We recently sat down with the lovely couple Tom and Tahnee and asked about their experience down the Great Ocean Road in our automatic 8 seater Harriett. We hope you enjoy their story.
IT’S the kind of trip you dream of but never think you’ll get to do.
A beautifully restored vintage Kombi, someone you love in the passenger seat and coastline for
My girlfriend Tahnee and I had driven along the Great Ocean Road before. In fact we’ve taken our
campervan on many road trips and stayed in some pretty remarkable places, but cruising this
stretch of coast in Harriet the Kombi was unlike any other road trip we’ve done before.
Waves and smiles from everyone we go by, honks from fellow van-lifers, and all round good vibes
were the contents of our 5 days on the road.
How could you not smile when you see this van though, seriously?!
We took off from Ocean Grove early Monday morning excited, caffeinated and ready for adventure.
The weather wasn’t on our side to begin and I quickly found out how different the van was to drive
than mine. The lovely big steering wheel meant that there were some adjustments to be made. We
pulled off at Point Addis and had a good chat to George over the phone about the correct way to
drive her and from that point on it was second nature.
The sky cleared up just in time to stop and have lunch in Lorne.
We always get stuck looking in the shops and talking to interesting people there. Everyone we met
wanted to talk to us about Harriet and were super jealous.
Clear skies meant that we could finally play with our new drone! This stunning coastline lends itself
to amazing aerial photography and we couldn’t wait to see it from this perspective.
As the sun began to set we made our way to Wye River for the night.
We set up the bell tent and began to cook dinner; just as the sun disappeared below the horizon,
out came the stars.
The next morning we woke up nice and early to head into the Otways. We spent the day enjoying
time amongst the trees and reconnecting to the harmony of nature.
Being here was a good reminder for us to get out of the city more and escape the hustle and bustle
of everyday life.
We planned to wake up early the following morning to watch the sunrise over the 12
Apostles…Let’s just say we didn’t quite make it. We had underestimated the distance from Cape
Otway and ran out of fuel!
Luckily RACV were extremely helpful and someone was able to bring us out a can of Unleaded 98
to get us back on the road again.
We had missed sunrise but made it to Gibsons steps right on time for the golden light that follows
shortly after. It’s a beautiful time of the morning and it’s really special to be able to experience
places like this before they are flooded with tourists.
Seeing the sights first thing in the morning also meant that we could slow down for the rest of the
day. We chilled in Port Campbell and ate chips on the beach before setting up camp.
Day four and the sad thought of handing back the keys was starting to dawn on us. We made our
way back through the Otway National Park and couldn’t resist another little stop-over for some
Stopping often to enjoy our last full day with Harriet the Kombi, we continued on through Apollo
Bay and gunned it back to Torquay (which is not very fast in a van from the 1970’s).
On Friday morning we woke up to watch the sunrise at Point Addis. We experienced a moment of
intense gratitude for the week just passed. Everything had come together so beautifully, despite
our minor hiccups along the way.
The journey was a perfect balance of relaxation and adventure; we were taken out of our comfort
zones and yet felt entirely rejuvenated.
Teary-eyed we gave Harriet a wash and handed her over.
Alyce and George were incredibly helpful throughout our trip and are such a lovely family. We can’t
wait until our next Kombi adventure!
Lots of love, Tom & Tahnee x