And so from Melbourne to the Great Ocean Road. This will be a pictures more than words entry as hopefully our photos will give a good feel for the experience.
The Great Ocean Road was built after the second world war by returning soldiers, and runs 250km along Victoria's coastline of crashing surf beaches, craggy rocks and golden beaches with dense rainforest and bush on the other side.
Our first overnight stop was Lorne which is a pretty beach town, even if our campsite was a little less than scenic - round the back of a supermarket!
Next day was lunch at Apollo Bay and a wonderful afternoon spent spotting koalas in the wild. We couldn't believe how many there were - we thought we might be lucky enough to glimpse one or two from afar, but we saw at least 30 variously propped up by forks in branches or lolling precariously from trees overhanging the road, all looking decidedly snoozy.
Then it was on a little further to catch the Twelve Apostles, which have now dwindled to six... They're certainly quite striking, but (for you Bournemouth peeps) did remind me a bit of Old Harry rocks in Dorset.
We spent the night at a thankfully much nicer campsite in Port Campbell, another attractive spot with a beach and stunning cliff top views.
Next day, we made the most of a few more scenic stop-offs (and took advantage of a rather fetching background to take the photos of Ruby to include in our 'for sale' ad) before leaving the Great Ocean Road and crossing into South Australia. We pitched up in a charming place called Robe, at a really lovely campsite (and I don't say that often) right by a creek. Nice fish and chips, and a night at the pub split between England losing the one-day cricket and Murray failing to quite go the distance in the Melbourne tennis (again).
After all that fresh air, it was back to the big smoke (sort of) of Adelaide - the state capital. Aside from the mini heatwave that struck while we were there (a balmy 42 degrees C) it seems a perfectly pleasant place but, for us, didn't have the character of Sydney or Melbourne. Maybe everyone was just inside trying to keep cool?
In Adelaide we met up with Tom and Claudia, friends from London - Tom's training to be a doctor and they have a 3-month swap scheme for their brightest sparks. Hmm, Australia in summer or London in bitter winter?...
We also did probably our last wine-tasting day of our trip (sigh) in Adelaide Hills which was a delightful way to escape the heat as it's a little cooler than the city and picked up a few special bottles for our last few weeks in Australia.
After Adelaide we began our long, long journey into the outback to Uluru (formerly Ayers Rock) where we are at the mo - but we'll save that for another entry in a while.
Hope all good back home.
lots of love
Helene and Roland xxx