Welcome to Australia! I arrived early on Wednesday, Nov. 27 and was met at Melbourne airport by my friend, David McKern. David and I had been roommates on my Iceland trip a year ago. Melbourne is a city of more than 4.5 million and growing. We spent most of the first day getting organized and then headed to the coast southeast of the city to shoot our first sunset.
The following two days were spent exploring places along that coast on day trips.
It was on one of these day trips that I thought I spotted my first kangaroo.
It was a wallaby, not a kangaroo. Wallabies are smaller but look very similar to a kangaroo.
At one roadside park, we saw cockatoos.
A kookaburra later at a botanical garden..
Saturday, we left Melbourne for the coast southwest of the city. This is an area that features The Great Ocean Road.
One of the best known sites along this highway is the 12 Apostles.
A group of sandstone rock formations just offshore. There used to be 12. Now there’s just 7 remaining.
But there are lots of others to explore along with awesome beaches. We experienced winds gusting to about 50 knots along the coast with normal winds averaging 25-30 knots.
David has photographed this area extensively and took me to all the popular tourist spots as well as a number of his secret locations. We frequently went back to a location for sunrise or sunset. There are tracks the tourists use and we used them too.
and there are trails that David led me to and not many tourists can find.
One location, known as the Bakers Oven, is a rock formation we visited the first evening.
Later, he showed me a picture someone had taken with water coming through the opening. We figured that it had to be during high tide and the next one was about 1pm the next afternoon. We made plans to go back. There was a lot of wave action from the high winds but only a trickle of water through the opening.
The next high tide…supposedly a larger high tide… was a 3am the next morning. We made plans to go back and then stay up to shoot a sunrise.
It was pitch black when we got to the spot but only a small amount of water was coming through the hole. We continued visiting many other rock formations along this section of highway.
On the third day, we went back to Bakers Oven one more time to consider it for that night’s sunset location and the water was pouring through the opening. I finally got my shot!
After three nights in Port Campbell, we headed northwest to Halls Gap in the Grampion mountains. That’s where we’ll pick up the story in my next blog.