By William Kelly (Australian National University, Canberra, Australia)
The Easter holidays began and I was very fortunate to be invited on a road trip down along the Great Ocean Road. For those who do not know this, this 243 km of road along the south eastern coast of Australia between the cites of Melbourne and Adelaide. Our plan was to start from Melbourne and to drive down the coast till we got to Warrnambool. Then head back to Melbourne for some sight seeing and a night out.
Unfortunately, the drive from Canberra to Melbourne is eight hours! I complain about driving from Manchester to London, but that is a laugh in comparison! We stopped by Glenrowan and only when I got there did I realise that this was Ned Kelly’s (Robin Hood equivalent) famous last stand. What I found funny during my time in Australia was how many people claimed to be related to Ned Kelly. With my surname, I am probably more likely than most of them!
Once we got to Melbourne, we decided to head into town. Having previously visited Melbourne before I arrived in Canberra, I took my friends to the river where there was a bar right in the middle. I can only envy now, as I sit in a cold room in Manchester, how lovely it was to sit out in the sun in the middle of the river and to have a beer. We then headed over to China Town. One thing I found in Australia was that they all love dumplings, and I could taste why!
The next day we woke up early and started down the Great Ocean road. Having eaten some delicious fish and chips in Anglesea, we drove down the road taking in breathtaking views. It was simply lovely, cruising along the edge of the coast. Once we reached our campsite, we were concerned about how dark it was getting and so we set to work putting up the tents. With great difficulty (I in particular am hopeless), we were able to complete this feat. We then created a fire, played cards and had a few drinks. I think my friends I was travelling with thought I was deranged because I kept leaving and walking to the beach, but it was possibly one of the most beautiful sights I have seen. It was a full moon and I had never seen it so big before. The waves glimmered in the light and I could not get enough of the sight.
It’s very hard for me to sit here and to describe each sight I saw because the whole coastline was absolutely stunning. One exciting thing I did, however, was when we reached the Twelve Apostles. I saw they did helicopter rides, but I was concerned about my budgeting. Then I thought, you know what, I am here and I am going to make the most of this spectacular view! So up I went. I may, perhaps, be a huge celebrity in India now because I went up with apparently a famous Indian comedian who was helping out in a tourist video. Nevertheless, just take a look at this picture of the most amazing view I had!
After our trip, we headed back to Melbourne to do some sightseeing and of course, to get another taste of China Town. We actually went to see an exhibition on Dreamworks Animation, and how they made all the films such as Shrek and How To Train Your Pet Dragon. I incredibly managed to bump into someone I knew from school. We then went out for our final night and I managed to get lost. However, I bumped into two very nice Melbourne lads and it was such a laugh to spend the night exploring the Melbourne night life. What I did not appreciate was the eight hour drive straight back to Canberra. Eugh, my head hurt.