Sunrise at the Twelve Apostles and Gibson Steps

Sunday, May 21, 2017
Gibson Steps Magog and Gog Rocks Victoria Australia
Gibson Steps Magog and Gog Rocks Victoria Australia
Gibson Steps Magog and Gog Rocks Victoria Australia
Gibson Steps Magog and Gog Rocks Victoria Australia
Gibson Steps Magog and Gog Rocks Victoria Australia
Gibson Steps Magog and Gog Rocks Victoria Australia
Gibson Steps Magog and Gog Rocks Victoria Australia
Gibson Steps Magog and Gog Rocks Victoria Australia
Gibson Steps Magog and Gog Rocks Victoria Australia
The Twelve Apostle Victoria Australia
The Twelve Apostle Victoria Australia
The Twelve Apostle Victoria Australia
The Twelve Apostle Victoria Australia
The Twelve Apostle Victoria Australia

Sunrise at Gibson Steps with Magog and Gog Rocks & The Twelve Apostles. The Great Ocean Road, Princetown, Victoria Australia.
Wearing: Bonds Sweater, H&M Leggings, Vans White Sneakers, Double Stripe Hipster Bag from To The Nines
All photos taken by me and Hai, with a Canon 70D DSLR.

Before Hai turned thirty and for our 2 and a half year anniversary, me and Hai embarked on an ambitious roadtrip. After we got engaged on the first night, we drove down the extra 5-6 hours to the Twelve Apostles via the iconic Great Ocean Road. There we reached our campsite at Apostles Camping Park to pitch a tent and finally have a hot shower.
Making our dinner at 9pm, we finally realized the sun had not set yet. It ended up getting dark at 10pm! Apparently it's because we were more inland from the East coast yet we were still within the same time zone (We have five different time zones in Australia - with some towns choosing to follow a different one even though the rest of the state follows another). So that was a new and interesting experience.
At 11pm, we decided to go to the Twelve Apostles to catch some night shots.
Parking our cars on the other side of the road, we walked. The path to the coast was well lit, making it safer to walk at night. After a few minutes I finally found myself facing the grande apostles. I didn't know what to expect, and when my eyes adjusted and I could see the outline from afar. It was captivating. The sound of the crashing waves, the cool wind, the eerie dark. For the first time in a long time I just stood there in silence, content with my life. At the campsite, I slept while hugging Hai tightly.

At the break of dawn, we were back to watch the sunrise. Facing the Magog and Gog rocks (not part of the Twelve Apostles by the way), the sun rose sprawling pinks oranges and purples across the sky. It truly is one of the most prettiest sunrises I've seen. I heard the song 'Across the Universe' by Fiona Apple being played out in my head.

There is opportunity to see the Magog and Gog rocks at beach level. We drove a few metres down to the Gibson Steps carpark and walked down the 86 cliffside steps to the sand. Tide permitting, we were able to get really close to the rocks and admire its grande scale.

The Twelve Apostles can be seen from the viewing platform, where it is nice and windy (that chilly Southern Ocean wind is unforgiving). Over the years the Apostles have been eroded over time, now there stands only seven - making my opportunity to see them more cherished.

Hai's original plan was to propose to me here. However as you know from my engagement post, this didn't happen. Reflecting on my visit, I'm glad Hai didn't use this chance. Getting proposed to here would've been nice but it can get crowded by enthusiastic tourists quickly. And we were there on a random Tuesday morning.

Honestly the tourists didn't bother me though and didn't take away from my experience. As the sun rose we simultaneously stopped talking and we all knew we simply felt graced to be here.
I will definitely visit again.

Ophir Reserve Autumn Camping (Part 2)

Monday, May 15, 2017
Camping with Dogs
Ophir Reserve Campsite NSW Australia
Potatoes Corn Camping Australia
Wanderer Lantern Camping Australia
Ophir Reserve Campsite NSW Australia
Ophir Reserve Campsite NSW Australia
Camping with Dogs
Camping with Dogs
Ophir Reserve Campsite NSW Australia
Ophir Reserve Campsite NSW Australia
Ophir Reserve Campsite NSW Australia
Ophir Reserve Campsite NSW Australia
Ophir Reserve Campsite NSW Australia
Smores Hot Cross Bun
Orange Jeep Wrangler
Ophir Reserve Campsite NSW Australia
Ophir Reserve Campsite NSW Australia
Ophir Reserve Campsite NSW Australia

 Ophir Recreation Reserve Camping Site, Lower Lewis Ponds Road, Ophir NSW 2800 Australia

Following up from Part 1 of this Camp Trip series, we continued our night sitting by the warm fire. When we turned off our head lamps, lanterns and torches, I managed to see the milky way and all the stars. It was breath-taking and I spent hours staring up at them while I listened to my friends share stories.
For supper, we were treated to delicious home made stew full of beef, chorizo, carrots and potatoes. We warmed our bodies with Lindt hot chocolate and heated milk.
For breakfast me and Betty got some hot cross buns, smeared Nutella inside, and stuffed in three marshmallows. We then wrapped the bun in foil and put it into our fire for a couple of minutes. Once toasted we opened the foil and the the Nutella and marshmallows had melted into a yummy gooey mess. It was so amazing I vowed to make these at every camping trip from then on.

