Archive for June, 2009

Crashing Waves

Just to the side of squeaky beach there are some rocks that really take the brunt of the incoming waves.  It was fun to sit and watch them roll in and crash against the rocks.

Click to watch some sweet wave action!!

Tractor Pull

A truck drove down onto Norman Beach in Wilsons Promontory to get a boat out of the ocean.  When it was pulling away it sunk into the sand.  The local forest service had to get a tractor out there to pull it free.  I grabbed a video of the process.

[QUICKTIME 640 500]

Squeaky Beach

There is a beach in Wilsons Promontory that is called “Squeaky Beach”.  When you walk on the dry sand it makes a squeaking sound.  Its pretty strange.  It helps if you kind of shuffle your feet a bit in your walk.  Here is a video of what it sounds like…

[QUICKTIME 640 500]

Wilsons Promontory

After leaving halls gap we spent a couple nights in Melbourne so we could check out the Queen Victoria Market.  Its a huge open market where you can get everything from fresh food and produce to kangaroo hides and small electronics.  We had some tasty hot out of the oil bath jelly filled sugar covered doughnuts and enjoyed walking around.

From Melbourne we headed south east to Phillip island where we saw the koalas and penguins and on to Wilsons Promontory.  This is a national park full of animals and amazing beaches.  Here are some photos of our time there….






















Blue Ribbons for Sleeping = Koalas

Koala Bears sleep on average 20 hours a day.  They spend the other 4 eating euqualyptus leaves and doing fancy tricks for the plethra of spectators gazing up at them from below.

Here is a video of a koala showing off his sweet skills and taking care of a little itch while hes at it….

Click to Watch Koala Magic

The Grampians

After our wine tasting adventures in Adelaide, we headed inland in search of a few rugged hikes in the Grampians Natinoal Park.  We stayed at a caravan park in Halls Gap which is located in the middle of the park.  The cool thinkg about this camping area is the abundance of kangaroos lounging right next to your camper.  One was even brave enough to atempt to take his share of our neighbors’ food.  He was jumping up into them a bit and they were forced to defend themselves with a broom.  We watched all this from the comfort of our sweet ride “The Maui Mobile”.

The next morning we got up and headed on a couple hour hike up to the Pinnacle which is a rock outcrop protruding from the top of a mountain.  Its a beautiful hike up through a narrow rocky canyon.

Here are some pictures from our time in the Grampians….























Footy and Wine

Those two words aren’t really synomonous, but thats what we’ve done in the last 48 hours.  On Sunday we took a bus down to the Adelaide city center and walked around a little killing time before hopping a free bus to the footy game.  Footy is short for Australian Football.  Its kind of a mix between rugby, football, and a game you might see elementary kids playing during recess.  Its a full contact sport but the players don’t wear any pads.  There aer some vicious hits out there on the field.  They use a ball much like an american football, but a little more round on the ends.  The game is started with a toss up at center field.  When a team has the ball, they can run with it only a few paces before either dribbling the ball once on the ground, passing it to another teammate by bumping the ball in an underhand volleyball style serve fashion, or kicking the ball in hopes that a teammate will be able to recieve it.  If they do kick the ball and someone else catches it without it being tipped by another player or touching the ground then the person catching it gets a free chance to kick the ball on without being tackled.  If the ball touches the ground its anyones ball.  Also if they bump the ball to a teammate then they are fair game as well.  The goal is to get the ball to the end of the field where there are 4 upright posts.  If you get the ball between the outer posts you get 1 point.  If you can kick it through the middle posts its worth 6 points.  There are many more rules, but that is the basis for the game.  The reson I say its like a school yard game is that the game never really stops.  Substitutions are done durring game play, people are running out giving water to the players during the match and if the ball goes out of bounce, one of the refs turnes his back to the field and throws the ball up over his head back into play.  Its really a fun game to watch.  The fans are really into it and its a great atmosphere.

[QUICKTIME 640 500]

Yesterday we drove north out of Adelaide to Barossa Valley which is chock full of vineyards.  It took us a while, but we finally found Jacob’s Creek winery appropriately located on Jacob’s Creek.  We did a little wine tasting there and picked up a couple of bottles not sold in the states.  Then headed on to “Two Hands Wine” where we tasted and talked with the lady helping us with the samples.  She was very nice.  I liked there “Gnarly Dude” wine.  Its kinda hard to say if I’ll like it the next time I have it.  When you are trying a bunch of different wines I find that my tast buds get a little over loaded and I at times end up liking someting that when I buy a bottle a while later I’m not a big fan of it.  We went to one more winery and then headed back to Adelaide.


