The rock stacks known as the Apostles were exactly as I remembered them but seeing them from the cockpit of a helicopter (thanks to P) was absolutely amazing. It was a slightly bumpy ride with the strong winds but the views of the coastline were incredible.
Back down to earth, we continued along the coast road stopping at several of the viewpoints along the way. Each time presented a slightly different view of the coastline with the effects of wind and water erosion creating ever more interesting colours and shapes. We peered over one edge to see a secluded sandy cove with trails of animal prints criss-crossing it. As we speculated as to the animal responsible, we caught sight of an information board warning people not to venture onto the beach to protect the colony of penguins.
Further on we followed a track down to the beach where we found stalactites and stalagmites but even more fascinating was tracing the sound of some blackbird type birds to a narrow ledge which seemed to be the focus of some dispute. After observing the comings and goings for a while it was clear that they had found the best beauty product ever, ensuring glossy feathers, strong beaks, shiny eyes etc. They were fighting over the best spot to drink from a freshwater spring which was spilling over the rocks!
Another detour along a track ended with a superb view of another arch-one of several along this coastline.
We stopped at Port Campbell for the night before continuing in the same way the next day taking in London Bridge, The Bay of Islands etc until we reached Nelson, close to the border of South Australia. It rained nearly all the way but I still spotted an echidna, several kangaroos and a pair of emus. I think that must be the most wildlife that I have spotted in one journey. I was here for months before I spotted my first (live ) kangaroo.
With strong winds and intermittent showers and a less dramatic coastline, we drove as far as possible with few stops other than at Mount Gambier to see the Blue Lake and craters. The lake is famous for being a blue colour in the summer and changing to grey within the space of a few days for the winter. From there we continued driving along the coast to our present destination near Robe. We have about 3km of sandy beach and hardly anyone on it. Bliss for a few days.
Picking up this campervan was nowhere near as straightforward as the previous one but once we had found our way to the pick-up depot by tram and foot, filled in all the paperwork, checked the van over etc. we were on our way into the traffic jam. Eventually we got onto the freeway and headed west towards the famed Great Ocean Road. Although we have both seen parts of it before, we have learnt that our memories play tricks (yes, I know why) with the delightful result of a second visit being as awe inspiring as the first. Before reaching the 12 Apostles, we took a side road towards a lighthouse. Although we decided not to actually go in, our detour was rewarded with the sight of over 20 koalas along the route. Most were in trees but a couple were surrounded by the tourist paparazzi as they ambled along the side of the road. I've seen koalas in sanctuaries etc. but that was the first time that I had spotted them in the wild-very exciting.