The Victorian Road Trip Part 5 – the Great Ocean Road (Lorne)

We were very excited to wake up after our first night in Lorne, and not have to pack up and hit the road. After moving nightly for 5 days it was very pleasant to have a relaxed day ahead.  Of course neither child gave us a sleep in, but they didn’t do too badly.  We had 1 breakfast at the hotel restaurant included in our booking and we had decided to use that on our first day.  Annoyingly the breakfast only started at 8.30am….. who starts breakfast at that hour? Not people with small children, that is for sure! We pre-fed the kids when they first got up and then headed down to be waiting for the restaurant to open. There were several other families with small kids waiting too….

Astrid and Soren were quite happy to participate in ‘second breakfast’. Astrid did request ‘fruit and vegetables’….. you know your kids haven’t been getting enough fruit when they start asking for it!  Both ate their body weight in fruit (and bacon, always with the bacon).  Towards the end of breakfast Soren was getting a bit tired and grumpy.  Nic got to walk around to entertain him, and he managed to fall asleep before we even left the restaurant.

Our original plan for the morning was to have breaky and then head to the nearby Erskine Falls. When we went into breakfast it was a nice day. When we came out it was raining foggy and miserable and we got wet walking back to our apartment.  With a still sleeping Soren we changed plans and decided to let him rest in his cot and Anto and Astrid would take the car down to the supermarket for the supplies that we meant to get the previous evening but didn’t quite get to.

While they were out, it started pouring rain and the plans for the day looked in doubt. Soren had a short nap, a feed and was again a happy camper.  The rain calmed down a bit and although still wet we decided to head to the falls. If we got too wet it was only a short drive back to get warm and dry.

Erskine Falls are about 10kms from Lorne and a pleasant drive up into the mountains behind the town.  When we got to the Falls carpark it was still quite wet and cold but not raining too heavily. Soren was in his snowsuit and Astrid had her raincoat so we thought we would head off before the weather got worse.  It’s a short walk to the base of the falls, down stone steps with guard rails. The steps are quite large and were a bit slippery but even with Soren in the ergo, a toddler, and all the camera gear, we didn’t find it too much of a challenge.  The falls are quite pretty and there are viewing platforms that made getting a look quite easy.  It probably would have been more pleasant if it were warmer and drier but still worth the walk.
You could also walk along the river bank, which was nice but very slippery in the wet. Still Astrid managed with some assistance and Nic didn’t fall in with Soren attached, so we did well.


While it was nice being at the base of the falls, we had to go up to get back to the car. The steps were much harder on the way up. Anto elected to carry Astrid as the steps were too steep and wet for her to manage, and with a Soren in the ergo on the front, Nic had it only marginally better.  We did get lots of looks of admiration from all the 50+ crowd heading down the steps, but it wasn’t too bad and we were back up in 5 or so minutes, a little damp but not as drenched as some other people looked.

We drove back to the hotel and noticed the signs to the other tourist spot we wanted to check out, Teddy’s lookout but decided to make that our afternoon activity, when it was hopefully a little nicer out. All dry and warm, we thought we should head down to the hotel restaurant for our complimentary devonshire tea. Astrid is a huge fan of scones, Nic and Anto love coffee, it was raining and cold…. sounded like a good plan.  The devonshire tea was meant to be for two but the hotel staff were lovely and gave us 3 huge scones, with jam and cream and our coffees and a babycino for Astrid.  They were actually pretty good scones, and the coffee was acceptable. Astrid scoffed hers down and we shared the others with Soren (who was a little sad he wasn’t allowed the jam and cream). Sadly no photos as we forgot the camera, but there were some happy kids and it was a good way to spend a rainy cold morning.

All full we decided that both kids could do with a decent sleep, so compulsory napping for small people was ordered (much to their annoyance). After nap time and a late lunch we thought it was time to head out for another walk. It had stopped raining but was was still very damp and cold. We snowsuited Soren up, and decided to try and find our way to Teddy’s lookout. It appeared to be the top of the hill behind the hotel. With a dodgy map in hand we headed out and up.  Pretty soon we hit parkland, which was not well signposted. We kept heading up and there were lovely views out to sea and over the cliffs but no sign of the lookout. We suspected we were on the wrong side of the hill but it would have been a long walk to get around the other side, and it was starting to get quite wet so we decided to try the lookout again when we had the car, and head back down to the pier and back to the warm. First we enjoyed the views and let Astrid loose on some of the grass…. it was pretty wet and cold!

Soren was warm and cosy in his snowsuit and tucked up in the ergo but the rest of us were getting blasted in the face with icy rain and wind.  We decided to check out Lorne pier, which was opposite our hotel.  It had looked much nicer the day before but we headed down anyway, on the lookout for the seals that reportedly hang out at the end of the pier.  No seals but plenty of lovely storm clouds and cold!  It was still fairly picturesque though……..

Soren had managed some napping during our walk but it was time to head back and warm up and get dinner cooked. We thought we’d utilise the BBQ on the verandah and make sure the kids ate some actual vegetables (along with their sausages). After a few busy days it was nice to have an early dinner and get them to bed on time.

