Let me tell you something about Australia:
It is BIG.
I know that sounds dumb – most of us know that it’s one of the world’s largest countries, by land mass if not population (there are only just over 20 million Aussies in Oz – crazy). But when you’re sat in the passenger seat poring over a map, pointing out spots to check out and trying to estimate distances based on your perception and experience, it is easy to get it very, very wrong.
The rest of the drive to Adelaide has been amazing, if a tad rushed; the Great Ocean Road is riddled with beautiful little seaside towns, both quaint but industrial all at once. We drive through Portland, and we marvel at the petrified forest of Cape Bridgewater; these incredible cones formed from million-year-old sandstone genuinely look like old, gnarled trees clustered along the sea cliff. Huge blowholes throw plumes of water 50 feet into the air, threatening to sweep you into the ocean; monster waves crash against the black basalt coastline. I, perhaps ignorantly, didn’t realise how volcanic Australia’s past is. I think I might be becoming a little obsessed with volcanic activity – it’s absolutely fascinating. And beautiful.
We camped at a beautiful spot tonight – on a little spit of land called Beachport, a coastal conservation park. We stopped to cook dinner at a beautiful picnic spot before the sun set, and found ourselves absolutely isolated on the most idyllic beach – not a soul in sight, nothing to be heard except the sounds of the ocean and the croaking seagulls. Just amazing.
…butttt now we are rushing because, although Beachport on a map looks about a two hour drive to Adelaide, it’s actually just under 500km.
Australia is big, and we learnt the hard way.
Wish us luck.