Melbourne and the Great Ocean Road

[Editors note: if you follow our social media accounts you’ve probably noticed that our trip is over and we’re back home! Between traveling and settling back in to ‘normal’ life we got a bit behind on the blog but will be working to get caught up in the coming weeks!]

The next leg of our Australian adventure took us to Melbourne. While we in the area we also planned to tour the famously scenic Great Ocean Road.

Our first stop in Melbourne was the National Gallery of of Victoria (Ian Potter Centre). Here the kids tried to make sense of some of the modern art.

Just across the street we found Hosier Lane, which was lined with spray paint murals. The kids found this art a bit more to their liking.

Next we decided to take advantage of the great weather by taking a walk around Kings Domain. Here we visited the Shrine of Remembrance. This memorial was built to honor WWI veterans and later expanded to honor all Australians who have fought in any war.

Next we had a walk around the lovely botanical gardens, where the kids tried to measure the trunk of a huge cypress tree.

Lego Discovery Centre

Our kiddos all have a love for Legos. One of their favorite outings from the whole trip was when we visited the original Legoland in Denmark.

Lucky for us, our trip coincided with the broadcast of the Australian version of “Legomasters,” a family-friendly reality show in which teams work to complete different Lego building challenges. We made sure to tune into every episode and had a great time watching the show together.

When we found out that there is a Legoland Discovery Centre in Melbourne we had to check it out. When we arrived we were excited to see the actual championship build from the TV show, a model of a Viking Ship and the Greek God Poseidon!

There were large models of various Australian landmarks.

And of course we had the opportunity to build our own creations, including cars that we could race on a test track.

Great Ocean Road

After spending a couple of days in Melbourne we continued our coastal drive on the famous Great Ocean Road. This drive is supposed to be one of the most scenic in the whole country.

The Great Ocean Road is really too much to do in a single day, so we spent one night in a holiday park in Apollo Bay. We had a cabin with a fantastic view of the ocean; this was one of our favorite stays in the country.

The next morning we got going early to continue our drive. Our first stop was Cape Otway, where we took a short hike to stretch our legs and take in the views of the lighthouse and coast line.

Happy hikers.

Our next destination was the”Twelve Apostles,” a group of towering rock islands that are the most famous landmark of the Great Ocean Road.

Arriving at the Twelve Apostles parking area was one of those perception vs. reality moments. After driving for hours on quiet, scenic two lane roads we were suddenly confronted by a huge parking lot full of tour buses and HORDES of people. It was unbelievable. Apparently all of these people had bused over on the most direct route from Melbourne to spend a few minutes photographing the Twelve Apostles, before loading back up on their buses to go back.

We were hesitant to get out of the car, but we decided we might as well fight our way through the crowd to get a few photos.

It really is a beautiful spot. Next time we’d make sure to get there really early before the buses start arriving.

We left the Twelve Apostles behind and stopped to see some of the other rock formations including the “London Bridge.” Mercifully the tour buses didn’t stop here so we got to enjoy some peaceful views.

In our next update, we catch a flight to Perth!