Southern Ocean Drive – Day One

After two days traveling the famous Great Ocean Road, we began our next Australian adventure: South Australia’s Southern Ocean Drive.

The official start of The Drive is Mt. Gambier, but since we were in Port Fairy, that’s where our journey began.

Go with it.


Our first stop was Portland, the oldest European settlement in Victoria.

Great Ocean Road

Great Ocean Road

This is also where you’ll find captivating Cape Bridgewater and Bridgewater Bay.

Great Ocean Road

We parked our car on Bridgewater Road and went for a hike.

Great Ocean Road

Great Ocean Road

We weren’t sure where we were going, we just followed the path and enjoyed the views, trees, and salt air.

Great Ocean Road

Cape Bridgewater

Great Ocean Road

Great Ocean Road

Our next stop was Cape Bridgewater wind farm, the second stage of Pacific Hydro’s Portland Wind Energy Project (PWEP).

Great Ocean Road

I’m fascinated with wind turbines.

Can you see me?

Great Ocean Road

Other highlights of Cape Bridgewater, is the surreal landscape of the petrified forest:

Great Ocean Road

And the mighty waves crashing against -and through- the volcanic cliffs.

Great Ocean Road

Great Ocean Road

Bonus? Sometimes you can see a large breeding colony of fur seals from a look out above.

Great Ocean Road

Unfortunately, we did not.

About an hour and a half from Cape Bridgewater is Mt. Gambier, known for its limestone, volcanic landscape, and crater lakes.

Great Ocean Road

Their most famous crater lake turns cobalt blue from December to March, and is aptly named Blue Lake.

Great Ocean Road

The lake returns to a colder steel grey color from April to November.

Great Ocean Road

Umpherston Sinkhole is another worthwhile stop in Mt. Gambier.

Great Ocean Road

James Umpherston made the sinkhole into a garden in 1886, and is now fittingly referred to as the Sunken Garden.

Great Ocean Road

Great Ocean Road

Our next and final stop for the day was Naracoorte, about an hour north of Mt. Gambier.

Since we knew we’d be eating out for several days in a row, we chose to end our journey at Carolynnes Cottages, a charming cottage with a full kitchen and outdoor grill.

Great Ocean Road

Thanks to T & A Tender Cuts Butcher Shop, we feasted upon lamb chops and their award winning house-made sausage.

Great Ocean Road

After our home-cooked meal, we relaxed on the wraparound porch with a bottle of wine and reminisced on our travels thus far.

Great Ocean Road

Day One Highlights

Drive from Port Fairy to Naracoorte with stops: 324km

  • Portland
  • Cape Bridgewater
    • Wind farm
    • Petrified forest
    • Blowholes
  • Mt. Gambier
    • Blue Lake
    • Umpherston Sinkhole

Naracoorte

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