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Great Ocean Road and Mungo National Park

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Great Ocean Road, Victoria

It was only fair that Jules Lund showed us the Great Ocean Road. It's been a favourite place for him and his family for many years. Victoria's Great Ocean Road starts in Torquay, half-an-hour out of Melbourne, and finishes 300km along in Warrnambool.

The extraordinary feat of engineering was literally built with the Anzac spirit. Diggers returning from World War I were put to work on it in 1918 and the final section was completed in 1932.

The Twelve Apostles is a major attraction. Once known as Sow & Piglets, the giant rock stacks rise from the Southern Ocean and were created by constant erosion of the mainland's limestone cliffs. It all began between 10 million and 20 million years ago. Sunrise and sunset are beautiful times to view the Apostles as they change colour.

No one's sure if there were ever actually 12 rocks, but now there are just seven. The most recent collapse happened in September 2009.

Sheoak Falls Trail is one of the great attractions in Otway National Park. The track is a good place to stop for a picnic and stretch your legs. The full length is 7km and takes around three hours return and is graded moderate. Look for Swallow Cave, home to countless swallows in spring and Castle Rock for cliff-top views.

Because there is so much to see, you can't do the Great Ocean Road in a day. When you're looking for somewhere to stay, The Pole House is a show stopper. Its architect had the vision of a beach house supported by a pole jutting from a cliff — and it came to fruition.

The pedestal houses a bedroom area, bathroom, kitchen and sitting area with a walkway connecting the rest of the dwelling on solid ground. While it is spectacular from the outside, it is a very comfortable and welcoming place to stay.

The Great Ocean walk stretches 91km from Apollo Bay to Glenample. It passes through the beautiful national parks and overlooks the Marine National Park and Sanctuary. The walk was designed to walkers and step-on and step-off at a number of places, so you can complete short, day or overnight hikes. A group called "Walk 91" sets up campsites along the way, so you can kick back and enjoy the surrounds.

Mungo National Park, New South Wales

Almost 120 kilometres north-east of Mildura in the wild vastness of south-western New South Wales lies an expanse of country which has inspired travellers and scientists the world over. The stark, silent Lake Mungo, a dry lake, is the central feature of the national park.

While it may not be a household name, Mungo National Park is one of the most important archaeological landscapes on the planet. In 1968 human remains dating back 26,000 years were found.

Jules went on a Harry Nanya Tour and so much of the mystery of Mungo was explained to him.

Lying at its weathered and timeless heart is a 32km-long dune system known as the Great Wall of China. Formed more than thousands of years by sediments deposited by winds, the wall reaches 30m high in parts.

Layers of clay forming the base of the dunes were once the shore of an ancient lake system supporting hundreds of prehistoric families. Every breath of wind reveals stories hidden in the sands of time. You'll see duck egg shells, freshwater mussels, stone tools and fish skeletons.

Tracks of primitive hunters have been found preserved in the clay, and you will see how Mungo men might have gone about hunting for food.

Location

Victoria's Great Ocean Road and Mungo National Park in New South Wales.

Cost

The Pole House starts at $690 for two nights mid-week.

Mungo National Park entry is $7 per vehicle a day. Camping fees apply.

Harry Nanya Tours are $165 for adults and $110 for children for a full-day tour.

Prices correct at October 1, 2009.

For further information

The Pole House
Great Ocean Road Real Estate
28-30 Great Ocean Road
Aireys Inlet 3231
Ph: (03) 5220 0200
www.greatoceanroadholidays.com.au
aireys@greatoceanroadrealestate.com.au

Mungo National Park
www.environment.nsw.gov.au

Harry Nanya Tours
Ph: (03) 5027 2076
www.harrynanyatours.com.au
info@harrynanyatours.com.au

User comments
your program said 690-00 per 2 night yeah when every leap year every vacancy I checked minimum was 970 per night.I don't think so.good one getaripped off

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