We finished the day off by hiking small trails around the Reserve and playing with visiting dogs. With our coffees in hand, we packed our tents and divided up the food.

With such a beautiful backdrop of yellow and orange trees, it was hard to leave this place! But I know I will be back, especially around May when I know the leaves start turning gold. Thanking Hai for his organisation and the contributions everyone made into making this camping trip so fun.

Directions to Ophir - From Orange NSW, start at Icely Road driving towards Lower Lewis Ponds Road. Once reaching the T intersection, turn right on Lower Lewis Ponds Road. Brown sign pointing will say "Ophir".
Follow this road (it will go from tar, gravel and dirt roads), you will pass the Carbone Council gate. The road starts descending, follow the road slowly and you will reach Ophir Recreation Reserve. The beautiful tree and river will be on your right, toilets to your left.

Ophir Reserve Autumn Camping (Part 1)

Sunday, May 7, 2017
Ophir Reserve Camping Jeep Wrangler
Ophir Reserve Camping Site NSW Australia
Ophir Reserve Camping Site NSW Australia
Ophir Reserve Camping Site NSW Australia
Corn Cob Camping Food
Ophir Reserve Camping Site NSW Australia
Ophir Reserve Camping Site NSW Australia
Instant Ramen Noodles Camping Food
Instant Ramen Noodles Camping Food
Ophir Reserve Camping Jeep Wrangler
Ophir Reserve Camping Jeep Wrangler
Camping With Dogs
Ophir Reserve Camping Site
Stanley Thermal Mugs Camping Pot Set
Ophir Reserve Camping Site Fire Flinting
Ophir Reserve Camping Site NSW Campfire
Ophir Reserve Camping Site NSW Campfire

Ophir Recreation Reserve Camping Site, Lower Lewis Ponds Road, Ophir NSW 2800 Australia

About a year ago, me and Hai visited Ophir Reserve for the first time. We discovered it on my birthday weekend last year with the tree's leaves having just turned yellow and orange.
I could never forget how beautiful that tree was, I wanted to see it again. Lucky for me, my fiance wanted to come back too. So we planned an epic camping trip for us, ten of our friends and our dog Cookie. We made the 3 hour and a half trip down, scaling gravel and dirt roads to get here.
With Hai's Jeep, we crossed the shallow river to get the more remote side. There we set up our tents, chairs and communal area. The first thing the boys did was go collect firewood and chop it up. We then had the brilliant idea of creating a fire pit with two 'vents' so that air can move through and feed the fire.
We spent our day eating ramen noodles, preparing corn cobs and potatoes for dinner, and eating home baked Anzac Cookies. We hiked the surrounding trails, started the fire with flints, caught fish, drank beer and shared our stories.
The camp reserve provided flushing toilets and a running tap on the main side of the river. It cost us a $10 facilities fee per car and it was through an honesty box - a small fee for so much fun. Whilst we were across the river, we could make our way back to the other side by foot, crossing a small concrete dam wall to reach the bathroom. Powerful torches and head lamps helped immensely.
As the sun set, our night continued with some night fishing and fueling our fire. We ate our Korean BBQ dinner - cooking up our yakiniku pork, boiled rice, and preparing our condiments - sesame oil dip, cucumber, garlic, chopped chillis, picked squid, kimchi and red bean paste.
Then we threw our corn cobs and potatoes into the fire, roasting and eating them while staring up at the bright milky way and stars. Later at night, we finished off our meals with hot chocolate and s'mores, roasting marshmallows in our camp fire. I couldn't have had a more perfect night with our friends. It was made even better with Hai by my side, hugging me to ensure I kept warm.

Directions to Ophir - From Orange NSW, start at Icely Road driving towards Lower Lewis Ponds Road. Once reaching the T intersection, turn right on Lower Lewis Ponds Road. Brown sign pointing will say "Ophir".
Follow this road (it will go from tar, gravel and dirt roads), you will pass the Carbone Council gate. The road starts descending, follow the road slowly and you will reach Ophir Recreation Reserve. The beautiful tree and river will be on your right, toilets to your left.
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