We planned to have a quiet day on Tuesday visiting some of the local sights that we know and like around Apollo Bay. Heading back east towards Lorne, we were stopped at a number of roadworks and I managed to see a view Wild Dog Creek. The road along the Creek (Wild Dog Creek Road) is a narrow and very winding road. We followed it for a kilometre only to find that it was closed due to storm damage (as are a number of local forest roads).
Our first point of interest was at Carisbrook Falls, about 20 minutes away from Apollo Bay. They are reached by a short but moderately steep walking track that follows Carisbrook Creek from a gravel car park.. At a viewing platform, 500 metres from the car park, you can look across a steep gorge to the falls that plummet about 50 metres into the gorge below. They are a little distance away, so a moderate telephoto lends helps in photographing them.
We were back in Apollo Bay for lunch and enjoyed a couple of the local bakery’s famous scallop pies. It was a nice sunny day and we sat in the park along the foreshore. Apollo Bay has suffered considerably with the lack of tourism due to Covid. There are quite a few businesss that have closed and cafes that have shut. However, the businesses that service local customers such as the supermarkets are doing well. Whilst the local business would definitely like to see more tourists, we enjoyed the quieter streets and increased parking availability.
After scoffing off our pies, we drove up to the beautiful picnic area at Paradise on the Barham River. The recent storms have opened up some of the vegetation here and it doesn’t quite have the same enclosed ‘forest feel’ that it had last time we visited. There is a lot of debris in the river from fallen trees. However, this change in the environment did let me get to a different part of the river bank and enabled me to get a different view than I have seen before.
As we drove back to Apollo Bay, we were lucky enough to see a koala walking across the road. We had seen one on an earlier drive through the forest but we were unable to stop for a photograph. In this case, the road was almost deserted and we could take our time. We were able to stop right beside where it was standing. The koala was quite non-plussed with our prescience.
For the final part of the afternoon, we drove to a forest location called ‘Maits Rest’ It is about 20 minutes ti he west of Apollo Bay. It offers one of Victoria’s most visually stunning short walks and has recently undergone some extensive restoration and upgrading.. The area was named after the Otway region’s first forestry officer Maitland Bryant, and is the place where he used to rest his horses as he patrolled the forest.
Towering myrtle beech trees – some 300 years-old – and an understory of lush greenery and tree ferns lends an other-wordly feel to this popular walk.
For dinner, we shouted ourselves a grand seafood dinner from the local Fishermans Co Op cafe. We dined on a feast of fish, prawns, calamari and scallops, along with some good old potato chips (French fries). Tomorrow, he head further along the coast, past some of the most iconic sites on the Great Ocean Road.