The Great Ocean Road

Australia, RTW: 2007-2008 — By on April 8, 2008 6:27 PM

I spent a few days in South Australia in the city of Adelaide. The weather was bad most of my visit but I did make it down to Gelong to see the beach and promenade. Danny took Friday off and flew from Sydney to meet me and we drove the Great Ocean Road together to Melbourne. Danny is Australian but had not done the drive so it was a first for us both! We took turns driving and I am now comfortable driving on the other side, but I think Danny preferred to drive as he says I have a “lead foot”! I always have so much fun with Danny, but I was a little concerned as to what kind of trouble he and I would get into. We are alike in the sense that crazy things can happen to us due to clumsiness, or just bad luck! His mates call him “Captain Liability” and my old roommate Tara told me that I should have come with a warning label! Danny’s roommate joked with us saying, “mixing Captain Liability with Warning Label is like crossing the beams in Ghost Busters. As they said in the movie…it would be “bad” and couldn’t be done as it is too dangerous!”

We managed to drive around 1000km with no major disasters, having “heaps” of fun along the way! Danny is a very funny guy who always makes me laugh. We saw many kangaroo along the road and managed to not hit any! The one slip up we had was not realizing that the Princess Margaret Rose Cave was in Victoria and therefore, the time was 30 minutes ahead and we missed the last tour of the cave by 15 minutes! We tried to find the cave on our own but didn’t because the office was literally built on top of the cave entrance and the door was locked! So strange! We did do a short walk down to the Glenelg River, which was very pretty and runs all the way to the Grampians. We probably would have made it to the cave in time had we not stopped at a winery in Penola to do wine tasting! Wine tasting or caves…hard choice! We stopped for the night in Port Fairy and stayed in a B&B. Port Fairy is a small, cute fishing town close to the start of the Great Ocean Road.

The Great Ocean Road is a 273km stretch of road along the South Eastern coast of Australia between the Victorian cities of Geelong and Warrnambool. The Great Ocean Road was built by 3000 returned servicemen as a war memorial for fellow servicemen who had been killed in the First World War. The stunning stretch of road is one of the world’s most spectacular coastal drives. I was curious how it would compare to California’s Hwy 1, and I have to say it takes the cake!

The most photographed stretch of the great Ocean Road is near Port Campbell National Park. Here limestone cliffs tower over the ocean. Over thousands of years, waves and tides have trashed the rock in an ongoing process of erosion, creating a fascinating series of rock stacks, gorges, arches and blowholes. Some of the main sites we saw were the Bay of Islands, Gibson Steps, the Grotto, Loch Ard Gorge, the Arch, and London Bridge.

Bay of IslandsLondon BridgeThe GrottoLoch Ard Gorge
Being that the Great Ocean Road is a major tourist attraction; there were crowds at most of the sites we visited. Somehow we managed to find a quiet, beautiful, and secluded beach at Worm Bay that we literally had all to ourselves! We had a picnic lunch on the beach and I could have stayed there all day!

The Twelve Apostles are the best-know rock formations in Victoria. These rocky stacks have been abandoned to the ocean by eroding headland. Today, only six apostles can be seen from the viewing platforms. We stayed to see the sunset over the Apostles, which was well worth the wait.

We stayed the night in Apollo Bay where we camped at Morengo Holiday Park, overlooking the ocean. It was amazing to hear the ocean so close as you sleep! Although it was chilly outside, our tent was very warm. In the morning, Danny and I walked down to the beach to watch the surfers. Danny is a surfer and I know he wishes he had brought his board, as there were so many good surfing spots along the way! The surf was very big that day and the water was much colder than in Sydney.

After breakfast we wandered around Apollo Bay before continuing our drive along the Great Ocean Road. The drive from Apollo Bay to Anglesea is a particularly scenic stretch of road, which passes through many towns where mountains meet the sea. Otway National Park includes some of the last surviving temperate rain forests in the south of Australia. We stopped off at Lorne, the most developed town on the Great Ocean Road, and had a drink at the Lorne Hotel. We did a short walk to Teddy’s lookout and then down to Erskine Falls.

The Great Ocean Road ends just south of Anglesa, near Aireys Inlet and Split Point Lighthouse. We stopped at Bells Beach, which is the site of a world championship surfing contest every Easter. We watched the surfers and Danny played with a very annoying dog. He finally realized just how much I dislike big dogs! He wants to plan a holiday with his mates to surf at Bells Beach.

We arrived in Melbourne early evening and stayed the night in St. Kilda. I drove Danny to the airport very early Monday morning, as he had to get back for work. I am spending the week exploring Melbourne, the second largest city in Australia.

To see all my photos from The Great Ocean Road CLICK HERE

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  1. brian compton says:

    The SF Crazies miss you too!!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hey Kelly,

    WOW!!! What an amazing time we shared! I had the best 3 days of my life! A beautiful coastline, unbelievable sights, friendly ppl (except the camp site lady – must of been slipped a stupedfier) and the best company I could eva imagine – a gorgeous southern Belle!!! ; )

    The crossing of the beams – Warning Label and Captain Liability has proved to be a great success! I will treasure this time with you Kelly & look forward to many more of our adventures in the future. Perhaps in your country of origin where everyone drives on the wrong side of the road, ties their shoes laces backwards, and calls Lemonade – Sprite???

    Love ya baby

    Danny Massa

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