Day 28 – Auckland, NZ to Port Campbell, Australia

Saturday, Feb 13, 2016

Auckland to Melbourne

Melbourne to Port Campbell

I spent the night in the airport and was able to sleep along with many other people who were waiting for their flights in the morning, although, sleeping on a makeshift bed, consisting of chairs, coats, towels, etc, is not very comfortable, but will suffice in a pinch. I was actually able to sleep for 5 hours. I don’t think that the airport shuts down at night, however, the shops close around 11 pm.

When I woke up it was 5:30 pm, so I got ready and went to the ” check-in ” kiosks. It was easy, however, I was rejected the first time and I was given a slip of paper to present to the agent. When I did, I was informed that I needed an Australian visa to go there and that I would have to go to the service desk and request one. It only took 10 minutes and $30 to get the visa and then I was able to successfully check my bags and go through security.

The 3.5 hour flight was on schedule and we left at 8:30 and arrived at 10 pm because of the 2 hour time change. Now I am 16 hours ahead of the Eastern Time Zone.

Upon arriving in Melbourne, I was able to use my Canadian passport to skip having an agent talk to me about my luggage. All I had to do was sign into one of the many kiosks for pre-approved passports and then have my picture taken at another kiosk where it was compared to my passport picture. After I picked up my luggage, I had to see an agent with my customs declaration card, but that was a very quick process.

Now I was in Australia, however, I didn’t have a car or a place to stay. I didn’t want to stay in Melbourne so I opted to talk to the iSite agent. The agent was able to rent a car for 6 days at a reasonable price and pick up a Vodafone SIM card for my iPhone for $40. The SIM card will give me 8 GB of data ( which is great since I use my phone as a GPS and I can use it for my blog ) and it will also give me unlimited calling in Australia, as well as, 90 minutes of international calling.

So now I was ready to head west along the southeast shore of Australia. The traffic was very busy and I was glad that I had decided to leave the city. It wasn’t until I drove south of Geelong, the the 3 lane narrowed down to 2 and then 1 lane, but by then the traffic was a lot less. I was unimpressed with the landscape all of the way from Melbourne to Geelong. It was extremely dry and the grass was mostly a golden brown colour. The cattle and sheep on the ranches, had mostly dry grass to eat.

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Where there were trees, they were mostly eucalyptus trees with some evergreen trees along the way, which added some colour to an otherwise, dull background. I could understand why it was so dry because it was 34 C ( 93 F ) and there was no humidity in the air in Melbourne. However, the temperature slowly dropped as I headed towards the ocean. The scenery started to became more colourfull, as well.

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There were still brown patches in places where there were no trees left.

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Although there are a lot of eucalyptus trees here, I haven’t seen any koala bears yet. I didn’t see any kangaroos either, although there were several signs indicating there were kangaroo crossing areas along the road.

The drive along the ocean shore was beautiful and that is why I took it instead of going on the highway.

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I was lucky to find a National Park along my route. It is called the ” Twelve Apostles ” and there were a lot of people stopping there, so I decided to stop as well and check it out. I’m glad I did. I soon saw the reason and it was well worth stopping for. The beaches and the rock formations created by the water were absolutely stunning.

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I took several photos of the landscape around the 12 Apostles before continuing on my way.

I was going to drive for a few more hours, but I realized that with the time change, it was 8 pm and not 6 pm in New Zealand and I was getting tired so I stopped in Port Campbell. I found a Holiday campground, secured a campsite, took a shower, picked up a few groceries before writing my journal.

It had cooled down significantly and it reached 20 C ( 68 F ), by them time I set up camp in Port Campbell.

Tomorrow I will try to purchase a ticket to fly to Cairns ( in northeastern Australia) on Friday because I have a condo booked for a weeks stay there. That is the only thing I had pre-planned in Australia. After that I will be heading to my westerly destination, but that could change at any time. Whatever happens, all I need is to find a campground and I am all set.

One thought on “Day 28 – Auckland, NZ to Port Campbell, Australia

  1. Wow, the Twelve Apostles area is beautiful!
    MIchigan with mostly sunny skies (amid the snow squalls), 3″ of snow and 18 degrees … a very different kind of beauty.
    Sounds like your time in Australia is off to a great start! Safe travels!

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