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Tiki Touring Victoria

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The Great Ocean Road
One of the World's Greatest Coastlines


Great Ocean Road Day Trip
Full-Day Great Ocean Road Sunset Tour
Private Tour: Great Ocean Road Helicopter Tour
3-Day Great Ocean Road and Grampians Tour
2-Day Great Ocean Road and the Grampians
3-Day Tour: Road Trip Between Melbourne and Adelaide Including Great Ocean Road and the Grampians
Private Tour: Great Ocean Road
Great Ocean Road 2-Day Adventure Tour
Melbourne Super Saver: Great Ocean Road plus Mornington Peninsula and Melbourne Attraction Pass
Melbourne Super Saver: Great Ocean Road and Phillip Island plus Melbourne Attraction Pass

By Richard Moore

Pictures of The Great Ocean Road
Photos of the 12 Apostles
Loch Ard Gorge pictures
Images of London Arch, The Grotto, The Arch
Apollo Bay
Cape Otway

Port Fairy

One of the must-do trips when you visit Victoria is head down the Great Ocean Road.

Great Ocean Road, Victoria, AustraliaIt is a truly stunning piece of coastline running just under 300 kilometres from Geelong through to Portland in the state's far west.

If 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.

For me the highlight of the Great Ocean Road is the area around Port Campbell - about 2.5 to 3 hour's drive from Geelong.

Port 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 camping ground.

Port Campbell, Victoria, AustraliaBut 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.

If 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.

Loch Ard Gorge, Victoria, AustraliaIt 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 terrible storm.

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.

As 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.

Around 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.

And trust me it is well worth walking down to overlook the ocean near Sherbrooke River where waves of stunning power roll into the shore.

Sherbrooke River waves, Victoria, AustraliaI've 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 the coast.

I 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.

One 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.

I 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 by helicopter.

Airey's Inlet lighthouse, Victoria, AustraliaNear London Arch are The Arch, an amazing half-rainbow rock formation, and The Grotto, which offers some great photo opportunities.

There 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.

A 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.

Another 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.

Otway Fly, Victoria, AustraliaJust around the way from Weeaproinah is a terrific tourist operation called The Otway Fly.

The 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.

The 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 higher tho'.

Now 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.

Mind 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 way.

Inland 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 whiskey.

Otway Fly, Victoria, AustraliaAbout 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.

The 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.

Now 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.

And 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.








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