Date writ­ten: 28 August 2022

Date post­ed: 5 Sep­tem­ber 2022

This post was writ­ten by hand in my diary on the road, and entered into the blog when I got home.

I spent yes­ter­day soak­ing and unwind­ing in the Deep Blue hot springs at War­rnam­bool with my part­ner Danielle, and it was a beau­ti­ful day of rest and relax­ation before tack­ling the Great Ocean Road.

Today start­ed off just as nice and calm, as we had a break­fast in the hotel’s restau­rant before check­ing out at 10:00, and rid­ing my bike up to Logan’s Beach to meet Danielle at the whale watch­ing look­out (she drove after drop­ping by the super­mar­ket to grab me a replace­ment lace for my shoes). Here we saw a South­ern Right Whale moth­er and new­born calf frol­ick­ing in the shal­low surf. The word was out and the look­out was crowd­ed but it was a great way to both start the tour, and to say good­bye as Danielle is now back in Ballarat.

Pho­to by Dulitha Sameera @life_in_land_down_under_
Danielle at Logan’s Beach whale watch­ing lookout

Upon leav­ing the look­out I was imme­di­ate­ly greet­ed by a big climb out of War­rnam­bool, and a nasty cross-wind from the north. Although there was­n’t much shoul­der on the road it was good cycling, rid­ing along the lush green rolling hills and dairy pas­ture of the War­rnam­bool dis­trict. I stopped in Allans­ford for a fish under the bridge on the Hop­kins Riv­er, where there was a big local footy match under way as the local team played their semi-finals. The entire town seemed to be at the match.

From Allans­ford I final­ly got the ben­e­fit of some tail­wind as I start­ed at one end of the world-famous Great Ocean Road and head­ed south-east towards Peter­bor­ough. As I was rid­ing along near Allans­ford I saw a cou­ple of bulls fight­ing, and was swooped by two feisty mag­pies on the entry to Nar­rewarre. I also saw a beau­ti­ful dam absolute chock-full of swans and ducks of every colour and vari­ety, as well as a wedge-tailed eagle on the sec­tion near the road that was sit­ting on the reeds, then as I approached it took flight and swooped right in front of me. Suf­fice to say I’m feel­ing like a bike-bound David Attenborough!

The Journey

When I reached the coast at Peter­bor­ough I stopped at most of the tourist look­outs along the cliffs — those with bike access, any­how — and took some absolute­ly breath­tak­ing pho­tos at the Bay of Islands coastal park, where the sea is steadi­ly carv­ing out a brand new (in geo­log­i­cal terms) bay into the cliffs, one tiny grain of rock at a time.

I also read about a mas­sacre of the indige­nous peo­ple here, where the peo­ple were lit­er­al­ly forced into the sea over the cliffs at Mas­sacre Bay. It’s a hor­ren­dous blight on our his­to­ry and I felt more sig­nage and infor­ma­tion should be vis­i­ble, espe­cial­ly for tourists. We should embrace and acknowl­edge what hap­pened, and make amends where we can.

Speak­ing of tourists, I rode past a car­load of for­eign­ers pos­ing for Insta­gram pho­tos in the mid­dle of the fuck­ing road in a 100 kph zone! When I called out a warn­ing that they were like­ly to be killed by some hoon doing 120+ they just smiled and said, we’ll be care­ful! All for the ulti­mate Ins­ta grab! Lunacy…

I stopped at plen­ty of oth­er look­outs — Lon­don Bridge, the Grot­to, The Arch (which was closed) and the Bay of Martyrs.

The ride into Port Camp­bell was nice as the road sloped down and the Surly just flew along at a great pace, wind and salt air in my hair, the smell of wat­tle and coastal soil in my nose, and noth­ing what­so­ev­er in my mind as I just enjoyed the scenery that I rolled through at 15–20 kph. You see, smell and expe­ri­ence so much more when trav­el­ling at this pace. It’s magic!

I pitched for the night at the hol­i­day park in Port Camp­bell, had fish and chips in town and then rode down to the jet­ty for an evening’s fish­ing, hop­ing to get some whit­ing or squid. The local fish­er­man next to me told me some whales were seen in the bay that morn­ing, and he caught a few lit­tle bar­racu­da. As we sat and fished and the sun went down, a sur­fie cou­ple turned up and want­ed to swim, but did­n’t have any togs. So they went in nude! They reck­oned it was freez­ing cold but nice­ly refresh­ing. I took their word for it.

I’ll try to reach Lavers Hill tomor­row so I have an ear­ly start, need­ing to beat the incom­ing storm whilst still keep­ing some time up my sleeve to stop by the Apos­tles, Loch Ard Gorge, etc.

The stats

Distance ridden
0h 0m 0s
Riding time
Elevation (climbed)
Average speed
Max speed
Down­load file: Great_Ocean_Road_Winter_Tour_Day_1.gpx

On my trav­els today, I passed through such beau­ti­ful coun­try and would like to acknowl­edge the tra­di­tion­al cus­to­di­ans of that land, the Girai­wu­rung peo­ple, and pay my respects to their Elders, past and present.

Category: Cycling, Fishing
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