Australia Travelogue: 2D1N Great Ocean Road, Phillip Island & Mornington Peninsula Tour


Travel Date: 18-19 April 2016

Touring around Great Ocean Road and Phillip Island is a must when you travel to Melbourne!

We booked a 2D1N tour from Bunyip Tours which included day 1 dinner and accommodation, and day 2 breakfast. The tour bus is a 21-seater (I think), with around 20 tourists. The whole trip is led by 1 driver cum guide who is a knowledgable and charismatic guy (he is able to explain how Aurora is formed!).

Now let's start with the tour!

DAY 1

Twelve Apostles
Although the 9th apostles collapsed in 2005, leaving only 8 apostles left, these collection of limestone stacks off the shore of the Port Campbell National Park, remains as a signature in Great Ocean Road.


Not only does the apostles leave you in awe about how awesome nature is, the sounds of the periodic waves also set your mind at ease.



All the couple photos in this trip were captured by ourselves using a tripod and my Sony RX-100 Mark II. Instead of troubling other tourists and getting pissed at how badly the photos are composed, I rather depend on ourselves, just like how I did during my solo trip to Korea. So I was seen running to and fro the camera to make sure we are in frame. *Embarrassing*


Loch Ard Gorge
The Loch Ard Gorge is also part of Port Campbell National ParkVictoriaAustralia, about  3 minutes drive west of The Twelve Apostles


The history is sad, but the view is awesome.


As what Tiffany said, this photo depicts how our relationship is like. Daniel might be in a constant confusion of "What are you doing?" when I'm being wacky!



Pardon the funny poses or actions we did in all our couple photos cos we want to make it as funny and memorable as possible. If you are in the same generation as us, this photo might remind you of the 2000' most popular Taiwanese drama, Meteor Garden.


Errrr... We also "attempted" the jumping shots, but...
I love how it turned out anyways!




Otway Rainforest

Although we are not forest lovers, the stroll along Otway Rainforest was quite interesting with our guide's introduction (most of the time our minds wandered off).




Wild Koalas & Native Birds Sightings
This is one of the most unexpectedly amazing part of the trip! We were supposed to stop for a toilet break and some wildlife sightings which we were quite doubtful about. But when we saw this wild Koala enjoying his afternoon nap on the tree, we melted. He's so furry and adorable!


We saw many tourists feeding the wild birds with some bought seeds, and I was like "No, I'm not gonna do it! It's not that fun." But when a tourist poured his leftover seeds to our palms, I changed my mind as we instantly became some pop stars under the trees which fan-birds flocked to us non-stop!


When the bird was on my head... "Please don't shit!"


Their sharp nails hurt my tender skin so much! By the end of the "interaction", my arms were filled with so many tiny holes, and my skin turned red and sting-y.


After a whole day of activities, we finally get to check in to our accommodation for the night!

Beacon Resort Holiday Park
We love how cute our accommodation looks! It's like a small little home that we own for the night. It has everything a young couple living in the city needs! Haha.

The "house" is good for 4 pax, with 1 room of double bed (heated), and 1 room with 2 single beds. It consisted of a functional kitchen, toilet and shower room with heater facilities, and 2 televisions!



The resort also welcome visitors who drive in their caravans to spend the night!


DAY 2

We checked out early next morning around 8am for breakfast at a cafe 10mins drive away. But the silly me left my phone in the room! So Mr Charismatic Guide cut short his breakfast time into half, and drove Daniel back to the resort to collect my phone. So sweet and responsible! 

While they were on their way to and fro from the resort, I took a stroll along the quiet morning street and appreciate the town's architectures. I love the red bricks and pointed roof so much!




After breakfast, we proceed to catch the morning ferry from Queenscliff to Sorrento on the Morning Peninsula.
It was so cool as we get to drive in the mini bus to board the ferry, and alighted the bus to enjoy the scenery on the top deck!



The elders couldn't resist asking our guide for a photo memory together, even when he's having a moment.



I think the journey took around 45 mins. Along the way, we kept admiring these beautiful houses with envy. These must be some holiday resorts belonging to rich families working in the cities.


When we finally reach Sorrento, we were given some time to enjoy a national park. It was a bare park with some trees and old architectures, and we figured that it was a great place for our couple "photoshoot". *Winks*










As we were driving towards our next destination, our guide discovered a magnificent rock formation via a road sign. So we took some time out from the trip to visit the...

London Bridge

'Quarantine Boundary, Portsea' by John Perceval in 1957
The Sorrento- Portsea Artist's Trail is actually a project undertaken by Arts Nepean which aims to bring artists' works to life by putting the images of their painting close to the scene viewed by the artist! The above is one of the fourteen installed.


Bathing Boxes at Portsea

We visited the famous Bathing Boxes at Portsea, which saved us the hassle of travelling to the ones in Brighton. It's probably less colourful and creative than those at Brighton, but we love the view and serenity the same!





Phillip Island Chocolate Factory
If you are like me, skeptical about tour group bringing you to weird museums and retail shops forcing you to buy things you don't need, fret not! The trip to Pannys Amazing World Of Chocolate is actually quite... Amazing!


It's a real chocolate factory that has life-sized sculptures and displays which shares chocolaty information, and has game machines which earn you free chocolate balls!



Mr. Penguin will also disperse your favourite chocolate- White, Dark or Milk, as long as you ask for it! We paid nothing extra and got our chocolate cravings satisfied in the tour!


We also visited the Moonlit Sanctuary which was shared in a separate entry. You could see lovable animals that has face to face interactions with us! It was the closest encounter we have with animals (excl. domestic pets)!

Penguin Parade on Phillip Island

We top up our tickets to Penguin Parade to Penguin Plus (AUD 24), where we could access to exclusive viewing area on the private boardwalk. The penguins were literally walking in front of you! But photography is not allowed as it will frighten/alert the penguins, forcing them to move out of the habitat. So during the parade, do not shout or have any big movements!

To give you a better understanding on why we strongly recommend paying for the Penguin Plus, please refer to the image below I drew. Photos credited to http://www.visitphillipisland.com.

The area circled in Pink is the normal viewing area, while the area circled in Blue is the 
exclusive viewing area. The Cyan arrows indicate the moving directions of Penguins.


The top (exposed) deck is where you will be seated (if you are early enough to reserve the seats), and that is how near you are to the cute penguins! Of course you are free to roam around the private boardwalk too. The park's employees are really strict with the no photography rule, so please be good!


Judging from my personal experience, the tour package is really value for money, taking into account of the huge accommodation, professional tour guide, well-planned itinerary, and of course the natural scenery that great Gaia has blessed the island with!

The only thing we should have prepared for the trip was more packed food, as we can only munch on pies/muffins on the ride as there were not much time for you to dine at a cafe or restaurant. But having the chance to admire those beautiful nature scenery is definitely worth the while. 

Do check out the next post on Moonlit Sanctuary where we saw wombats, koalas, kangaroos, dingos and more!
Check out our visit to Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park here.

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