Shumpty on Tour: Day 4 … Warrnambool to Apollo Bay

Today was a relatively short run along the Great Ocean Road from Warrnambool to Apollo Bay. I have been to a number of places in the world that took my breath away but I have to say I am hard pressed to remember any place I have visited that has been as visually stunning as some of the sites I visited today.

I am going to be controversial up front here: I wasn’t impressed by the 12 Apostles. With its large kiosk, phalanx of tourists and large concrete jungle I found it to be just like most tourist attractions: crowded and boring.

Every other site I visited though made up for my disappointment with the 12 Apostles. Starting at the Bay of Islands right through to Loch Ard Gorge each site revealed absolutely breathtaking scenery. I was also left with a feeling of awe that some of the sites I was viewing were slowly being eroded away the constant pounding of the waves from the Ocean and that the next time I am down here (and I will be back) they may look different. The Ocean is just so relentless in its task and will ultimately succeed through repetition: a fair lesson in life there me thinks.

My absolutely favourite site of all of the sites I visited was Loch Ard Gorge. To get down on the sand, on my own and explore this fascinating site is something I will have with me for a long time.

For travellers of the Great Ocean Road I have a tip for you: do not stop your travels at the 12 Apostles! I recommend you push past it and go on to Warrnambool for the night and then return to the Road fresh and attack the sites in “reverse order”. You will not regret it!

I have posted a couple of photos from today at if you are interested in seeing some of the sites seen today.

Tomorrow is the final drive back to Melbourne and the plane trip home.

Shumpty on Tour: Day 3 … The Great Ocean Road

What an enjoyable day yesterday was: I finally got to drive the Great Ocean Rd. After picking up the hire car and some hijinks getting on the Princes Highway, the only drama for the whole day was the persistent rain that made the road just a bit slick.

My father had said to me that the Great Ocean Rd was a fun drive, in the dry, but in sometimes heavy rain it was an experience to behold. I know I missed some pretty excellent scenery along the way but I was enjoying the twists and turns of the road!

Along the way I stopped at various spots for food and water and sometimes just to walk around. The Chicken Parmiagana at the Apollo Bay hotel is a must for travellers along the road as is grabbing a coffee and a bowl of soup at Kobo in Torquay before you kick off.

I didn’t get out at a number of the “monuments” like the 12 Apostles on this trip: the goal for the day was to drive the road and that was accomplished. Today (day 4 on tour) I will head back and look at all of them. One place I did stop, despite the rain, was the iconic Bells Beach. Check out my photo from there published here:

All in all it was an epic trip down the Great Ocean Road. I implore any Australians who have not done it to do it and any tourists coming to this country to detour from Queensland for a week and do it for it surely is up there with the great drives of the world.

Shumpty on Tour: Days 1 and 2 … Melbourne

What a pleasure it has been to have a couple of a days in Melbourne before hitting the Great Ocean Road. Rather than do a usual travel blog for these two days I thought I would just do a “good, bad and ugly” for my time in Melbourne. After all, there are tons of travel guides for this place.


Hare and Grace Restaurant: The venue for dinner last night was my favourite restaurant in Melbourne and yet again it did not disappoint with the food being absolutely spot on and service exceptional. Only criticism is that it is a bit pricey.

Coffee: I confess that I had forgotten how good the coffee is in Melbourne. I haven’t had a bad cup yet and my favourite place so far is the Barbershop in Chapel Street.


The Weather: Pretty simple really this one as it has rained for most of the time I have been here. Indeed I have been told that this week will be the coldest week in November in Melbourne in 20 years. Enough said really.


Cab drivers: I tweeted last night about one experience with the cab drivers of Melbourne that is led to me issuing a formal complaint over overcharging. Frankly though I have not had a pleasant one yet and in the most part the cabs I have taken in Melbourne have been driven by surly gentlemen who think wet weather driving means you should drive quickly and change lanes erratically. Next time I will hire a car the whole trip.

All in all it has been a great two days in Melbourne but now the Great Ocean Road beckons. Next blog will be from Warrnambool.

Shumpty on Tour: it’s back!!!!

This blog had its genesis some 18 months ago when I decided to write about the daily events of a trip to New Zealand I was on. I was dipping my toe into the world of blogging having already written for a couple of websites and whilst I did not know what I was doing (not much has changed) I caught the blogging bug on that trip.

I am having a week off next week and heading south to Victoria for a run along the Great Ocean Road which has been a bucket list item of mine for some time. So what better time to do a week of Shumpty on Tour posts.

If you have any tips for things to do along the Great Ocean Road I would love to hear them: you can comment on this post or email me at I would be delighted to hear from you.

Bring on the start of the tour next week!