The Great Ocean Road (Australia) & Photo Tour Begins!! - Geoff Piper

August 7, 2018

Sun Waves || The Great Ocean Road

Sun Waves || The 12 Apostles Along The Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia, August 2018 || Shot with my Nikon D850, Nikon 16-35mm (f/4) @ 26mm, f/10, 6", ISO 64, Lee Circular Polarizer & 3 Stop ND Grad Filter

The Great Ocean Road (Australia) & Photo Tour Begins!!


My 2018 world photography tour begins in Australia, specifically Port Campbell, along The Great Ocean Road in Australia! I am so excited to finally get to this area for photography, there are so many places to go it is virtually endless and I think I need months. My posts will tell the tales and stories of my photo tour, share many types of images from the tour while shooting (i.e., many from my iPhone as they are captured in the moment as well as full frame images of course of those to be in my portfolio). My images will focus on key locations during the tour and be accompanied by stories, photography tips, insights, places to go, and generally sharing information for my friends and photographer community and following. So, LET'S GET STARTED!


Melbourne (Brief Stopover)

I stayed in Melbourne for a few days prior to my tour to acclimate and prepare. I love Melbourne. It is a great city--massive, modern, friendly, progressive, booming, amazing infrastructure, cosmopolitan, and heralding diversity, culture and the arts. I love it because it gave birth to one of my favorite bands AC/DC, and is still a hot bed for rock and roll and bands especially in AC/DC lane! Melbourne's street art is incredible too. Check out some iPhone shots of Melbourne in my Facebook album and feed here.

Photo Tour Begins August 7

My photography tour begins August 7. I went to the Southern Cross station Budget, got my rental car (so easy and the staff were amazing--we talked about the state of America politics actually for 30 minutes, they were shocked :(      ....  and then headed off to The Great Ocean Road for the start of my photo tour. I began the drive out of Southern Cross, took the M1 to Geelong, and through the beautiful country side down to Port Campbell. By the way, the Australian highways/freeways are divine--they are safe, so well marked, modern, clean, and people drive so respectfully, safely and notably within the speed limit. All of this combined to make the drive easy and completely enjoyable--what a start! And yes, I DID see a kangaroo crossing during my time driving the area! He/she bounded across the road right in front of me! I never saw such a "kanagroo mob" but that would have been a treat in my opinion. Too bad I did not have my camera ready but it is a significant issue and good to follow this advice: 

Port Campbell & The Great Ocean Road

Port Campbell is perfectly located because it gives easy access to most of all of the key sites and destinations which will include: The 12 Apostles, The Otways, the all waterfall tour around the area, several lighthouses, animals of many kinds, and as far east as Lorne and west as Port Fairy.......just to name a few things and places! I will roll out more posts with specifics on each as they come, but here are a couple of the very first shots I took at The 12 Apostles with my iPhone:

Port Campbell is a lovely town, the people are friendly and inviting, so helpful (especially at the local market and post office where I shipped home a massive amount of my luggage that I will not need for the photo tour), the coffee is great and so is the food. I usually eat in my motel room to save on expenses, but I have had great seafood and deserts at 12 Rocks Beach Bar, and my daily coffee and photo work at The Alcove (love this cafe and the staff were so wonderful).

I am staying at the NMRA Port Campbell Holiday Park for the entire trip (very affordable) from August 5 - August 17. While a bit spare, the motel has all that I need (hey--I will spend most of my time out shooting who needs amenities!). Very quiet, safe, friendly staff, and the highlight was a Plover couple.

I got this wonderful seagull welcoming party upon arrival to Port Campbell and when taking a photo of the welcome sign:


Plovers are Wonderful to Me

Locals say plovers are loud and obnoxious and a nuisance. Hmm, well some of that is true but I think they're amazing and have great respect for them. Here's why: the other day, I walked by the female who appeared to be injured. She was sitting in the grass, next to the edge of the road which seemed like a precarious place to be sitting for such a long period of time. I approached her to investigate and see if I could help and was greeted by the loudest, meanest, most territorial series f squawks I have heard yet! Wow! Stay away! Ok little one, I will leave you alone.I approached one of the motel's employees and asked if they were aware of the bird and whether she was injured or not. He responded immediately: "Well, yeah--she's nesting!" Haha we both laughed at my cluelessness, and I responded with "really?" Yeah! I went back, kept my distance and sure enough, she is nesting! Amazing! And, by the way her mate came racing over to protect her when I came to close and she reminded me again to stay away with a series of intense squawks.

By the way, the weather is so intense here during August and Spring (more on this later in future posts) that I am utterly amazed at her dedication and perseverance as she is in the open, no cover, and endures every single day hail storms, massive winds and rains, it is a testament to the strength of life and that life will find a way! I am so proud of these plovers :)


Weather of The Great Ocean Road

Every single day, the weather changes dramatically in August in this area from massive rain, and wind, to bright, sunny, warm, and perfect, then back to hail, lightning, thunder, and just CRAZY! See below a link to a video of a massive and sudden hail storm that I watched from the warm, safe, shelter of my motel room--even this doesn't do it justice but is a small snippet of the crazy weather I endure here every day often even while out shooting! Its wild, but makes for great photos and stories. Check out this video of the crazy hail storm on YouTube:

Hail Storm in Port Campbell in August 2018

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