The Great Ocean Road is 243 km long and winds around the rugged south west coast of Victoria. It is noticed as one of the magnificent coastal drives in the world. Construction of the Great Ocean Road started in 1919 and finished in 1932. This road is the worlds largest war memorial to commemorate the diggers from the First World War and majority of the workers were returned diggers from this war. For thousands of years before 1801, clans of the Wathaurong and Gadabanud tribes lived throughout the area. In 1924, a steamer ‘the casino’ had become stranded near Cape Patton after hitting a reef. Some of the cargo was found to be 500 barrels of beer and 120 bottles of spirits. The diggers working on the great ocean road naturally helped themselves to the abandoned alcohol, which resulted in an unscheduled drinks break lasting 2 weeks.
This was my first trip to the Great Ocean Road. Sad given I’m Victorian bred and all, but true. I’ve heard many exciting stories of the remarkable stretch of coastline and last year I planned to see what all the talk was about. When people say that Australia is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, they’re right. But for some time, I had reservations in agreeing as I thought their opinions might be biased. And I must admit that I am too often dreaming of my future adventures across the pond and all the while forgetting to admire this place I call home.
Well, after visiting the Great Ocean Road for the first time, I’m confident it won’t be my last. I was convinced that my judgement was harsh and untrue each time I stopped to capture a recommended view. There isn’t much to prepare for this trip, it’s quite effortless to achieve, just get in your car and drive. A suggestion that was made by a friend and one I tried to honour was making sure I stopped at every tourist stop. Sometimes you may want to assume that a lookout will only give you views of the water, in some cases yes, but not always. Each lookout has a story, and many of them are memorials and sometimes there are rock formations in the water that can’t be seen from the road. In the beginning, I was so eager to get to what I thought to be the best part of the trip starting after Apollo Bay. I’m glad I listened to the tip because there are several famous landmarks and outstanding views before hand, and as it turns out I spent more time checking things out before I hit Apollo bay than what I did after.
Day 1 pictures before Apollo Bay:
The rock stacks that are dotted along the coastline become more frequent after Apollo bay and a trip through the country. The lime stone stacks and other varying rock formations that come after Apollo Bay are listed below:
- The twelve apostles
- Gibson steps
- The Grotto
- The Arch
- London Bridge
- Loch Ard Gorge
- Bay of martyrs
- Bay of Islands
Day 2 pictures After Apollo Bay:
There is one absolute monster formation called London Bridge. Back in the day tourist were able to walk out onto this formation. In 1990, it broke away from the main land; the ‘London Bridge is falling down’ song comes to mind. There were two people standing on London Bridge as the critical part that was attached to the land broke off. The people were stranded and had to be rescued by a helicopter, just imagine if they had been standing on the wrong part as it broke, they more than likely wouldn’t be here today to tell the story.
Erosion isn’t good for our land, but for a long time visitors have travelled from all over the world to see these rock formations before it’s to late, and they too are lost to the ferocious southern ocean. It’s surprising to witness just how damaging the deterioration is but at the same time it’s a fierce natural beauty that can only be respected and admired at the same time. I noticed the gap between the rock stacks and the ground I was standing on and wondered how long before it also would be gone.
To sum up my road trip, I can only conclude that I have been taught a valuable lesson, don’t ever take Australia for granted! There is a reason why we have so many tourists from over seas this place is just beautiful. I’m now looking for my next hot spot! I’m thinking it might be the Spanish castle far up north, at Paronella Park in Mena Creek near Cairns. X
- Melbourne: The Great Ocean Road (whereismypassport2013.wordpress.com)
- DAY ONE – Great Ocean Road, Victoria (whowhereandwhy.wordpress.com)