There’s nothing more Australian than hitting the open road with a car full of friends, camping gear in the boot and a quiver of boards strapped to the roof. Whether you’re escaping the grind on a Friday afternoon and or setting out on big journey, there are few things as fulfilling as a road trip with your closest pals.
Often when one has a reverie of escape, it’s usually of palm littered beaches in a distant and faraway land, but how many of you have taken the time to explore your own backyards? Australia is brimming with easy and accessible adventures, many of which can be accomplished over a weekend! To celebrate the spirit of the Australian road trip and to encourage you to partake in your own summer adventures, we’ve teamed up with our friends at North Journal, Bear Rentals, Dead Kooks, and Poler to bring you eight epic Australian journeys – all easily obtainable! Each journey will provide inspiration and expert tips from locals within each area and the Corona creative community that’ll help make your next roadie a breeze.
Corona Journey No.46 – The Great Ocean Road by North Journal
For our fourth and final adventure, we decided for an all-girls affair. We grabbed a bunch of classic Kombis, and armed with a sweet girl gang we headed south to the Great Ocean Road. We crossed borders and met up with old friends while making some new ones along the way. The swell forecast was not looking great for the ocean, so we decided to make the most of the awesome vehicles and clock up some serious kilometres. After all, if there is anywhere in Australia that makes driving long distances entertaining, it’s the stunning Great Ocean Road.
PICK YOUR WHEELS
When whispers of this trip began, and the idea of travelling down the Great Ocean Road in a couple of classic 1970 Kombis came up, we knew we had to make it happen. Our friends Alyce and George from Hire A Kombi provided us with two of their finest vehicles, Applejack and Mango, from their constantly evolving fleet down in Geelong. The Kombis have been decked out with everything from sleeping quarters to cooking facilities, so they make the old fashioned road trip easier than ever. We literally could just roll up to an empty car park and start cooking a Master Chef style feast then call it a night and crawl into the comfy beds.
CHOOSE YOUR GIRL GANG
The most important part of the trip is making sure you strategically invite friends that possess certain life skills. Ideally, pals that can work a camp stove, are meticulous cleaners, can correctly navigate with and without Google Maps, take good photos, and of course, people who can turn a stressful situation into laughs and happy tears.
We were lucky to have all of the above, plus more. But seriously, you want to be travelling with friends that are easy to be around, especially if you are sleeping in a small camper van with them. If someone isn’t pulling their weight, it will be quickly noticed.
ENJOY THE COASTLINE
This ocean lined road isn’t called GREAT for no reason. We rolled along the coastline from Anglesea to Apollo Bay, which is a half day adventure in itself. We stopped countless times to take in the view and swim in the remarkably blue water. And, to be honest, half the stops were to let the traffic behind us overtake our classically slow vehicles. The historical landmark The Twelve Apostles is a must-see location that we highly recommend you stop at to enjoy at sunrise.
Within half an hour of the Apostles, you also have other limestone formations to visit such as Loch Ard Gorge, The Arch, The Grotto and the London Bridge. It can be quite touristy along here, but there is a reason why the Great Ocean Road is so damn popular – it’s super easy to access and totally stunning all at the same time.
THE MORE WINDING, THE BETTER
Just when you think the roads can’t keep wrapping around giant headlands, they just keep on going. After crossing the Nullarbor last year to the west coast (the longest section of straight road in the country), windy roads are now an exciting experience for us, especially when you have some serious kilometres ahead. The more bends, the better we say. Every time you drive around a corner, there is something new to look at, as opposed to the Nullarbor-ing where you can see for 300km ahead and microsleeps are way too common.
COOK YOUR OWN
As the distance between major towns increases, so do the price tags. You can’t blame old mate for charging $6 for a coffee and $15 for a bacon and egg roll when the supplies are coming from a few hours away. The best advice we can provide for any road trip is when you find good produce on the road, stock up and cook your own food. Keep those pennies for your ever-growing fuel bill and the odd blowout when you find a little-hidden cafe that serves the best ham and cheese jaffles known to humankind but charges $20 for it.
PICNIC IN A REDWOOD FOREST
After travelling south through Apollo Bay, the Great Ocean Road takes a right turn inland through the Great Otway National Park. You can discover the famous Beauchamp and Hopetoun Falls here, and this area isn’t so weather dependent. The coastline is amazing, especially when the sun’s out and the wind isn’t howling. However, being at the bottom of Australia means the weather is unpredictable. Forests and waterfalls don’t need sunny skies to look good, so pack a big picnic and spend some time amongst the trees.
THE SUNSET SESSION
After setting up our campsite and hanging our wetsuits up to dry, we watched the sky begin to change from a moody grey to a subtle glow of orange. We piggy-backed our way to the nearest field with Coronas in hand and watched Mother Nature show off with a long lasting light show. There’s something special about a long cloudy day that all of a sudden turns into a pink and orange masterpiece as the sun sinks. It’s the sunsets that you least expect that are the best – and there’s no better way to enjoy an epic sunset than with a cold Corona and a few good friends.
Check out our other Australian Corona Journeys: