Sandy Beach, Elliot River: Big Ocean, Secluded Beaches, and Sublime Forest - What's Not to Love?

in #traveldigest9 days ago

For years, I've been driving out of Apollo Bay, Victoria, wondering what was down that track. I knew there was a surf break there, but I'd never been as the waves down there can get pretty hairy. This time, we were determined to map a little section of that coast. We've decided to do some more sections of the Great Ocean Road whilst we can - and whilst we can't travel anywhere much else!

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Turns out this was a track well worth going down.

From the carpark, there's a choice of a few walks, including the Elliot River loop walk, which is about 5 kilometres long. We decided we'd take the half hour walk down to Sandy Beach (creative name, right?) because we were meeting people in Apollo Bay soon and didn't have time for a longer walk.

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Whilst it might be a long walk down, it's well worth it (and to be honest, the walk up wasn't as bad as we thought it would be).

The bush was absolutely alive with birds - we spotted a few kookaburras and even heard a koala grunting (it's the most unearthly, terrifying sound ever, and I'm Australian - I can't even imagine what international tourists think of the sound when they first hear it!). We also saw a bloody snake! Lucky Jamie was ahead of me and warned me by leaping up in the air and flying backwards.

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The forest track speaks for itself really - huge trees, treeferns - just beautiful. The beach is huge, and stunning - giant crashing waves, rockpools and a desert island feel. Come down here on a warm day and guaranteed there will be hardly anyone around - especially as there are hardly any tourists at the moment! We absolutely loved it and can't wait to go back, likely to do the Elliott River loop.

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Are those giant trees in distress, or in a healthy, natural state of bark shedding?

Oh yes that's natural.. I remember reading a DH Lawrence book once (Kangaroo) and he'd used the bark shedding as a symbol of the character being dispossessed - so foreign this new landscape seemed, so unlike England - the shedding bark was so strange! At least that's how I remember it - maybe it wasn't even that book, haha. Damn you memory. But yes, some species shed more than others.

Reminds me a little of Birch trees that shed their outer bark, with so many practical uses for, including tinder to help start a campfire, even in damp woodlands.😎

All that looks very beautiful, I dream of going to Australia before I die hahaha. But it's on the other side of the world, I'm still dreaming. That beach looks good for camping. The photographs are spectacular! <3

Oh yes it'd be PERFECT for camping! I hope you make it here one day - dreams CAN become reality!

Don´t show me these photos...I miss that country so hard. I´ll never forget Apollo Bay. We´ve spent the hottest day there we´ve ever experienced in Australia, with way over 40 degree the whole day.

There is a nice overnight place in the hinterland with a walk down to a beautiful waterfall, can´t remember the name.

There's quite a few waterfalls in the Otways - all very beautiful. I bet you do miss it here. I just posted on Instagram about a very hot day we had down there!

I will just copy it here --

The first time we drove Buttercup on the Great Ocean Road, it wasn't a drive we planned. She hasn't been totally restored yet and was not the easiest drive. We were staying down past Warnambool and the day before had been over 40 degree heat with wind speeds that would cause fires to take off across the state. The winds were so mental Jamie had to take the tent down in the middle of the night, park in the lee of some bushes and we slept uncomfortably on the bare metal of the back of landy as she wasn't kitted out as a camper yet.

Due to hellish winds and scorching heat, all inland roads - easy and straight - were closed because of the fires. Trees were down and people were fighting to save their houses. One of us was dreadfully hungover, and we had to drive on a very winding road with frightening drops to the ocean. There were huge branches and leaves all over the roads and the wind was buffeting our sides like you wouldn't believe. Honestly crazy stuff - you couldn't pick a worse time to be out let alone on the GOR.

We high fived each other when we reached Lorne, and breathed a sigh of relief. Buttercup had made it and we were ALIVE.

I miss it a lot, yes.

Sounds like it was during these bad bushfires on the GOR? Can´t remember what year it was.

Near Sydney we once made the experience that temperatures where rising during the night up to above 30. That was strange, never had something like that before.

Didn't get to see the photos, peak's acting up this morning. :(( Must have been a cool new place to find.

Oh yeah the image server went down, but it's up again this morning.

Oh, good, I'll look at photos in the morning. :))

Wow, what a stunning spot. It really makes me miss the forests in Australia. I love all the photos you have taken. It's so true how much more we get to enjoy these spots as there are no tourists around,can't wait for you to go on the longer walk and share that experience with us all xxxx

Me too! Next week maybe.

🐍 nooooooooooooo 😭

I tell you what, the first time I saw a slow worm in the UK I shat myself - then I was told it was a worm not a snake. What the hell!

Hiya, @LivingUKTaiwan here, just swinging by to let you know that this post made it into our Honorable Mentions in Daily Travel Digest #1004.

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Those tree ferns are so unusual! Really cool!

Do you have a model release firm for that strange man in your photos? He looks the dodgy type, like he might sue you. 😜😆

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