Anglesea, Torquay and “Kangarooneys”

On the way back from Lorne and the fantastic early morning sunrises, not to mention seeing Koala Bear for the first time at Kennet River, it was time for a few last stops before the Ocean Road experience was over for this lifetime. The Great Ocean Road starts past Torquay and so it was time for 3 final stops. For me it had been an exhausting day or two driving almost 1,000 kilometres (not to mention an exhausting week of travelling prior to that – Pin Oak Court, Canberra, Leaving PJ Gallagher’s, Live Karaoke). But we all had enough energy for this final drive.

First stop was to be the small seaside town of Anglesea. There’s also one in Wales, with a ‘y’ on the end. But this one promised, as Neil had found out, real wild kangaroos. I started to call them Kangarooneys. I liked to make fun of Wayne Rooney and animalise him, even though I respect he’s a fantastic footballer. So for this trip we were on the hunt for Kangarooneys!

We arrived around 6.30 am in the sleepy town of Anglesea, having filled the car up with petrol, seen Koala bears and passed through Lorne, Fairhaven and a place called Moggs Creek (where there were no people). We veered off the main road at Anglesea, looking for Anglesea Gold Course. This is where we were told the Kangarooneys hang out. Instead of finding the golf course, I ended up driving up a hill on the edge of town to the top of a forest path with a decent view over the town. This was not the right place to find Kangarooneys. But something bizarre was stirring…

I glanced in the side mirror for a second and saw a grey haired guy coming up over the hill. It was Doc from Back To The Future! He neared the car and he looked old and out of time. He had clearly just warped through via a Delorian sports car built in Belfast’s Dunmurry. Except it wasn’t really Doc Brown. But I hopped out of the car, admired the view. The lads waited in the car and I approached the Doc. “Where here can I see kangarooneys?” I ast him. He was local, and was actually out at 6.45 am walking his dog. Plus he knew where the Roos where…

We had veered onto Belton Street, a massive hill in East Anglesea. From there we were told to head back down onto Noble Street, follow it round and look for a left hand turn for Golf Links Road and look out for Kangarooneys. We did just that and as soon as we were on Golf Links Road we saw a Kangaroo hopping along behind a fence to the left of the car and onto the golf course. The funniest bit was when we saw a junction entrance to the Golf Club itself, and there, a metre from the car stood a tall and statuesque Kangarooney staring down at the car. “Theres a rooney!” I shouted and suddenly he turned and hopped back into the forest. The camera moment was gone, as was the chance to stop the car and park and go over to him.

But then I turned the car and we saw yet more Kangaroos when I turned into the official golf course car park. It must be a popular tourist spot for looking out for Kangarooneys. This is evident by the large signs at the entrance, something like “This is a golf club. NOT OPEN FOR KANGAROO VIEWING.” But we stopped the car anyway, and I was the only one who got out and wanted to see a Kangarooney. 

There were two sat behind one of the trees so I got out, got Paul to take a photo of me with them in the far background and then I walked up to the tree. I was still about 50 metres away from the first Kangarooney, but happy to see then that close in the wild.

The short jaunt to Anglesea was over and it was back onto the Great Ocean Road, over the Anglesea River and towards Torquay. Just before Torquay is Bells Beach – the most famous surfing beach in Australia I’m told. We got there, parked and got out. 

The morning sun was shining and there were two parts to Bells Beach. We walked down the steps to the sandy part. It was refreshing and quiet. We climbed across the rocks to the main surfers part of the beach which had lots of broken yellow seaweed totally covering all of the sand. 

Quite a few surfers were in. The waves looked good. It must have been around 7.30 am by now and I was thinking of a breakfast stop, and definitely a cup of tea or coffee.

The first decent place we saw we would stop at. It turned out to be onto Duffield Road and onto Sunset Strip in the Torquay suburb of Jan Juc. Just a bit further down from Bells Beach. There we found a “village centre” with a lovely wee Cafe called Swells. 

Swells was the perfect place for breakfast that day – exactly what I needed. I got a egg and bacon toasted sandwich and a cup of Latte Coffee for about $11, something like £6. That was very reasonable and it went down a treat. After the brief stop there in Torquay, it was game over for the Great Ocean Road trip.

The car was due back in at 12 noon, to a car rental place called Budget on City Road, Melbourne. I drove us back the long roads through Geelong and back on the M1 eventually to Melbourne, where we were 10 minutes early for handing our car in (which included a final petrol stop to fill her up). I was tired. The trip had been well worth the drive. We had seen some amazing things. Now we were back at the Urban Central Hostel in Melbourne for one final night in Melbourne before we would leave for Tasmania.

Who went – Jonny Blair, Paul Demciuch, Neil Macey, Daniel Evans.

Transport Used – Grey Nissan Ciida registration WSR 091

Places Visited – Anglesea, Bells Beach, Torquay (Jan Juc)

Best Animal We Saw – Grey Kangarooneys

Key Song – Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport




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