The Great Ocean Road Trip

So we decided to take an epic road trip across the southern coast of Australia.  It turned out to be an incredible experience – I need to road trip more often! I’m presenting this post as a photo blog. You will see that I have lots of pictures, and plenty more in storage. My friend Jon (my colleague from EAPSI) and Jasper (our friendly Canadian buddy) flew to Adelaide in South Australia to meet up with our EAPSI friends Emily and Greg (unfortunately Greg couldn’t make it on the trip).  We rented a Skoda Octavia and were on our way. From here on out I’ll let the pictures tell most of the story:

Adelaide's mainstreet - not quite as bustling as Melbourne

One of the famous wineries in the beautiful Barossa Valley – where Australia’s best wine is made

A sunset over the vineyards that fill the Barossa Valley. And let me tell you, they make good wine

Had to throw these black swans in for all of my ONU friends...they are everywhere!

Our first sight of the Indian Ocean at Adlinga Beach

Fun times by the beach in South Australia (Emily, Jon, and Jasper - looking a bit dazed!)

We took a walk over a long bridge to Granite Island off the coast of Victor Harbor. Dinosaur eggs were everywhere!

We were reminded quite often that, yes, they do drive on the left side in Australia

We were on a road so remote we had to take a ferry across the river. The stars were out-of-this-world that night…

The Blue Lake located in a volcanic crater at Mt. Gambier. The lake is steel grey in winter and then changes to a spectacular cobalt blue in the summer.

Now that's an inviting beach, if only it wasn't winter - at Cape Bridgewater back in Victoria

We had to check out the petrified blowholes

Classic surfer van - about 12 people got out of this one

We saw southern right whales frolicking about just meters from the coastline (can you find the fin?)

Whale watching in Warrnambool

We made it to the Twelve Apostles by sunset

Twelve Apostles - a truly awesome sight to behold

We got up at the break of dawn the following morning to see all of the stunning natural features

London Arch was a particularly serene beach. But not back in 1990 when the arch closest to the shoreline collapsed leaving two tourists stranded on the outer part!

There used to be an arch between the two pillars here at the Island Archway, but it unfortunately collapsed in 2009 – just missed it!

The Loch Ard Gorge is named after the shipwreck that occurred here in 1878 at the end of a three-month journey from England to Melbourne. Of the fifty-four passengers and crew, only two survived. The combination of the “gorgeous” scenery and the dark history made me contemplate…

The grotto is a sinkhole geological formation

We walked down the beach on the other side of the Twelve Apostles. Not your typical beach scenery!

The Razorback is aptly named

In the Great Otway National Park we saw lots of koalas hanging out and munching on eucalyptus leaves. They sleep 22 hours a day on average, now that’s the life!

I've always been a sucker for waterfalls, especially ones in the rainforest (@Erskine Falls)

The tranquil beach at Apollo Bay

The requisite kangaroo crossing picture. I never did see a kangaroo in Australia even though they are supposedly everywhere! On the plus side that means we didn’t hit one with the car

Bells Beach is a renowned surfing destination and home to the world's longest-running surfing competition

We ended up back on the cosmopolitan streets of Melbourne

And these are just a few of the wonders Down Under…

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About Chris Shearer

Chris Shearer grew up in the great state of Ohio in America, and is currently pursuing his PhD in Civil Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology. With support from the National Science Foundation East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes (NSF EAPSI) program, he is currently researching fly ash geopolymers at The University of Melbourne under Dr. John Provis during the "summer" of 2011. In his spare time he is an avid movie-watcher, reader, traveler, musician, and supporter of Yellow Jackets sports.
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