was sleeping. Still, camping on the kangaroo farm was a wonderful experience, seeing all the kangaroos, which was a first for me; and at night, the clear sky filled with stars and the camping bonfire made the tour so memorable.
On the tour, I had the opportunity to visit many wonderful sites. We start with a drive on the Great Ocean Road, a 151 mile stretch of road along the southeastern coast of Australia, and one of the world’s most scenic drives. Built to honor the soldiers who died in the Great War. While on the Great Ocean Road, we pass through a rainforest, beaches and cliffs made from limestone and sandstone.
Australia Great Ocean Road
We visit the Twelve Apostles – although only nine ever standing – formed by a variety of limestone stack and a major tourist attraction. The area is protected by the Twelve Apostles Marine National Park. Sadly, due to erosions from the ocean waves, the Twelve Apostles are slowly deteriorating and collapsing and in danger of disappearing in the near future.
On the road traveled, at the Port Campbell National Park, the stunning Loch Ard Gorge, two unconnected rock pillars, had stairs and pathways to allow visitors access to the beach and eastern side of the gorge.
A small museum provides the history of Tom Pearce and Eva Carmichael. According to memorials at the site, Pearce was washed ashore, and rescued Carmichael from the water after hearing her cries for help.
Then, we walk around the Bay of Martyrs, a 32 km long protecting area, with plants, animals and a stretch of coastal reserve, along the Great Ocean Road.
Next, we visit the Grampians National Park, a nature reserve, also known for its sandstone mountains, wildflowers, wildlife, including echidnas and wallabies. While in the Grampians, we come across the magnificent and enormous Mackenzie Falls, plunging about 115ft of water down a rock formations year around. We cool off in Bells Beach, popular for its world-class surfing.
If you are looking for something fun to do in Melbourne, the Great Adventure tour is a great choice. You see some of Victoria’s impressive scenery (rugged cliffs and sandy, blue water beaches) for a fairly reasonable price. Also, meet other people on the tour and learn something – the history of the area.
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