Tuesday, 3 March 2015

One Of The Best Drives You'll Ever Take

The Great Ocean Road, Victoria

Road trips come in their forms, but I speak confidently when I say that the Great Ocean Road in Victoria is one of the best drives you’ll ever take. Many roads will lead one to wonder, but this road is the wonder. A crowd favourite, this is where you’ll have your fill of beautiful beaches, ideal surf turf and plenty of opportunities to unwind, provided you avoid it during Schoolies Week. I’ve done this day long drive several times and the road never ceases to amaze.
The Apostles, Victoria (taken 2014)
Standing as the world’s largest war memorial, the road was constructed by returned soldiers between 1919 and 1932. Its length being at 243 km, it reaches between Torquay and Allansford and includes towns such as Lorne, Apollo Bay and Wye River, but they’ll be saved for another day. This post is all about the natural and we’ll start from Allansford’s end.
The first few stops you’re like to make (and do your research first because they can oftentimes be overlooked) include the Bay of Martyrs, the Grotto and London Arch, formerly Bridge.
Bay of Martyrs, Victoria (taken 2014)
The Grotto, Victoria (taken 2014)
London Arch, Victoria (taken 2014)

These little spots are worthy of your time and each offers something different in the visual department. In regards to London Arch I’d hurry to see it before anymore limestone breaks off of it.
Then there’s Loch Ard Gorge which I for one find to be a favourite. This spot deserves maybe an hour of your time simply because of the peacefulness you’re like to find. There are stairs to descend and corners to turn so take them all slowly and you’ll appreciate it all the more. Additionally, this is the site of one bit of history that’s followed me around for many years. 

Loch Ard Gorge, Victoria (taken 2014)
On June 1st, 1878, the clipper ship Loch Ard ran ashore on nearby Muttonbird Island after the fatal intervention of some sea fog. The only survivors were Tom Pearce, a 15-year-old English crew member and Eva Carmichael, a 17-year-old Irish girl travelling to Melbourne with family. Through arduous circumstances both youths made it to the shore of what is now called Loch Ard Gorge and eventually to safety. As for the ship and its cargo, the only thing recovered was the porcelain Loch Ard Peacock which is now on display at the Flagstaff Hill Maritime Museum in Warrnambool. This in turn is the type of story that makes me want to take up writing historical fiction.
With the first of my favourites done and dusted, we then come to one of the greats of Australian tourism; the Apostles. These grand limestone stacks stand above the hammering surf and offers everyone the most majestic of views. It’s just about impossible to get a bad shot of these marvels so don’t feel like you need to run all over the view point to make something happen. And for the love of the gods, DO NOT CLIMB OVER THE RAILING!

The Apostles, Victoria (taken 2014)
Originally there were twelve Apostles, without doubt named for the disciples of Jesus Christ, but in recent years nature has begun to take its tole and the stone has started to break off, much like what’s happened at London Arch. Is this disappointing, I’d say so, but the Apostles still something to plan a trip around. Dusk and dawn are great times to come by and there are helicopter rides on offer too.    
The Great Ocean Road, Victoria (taken 2014)
I truly urge you to make the Great Ocean Road a priority on your great Australian journey. It’s not but nature in its truest form.

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