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The Great Ocean Road Australia is one of the premier locations to visit while in Australia. Located on the south coast of Victoria, the road itself is 244Kms long and starts at Torquay in the east and finishes at Allansford in the west. The whole length of the road is classed as a tourist attraction, with the majority of the route hugging the coastline, mainly the Surf Coast and the Shipwreck Coast.
How long should it take?
Well how long is a piece of string!? In all fairness that depends on what you want to achieve, if you’re just wanting to do some drive by photography of the twelve apostles and call it a day then you could leave from Melbourne and be back the same day. If you want to give it the time it deserves then I would say at least 2 maybe 3 days to get a proper feel for it and to experience some of the activities available en-route. So yeah everyone is individual when it comes to timescale but what’s the rush eh!?
Is there much to do apart from drive?
The Great Ocean Road, Well you could say the same for a day out from Blackpool to Lytham St Annes couldn’t you!? NO!!! As well as driving along the meandering coast road, taking in the stunning scenery of the limestone cliffs, 12 Apostles and indigenous fauna, there’s also a few places to stop and explore. Well if like we discussed earlier, you’ve dedicated the time to do this trip properly, so let’s see what’s on offer:
The 12 Apostles – Well the 7 remaining ones….
The main tourist hot spot along the Great Ocean Road, situated on the corner of Booringa Road. The Apostles were for from thousands of years of erosion, which cut into the limestone shore line leaving behind limestone islands. These islands were further eroded to create bridge-like structures, eventually the arches collapsed leaving behind stacks of rock up to 45 metres high. You can also see what is left of the “London Bridge” limestone structure. The best time to go is at either sunrise or sunset as the cliff faces gain an orange glow.
Otway National Park – A secluded rain forest.
Established in 2005, this quarter million acre national park is home to diverse flora and fauna. It is also recognized as an important bird area because it supports populations of Rufus bristlebirds, striated fieldwrens and pink robins, as well as numerous other species. So if you’re a bit of a bird spotter, its worth an overnight stay. You may even catch a glimpse of the ever illusive Koala.
Copious amounts of natural waterfalls can also be found in the Otway national park. Including the Triplet Falls, as the name suggests there are 3 interconnected water fall that tend to flow well when there has been substantial rainfall in the upstream catchment area, during periods of little rainfall, one maybe two of the waterfalls may be flowing.
There are also plenty of options for camping in the National Park, whether you’re in a tent, caravan or motor home. You’ll find something to suit you. The area is absolutely stunning and well worth a look.
Apollo Bay – For the adrenaline junkie
If all that relaxed sightseeing and rain forest camping has left you feeling the need for some adrenaline then head down to Apollo Bay! This is the place to quench your thirst for water sports, from surfing, swimming, fishing to all kinds of boating. Go just 400 metres out from the beach and there is the chance to dive the wrecks of the SS Casino, which sank in rough seas while trying to dock. Or move on to Moonlight Head for the chance to dive on the “Fiji” which lies in 6 metres of water, after running aground in 1891. Unfortunately 12 perished in the accident. You can still see porcelain toys, gin bottles and steel chains.
Would I recommend this trip?
In a nutshell, yes! Well if I was already in Victoria, ideally staying in Melbourne, I don’t think I would travel from say Perth just solely to do this trip but if you find yourself, say within a couple hours drive, then yes get it done. Rent a campervan for say 3 nights, $60 a night and then probably $100 in fuel. Total cost of $280. Find a travel mate who wants to do the same, split the costs and you’re talking $140 each. Some hostels in Melbourne will cost you nearly that for 3 nights stay. Depending on what you want to do while in the area it could be done on a reasonable budget and it is definitely worth it. The scenery is spectacular!!!