It is a place of contrasts, the marvellous natural wonder called the Great Ocean Road. Rugged cliffs, sandy coastlines, deep blue waters underneath a canopy of white clouds, the winding scenic route has definitely a lot to offer. Going on a self drive along one of the most beautiful coastlines, you will want to stop at every possible lookout to take in the view that unfolds itself in front of your unbelieving eyes of the beauty in front of them. To make the most out of it and not to miss out on the most important stops, I have drawn up a short overview for you.
]Marking the entrance of this massive infrastructural undertaking in the early 20th century, the memorial arch not only functions as a tourist magnet but also wants to remind visitors of its origin. Back then it was an enormous undertaking performed by the returned soldiers of World War I, as a sort of rehabilitation program, to connect the coastal towns in Western Victoria by following the lines of the coast. So take a minute to appreciate all the effort that went into this.
In the end, it is just another coastal town with a pretty beach and marina. But in contrast to places, such as Torquay, Apollo Bay gives off a New Zealand vibe when you stand on the shore and gaze out towards the mountains along which you had just come here. They do resemble the hilly countryside of the green island. Also, if you split your trip over two or three days, stopping here for a lunch break would be a good idea.
The not so secret favourite amongst all Great Ocean Road travellers, the Twelve Apostles do not fail to impress. In any weather they look imposing the way they rise out of the water and defy nature’s typical architecture. Of course, they are just a by-product of the corroding coastlines due to wind and water, but they will hopefully weather the climate for quite some time longer.
Yes, it has fallen down but no, it is still beautiful. One arch is still standing ants d n combination with the intense blue below and above together with its palette of red and yellows, you are hard pressed not to take a splendid photo. Also, the viewing platform makers for great group pictures.
I hope you have planned enough time for this (at least 30 minutes) so that you can take all three scenic walks. If not, skip the middle one and absolutely go down into the gorge and be amazed. Down the steps you will find a paradise bay as well as caves with stalactites. My other favourite walk is only really impressive in the sunlight and shows you more limestone boulders as well as a huge wall on which you can still make out the different layers of the ocean level and sediments that had collected over millions of years.
Bay of Martyrs
The history behind this scenic lookout over the bay is not so romantic as is its view but despite or even because of it, it should be on your list. Referred to as the Bay of Massacre, it was the site where a bloody attack was launched on the aboriginal people of this area). It is yet another accumulation of boulders but can you ever see enough of them? I don’t think so.
Split Point Lighthouse[f you’ve grown up in an English speaking country, you might be familiar with the Spinning Lighthouse. It was the setting of an iconic TV show ‘Round the Twist’ and thus deserves at least one snapshot. But even if not, it still makes for a great snapshot, towering over the waves.
Otway Forest Reserve
Carnivorous snails and hundred year old trees in what used to be rainforest from prehistoric times? The beautifully green lush forest will make you forget that you are in the driest continent and instead have landed in Jurassic Park. There are no dinosaurs or any other dangerous creatures, unless you count the snails.