June 22, 2017, 3:20 a.m.
The Great Ocean Road
I went on a tour of the Great Ocean Road, which took me on a scenic and very windy road trip along the South Eastern coast of Australia. Our guide compared it to the Pacific Coast Highway in California. It is a two-lane road on the coast of Victoria by the Southern Ocean, the water boundary between Australia and Antarctica.
On the road trip we stopped by Kennett River where we searched for koalas and looked at the various parrots in the area. The parrots had fun with us by landing on heads, arms, backs, etc. You would get a red of green parrot perching on you from time to time, unless you had bird food. Then you would have too many parrots covering you all over. Even the large cockatoos, which did not seem to like playing the sitting game would come over for a feeding, often pushing the smaller parrots away. Parrots are such smart birds!
The road trip then took us to the Maits Rest Rainforest, home of the Eucalyptus Regnans, the tallest trees in Australia, and the second tallest in the world after the California Redwoods (aka sequoias). They grow only in Tasmania and Victoria.
The last leg of the trip took us to Port Campbell National Park and the twelve apostles, naturally formed pillars of limestone. Only seven remain now, the rest having fallen due to water erosion. Aside from these pillars the entire area has beautiful natural limestone formations and I of course took loads of photos.
I went to the National Gallery of Victoria and explored the artwork inside. The current special exhibition is called “Van Gogh and the Seasons” and includes numerous works from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, separated by the season they depict. There were some truly breathtaking works there. I am by no means an expert on art, painting, or Van Gogh, but what stood out for me was the variety of vibrant colors and distinctive shades that seemed to be layered on top of one another in swirling brush strokes to create a feel that was both earthy and surreal at the same time.
Next, I walked to the Shrine of Remembrance, which I had mentioned in a previous post. The walk took me through the Queen Victoria Gardens and the Kings Domain. At the shrine I walked around the galleries and looked at the history of Australian military conflict starting with World War I, then World War II, and on through the present. Many of the exhibits presented firsthand accounts from soldiers who fought in the various campaigns during the wars. What more can I say? It was interesting to walk around and read the historical accounts.
At last, I walked back to the CBD, sat down in Hudson’s Coffee, and here I am now finishing my blog entry.
NEW ZEALAND (SOUTH)
NEW ZEALAND (NORTH)