I just took my boy up to Airey’s Inlet on the Great Ocean Road, my childhood holiday heartland. Bliss. We stayed at a rented beach house with family. I may be biased, but this coast is soooooo bootiful, to use my little boy’s phrase. If you are ever in Australia, do go. Especially off season when it is wild and rugged and absolutely exhilarating. This was not off season, so very busy, but good hot beach weather. A big storm had come through months before, so the beach was covered in fascinating things. The weather was wild one day, warm and still the next.
On a morning walk I saw lovely, glistening seals rolling in the surf way below. There were cheeky cockatoos strutting around our deck each day (breakfast and dinner time?), king parrots, a bold kookaburra, and tiny fairy wrens (‘them is so tiny, I can’t believe them,’ says my two-year-old).
Something you should know about the surf coast (maybe the name gives it away) – the waves can be big and pretty challenging, even just for waist-high wading. I got a nose full of water while attempting a contemplative, watery stroll, shared a rueful but happy smile with another bather just battling to walk in. There’s something exhilarating about being bitch-slapped by Mother Nature, yes? The beach is so full of energy, so many sounds, smells and sensations, it’s like you become saturated and there’s no room for any tension, just a wonderful sleepiness that comes from being filled up with nature.