HI Hostels Blog

Travel inspiration found in Australia!

Recently, two of our long term backpackers were kind enough to make us a ‘Best of Apollo Bay’ scrapbook, full of all the best bits of their trip down the Great Ocean Road…we hope it inspires you to start your own journey –Gilbert and Gay, Managers of Apollo Bay Eco YHA

This is a snapshot of our time in Apollo Bay, we hope it inspires you to make the journey too!Early one morning we went outside to feel a refreshing sea breeze on our faces. We decided to venture up to the rooftop of the Apollo Bay YHA hostel and what a sight we were rewarded with!The most amazing sunrise filled the sky, a brilliant array of reds, oranges, pinks and yellows filled the sky, it was so peaceful that we decided to practice some yoga and meditate before we began our busy day.

Travel is the best excuse in the world to meet new people: it is a great conversation starter, mind opener and can open doors to new opportunitiesSome of the best friends we have today are the ones we met whilst travelling around Australia. We participated in the regular activities that the hostel put on. Two of our favourites were the ‘Pot Luck’ dinner and the Mexican Fiesta night.The Pot Luck dinner involved everyone showcasing their cooking skills by preparing something for everybody to eat around the table; we started off as strangers, but ended the night as a table of great new friends.The Mexican fiesta night involved a pig called Porky and a piñata. Many laughs were had as Porky ‘accidentally’ got beaten up, but it was OK – he also got lots of lollies and chocolate!

Things we did …..

Apollo Bay is the ideal place to get out in nature and we did exactly that. We started by making our way through the scenic Great Ocean walk that starts in Apollo Bay, we wandered at a leisurely pace to really take in the amazing views and sounds of the wildlife, we took so many photos, this one was one of our favourites.

Another walk that was a real highlight was one of the rainforest walks in the Great Otway National Park. We were surrounded by enormous trees and could hear the waterfalls in the distance, and as we kept walking we eventually found ourselves face to face with the waterfalls. We also managed to see koalas high up in the trees, Gilbert’s hot tip was this if we saw something that looks like a rock in a tree….it is a koala!

We were told the one thing you cannot leave Apollo Bay without doing is taking a trip the famous 12 Apostles and watch a sunrise or sunset over a deserted beach, we did this and it is one of the most wonderful views to witness.

Although we aren’t surfers, there are many places along the coast that you can stop to surf…or have a swim, but we decided to go kayaking instead and found ourselves up close watching a large seal colony and their babies interact and play with each other, it was such a sight, one we will never forget.

We were even lucky enough to witness the whales as they migrate near Apollo Bay each year during the Winter months (June – November), if you can get here during these months, you are in for a treat.

Our names are Gay and Gilbert and we manage Apollo Bay Eco YHA, an eco friendly hostel, built with the environment in mind.Over the years, we have had the opportunity to meet so many amazing people. Each year, thousands of people come to the Great Ocean Road to experience the beauty and magic of this part of the world, and we love nothing more than to share it with visitors.From the many backpackers we have met we are often told when they are on the road it can be hard to find cheap, tasty meals and end up eating 2 minute noodles! This is why we have an on-site herb and veggie garden for our guests to pick bits and pieces to spice and add flavor to their meals.

We grow plants, collect their seeds and then use empty toilet roll holders to grow new seedlings. In the kitchen we recycle food scraps for the worm farm, then use castings and tea from the worm farm for the garden.The hostel has a passive solar design, rain water tanks, solar panels and special walls to trap in the heat. There are also reverse fans louvered windows to circulate the air which is easy with the sea breeze and a fireplace to keep you warm in the Winter.

“A testament to the hostel’s eco success is how universities use the hostel as part of their curriculum. Universities with interests in sustainable building design and eco tourism regularly tour the property. (Hostelling Horizonz, New Zealand, 2012)

Come and start your own Great Ocean Road scrapbook with us!

Apollo Bay Eco YHA

5 Pascoe Street, Apollo BayVictoria, Australia

Email: apollobay@yha.com.au

Phone: (+613) 5237 7899


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