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Tuesday, December 12, 2017



Melbourne, Australia Self Drive Road Trip - Day One

The Great Ocean Road, here we come!
Passports. Visas. Airline Ticket. Car Rental. Accommodation. Attractions tickets. All checked. Read our previous post on how we planned for our self drive road trip around Melbourne, Australia.

So, how do we get to the airport? Do we drive and go for long term parking at KLIA? Do we call a taxi? Or should we use Uber or Grab? So many options. We settled for Grab. As first time users, we could use a coupon code of RM20 from Grab for the first two rides. Unfortunately, I forgot the code during the ride back so I only got RM10 discount. Other than that we had no issues, accept that it was a long and hot wait for the ride back because of the airport traffic.

We took the MH149 from KUL to MEL. This interesting site called Flight Aware lets you track flights in real time. The flight to Melbourne is 7 hours 55 minutes. Melbourne is 3 hours ahead so you have to add that to your ETA. We took the 9.50 pm flight from KL which arrives at 8.45 am Melbourne time.

We got through airport security with no issues at both KL and Melbourne airports. At Melbourne airport, they let us through as a family.

Upon arrival, we turned on roaming for our mobile instead of getting the Australia phone plans or SIM cards. Then we headed to the AVIS counter to collect our rented car. We took some photos of the car before driving off to make sure we have records or pictures of the car BEFORE we drove it. It was cold and drizzling when we arrived.

After hopping into the car, we set the GPS and Google Map to direct us to Torquay. We had planned to drive from Melbourne Airport to Torquay, Lorne, Appolo Bay and stop the night at Port Campbell. Below is our planned driving route for Day 1 of our Self Drive Road Trip on The Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia. 303 km of driving after a sleepness night on the plane. Very ambitious but then we had two drivers so it was not so bad.



The floods and landslips and heavy rain did not happen. Phew! It was just drizzling on and off and a bit cold but we managed to drive the Great Ocean road and made it to Lorne in time for a Fish and Chips lunch exactly as what we had planned.

Lorne Fish and Chips was welcome on a cold rainy day

We stopped at several lookouts along the way and each time there would be a few cars stopping and everyone ran out, took some photos in the cold and drizzle and ran back to the warmth of their cars. We didn't get to walk on the beach or stop at many attractions but it was very funny and a lot of fun that way. Running out and huddling together and taking silly pictures with crazy windblown hair. That was very fun and memorable.

We zoomed pass Apollo Bay. After Apollo Bay, the road turned inwards a little and we saw lots of cows and sheep grazing in vast lands. So many of them. Kids were thrilled. Finally we arrived at the famed Twelve Apostles and the beautiful Loch Ard Gorge.

It was worthwhile driving all the way to see the Twelve Appostles


Nearby Loch Ard Gorge was just as breathtaking


We arrived at Parkview Motel, Port Campbell at around after 6 pm. When booking at booking.com we had put in a message to request to wait for us in case of late check in. This was important because it was not a 24 hour motel and reception is closed at 6 pm. The owner, Paul was around to greet us and show us to our room. We got to park right in front of our room which was cool. The room was clean, had heaters and electric blankets which you don't think you would need in summer but it was just the start of a rainy summer and cold at the time so the heater was good.

Our room at Parkview Motel, Port Campbell. This photo is from booking.com as I forgot to take pictures.


According to Paul, Port Campbell is a very small town with just 200 people and everyone knows each other. After a short rest, we went to fill up the car petrol and looked for a place for dinner. Most places were closed and we ended up in a restaurant in front of the beach. I can't remember the name of the place. It looked like a nice place but the wait for the food was much, much too long and the food was expensive and lousy. We were disappointed on that poor first dinner out. After dinner, we went back to the room and zonked out. To be continued.....


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