A very cold night overnight with the sleeping bags zipped up and all the woolies on. The cold clear night had left the tents with a heavy layer of dew and we had to pack the tents up sopping wet, wetter than if it had rained.
First stop was a few hundred metres up the road for breakfast at the best Cafe in Lavers Hill named Shoppe. Excellent food and even better service. We stocked up on a big breakfast and then loaded the panniers with provisions for the road ahead. Having a chat to the staff, they suggested an alternate route rather than the main Great Ocean Road. This route was flatter, less traffic and more shady, just as scenic – all good news in our books!
We set off keeping along the ridge line passing green pastures with ocean views on one side and farm lands and bush on the other. The road was fantastic and we didn’t see much traffic until our first stop at Otway Fly treetops walk.
Set in a temperate rainforest of huge mountain ash and myrtle beech, there is a high ropes course as well as a long elevated tree top walkway. Unfortunately, we had no time for the ropes course and had to settle for just the spectacular walk in the forest. The walk had loads of information signs about the resident plants and animals both present and past. It takes you progressively higher to the treetops at 47m.
From there, we continued along the ridge to Beech Forest into Otway Park. The next 20km were spent descending down Turtons Track with the national park on either side containing more of the mountain ash and rainforest. Just magical.
Once we popped out, we were treated to some greats views of the ocean and Apollo Bay. A great alternative route.
A few more km of decent and we were back at sea level. A straightforward run into Apollo Bay and to the supermarket for provisions.