Although I'm back into proper term-time lectures and seminars now, I thought I'd dedicate this post to telling you all about my amazing week away during the mid-semester break. It involved 3 best friends, hours of driving, and a temperamental campervan which became our home for the week!
Day 1 - 'Troy' The Campervan
First day of mid-sem and I was stuck in bed with a fever! Boo! After spending weeks planning the trip and finishing all my uni work to spend the whole week having fun, I was distraught to be wasting the first day of the trip in bed; but I knew that given a days rest I could be back on my feet in no time and enjoying the rest of the week. The other two girls picked up the campervan from the city and soon found out that with their lack of experience in driving old cars for one of the girls, and only having driven on the other side of the road for the other girl, it took them rather a long time to navigate Troy the Truck home to our accommodation. After finally getting myself out of bed and looking, somewhat, alive we decided to test it out and drive for lunch before actually setting off to our proper trip. The van was amazing and so old that it reminded me of my little car at home! We soon managed to get our bearings with the van and decided who would be driving each leg of the trip (which we decided to start a day late so that I could be back to full health!
Day 2 - Clayton-Torquay
The next day we set off for Torquay, stopping at a few places along the way. Our first stop was Geelong (90 mins away) - a beautiful beach town where we walked along the sand and stopped for some lunch in the sunshine. Eager to get further down the coast we quickly set off again and arrived at Bell's Beach. Bell's Beach is where they hold the biggest surfing competitions because it is most well known for its huge waves during the summer. After watching the sunset we headed to Torquay where we luckily found a campsite for the night, grabbed some pizza, and headed to sleep for the first time in the surprisingly comfy van!
Day 3 - Torquay-Port Fairy
Day 3 was full of driving and quite an exhausting day for everyone. We drove along the Great Ocean Road all the way to Port Fairy. The road was incredible, making our way right along the coast for miles and miles it was the most amazing journey I've ever been on. We stopped in a lovely town called Anglesea and had some coffee to wake ourselves up before driving even further down towards our next stop. After driving for what seemed like forever, we somehow stumbled across a petting zoo in the middle of nowhere! Obviously we took our chance to get out of the van and had an amazing time getting up close and personal with some kangaroos, dingoes, and alpacas. We decided to try and make it to our next stop - The 12 Apostles - for sunset and somehow we made it! The 12 apostles are a series of huge rocks which have become one of the most popuar tourist attractions in Australia, and seeing it against the sunset was the absolute highlight of my time here. After the sun had gone down we drove all the way to Port Fairy, stopped for some yummy Thai food and spent another night catching up on some sleep in our little van.
Day 4 - Port Fairy-Ballarat
This was the day we had all been waiting for: we were making the long drive north to head into the Grampians (a huge, beautiful mountain range in the middle of Victoria). After driving all the way up to the mountain range we decided to try and get the van all the way up to the top, and after a very scary and narrow road up we managed to reach the summit. The views were incredible and something I will remember for the rest of my life. As the sun set once again we made our way to a town called Ballarat - it was fairly empty but we found some really tasty food and hit the hay once more after our day in the mountains.
Day 5 - The journey home
We woke up and decided to go exploring in Ballarat, but as it was a public holiday it was fairly empty! We stopped for some lunch and decided to make the long drive home into Melbourne city and spend the rest of the afternoon there. We made our final stop at some museums in the city and tried to immerse ourself into some Australian culture before making our way back to Farrer Hall for a proper shower. Once we arrived home we unpacked our things, had a lovely shower and decided to end the week in style with a fancy meal and far too much wine!
Despite the hours and hours of driving, and the lack of space in the van, I had the most incredible week of my life with two amazing girls who I know I will be friends with forever. I would recommend doing this trip to anybody who happens to be in Aus because it gave me so many amazing memories which I'll remember for the rest of my life!