Opting for a mini bus tour we spent a day exploring the Great Ocean Road, winding along the coast its spectacular scenery blew me away, lush shades of greens clinging to the cliffs with the sparkling ocean blues stretching out to the horizon. The first stop of our tour was Bells Beach, famous from the film Point Break and the surf pro which takes place every year. We continued on and passed the lighthouse which was built for the tv series Round the Twist (have you ever, ever felt like this how strange things happen when your going round the twist! Big fan).
As we reached the ocean a memorial honours the workers who built the road. We stopped off in two towns, Lornes, which hosts Australia’s largest charity sea swim every January to raise money for the surf life saving club, and Apollo Bay, which has a nice row of shops and ice cream cafes running along the water front.
Not far from the ocean, grand old rainforest flourishes with giant fern and mountain ash, with a boardwalk which winds you through the dense greenery. The most impressive sights along the road are the evidence of the immense power of the sea. Rock erosion has shaped limestone formations being continuously battered by the elements.
The 12 Apostles stand alone in the shallows having been separated completely from the land. London Bridge once boosting 2 impressive archways now only has one and has also been cut off from the land. The story goes that two people were strolling on the headland when the arch collapsed into the ocean below and were stranded from the land. The press helicopter arrived before the rescue crew and the reporter managed to get into a brawl with one of the strandees!
Loch Ard Gorge has a beautifully calm bay but walking out to the edge of the cliffs, the true power of the waves rolls in off the ocean. On 1st June 1878 the ship Loch Ard tragically hit the cliffs due to bad visibility through mist, travelling from the UK to Melbourne only two survived, two 18 year olds who had to battle against the rough seas for hours before making it exhausted to shore. The Great Ocean Road is a fascinating example of where sea meets land and the head on collision it creates. With about 151 miles of winding road there is plenty to explore.