Melbourne and Sydney Trip 2008: Great Ocean Road

A trip to Melbourne would not be complete without a drive on the Great Ocean Road (website). The Great Ocean Road is a coastal road that brings you along Australia’s south-eastern coast and it offers great views of the ocean as well as attractions along the way. We have decided to leave the Great Ocean Road till the 2nd last day of my stay in Australia so we wouldn’t be in such a rush. I thought wrong.

Plane ride at Geelong. I think it was AUD60 per person if 5 people go.

We set off early at 8:30am to go pick up Junella and Adrian. Then following Princes Highway, we stopped by Geelong to have breakfast. At Geelong bay, there are statues so go check that out.

Typical English breakfast (scones).

After breakfast, from Geelong, we continued down Princes Highway, going into Surf Coast Highway and then onto Great Ocean Road. We planned to go and see the Twelve Apostles at Port Campbell and this was roughly the route we took from Melbourne. Almost 300km on winding mountain roads. It took us close to 6 hours to reach Port Campbell, with all the stopping.

A lighthouse that we encountered on the way.

On the Great Ocean Road, there are a lot of places for sightseeing. This is because the road runs along the coast. So every now and then there will be a stop for you to get down and enjoy the great ocean view. You can park your car at the car parks provided and take a walk down the beach or along the coastline. Walk ways are available in some areas. There’s even a Great Ocean Walk that stretches from Apollo Bay to Glenample, just a few km away from the Twelve Apostles Visitor Center.

The Great Ocean Road Monument.

The Great Ocean Road has a very interesting history. It was built by soldiers who came back from World War 1. 3000 soldiers were employed and it took 13 years to build the road. The monument above was erected to honor them and also those lost during the war.

Great Ocean Road is a great place to take photos. You’ll always have the sea behind you.

Most of the houses that are build beside the Great Ocean Road are completely glass covered so the occupants inside can always have a view of the ocean. That of course comes with a price: no privacy.

Driving on the winding and mountainous roads. If you love nature and sightseeing, I would highly recommend you make frequent stops along the Great Ocean Road. Or relax on the many beaches that they have over there.

Fishing jetty at Lorne.

We stopped by at Lorne because we wanted to get some supplies for a BBQ. Instead of having meat, this time we wanted to get some fish. So where better than to buy it from a shop near the sea?

This guy caught a stingray but he released it back to the sea. Someone caught a squid and it sprayed ink all over him.

The shop beside the jetty at Lorne sells all kinds of fish. We even got some shark meat.

We continued driving up until we reached a stop at Lavers Hill. The sun was hot but the air was still chilly so we got ourselves some ice cream. Like the places in Australia, the ice-cream here have funny names as well. There’s one called the “Gay Time”.

Eating ice-cream in the car because it was too cold outside.

2 hours of driving in the mountains later, we reached the Twelve Apostles Visitor Center. There’s a path that you can walk to see the apostles. Although the name suggests that there are 12 apostles, in reality there were only 9. One collapsed on July 3rd, 2005 so there’s only 8 left now.

Properly constructed walkways for you to enjoy the great view.

4 apostles can be seen here. The nearest one to me in this photo collapsed on July 3rd, 2005.

We covered 2 apostles behind us.

Honestly there’s not a lot to see at the Twelve Apostles besides looking at the Apostles. They do look good standing there though. Nearing 7pm, we drove down to Port Campbell town to look for a BBQ pit. And we found one near the playground.

Seen here are the kebabs, hotdogs, shark meat and lobster(?).

There was still a bottle of red wine left so after dinner we went over to Port Campbell’s beach to watch the sunset.

A flock of birds taking to the skies.

Ben opening a bottle of red wine with a Swiss army knife.

We had some corn from the barbecue. To a great Australia trip.

And the people who made it all possible.

The sun went down at about 9pm. We should have left way earlier because it was getting dark and the mountain roads were pitch black. I drove the first part of the journey back. It was really dangerous because it was dark and the cars were going way above the speed limit. If possible, try and make your trip back before the sun sets. By around 12am Ben switched over and he got us all the way back to Melbourne. Reached home about 3am. Went straight to sleep because the next day at 9am we had to return our car.

We traveled a total of 3000kms for the past 8 days.

Next: Going home. Continue reading