Portland to Adelaide

Portland is a nice little town perched in a very protected bay.  We found a campsite got checked in and then headed back out on the road to a nearby lighthouse.


There was a little cafe at the light house we planned on having a cup of tea at, but we ended up having lunch instead.  After eating we found a hiking trail to “the enchanted forest”.  This trail headed right off the road towards the ocean which wasn’t too far away.




The trail dropped of quickly and we soon found ourselves at the “enchanted forest”  This was part of “The Great Southwest Walk” which is a 250 K hiking trail along the coast.  Looks like it be a lot of fun to do if you had the time.  Out trek took us down even closer to the ocean to a place called “Flat Rock”  I was expecting this to be on the hillside, but it was actually in the water.  Very cool area.


After our hike we went back to the campsite and did a little walking around town.  Erin is continuing her quest for a sweatshirt.  Still no luck.

While walking through town we found a sign to a fur seal viewing area.  So we hopped back in the car and drove about 15k around another bay to another small community.  From there we hopped on a trail along the coast line leading out to the seal viewing area.




It was a beautiful hike.  Along the trail we encountered a “herd” ? of kangaroos.



They checked us out and headed off to the side of the trail a ways.  One of them hopped over a nearby fence with ease.  Its amazing how high they can jump.

[QUICKTIME 640 500]

We continued down the trail until we reached the viewing area about 50 meters above the rocks below.  There were a few lazy seals laying down there.  Not as close as I’ve been in the bering strait but still pretty cool.

img_0290The sun was beginning to fade as we headed back to our car.  When we got there we continued a few Kilometers down the road to a “blowhole” and “petrified forest”  I put both in quotes because I don’t think either were really what they claimed.  There was a sign stating that the petrified forest was not really an old forest, but rock formations instead.



The blowhole just appeared to be waves crashing on the rocks.  You can be the judge.  Here is a little video of the spot.

[QUICKTIME 640 500]

After our night in Portland we started the long drive to Adelaide.  A couple hours into the journey we stopped at Mt. Gambier and checked out a cave system.  It was pretty cool.  I guess there is some pretty decent cave diving in there as well if your certified to dive in level 3 caves.




After our little pit stop we drove the rest of the way to Adelaide.  The day of driving took us about 6 hours.  We plan on go to a footy game today and then check out some wineries tomorrow.  Its been a great trip so far.

[QUICKTIME 640 500]

12 Apostles and a Rain Forest Walk

Yesterday we got up and continued our way down the great ocean road.  As we left Apollo Bay the road took us further inland with only occasional glimpses of the ocean.  We did stopped along the way and took a quick rain forest walk which was very cool.  The trees were ginormous and everything was very green.




After our little hike we headed on down the road.  We came across a sign at a cross road telling us of a winery only 27 K away.  So we took the side road hoping to do a little wine tasting.  Well after a little drive through farm country we found the winery to be closed.  Since this is their fall many wineries seem to be closed.  We really aren’t in wine country yet, so we still hope to get the chance for some tasting later in our trip.

We headed back to the Great Ocean Road and ended up at the 12 apostles.  These are some amazing rock formations out in the ocean.  Lare towers of limestone that haven’t eroded away yet.



A little ways down the road from here we came across “London Bridge” which definitely has fallen down.  Rumor has it there used to be a viewing station out on it.  A group of tourists had just walked out there when the land bridge collapsed behind them.  They needed to be rescued off by helicopter.  Needless to say there is no longer a look out station on there.


After our coast line viewing we hopped back on the Great Ocean Road and ended up here in Warnambool which is also on the coast.  We walked down by the water at sunset.  It is really amazing to see how clear the water is.

img_0235We are now heading back on the road.  I think we’ll be heading to Portland from here.  Here’s hoping we can find a decent internet connection when we arrive there.  😉

Great Ocean Road

We are finally on the great ocean road.  We had the epic journy of long flights and a few layovers.  We managed to sleep enough on the planes to provide enough energy to pick up our camper and drive for a little over an hour to Geelong where we stayed our first night.  We decided to take an hour long nap at 3:30, but didn’t wake up until 9:30 that night.  By then it was dark and we just ended up sleeping till the next day.  Probably what needed to be done after so many hours of traveling.


We are now on the great ocean road and are enjoying the ocean out our window much of the time.


We seem to be traveling about 30 – 50 kilometers a day on average.  Our goal today I think is about 25 or so.

We are having a great time.  The internet is pretty spendy, so we haven’t been able to post as much as we’d like.  I hope to have more posts for you soon.