I’m surprised that many people I’ve talked to about Australia, has never heard about Great Ocean Road. I’m not sure if it’s just me, but I always thought about it as a place to visit when I went to Australia. Somehow I didn’t manage to do it till after I’d lived in Australia for two and a half years, but better late then never hey?
edit: I’ve changed a little, due to the fact that my dad was so disappointed a whiskey bar wasn’t mentioned (which is now at the bottom – hope it’s good enough dad!), and the fact that I realised that we went to another place during the road as well. Woopsi.
First of all, I’ll explain what the Great Ocean Road actually is for all those people who doesn’t actually know. It’s a natural wonder and one of the most famous and spectacular scenic (coastal) drives in the world. It’s located south in Australia, in the state of Victoria, and according to Wikipedia it’s listed as 243 kilometres long. It starts in Torquay and ends near Warrnambool. During the drive you’ll be in the middle of a rain forest, see cliffs on the side and a beautiful coast, and at the same time it’s the longest war memorial as the road made and dedicated to the soldiers killed during the great war. Most spectacular probably some of the limestone formations in the ocean, created by erosion, the most famous being the Twelve Apostles. During the drive along the coast from Twelve Apostles and towards the west), you’ll see several signs with tourist sights or attractions, and you should stop at them – it might definitely be worth the stop!
The twelve apostles & three sisters
The most visited of the formations during the road, is without doubt the Twelve Apostles. There’s actually just 8 apostles left, not 12 anymore. The ninth one collapsed in 2005, but, fun fact, it’s actually never been more than 9. Just next to it is also the Three Sisters, now just two, of the same reason as above. It is truly an amazing view, but from what everyone else had said, I definitely expected more. Don’t expect the greatest, there’s a few other spots that’s better and worth more of your time. It has a visitor centre (which explains the amount of people) with a huge parking lot for busses and cars, and the paths will most likely be packed with people (it was in the middle of winter…) and you might almost have to push your way through not to get a head in the bottom corner of your photos.
Loch Ard Gorge
It’s named after a ship that ran aground just here, not surprisingly called Loch Ard, with only two survivors; a man called Tom and a woman called Eva. An arch close to the main ‘attraction’ collapsed, leaving it as two separate pillars, now known as Tom and Eva. I know it’s possible to walk down on the beach, but as you can see it wasn’t much of a beach due to the high tide when we were there. This was a place with not too many tourists, I think we actually walked around completely alone most of the time.
This is the place I missed in the original post. It wasn’t a big place or a huge attraction, but still the scenery was as amazing as the rest. Because of the tide the water came through the Arch, which is something I don’t believe always happens. We were lucky enough that it didn’t rain, so we could see out in the open ocean towards Tasmania (not that we saw it however).
London Arch (London Bridge)
This was my second favourite, it was our first stop on the Great Ocean Road, and it definitely didn’t disappoint. It’s quite obvious really, it looks like a bridge, although half the bridge has fallen down (as you can see on the bottom photo). Someone were actually on a hike on the bridge when it happened in 1990, but fortunately they were on the part that didn’t collapse and got picked up by a helicopter.
This was definitely my favourite of all sights during the Great Ocean Road. As you can see on the map on the very bottom, it’s a 20 minute drive west from the Twelve Apostles (the red dot), but definitely worth the time it would take. The fact that we were there alone for most of the time, and got to stand down by the water for ages just starting at the fascinating grotto with the clear, blue ocean through it. I don’t think I’ve been so fascinated by anything but the northern lights (aurora borealis) before. We were probably standing there for a good half an hour before a few others came and we left them to enjoy it too, walking back up the stairs to the view. The waves were big, which meant we actually could feel the water raining over us standing there. We were also standing there looking at the view, watching the waves hit the rocks, creating massive showers of water. It is definitely a place that should be checked out, a place we came across by coincidence.
timboon – railway shed dIstillery
This is the place I wrote about that my dad complained about me not mentioning. If you’ve read a bit on my blog you know he likes his whiskey (and beer), so obviously we had to take a small break at a whiskey distillery – at an old train station – called Timboon Railway Shed Distillery. It is indeed a rather charming place, with heaps of its own whiskey and different types of liquors. My sister and I had some chocolate-y liquor, which was pretty good on a cold day at noon. Definitely a place to check out if you like the sort of small, hipstery places, or if you just enjoy your whiskey. Apparently the food was supposed to be pretty good, and the staff was definitely kind!