Great Ocean Road is one of the 10 most beautiful scenic routes in the world. Supposedly. Is it actually? It’s a matter of taste. However, it is clear that the charm can not be denied.
GOR is more or less 243 km long and stretches from Torquay to Warrnambool, Victoria.
I do not know if you are aware of that, but the construction of this scenic route is associated with quite a difficult moment in history. Great Ocean Road is the world’s largest monument to the victims of war. The road was built after the First World War by soldiers who returned from the war. In tribute to their fallen colleagues. Construction took 16 years.
From Melbourne is about 100 km away, so you can easily make a getaway for the weekend, but GOR is not only 12 Apostles, so good if you have a bit more time. We only had two days so I will describe what we were able to see at the time.
Torquey (Bells Beach)
Bells Beach is one of the few surf beaches on GOR. It is huge, with light and soft sand.
Great Ocean Road Chocolatiere
We came to this place by accident. We just saw a sign by the road and decided to turn. And good, because it was one of the best points of the program : D, which was totally spontaneous. Stupidly admit, but it was the worst planned trips. In fact, it was not planned at all. We were looking for accommodation while on the way, and the only attractions we knew was 12 Apostles and the rain forest mentioned by Joachim at the lecture.
Returning to the above topic. This is an unusual place. Chocolate factory with free (!!!) tasting. Personally, I had a headache from the amount of chocolate. Everything was chocolate. Chocolate wombats, kangaroos, Easter eggs. Chocolate for kilograms and meters. You could also try chocolates with local spices. And it was not cool because they were extremely hideous. ?
If you are nearby, you must visit.
The official start of the route
Suddenly, without a warning, the gate appeared, gate in a vary Flintstone style. It looks a bit funny, but I think it suits this place. It perhaps doesn’t go well with a monument of veterans working right next to it, but … it’s Australia. A huge glass house sat on the hill like a bird on a bush.
Great Otway National Park
My second favorite place on the route. Delightful rain forest. I felt like in the jungle. Like in the Kipling’s novels. There was wilderness and was beautiful there. And especially when the asphalt ended, it really felt wild. Like a real expedition, not a trip for retired Germans (no offense :D). It was even more interesting when we lost the trail looking for a waterfall and we waded through the wilderness completely off the path. We had such an adventure in the forest of Californian Redwoods, with sequoias as big as skyscrapers. Mostly because we asked tourist for direction, we ended up in the middle of nowhere 😀
What is worth seeing here are waterfalls. I got to Houptoun Falls, but there are a few more. An interesting place is Lake Elizabeth. Trekking is not exhaustive. It goes about 40 minutes through a thick forest to find a mysterious lake from King Kong. And if you’re lucky then you can meet the platypus.
We arrived at 12 Apostles at sunset. The view was stunning and I couldn’t believe I’m there. In any case, it is worth to go there at this time. The weather was also good, because unfortunately it is usually cloudy. When the sun was setting, I was sitting on a rock far out into the ocean, outside the guardrails for tourists, but who would care? I sat and watched the setting sun, knowing that it’s gonna appears on the other hemisphere and that in my distant home in my beloved Poznań, a new day is about to begin. It’s a bit surreal feeling. To be so far away. I hear recently that “The world has become so small”. It did not become small. It has only become easily accessible, but it is still huge, and I am still separated from the house by 16,000 km. At best, it’s a day on the plane.
Returning to the Apostles. Is there 12 of them? No. A few have already were undergone erosion. Why 12 Apostles? Such a marketing procedure. There was a sow and pigs, but who would want to photograph with Sow? 😀
Here we slept in a great hostel. I can really recommend it. Room for 4 people. Bathrooms in the hall, a large kitchen, the possibility of ordering pizza and beer, and pancakes in the morning. Very clean and quiet. And all this for 40 $ / person, and also close to the beach and walking routes in the bush.
Do you want to see koalas in nature? It’s the best place. So I’ve heard. And I was not disappointed. I saw 3. It is not difficult to miss them because under a tree with a koala you will always see a group of people with cameras. Cape Otway is a peninsula with a lighthouse. However, to see the lighthouse you have to pay $ 40. For this price, you enter the whole complex with a mini zoo, souvenir shops, a playground and other crap, which is not needed for anything but to make money on tourists. That is why we also let the attractions off.