The Great Ocean Drive is always a priority, at some point, for residents or long-term visitors in Australia. When I was little my parents and I embarked on that journey from Adelaide, hoping to reach Melbourne. Unfortunately, we only made it to Port Campbell so this June, we decided to close the gap and finish the journey we started - starting from Melbourne. There was much to see as we explored the scenic views, and discovered interesting areas along the coastal drive.
We left early in the morning and stopped at Aireys Inlet for a light breakfast by the sea. Our picnic basket consisted of some crackers, a handful of grapes, and homemade coffee that Mum brought for us, to sip and enjoy the seaside views. There was no one around us as we sat on the bench happily eating. The waves were rough and the breeze was rather chilly, but thankfully the sun was up, and its rays made the weather bearable. So far, it was a good start to the day.
Lorne Just 30 minutes away was our next destination: Lorne. Initially, we had no intention of stopping by, other than to grab some brochures from the Visitor's centre, but something caught my attention. A lovely teahouse covered with vines allured us to stop over for a cup of tea. The deck outside was brightly lit, and the words above read "River Tea House".
As I entered, I was greeted by warm and friendly faces. They pointed me to a large shelf where the tealeaves were kept. Each box of tealeaves was placed in a compartment in the shelf. The flavours were various and interesting. I was welcomed to smell a number of them. I picked up the caramel flavoured, the forest berry, and finally settled for a calming Turkish Apple. It's true when they say that the further away you are from Melbourne, the cheaper things are. A pot of fruit tea would only cost you $5.
There was an antique aroma as I roamed around the place. The teahouse itself had a vintage appeal, but not your average kind. The décor was a fusion between Eastern and Middle Eastern cultures. The setting was mainly Chinese and Japanese-inspired, but with a hint of Turkish decorations. Modern pop songs played faintly in the background, as customers enjoyed their Afternoon tea.
The layout of the teahouse was done in an unusual but enthralling manner. The seatings were diverse. There were benches, couches, pillows, and rustic chairs to get comfortable on. Unlike other teahouses, this one had something extra to offer. There was a separate room, attached to the lounge, where antique home wares and novelties were for sale. These creations are from all corners of the world, ranging from vintage Chinese glassware, to colourful silk Thai scarves. You could even purchase furniture, which included some of the tables and decorations that were displayed in the lounge. The pricing is moderate and everything up for sale is unique, making each item stand out in your home.
Port Campbell After driving for three and a half hours, we finally reached our destination. Our goal was not only to reach Port Campbell, but to visit the 12 Apostles as well. The wind was harsh and the sky was slightly grey, but there was a moment where the sunlight crept in and reflected of the waters. It created a magical view to watch - that is, if you could manage to keep your hair in place.
We had a late lunch at a local fish and chippery. Oh the comfort and joy of hot food on a windy day. My parents and I marvelled at how good and eventful the day had been. It's safe to say that we can finally tick off the Great Ocean Drive of our list.