Our plan for our last full day in Lorne was to drive back West towards Apollo Bay and see some more of the towns we’d driven straight through 2 days earlier.  The weather forecast for the day was the same as the previous day, and if it was going to be the same we weren’t sure it was worth the effort as we wouldn’t get to see much.  When the morning dawned it was overcast and damp but not actually raining. The previous day had started out in the same fashion and gotten progressively worse so we weren’t overly hopeful.

Our cockatoo friends arrived on schedule at 8am.  The previous morning Astrid had been thrilled when a heap of cockatoos turned up at our apartment. They managed to turn up this same time again and both kids were endlessly amused. Soren loved watching them out the window. Lorne seemed to have a cockatoo problem as there were signs up everywhere warning not to feed them, we figured out why later in the day.

All breakfasted and warmly dressed, we decided we might as well head out for our sightseeing since it wasn’t presently raining. We packed a picnic lunch so we could stop and eat in one of the towns, and packed the car for our morning out.  It was 44km back to Apollo Bay and we planned to stop through several towns on the way there (or back, depending on when Soren was sleeping).  Predictably Soren was asleep within about 10 minutes of being in the car. We had made the first sightseeing spot and it was shaping up to be a picturesque view.

Having driven this bit of road the other day we knew it was quite windy and knowing Astrid is prone to car sickness we should have been more worried, but we had not had any incidents so far on the trip.  Our luck ran out though and just as we were coming into Wye River. Astrid managed to puke everywhere.  Anto pulled over but it just kept going and was all through her carseat and the car.  Of course, only planning on being out for the morning we had no spare clothes for her or the spare nappies I had thrown into the car for such an occurrence.  We managed to clean up most of the mess with whatever we could find in the baby bag and a packet of wipes. Anto had to pull her seat to bits on the side of road to empty it out and Astrid had to be stripped off as her clothes were all soaked.  She got to spend the drive back wrapped in a bubba moe sling with a picnic rug over her to warm her up.  Soren had woken up in all the commotion after a whole 5 minutes sleep.  We then had to turn around and head back to the apartment to deal with the mess, our morning of sightseeing cancelled. It was a long and smelly 15 minutes drive back.  Again Soren fell asleep 5 minutes before getting back and was very unimpressed about being woken again.

We managed to get Astrid showered and cleaned up and Anto went off to the shops to buy some upholstery cleaner.  We thought the rest of the day would be a write off while we washed and dried the car seat.  Soren, now well and truly awake, got fed. The seat and all the clothes were washed and we cranked up the heating to desert-like and put everything out on the clothes horse and hoped for the best.

Soren needed to sleep and it was now too hot to hang out in the apartment, so we put him in the ergo and headed out for a walk. It was turning into a fairly lovely day so we decided to take the picnic lunch and head to the beach via the boardwalk.  Despite the bad start to the day it wasn’t turning out too badly.  It was a very pleasant walk down to the beach and we all enjoyed the sunshine and non-vomit smelling air.

With Soren napping in the ergo, we made it to the playground and let Astrid loose while Anto grabbed some coffees for the adults. They were obviously laced with gold dust given the price, but we needed it.  Astrid enjoyed her play. The playground was very good, large, a heap of slides and a boat to climb in and out of and ‘drive’.  Great fun for 3 year olds.


After a good play we wandered down to the beach and found a picnic spot for lunch.  It had turned into a beautiful day and lots of tourists were out on the beach, enjoying the views and sunshine.

Soren was still asleep but Astrid was keen on lunch.  This is where things went awry. Anto wandered off to a bathroom and in the meantime some cockatoos came to visit our table. Nic covered up Astrid’s sandwich with one of Soren’s bibs but the cockies were quite brazenly walking all over the table and refusing to be shoo-ed.  Quick as a flash one of them grabbed a quarter of a sandwich and then it all went downhill. Cockies started landing all over the table, jumping on Nic’s shoulders and one landed on Soren’s head waking him up. Astrid was terrified and screaming and trying to hide while 20 odd cockatoos were climbing all over us trying to get the food.  Meanwhile 20 or 30 tourists stood around taking photos and thinking it was hilarious while Nic tried to stop both kids from being climbed on by overly friendly cockatoos.  Anto reappeared to see the ridiculous scene and managed to rescue us, but was wishing he got photos as it was quite comical.

Astrid eventually calmed down and luckily Soren was oblivious to it all (although now awake).  We decided to take our remaining food further down the beach away from the cockatoos and ate in peace.

After a much calmer lunch experience away from our feathered ‘friends’ we decided to head back to the hotel along the rocks of the beach.  The tide was out just enough for us to walk along the shore and over the rocks, examining the rock pools.  It was a lovely walk back and we managed to not fall over and stop Astrid from picking up every shell.

Since the weather had significantly improved over the previous day we headed back down the pier to see what it looked like when not almost snowing!

All walked out, we ventured back to the apartment to check on the fate of the carseat and make a decision on how to spend our afternoon……….

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