Melbourne Trip 2019 ~ Great Ocean Road
Imagine the horror in my face when my hubby suggested that we skip the Great Ocean Road (GOR) for our Melbourne trip. He reasoned that it was a long journey and might be a challenge for a mix age group like us (as young as 6 months old to as old as 65 years old)(´-ω-`)
But we did it! Thank you hubby for driving the majority of the journey. ღゝ◡╹)ノ♡
Driving along the stunning coastal route of GOR is an absolute must-do Melbourne bucket list! This Australian National Heritage listed 243 kilometres stretch of road along the south-eastern coast of Australia between the Victorian cities of Torquay and Allansford. It is one of the world’s most scenic coastal drives, home to an array of iconic surf breaks, striking coastal rock formations, forests, tourist holiday towns and of course the famous 12 Apostles.
We departed as early as 4.00am for our 500km drive (from Melbourne and return) of GOR road trip.
After two hours of driving, we reached our first stop at Memorial Arch where you can see the Great Ocean Road Sign and Memorial Arch Statue. It is the starting point of the GOR which was constructed by soldiers from 1919 to 1932 to commemorate those who made the long journey to fight but never returned.
Strong winds and rough ocean with a backdrop of gloomy sky right after dawn.
Time your trip to the Great Ocean Road region between June and October for whale watching at Warrnambool and Portland.
We stopped by Lorne for breakfast and I’ll blog about it in another post.
Random accommodation option that we spotted along the journey.
After the breakfast and the morning coffees, we had a short drive up to the Teddy’s Lookout with breathtaking coastal views of the surf breaking into the mouth of the Saint George River.
Our rainbow chasing trip, one of the biggest I’ve ever seen. (♥ω♥*)
Just one of the beautiful bays along the Great Ocean Road.
Another 1+ hours of drive, we arrived Apollo Bay, a relaxing little town nestled in the foothills of the Otways with long beach, shops and cafes.
One can take the Great Ocean Walk which is a one way long distance walk extending East to West, just over a 100kms between Apollo Bay and the iconic Twelve Apostles. The Cape Otway Lightstation, Victoria’s oldest working lighthouse also worth visiting to enjoy amazing views 90 metres above the ocean. (with entrance fee)
Wooden sculptures along the Apollo Bay Foreshore.
Had delicious scallop pie and apple crumble pie from Apollo Bay Bakery. Will ablog about this too. 😛
It was light drizzle when mom, hubby and Sam strolled at Maits Rest Rainforest Walk in Otways. They took photos with the amazing giant rainforest trees which estimated to be at least 300 years old. It is not only home to those spectacular trees, but also plants that are remnants of the forests that dominated this area 100 million years ago when it was part of Gondwanaland.
Other than the magnificent picturesque shorelines, the scenes of sheep and cattle grazing on the green, mountainous pasture land were equally captivating.
After yet more driving through rainforest and along the coastline, we reached Port Campbell National Park which is the main attraction of the day.
Gibsons Steps – First sightseeing stopoff in Port Campbell National Park for travellers heading West along the Great Ocean Road. The 88 steps cut into the limestone cliff face with stunning views towards two of the famous rock stacks of the 12 Apostles. But the steps was closed that day due to high tides.
This is the image that most visitors have of Great Ocean Road and the 12 Apostles are certainly glorious to behold. It is truly a spectacular sight of the limestone stacks standing amongst the crashing big waves, scattering along the coast. The apostles formed millions of years ago, sadly these days only eight of the apostles remain, the others having succumbed to the ocean in recent years. So make sure you see them while you can!
There is a large car park with boardwalks to the viewpoints. Being the most iconic attraction on GOR, so be prepared for masses of people as well as appearance of photobombs in your photos. But if money not an issue, you can view the 12 Apostles from the air with a helicopter tour for a totally different perspective.
Crazy woman in formation. ╥﹏╥
Named after one of the most famous shipwrecks of the Loch Ard, wrecked here in 1878 when it struck Mutton Bird Island located just offshore. There is a set of stairs that lead to the protected beach enclosed by two cliffs leading out to the ocean but it’s quite impossible and unsafe to do so during stormy weather at this season (late autumn/early winter)
Razorback- The viewpoint is located at Loch Ard Gorge and is about 700 metres from the car park. The name came about due to its jagged edges that run along the peak of this rock stack. It’s characterised by deep rough grooves caused by constant wave action and salt laden wind.
The Arch is naturally sculptured arch stands 8 metres high. It perches precariously mounted on a harder rock platform proud of the water in small to medium swell. In large swells its formation becomes more evident as waves mount the platform, thick heavy tomes gliding sleekly through the opening and cascading out the other side
London Bridge – was once shaped like a bridge and was connected to the mainland where visitors could walk across. The span closer to the shoreline collapsed unexpectedly in 1990, leaving two tourists stranded on the outer part until they were rescued by a helicopter.
This marked the end of our Great Ocean Road excursion but there are actually two more stopping points which we didn’t stop by. (The Grotto and Bay of Islands Track, Peterborough)
Verdict: If you can do only one tour from Melbourne, make it this one! However, touring the Great Ocean Road from Melbourne and return in one day is a long and tiring drive which I’m not really recommend. You may consider taking a bus tour if you only have one day available.
For something more leisurely, stay a one or two nights at Lorne, Apollo Bay or Port Campbell, to take in the tranquil, laid back atmosphere of Victoria’s southern coastal region.
Tips for Great Ocean Road road trip:
~ Leave as early as possible from Melbourne.
~ Check sunset times to avoid getting to the 12 Apostles area too late.
~ Fuel- Fill up before you go, though petrol stations are easy to find.
~ The return trip from Port Campbell to Melbourne, native animals may cross the road at any time.
~ During the days when daylight hours are shorter, it will involve driving in the
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