Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Travelling in Victoria - The Great Ocean Road

Type in "Top 10 places to see in Victoria" and the Number One spot goes to ...
The Great Ocean Road.  The Iconic and Must Do Coastal Drive.

This 243 Km road winds it's way along some of Victoria's most rugged coastline from the Township of Torquay to Warrnambool.
Starting construction in August 1919 and being completed in November 1932  It was built by returned Servicemen using picks and shovels, and is a Permanent Memorial to those that died during The Great War. It is acknowledged as the World's Largest War Memorial.
To recoup expenses the Road was Tolled at 2 Shillings per car until 2nd October 1936 when it was handed over to the State Government.

Sadly the thousands of tourists that travel the road each year are unaware of it's history or significance.

Some stop at the Memorial Arch, and hopefully read the plaques placed there.

We missed the Turn Off for this, as we were trying to avoid hitting someone who was standing in the middle of the road taking photographs!

Sightseers in the middle of the road is one thing but another problem the local councils have had to address is the number of International Tourists that drive on the WRONG SIDE of the Road.

This is extremely dangerous and they have had to resort to installing MANY of these signs along the road.

Now that the Safety Instructions are over - Let's see where this Road goes and why it is so beautiful!

Our first and most welcome stop, an hour and a half from Melbourne, was at the newly opened "Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery" - (It's Sister Chocolaterie is in the Yarra Valley).

The Month of August is their Hot Chocolate Festival with 7 different Hot Chocolate creations a week for the entire month.

31 flavours!! Now that is an awesome reason to come back each week - Chocolate Heaven (and the Coffee is pretty good too)!!

Then it was on to another Iconic Stop - Split Point Lighthouse.

It was here the Australian Children's Fantasy Series "Round the Twist" was filmed (1989-2001).

The story was of the adventures of a Widower and his 3 Children that lived in this 'magic' lighthouse.

I would have liked to have done the tour and climbed to the top - but we had a lot of miles to go before Sunset.

Little did we know that the brilliant sunshine and perfect weather was going to turn nasty in such a short time.

Pressing on, we drove through the rain and stopping at roadworks for a few minutes at a time was most welcome.

But it slowed us down and meant we had to skip some planned stops - never mind they will still be there another time.

Another Hour and a half driving along some of Victoria's most beautiful coastline and we arrive at Apollo Bay.  It is here that the Road moves away from the coast and into the Otway Ranges and the Great Otway National Park with its Waterfalls and Temperate Rain-forest.
No stopping here - we are now chasing the Sunset!

[Photograph by exploregreatoceanroad.com - Click the link to see more of this beautiful area.]

You can do this drive during Summer and will see those calm seas that grace picture postcards, but the weather we drove into gave us no doubt as to why so many Ships were lost in these waters and why this is called "The Shipwreck Coast".

No perfect sunset photos, it was just too wild and windy.
But then - I do have a 'bucket list' and These Waves are at the top of it!

Maybe we can get back here for Sunrise tomorrow?

1 comment:

  1. I've never driven the Great Ocean Road. I've been to the 12 Apostles, but went by the inland route.

    The Hot Chocolate Festival sounds excellent in this cold blustery weather.