The real upside of Victoria having kinda petulantly unpleasant weather throughout nine months of the year is that sometimes you get a weekend of perfect sunshine blue, and no one has planned for it.
That means when you show up at a well-situated dog-friendly camping ground somewhere along the Great Ocean Road, there's no one else there except for a German couple in a campervan who probably would have been there even if it was snowing.
Another upside of the Great Ocean Road is that the Twelve Apostles is an incredibly famous Australian landmark, and just a far enough trek out of Melbourne to make it the end point of the journey for most people, before they need to turn around and head back because everyone is now tired, hungry and over it. But on the other side of the Apostles, the Peterborough side, there's still so many more beautiful coastal landmarks to visit, from Loch Ard Gorge to the Bay of Martyrs, which are a bit less crowded.
All along that coastline, the intensity of the orange earth against turquoise water was incredible. Maybe everything just seemed more vibrant because it was our first bright, outdoorsy day after a long stint of dreary, drizzly, overcast days. Whatever the cause, I was completely taken with winding walks through coastal scrub, looking down into canyons of ochre-hued cliff-faces filled with restless, rich blue, wandering along deserted beaches strewn with cuttlebones, and finally sprawling out on springy green grass to have an afternoon rest with the Beany dog while Scotty hunted around for fishing spots.
It's pretty idyllic stuff.