Now that Dale was back from a quick trip to Perth, we were off for another weekend of touring and fun. After driving for a little over an hour to reach the beach house, we were thrilled as we opened the door and saw our lovely surroundings for the weekend in Torquay… maybe we should stay a little longer, such as a week or two? We can dream.
We were excited to get a small dose of the surf culture in Torquay, because we have so much talent when it comes to surfing (ok, maybe just watching surfing but that is a talent in itself right?).
Torquay is the start of The Great Ocean Road, birthplace of iconic brands such as Rip Curl and Quicksilver, and home to Bells Beach, which is one of Australia’s most famous surfing beaches.
On our way to see the 12 Apostles we decided to take a detour to a beautiful lighthouse. Anyone in the market for a new house? This lively piece of art and home sits on the top of the hill next door to a beautiful lighthouse and overlooks the ocean. The view must be incredible from the back deck…. we will just have to wonder on that one.
Marissa and Dale were both taking a photography moment so I loved capturing them as they were lining up for the perfect shot. The love of photography has certainly been passed down through the family. Only Dale likes taking pictures of things more then people and I constantly love giving him a hard time for that…. but if I didn’t who would?
The 12 Apostles (another FREE activity) should probably be renamed to 10 Apostles as two have crumbled to the sea below. These majestic sandstone rocks, rising from the truly stormy sea surrounding them are so alluring it is hard to stop taking photos.
They will only allow you to look at these from a walkway far above the ocean floor but we really wanted to see them from the beach… unfortunately not an option unless you want to scale down the cliff wall (Dale thought about it -we know this shocks everyone:).
The difference in lighting really changed how they look. Take a look at how rich and beautiful the first photo looks, that is more true to what we witnessed.
We are surrounded by baby Emu’s!
By Torquay they had an Aboriginal Center (also Free) you can browse through their gift shop where most of the items were made by Aboriginals and the proceeds go back to them. They truly like dots. Dale had his eye on a Didgeridoo, a wind instrument developed by the Indigenous Aboriginal Australians, to be precise and there were a few that looked interesting. If you buy one, then you have to learn to play the Didgeridoo which is much more difficult than it looks. Apparently it is like blowing bubbles in your drink with a straw (blowing out with your mouth) and breathing in at the exact same time…. hummmmm.
At the Aboriginal Center you could walk out back and see many named plants that could help almost any ailment, if you know how to use them, this was very interesting to me. In addition to the variety of native vegetation, we got up and personal with these cute Emu’s which quickly made friends with us.
Apparently this handsome fella (Dale or the Emu:) wasn’t afraid of getting his photo taken or maybe he just wanted a kiss?
This guy wanted to bite of Dale’s shinny ring, he tried and tried.
Marissa wasn’t so sure she wanted to get that close to the cages and then the Emu figured out how to get a little closer to her… he just stuck his head out of the fence. Smart guy.
We decided that we were heading to the beach as Dale wanted to try his hand at surfing, even though he had never attempted it before. To keep the water out, the collar was quite tight around his neck and he HATES the feeling of anything that tight around it. He kept moving the neck piece away from his throat as it felt like someone was trying to strangle him. Marissa and I were on the floor in hysterics because it was so entertaining. Can you feel the love?!
Knowing that Bells Beach was internationally known for it’s surfing I decided (single handedly that we should go there for Dale’s very first surf). This would be like never skiing before and taking the lift to the top of the mountain to the hardest Black Diamond, because skiing is skiing, right?
Dale protested a few times stating that he might want to try something a little more tame for his first time and I kept pushing on about going to this amazing beach. We found out differently (1/2 way down the stepped walkway that descends hundreds of feet) when a few of the surfers coming up said that it was, “quit dangerous” or “you should have some experience”, and that there was no beach for us to have a lunch at so we turned around and made made our way to another beautiful beach in the area.
Dale was grateful to try on a calmer surf. You can see him heading for the wave in the distance.
Dale was really sad he missed trying out!
Travel Saving Tips:
1- Wherever you travel look for Free places to visit. For this trip The 12 Apostles, the Aboriginal Center, and going to the beach (the beach house where we were staying had the wet suit and surf board) were all Free.
2- Buying food at the local farmers market or grocery store can save you from eating out.
3- Look for houses, apartments, etc… to rent instead of getting a hotel room. Not only do you get a greater feel of the place you are visiting but you will have a kitchen to cook your own food and generally have lots more room to move around in. It is usually less then the cost of a hotel. Check with: airbnb and VRBO or in our case, we talked to some locals who had a place and let us stay at an incredible rate. Don’t be afraid to put it out there, you will be amazed at the opportunities that come your way.