What feelings motivate your mind as you approach the last hours of work? After weeks that are often exhausting, what are you waiting for with the greatest interest? Find a form of freedom by finally taking the road! Ride without looking at your watch, sunglasses on your nose, hair blowing in the wind, without time constraints, with the excitement of discovering new horizons. The time of the road trip is finally at our door. The last equipment purchases, the stop at the pumps and we are finally ready! On this Friday, January 5, 2018, at 18:30, we leave Adelaide forever to our first stop, Second Valley! Discover our Road Trip from Adelaide to Melbourne!
Second Valley, its cliffs and coves
After several kilometres on the highway, the road we take through the hilly meadows of the seafront, starting from Normanville. Settled on their hind legs, we observe the kangaroos grazing peacefully on the dry grass under the last rays of light, just a few meters from the road. Excited at the idea of watching the sunset of this beautiful day. This quest leads us to the Rapid Bay Camping Area, a splendid spot located in Rapid Bay, feet in the water and gaze mesmerised by the beauty of the spectacle.
The next day, we take off early to explore the surroundings. We leave for Second Valley, a small village just a few kilometres from the campsite. Accompanied by an appetising smell that emanated from the barbecues. We climb the protruding and hot rocks by the beach with the hope of jumping into the water as quickly as possible. Wish granted after less than a 10 min walk. The coves were waiting for us. What more can we hope for than this magnificent playground with turquoise waters? Whether it’s watching marine wildlife or jumping off the cliffs, your child’s instinct will resurface quickly!
Burned by the rays of the sun, we take the road at the end of the afternoon to a free camp. Located next to Lake Alexandrina, in Langhore Creek, close to the Grampians National Park. We pass by the charming seaside towns of Port Harbor and Port Elliot, quite lively during summer. They are also recommended for watching whale migration in the winter months!
The Grampians, the land of waterfalls and hiking
Of course this place was a must-do on our road trip from Adelaide to Melbourne. After a pleasant night at the edge of the vineyards, we begin a journey of several hours on the long straight stretches of South Australia. Until we arrive north of the National Park! With nearly 170,000 hectares of natural areas, this region will amaze you with its landscapes as well as its many waterfalls and hiking trails. To whet our appetite, we decide, from the first evening, to climb the Hollow Mountain. Which is a 4 km round trip, with a difficulty of ¾. In addition to the splendid view of this spot, especially on the Zero and Stapylton mountains, we also discovered the Gulgun Manja Shelter, meaning “the hands of young people”. This cave was one of the places of expression of the Jardwadjali aboriginal community. The paintings represent a unique local art style. Today, we find mainly the hand prints of these young children, probably symbolising the future, the sustainability of the community.
Tired of this long day, we leave in the direction of Plantation Campground, charming and great Free Camp in the middle of the forest with views of the mountains! We will spend 2 pleasant nights there. The atmosphere was warm, especially the evening when we had a drink by the fire with travellers from around the world. Another undeniable asset of this site: its geographical situation! You are indeed located less than 10 kilometres from Halls Gap!
Real crossroads of the park, this small town is in the immediate proximity of the main sights of the region. The waterfalls MacKenzie, FishFalls and Broken Falls are obviously must-sees (easily accessible to the parking lot). The hike to the Pinnacles (about 4 km A/R) will offer you a great panorama of the valley and lake Bellfield, with beautiful steps like the one of the Grand Canyon. Finally, the Reed Lookout and the Balconies (about 1 km walk) are not to be underestimated for the beauty of the view.
Our last morning was concluded by the ascent of mount William. The highest point in the park at 1 167 m altitude. Despite a panorama to 360 degrees, this hike is not the one we preferred.
After a stay sporty and revitalizing the heart of the mountains, we headed to another popular spot for tourists and locals alike : The Great Ocean Road !
The Great Ocean Road, much more than a road
Where to start to describe the famous Great Ocean Road, spanning almost 250 kilometres, from Warrnambool to Torquay. We spent three days and two nights there. Between its spectacular but fragile limestone cliffs, sculpted over the millennia by wind and ocean waters. The Bay of Martyrs, Bay of Islands, Razorback, The Grotto, London bridge, Twelve Apostles are there. All easily accessible from car parks, its extraordinary rivers and tropical forests, where you can observe multi-hundred-year-old trees in a preserved environment. Beaches with powerful waves, so much appreciated by surfers, this piece of land near Melbourne does not lack argument. This is something you can not miss on a road trip from Adelaide to Melbourne.
The region harbours unusual sites. The Crossing Campground, located in the Great Otway National Park, is a perfect example. After 4 kilometres on an unpaved and sometimes perilous path, you disembark in paradise. With unique bird songs, butterflies and dragonflies in bewitching colours, luxuriant vegetation and river worthy of those of the Amazon. A change of scenery guaranteed !!
As icing on the cake, the Triplet Falls (a few kilometres as the crow flies from the free camp), sumptuous waterfalls in the heart of the forest, are to be discovered by being guided by the markup (less than 15 min walk).
We finish with a visit to Torquay, the true Australian capital of surfing, and its museum which traces the history of the discipline and its great craftsmen.
Melbourne and the Australian Open
The final stretch of the journey, after 1,500 kilometres in 8 days. We packed our bags for a week next to Queenscliff, on the banks of Swan Bay at “Basil Farm”. A few hours of work per day in exchange for board and lodging. In a place much appreciated by the locals for its wine, healthy food and its unique setting! Delighted with our meetings and the experience gained on this farm, it was time for us to join one of the most popular events in the tennis world and the city of Melbourne: the Australian Open! In exchange for $85, we had the privilege of attending the various games in the third round and enjoyed the entertainment around the courts (concerts, shops, giant screens, etc.).
This sporting celebration marked the end of a memorable road trip from Adelaide to Melbourne. Many kilometres travelled, a childhood dream realised, others patiently waiting to be fulfilled… The journey takes its course, the story is never the same. A few more stars in our eyes weeks after weeks, meetings after meetings. The magic of adventure is powerful, and the road a powerful stimulant of imagination. Our planet is fantastic, it will always surprise us…
Article written by Clement Mouty