Tripping along the Great Ocean Road

spectacular scenery:
The Great Ocean Road is a 243km-long stretch of road along the south-eastern coast of Australia between the Victorian cities of Torquay and Allansford. On the way, there is some spectacular scenery to take in, such as sheer cliffs, rolling hills and beautiful beaches.
AMONG THE TREES: The Otway Fly walk.
A SECLUDED COVE: A peaceful beach on a beautiful stretch of Victorian coast.

We have now ticked the Great Ocean Road trip off our bucket list. And what a great trip it was!

To kick things off, we spent a couple of days in Melbourne catching up with friends, and the highlight of those few days for me was going to the NGV to see The House of Dior, 70 years of Haute Couture Exhibition.

On display was an impressive array of frocks, frocks and more frocks, all brilliantly exhibited and, of course, there were the shoes!

The hard part was not touching any of the fabrics, because when there is a sign saying don’t touch, of course you so want to.

After picking up our rental car from a central spot in the city that gave us very easy access to the Westgate Bridge and on to the Princes Freeway, we were off on our trip along the Great Ocean Road.

Along this famous stretch of Australia, there is some amazing scenery to take in: sheer cliffs, rolling hills, beautiful beaches and secluded coves. There are also the watery graves of ships and nature’s intricate limestone creations.

Travelling in September made for a quiet time on the roads (no school holidays), and finding accommodation wherever we thought looked like a good spot to stay was no problem either.

Our first stop after leaving Melbourne was Torquay: we bypassed Geelong although, if we’d had more time, this would have made quite a good place to start.

We visited the Torquay Surfworld Museum, which had some great memorabilia.

We then stopped at renowned surf spots as we continued along the road, such as Bells, Winki Pop, Lorne and on to Apollo Bay, where we stayed on our first night.

After leaving Apollo Bay, we continued down to Cape Otway and visited the 1848 Lighthouse, which perches on the edge of cliffs overlooking Bass Strait. It was a very windy day and we could just imagine some of the huge seas that must roll in to that coastline.

On the drive down to the lighthouse, we saw areas of trees that we thought had been through bush fires, but instead discovered that they had, in fact, been basically eaten to death by koalas.

We then went to the Otway Fly, which is a 25m-high walk among the rainforest canopy, making it the world’s tallest treetop walk. It was well worth the visit and even though I don’t particularly like heights, it was fine.

By the time we headed off toward the Twelve Apostles, it was later in the afternoon, and we saw that the walkways were very crowded with the day-bus trippers from Melbourne, so we carried on to Port Campbell, which was a gorgeous wee town. It was a bit like Tolaga Bay on steroids in terms of all the accommodation available, but it was still a cute little town.

Early the next morning, we backtracked to the start of the Twelve Apostles and got there at dawn to find that we only had to share the amazing scenery with a few others. And what a treat that was, the coastline is incredible and certainly different from ours.

Broadwalks, tracks and viewing areas provided easy access to the spectacular views, and we ventured along from one spot to the next to see each of the limestone formations, such as The Grotto and London Arch (which was London Bridge until the first arch collapsed in 1990).

We continued on to South Australia because we were visiting friends in Victor Harbour, which is another delightful area.

All in all, it was an enjoyable road trip and well worth the effort.

We have now ticked the Great Ocean Road trip off our bucket list. And what a great trip it was!

To kick things off, we spent a couple of days in Melbourne catching up with friends, and the highlight of those few days for me was going to the NGV to see The House of Dior, 70 years of Haute Couture Exhibition.

On display was an impressive array of frocks, frocks and more frocks, all brilliantly exhibited and, of course, there were the shoes!

The hard part was not touching any of the fabrics, because when there is a sign saying don’t touch, of course you so want to.

After picking up our rental car from a central spot in the city that gave us very easy access to the Westgate Bridge and on to the Princes Freeway, we were off on our trip along the Great Ocean Road.

Along this famous stretch of Australia, there is some amazing scenery to take in: sheer cliffs, rolling hills, beautiful beaches and secluded coves. There are also the watery graves of ships and nature’s intricate limestone creations.

Travelling in September made for a quiet time on the roads (no school holidays), and finding accommodation wherever we thought looked like a good spot to stay was no problem either.

Our first stop after leaving Melbourne was Torquay: we bypassed Geelong although, if we’d had more time, this would have made quite a good place to start.

We visited the Torquay Surfworld Museum, which had some great memorabilia.

We then stopped at renowned surf spots as we continued along the road, such as Bells, Winki Pop, Lorne and on to Apollo Bay, where we stayed on our first night.

After leaving Apollo Bay, we continued down to Cape Otway and visited the 1848 Lighthouse, which perches on the edge of cliffs overlooking Bass Strait. It was a very windy day and we could just imagine some of the huge seas that must roll in to that coastline.

On the drive down to the lighthouse, we saw areas of trees that we thought had been through bush fires, but instead discovered that they had, in fact, been basically eaten to death by koalas.

We then went to the Otway Fly, which is a 25m-high walk among the rainforest canopy, making it the world’s tallest treetop walk. It was well worth the visit and even though I don’t particularly like heights, it was fine.

By the time we headed off toward the Twelve Apostles, it was later in the afternoon, and we saw that the walkways were very crowded with the day-bus trippers from Melbourne, so we carried on to Port Campbell, which was a gorgeous wee town. It was a bit like Tolaga Bay on steroids in terms of all the accommodation available, but it was still a cute little town.

Early the next morning, we backtracked to the start of the Twelve Apostles and got there at dawn to find that we only had to share the amazing scenery with a few others. And what a treat that was, the coastline is incredible and certainly different from ours.

Broadwalks, tracks and viewing areas provided easy access to the spectacular views, and we ventured along from one spot to the next to see each of the limestone formations, such as The Grotto and London Arch (which was London Bridge until the first arch collapsed in 1990).

We continued on to South Australia because we were visiting friends in Victor Harbour, which is another delightful area.

All in all, it was an enjoyable road trip and well worth the effort.

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