The Great Ocean Road
Trip Start Jun 30, 2011
37Trip End Ongoing
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It took about an hour from Melbourne to get to The Great Ocean Road. The Road in fact was another war memorial, which seems to be a recurring theme with a number of attractions around the Melbourne area. It was built by the returning soldiers of the first world war, between 1918 to 1932
We also made a quick stop in Anglesea at the lookout before taking an extended break at the Split Lighthouse in Aireys Inlet. This was where a children's show called Round the Twist used to be filmed. It rekindled all kinds of memories of the "Twist Family" for Parminder, but I (Sharndeep) could only very vaguely remember it if at all. We went on a short walk around the area, up to the edge of the cliff face, giving us views of the ocean. Next stop was the Memorial Arch, which looks like the official commencement of the Great Ocean Road. Another two quick stops at Devil's Elbow and Reddy's Creek preceded our next longer stop at Lorne.
Lorne is a cosmopolitan seaside resort and has the best of both worlds; the beautiful forests of the Great Otway National Park, and the dramatic scenery of the Great Ocean Road
We made our way through the Otways, making brief stops at Cape Paton, Mount Defiance and Apollo Bay; before we reached the famous Twelve Apostles. The place was crowded, and our check-in time was fast approaching. We made it a quick stop; with the numerous tour parties there, we weren't able to enjoy as much as we would've liked. As our stop for the night, Port Campbell, was only ten minutes away - we decided to check in before returning to see a less crowded Twelve Apostles. The Apostles themselves are a collection of limestone stacks, formed by erosion.We picked up some fish and chips (fish was deliciously tender, chips not so great) and a few drinks after checking-in, and took them back to watch sunset over the Twelve Apostles.
We counted only eight standing apostles, and later learned that in fact there were only ever nine - the name is purely for tourism purposes. The Apostles are eroding at a rate of a couple of centimetres a year, so some of the current crop are expected to be lost. However, the cliff face is also eroding, and this may well spawn a few more apostles to even things up in the future
After a nights sleep, we continued our journey up the Road. Port Campbell was quite a delightful little place itself, with a small beach and park for children. Our first stop of the day was after only a short while to give us a lookout of Port Campbell from above. We then continued onto The Arch Lookout, followed by London Bridge, which had fallen down in 1990. Again, the double span of London Bridge was originally formed by erosion. Next stop was The Bay of Martyrs, which provided a spectacular sweeping views of many of the rock stack islands. Our trip up the Road was completed with our final stop of note at Tower Hill, which sits inside an extinct volcano. We continued onwards to Port Fairy but was not much else to see there, other than being just a quaint fishing village in its own right.
Overall, we were really glad that we visited the Great Ocean Road. Wasn't on our list of must-do's to be honest when we first came, but definitely would recommend to anyone visiting Melbourne. We enjoyed doing it by car, and would choose to do so again rather than go in a tour group. Those with bigger budgets may even elect for something more powerful than the Suzuki Swift we had - was massively envious of the Ferrari's passing us the other way, with their boisterous exhausts. Twelve apostles was the obvious highlight, but the Road itself is one of the most scenic drives on the planet.