Day 22 – 24. We made good time and, despite a sleep in till 7:30, managed to pack up and be on the road by 9:15am (sad to say a record for us!). We planned to take the whole day exploring the mighty rock formations off this section of coast on the way to Warrnambool. Kris read a bit more of the local history to the boys before our first of many stops, Gibson’s steps and our first apostle – steps originally carved out of the sheer 75m cliff to the beach below.
Next stop was the visitor centre and most iconic view west of these incredible limestone stacks. Given the recent collapses, I was almost wanting one to fall over whilst videoing (selfish I know). Despite the ‘Muggles’, Sam found his first Geocache before we moved on to The Arch, Loch Ard gorge, the remnants of London Bridge and The Grotto.
Loch Ard Gorge was an enchanting little beach, surrounded by cliffs, with collapsed sea caves and gentle lapping water. We spent an hour playing in the sand and jumping off rocks. I braved the Southern Ocean up to my knees. A local later told me it hovers around 13 C year round. Delightful.
We arrived at windy Warrnambool and found our home for the next 4 nights at the Holiday Village Caravan Park. Although a small park, it was exceptionally clean and green, boasted free Wi-Fi (good enough to watch YouTube, much to Sam’s delight) and was just opposite Woollies and Aldi (we fear our last for many long months). Unfortunately we didn’t count on the delivery truck noise that would generate and our sleeps here weren’t great.
The main attraction here is the Flagstaff Hill Maritime village which was pretty well done. Both boys enjoyed wandering around during the day and then coming back to watch the “laser spectacular show” at night. Sam was particularly taken with the Peacock treasure rescued from the Loch Ard which they had on display (the story goes that it was bought for $4,500 in 1975 and thrown on a mattress to get it home – it’s apparently worth $4M today).
The boys discovered the local BMX track on the foreshore and thoroughly enjoyed racing around it, as well as mixing with the local champion racers. Sam also ticked off cache no. 2 of what he hopes to be many.