Great Ocean Road
One of the World's Greatest Coastlines
of The Great Ocean Road
of the 12 Apostles
Ard Gorge pictures
of London Arch, The Grotto, The Arch
of the must-do trips when you visit Victoria
is head down the Great Ocean Road.
is a truly stunning piece of coastline running just under 300 kilometres
from Geelong through to Portland in the
state's far west.
you are a surfer you'll be aware of the major tournament at Bell's
Beach over Easter and will no doubt drool at other fabulous surfing
locations along this coast.
me the highlight of the Great Ocean Road is the area around Port
Campbell - about 2.5 to 3 hour's drive from Geelong.
Campbell is a tranquil little town with a pier, a pub, a few bars
and restaurants, hotels and motels, a backpackers and a really good
the best thing about Port Campbell is the amazing surrounding natural
scenery that includes the 12 Apostles
and Loch Ard Gorge.
If you time your visit correctly and get there at the lower tide
levels then go down Gibson Steps,
just before The Apostles, and you can get on to the beach where
you can see of the formations from ground level. Watch out for the
waves though as they can catch you out.
you see nothing else then do The Apostles, but I highly recommend
adding in the Loch Ard Gorge which is a historic spot that just
so happens to also be a beautiful little cove.
is named after the Loch Ard, a sailing ship that was wrecked on
the coast near the gorge and all but two aboard her drowned in the
young survivors landed at the gorge and the teenage boy Tom Pearce
went for help to get the 18-year-old woman up the cliffs there.
a matter of interest the wreckage and cargo that washed up from
the Loch Ard covered the beach in the gorge to a depth of two metres.
Loch Ard Gorge there are a number of other natural sights - magnificent
limestone structures such as the Island Arch, Muttonbird Island,
Thunder Cave and Broken Head.
trust me it is well worth walking down to overlook the ocean near
Sherbrooke River where waves of stunning power roll into the shore.
not seen such waves before. But, if you only have a limited time
then do stop to see the 12 Apostles, they are natural wonders.
They have appeared over the centuries as the ocean has eroded the
land around them, leaving them as giant cliff-height islands along
have visited The Apostles on at least a dozen occasions and every
time they still fill my heart with awe and my photographic eye with
stunning images to take.
place to stop and pause for a moment is London
Arch. It used to be London Bridge, a small peninsula of rock
jutting out into the sea and its two arches gave it a look of the
famous London landmark.
used to walk out on to the bridge as it was awesome to be able to
get photos from there. On January 15, 1990, two tourists were out
at the end of London Bridge when the portion connecting it to the
mainland collapsed leaving them terrified and stranded. The resultant
wave caused by thousands of tonnes of collapsing rock towered over
the tourists, but fortunately headed away from them. They were rescued
London Arch are The Arch, an amazing
half-rainbow rock formation, and The
Grotto, which offers some great photo opportunities.
are a number of pretty towns along the Great Ocean Road including
Torquay, Anglesea, Apollo Bay and Lorne. They are good to grab a
break at - depending upon how long you have been driving.
stop at Airey's Inlet lets
you can get out and stretch your legs with a quick walk up to its
lighthouse. Officially the structure is known as the Split Point
Ligththouse, but locals just call her the White Lady.
place for an interesting stop is after the road turns inland from
Apollo Bay and your begin a climb up the Otway Ranges. You can stop
at the wettest place in Victoria - Weeaproinah - which cops just
under 1900mm of rain a year.
around the way from Weeaproinah is a terrific tourist operation
called The Otway Fly.
Fly began as a place where you could move through the temperate
rainforest treetops on metal walkways and has now expanded to included
high-wire zip line tour.
walkway is about 600m long and gives you some absolutely marvellous
views of both the forest canopy and also of the tops of large fern
and other trees below. There is a 30m tower you can climb to go
even higher - standing about 47m above the ground. It seems far
if you don't like heights, or get vertigo, then the Fly may not
be for you as staring down through the metal grates to the forest
below can be a little disconcerting.
you the walk through the rainforest to and from the walkway is very
pretty and the kids will love the dinosaurs they meet along the
from Port Campbell is Timboon
- where some excellent icecream and cheeses are made. Possibly more
to my liking is the Timboon Railway Shed Distillery which produces
15 minutes drive west from Port Campbell is the small community
of Peterborough and the Bay of Islands that run for about 30km to
the west. There are lots of interesting little coves along this
coast and while not as spectacular as the Apostles, are still worth
the effort of stopping to view.
major centre along this part of the Great Ocean Road is Warrnambool,
a city famous for whale watching. Warrnambool also has a terrific
seafaring museum - Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village. If you have
the time it is well worth considering having an extra day in the
area to fully explore the city and its offerings.
it isn't a quick drive down the Great Ocean Road, but it is picturesque
and we would recommend taking your time. Plan for four or five days
if you can and just tootle about soaking up with views and the terrific
things on offer down this majestic part of the world.
remember, if you are running out of time you can always head inland
and cut your travel time back to Geelong
or Melbourne in half.