The 151km long road from Torquay to along the Victoria south east coast line. With dramatic cliffs, huge ocean waves and beautiful natural formations. Making it a geographers heaven with caves, arches and stacks continuously being formed from the rapidly changing coastline. If its the outdoors you like then this is the place you will love. I did!
The nearest cities to this stretch is Melbourne 2 hours away along a beautiful coastal road winding in and out of the edge of Australia. Then to the West is the city of Adelaide, a 2 day drive from Melbourne. A lot of people complete road trips from one to the other incorporating the Ocean Road within this. For me it was a long weekend with some awesome friends.
The first surprise was one of the 4 suprising me by greeting me at the airport with another friend I was staying with. The second surprise was another of the friends turning up the day after on the door step, to provide the ultimate reunion and most amazing Girly roadtrip!
We arrived on the Friday to an Airbnb we had decided to hire, in the town of Wye River with gradual hills from the local beach swirving through the forest which provide a lot of shelter for privacy and quiet. It was a great drive from Melbourne, with a night time Kangeroo spotting, a sunset over the ocean, and music blasting!
There are also camp sites, hotels and caravan parks along this famous Road and Coastline. We chose Wye River due to the location being a good distance from all the main destinations we wanted to visited, but also close enough to Melbourne to make it an easy drive back. Also Wye River café has some epic food choices you have to try! Options in Wye river;
The roads are good quality, and from Anglesey Lorne to Port Campbell which is the main distance of the Great Ocean Road we completed its 100 miles of stunning views, with view points the whole way along the snaking Great Ocean Road.
First main stop was the Gibson Steps Beach, some very steep steps down to one of the beautiful beaches along the coast, with huge boulders from the cliffs, and also one of the first views of the apostles. Do be careful when walking along these beaches though, the waves can surprise you and come out of know where so be careful with small children.
The Twelve Apostles
Infact its actually only 11 now due to one of the 12 stacks collapsing due to further erosion, awkward! The views and walk along the coast line though is still stunning! with the contrast of blue sky reflecting onto the ocean which is then crashing and making white sprays onto the beaches it doesn’t feel real. The carpark is a 5 minute walk from the coastal path, and in the peak seasons the crowds mean over spills do happen, and the paths get really busy. There are different view points and paths to take along the cliffside.
The landmark which has drawn so many people to this amazing coastline for so many years now is gradually eroding, every year the stacks get small and thinner, but at the same time knew stacks are forming with wider caves and arches being eroded too along the coast. Go see it whiel you can!
The Surfers Beach
All along the GOR there are phenominal waves with cliffs, boulders, rock formations, but also beaches which are perfect for the eager surfers to have some surf time. This is where we headed for a little stalking, judging the talent (of the surfing skills), and to have some left over food from the weekend for lunch. It was protected with a small carpark and pathway down and was not as busy as the main beaches.
Great Ocean Road Arch
The Memorial Arch is a tribute to the World War One servicemen who built the Great Ocean Road. The road had alot of hardships during its construction which are shown on boards near the arch. The reason for its construction was to connect the south of Australia with the state of Victoria. The present arch is the third built due to the Ash Wednesday bushfires of February 1983.The timber archway is the landmark to show the start and end of the Great Ocean Road and is probably the most photographed part of the GOR.
The Lighthouse – Airleys Inlet
Every 90’s baby should know the song Round the Twist, and for one reason only… the fact its the theme tune to the Australian program of the same name. This was probably one of the main locations on the Great Ocean Road i was really excited about, with a picture perfect lighthouse and beautiful grounds, pathways and views surrounding it , it was perfect stop along the way for a rest and walk upto it. Me singing and humming the theme tune as I got closer towards this 15 metre high watchtower.
The furthest location from our accommodation, all for some good old fish and chips on the beach front, with beautiful wooden houses, a green behind the pristine beach with alot of them protected with cliffs either side. Port Campbell
The best night in
Tired, but buzzing from todays adventures, we cooked and stayed within the the accomodation all evening. Played games and just enjoyed a night of no signal or wifi. Surrounded by nature, with a whole family reunion of White Macaus inviting themselves onto our balcony was the highlight. As well as the Kookerbura and other colourful birds who came for breakfast. I really did feel like i was surrounded by Nature .
Core Lynn Cascades, Phantom Falls, and the Erskine Falls all within the fascinity of Lorne town. With winding roads up into the hills, with breathtaking views, and proper luscious fawna creating the forrest floors. With picnic sites, and view points to stop every so often on the way up. The Falls are a down a small track and alot of steps down, which isn’t for the faint hearted. Its a along way back up, but so worth it for a dip in the pool at the bottom and for beautiful views of the 30 metre drop of Erskine Falls. If you are lucky you may even spot a Koala in the trees above. You will find other falls all along the GOR;
Lorne – The main town
One last stop on our roadtrip home was the Town of Lorne , very close to the Waterfalls we had just visited. Full of places to brunch, boutique little shops, and even charity shops with some good finds. A perfect weekend break on the beach from Melbourne. It has lovely streets full of some beautiful houses to go and have a nosey from the pathways. Lorne is well known for its surfing clubs and pier fishing, which attracts alot of different people from around Australia, as well as families. One of the best parts of the day was the Golden Gaytime icelolly, now a favourite of mine!
A beautiful lookout of the beaches, winding ocean road, and ocean below. The walk up also gives great views of Lorne Beach and the town itself along the beach front which has a lot of residential weekend houses.
Overall i always go with the saying its not the place but the people that make it , and this certainly applies for this weekend. Seeing the Great ocean Road was always going to be memorable, but seeing it all with my friends made it so much better and more memorable. Perfect weekend away and an amazing way to start Australia with a bang!