Travel

How Not To Do Christmas in Australia

Christmas Christmas Christmas! Merry Christmas to you all. The first thing we have to mention about the Australian Christmas is that it does not feel like Christmas. They do try, however with no Christmas lights and sunset not being until gone 8pm, there is nothing here you can do to make it feel really Christmassy. It’s far too hot much hotter than the UK even in summer so you can’t have mulled drinks and you end up spending lots of time on the beach which in my opinion isn’t particularly festive. If you think of Christmas as being summer however then it’s pretty damn cool. So for Christmas, we decided to go on what may be considered an ill-conceived adventure. We decided to go on a 4-day driving trip down the great ocean road which is considered one of the best road trips to do in Victoria. Our plan was a nice 400 mile round trip with plenty of Christmas BBQs.

So the day started off fairly well we woke up early and opened our presents. Since we were far from home and had no family or friends around, we splashed out on each other. Jamie bought Matt a GoPro Hero 4 camera as he had wanted one since we got to Australia and a Fitbit Too. Matt bought Jamie tickets to see Cats at the theatre, and a huge box of some great looking Tea from one of the Cool shops we found here call T2. It’s a bit like Wittards but 10 times better. Jamie also got some cute coffee cups to go with his Nespresso machine. The final Gift was the UK expansion of Ticket to ride one of his favourite games.

Before we headed off we found out there was a total fire ban over the whole of Victoria, so that’s no Xmas BBQ for us. We headed out of Melbourne and it’s Christmas day so you would expect the roads to be quiet WRONG! They were really busy and we even ended up waiting in traffic. We discovered on our way out that Victoria’s biggest Water Park is not too far away so we will be coming back to that soon. It got to about midday and we were feeling hungry which is pretty unusual for Christmas day. So we stopped at a service station to get some petrol and we popped to Hungry Jacks (or Burger King if you are from the UK).  Our Christmas, dinner was, therefore, burger and chips, it was very tasty but not the most festive, we are planned to do a nice sit-down Christmas roast next week. Hungry Jacks was also packed which again was a bit of a strange site.

We then headed down the coast towards Angelsea and we saw some people in canoes so we decided to stop and hire one. This was ‘Jamie’s first Canoe experience’. So we started paddling and Matt’s lessons from childhood came back very quickly. Off down the river, we go. We had a little crash into the sides a few times, mainly when Jamie was in control of the paddles. As we were heading round on what looked like to be an easy loop on the map, we came to a bride which unfortunately was one we couldn’t get under. So it looks like we made a wrong turn, there was no way we were going to turn back and go all the way around so we decided to drag the canoe out of the water walk across with it and drop it back in the water. See pics below. We finished our canoe adventure about one hour later’ a little burnt even with factor 50 sun cream on.

We then continued up the coast to Lorne, which apparently has some of Victoria’s best beaches and as we got there we got stopped ‘sorry the road is closed due to bushfires’. Some of you might have seen this on the news with over 100 homes destroyed and 5000 acres of land destroyed. We then had to head out on diversion around the Otway Mountains. It wasn’t all bad though as we got to drive through the spectacular mountains. We even got to see our first wild Roos and some Parrots too. Jamie even had a little drive. After our long days driving we arrived at the campsite and thankfully they had some spots left. We set up the tent and then decide to go for a little walk. We headed down towards the coast and found a spectacular beach with some really powerful but chilly waves. There was also a really nice warm river which I think of points connects to the sea. The views all around were amazing (see pics below).

Next, we got back to the campground and we did our Christmas calls. First Matts Dad & Andrew, Then Jamie’s Family & Finally Matt’s Mum and family. As all of their Christmas days are beginning ours is almost over. But not quite yet, first of all, we have to have the worst night of our lives. A storm hit our campsite and didn’t finish until 7am. Our tent was not up for the job. Our pegs were pulled up and would not go back down. The Bedding got soaked. Imagine dropping your Duvet in a river that wet! We couldn’t really sleep by 3am we were so wet we abandoned and slept in the car. Till the storm past, we woke up freezing. Note to self-don’t camp in a cheap tent when a storm is on the way.

We decided to cut the trip short and headed back to Melbourne stopping on the way at one the most beautiful beaches either of us had ever seen. It was so natural and untamed see the photos to see what we mean. One last stop Apollo Bay, Boxing Day Brekkie of Pie ‘the Aussie Classic’. Eaten on the beach of course. As we drove back we got a proper dose of Christmas with a good Christmas playlist to make the hours go faster.

Jamie & Matt x

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