We flew from Sydney to Melbourne and went directly to our hotel - Hotel Lindrum. The main tourist area was located across the Yara River from our hotel but it was close enough that we could walk there.
Just outside our hotel was a trolley stop where we could catch the trolley for a loop tour around our side of Melbourne. We decided that would be a good introduction to the city and did the full loop.
Melbourne has a wonderful cultural center. There are a number of museums, a concert hall, theater, etc. We had reserved seats for a concert our last night so we decided to go across to the concert hall and get our tickets. While we there, we wandered around that portion of the cultural center and made a short tour of one of the museums.
The Sydney Opera House gets a lot of attention because of its striking architecture. And there is no question it is wonderful. However, we felt the Melbourne concert hall complex was far superior from a performance standpoint. We attended performances at both and in our mind, Melbourne was the winner.
Here we are on one of the bridges crossing the Yara River. In the background is the concert hall complex. Along the river's edge are some of the many tourist boats that take tours along the river.
We spent a fair amount of time wandering around th city and looking at galleries. One gallery had some paintings that we found very intriguing. They were paintings of flowers. Some of the works were entirely muted flower images while other works had a combination of muted and vibrant images.
One full day was set aside for a tour of the Great Ocean Road. We had arranged for a "small group" tour and it was a small group - Granny and me.
The Great Ocean Road runs along the South Eastern coast of Australia. It is quite long and normally takes 2 - 3 days to drive. Since we were limited to one day, we only drove a short portion of the Road. However, we were able to see what is considered the most magnificent portion of the coastline.
On the way down, our guide made a detour to an area he knew there were usually koalas. Sure enough there they were and they were close enough that we could see them quite well.
Koalas are notoriously "lazy". They sleep almost 20 - 22 hours a day and the rest of the time they are munching on eucalyptus. But they're still cute to look at.
We continued on our way until we got to the beginning of the Great Ocean Road. Here we are about to start our excursion. And then you have Granny the photographer expressing showing her unique ability to catch the essence of the moment.
We reached the start of one the most beautiful stretches of coastal highway anywhere. This section is called the Twelve Apostles - named for the 12 startling rock pinnacles.
A number of the spots have are known by special names. The picture on the left is Loch Ard Gorge. On the right side of the gorge, just outside the picture, is a beach which can be accessed via some stairs.
On our Great Ocean Road excursion, we got our first look at an echidna. I was walking along a path and happened to see something moving. It looked like a spiny ball and wasn't moving very quickly. I think the little bit of motion must have caught my eye. Anyway, I stood for a few moments and watched this funny animal. It is sometimes known as a spiny anteater. Later on Kangaroo Island I saw another echidna and was able to take a movie of it.
On the right is what used to be called London Bridge and is now called London Arch. The first two sections used to be connected by a span over the water and the entire formation resembled the London Bridge. Then in January 1990, the span closest to the shoreline collapsed. At the time, 2 tourists were stranded on the outer part and had to be rescued by helicopter.