I guess I should share some of my experience on my trip to Melbourne. I really hope that this piece of information can become a guide to those who plan to go for a trip to Melbourne.
Great Ocean Road Tour or known as GOR is a destination that were higlighted as one of a tourist destination in the Melbourne visit. Is it a must??? It really depends on who are on the tour and the kind of person you are. GOR tour is a scenic tour viewing the spectacular ocean view and appreciating the beautiful creation by Allah the Mighty. My personal opinion - it's a worth going. However, if travelling witk kids that are non-naturalist, it might bore them. However, as parents this is a great time to educate the kids to appreciate the nature.
It was a very long journey with few stops. We began our journey immediately upon arrival, that is at about 9am and arrived at the hotel at almost 11pm. Can you imagine the journey? It was about a 500++km drive altogether, to and fro. Tiring but enjoyed. Farid, our guide cum driver had been such a tolerable guide. Alhamdulillah.
Our first stop on our GOR tour is the Anglesea. We took few photos at the river bank. And try to capture the photo of the bird who attracted our attention. The weather is rather chill being in summer, especially when there's a wind blowing. I was lucky as I had my denim on. But not so lucky for my husband who is in his short sleeve with no sweaters to cover.
Our next is the Split Point Lighthouse at Aireys Inlet. To reach there we passed several small towns, another small township. Looks very peaceful. The architecture was amazing throughout the journey. The light house was built on top of a hill. Cars were not allowed up the hill as it was a residential area. We parked our car ..oooppps... Farid parked the car at the bottom of the hill we walked our way up to the hill to light house. You can climb the light house for a minimum fee of $15 AUD. We decided not to as we have a long way to go in this tour.
|No standing zone. |
A rare road sign but found at many places in Australia.
This is a very unique road sign that captured my attention. It is called 'No standing zone', meaning that you cannot stop there not even to drop a passenger off. Everybody abide to the sign.
On our way up, we were mesmerized by the beautiful floras and faunas found. There are just beautiful and stunning in this cold weather. Subhanallah.
|This is not edited. This is real. Subhanallah.|
|Some of the rare.|
|Scones everyone...? Yummy.|
As it was almost 11am, and we have not had our breakfast yet (since getting down from the plane), Farid bought us some scones and coffee and tea (It is actually part of the tour package which includes two meals) from the Willows Tea House there. Eating scones under the sunlight which comes out and shy away few times, is a very unforgettable memory. When everybody rush into the shades, we keep calm under the sun. By the way, the owner of the tea house can even speaks few Indonesian words and he knows Hamzah too, our package owner, that he suggested only halal food for us.
Next stop is the 'Spot the Koala'. But the parrots were suddenly became our main attraction. Farid brought along some kuaci for bird feeding. The moment Farid poured the kuaci onto each of the palms (except me ... I am the photographer), the parrot came flying towards them landing onto any possible area, the arm, shoulder or even the head.
|Can you see the koala??|
Later, we had our lunch at a river bank in Apollo Bay, facing the Marina which I forgot the name of the place. We had the fish and chips as suggested by Hamzah through Farid. It's breezy and chill under the sunlight. A very comfortable weather. Alhamdulillah. We stopped for solat jama' for zohor and Asar at Fort Campbell, a very quiet town. We had our solat together in jamaah with Farid as the imam in the open space available facing the sea. Sujud and press our head onto the green green grass. Such a wonderful experience.
|Our lunch: Fish and Chips and Thai sauce|
Finally, a journey back to Melbourne CBD. We took another way back to Melbourne CBD. Passing through the many farms - lambs, cows, and even horses. Sleepy and tired but we keep awake as we do not want to miss these captivating moments and views.
As we reached Melbourne CBD, I asked Farid a favor to take us to the mosque in Melbourne. Alhamdulillah, we fulfilled our duty to Allah in this Islamic Center which was in a building not far from the Flagstaff. This is where the Muslim community in Melbourne perform their solat Jumaah together. They had to agree to a certain time for the solat as to gather the crowd and it is not immediately after the azan.
We finally reached the apartment at about 11pm. We had to rang for the reception as everybody had already in a deep sleep. Alhamdulillah. It was a worth trip.