Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Great Ocean Road

Ah, The Great Ocean Road. That's a relief of a good memory right there. 

A truly must visit when you're in Melbourne. I try not to use words that are well clearly overused when describing a place, but The Great Ocean Road is seriously, like no other. 

And there is really a beautiful story behind this amazing road. The Great Ocean Road has been rewarded an Australian National Heritage with 243-Kilometres stretch of a road along the south-eastern coast of Australian between the Victorian Cities of Torquay and Warnambool,  Built by ex soldiers from the World War 1 as a war memorial (the biggest one in the world to date), it is have said that the soldiers were summoned to build the road in honour of their fellowmates who didn't make it through the war and also to give the returned soldiers "proper" jobs. So they did, with a few shillings a day for over two decades. 

The whole stretch of The Great Ocean Road is picturesque, like a flawless painting. Just look at the picture below. When I was in the bus looking through the whole stretch of blue (what beautiful blue I've seen) I felt like I was constantly looking at a postcard wishing I was there, but - I was there, and enjoying every stretch of the view. While the lady infront of me was snapping away with her DSLR, I was clicking away with my mental camera - making sure I remembered some of the most significant spots and to embed them in my mind. 

And it was the truth, The Great Ocean Road is among the most photographed sights of Australia, making it one of the nation's most famous landmark. 







The Great Ocean Road begins from Torquay, a small township in Australia with a population just a little less than 7, 000 and ends at Allansford, the largest city along the road in the City of Warrnambool. 

In this post, I'll share with you more on the stops that I went. Besides following a tour group (like I did), you may opt to drive down the road yourself after all it's only about 243 Kilometres, you could probably finish it in a day. But if you'd like to enjoy the scenery, slowly and dreamily  - you may do so with other options of staying along the towns. There are tons of motels and B & Bs, for you to choose from - I'd recommend you this if you're here for the summer to enjoy the beach because I hear this place gets quite famous during that season :)  

Our tour group (about 90AUD and it's the cheapest) took us to Lord Arch Gorg, the Bells Beach, Lorne and Apollo Bay (beautiful little towns along the way but I didn't took photos of them, strangely),  and of course the most significant of all Twelve Apostles - Victoria's and among world's most famous limestones. 

Torquay 

The visit started off really simple - with Torquay as the first town we visited. It has the usual normal Australian feel, Kangaroos, long stretch of gorgeous greens and beautiful mountains as backdrop. 




Lovely. Almost like an Australian landmark of a postcard.  


Bells Beach 


Then we went to Bells Beach, dear God. It was gorgeous.  What I really like about most of Australian beaches is that they're mostly clean. They're really well taken care of - and everyone knows the luxury of having a really clean beach to play around with. 



The nerving waves, like a scene from a surf movie - the surfers were all geared up to jump on the next waves. And mind you it was friggin cold at that time. It was very exciting to these surfers hopping on to ice cold waves. I was worried for them. 




the Razorback at Loch Ard Gorge 

The Razorback have said to be a growing Australian delight, where its coined after a famous shipwreck. Named after the clipper ship Loch Ard that wrecked nearby an island in 1978, it ended the three-month journey from England to Melbourne. Where only two survived, Pearce and Carmichael both of 18 years old living and finding warmth inside it's numerous cages. (Wikipedia, 2012) 

Maybe among all, it is also the most, how shall I say "tourist friendly?". Reason being, we could actually walk down nearer to the coast and to the caves to take a photo of the caves and the famous strip. 




Loch Ard Gorge now only appears as two unconnected pillars, officially named after the two survivors, Tom and Eva. 

Kennet River 

There's nothing quite to shout about this place really - except for KOALAS!!! Hehe, they're adorable - and they're not quite as "everywhere" as some of you might think, they're only living at some spots, some unfortunately are at  the zoos, while the more fortunate ones stay at a conservation area like the Kennett River. 



And besides just the Koala, and the duckies that Yuen Yee were raving about, there are also these beautiful cuckatoo and parrot like birds that were squirming around scaring some American girls and I away. 





A friendly one even landed on my shoulder :)  - this was actually a freaked out face. 


London Bridge

A gorgeous piece which was initially of a limestone connected to the mainland by a "bridge". This "London Bridge" became even more famous when the "bridge" collapsed when a couple was busy rendezvousing on top of the limestone resulting in a national emergency (because they can't walk back to the mainland) causing much media attention to the couple. 




There were choppers, rescuers, you name it - everyone tried to save the two. What were they doing there in the evening anyway? 

Only to reveal more - as the girl was actually the married guy's affair. I still remember my tour guide's exact words - "speaking of getting caught". The whole thing made it to news everywhere around the world the next few days. 

The Twelve Apostles 

Last, but definitely not the least - the Twelve Apostles. Formed by hard erosions, the weather has made the Southern Ocean erode the limestones from it's actual form to form caves, cliffs, arches which have been constantly collapsing till just recently. Meaning - the erosion is ongoing and can very dangerous. 


But Google the Twelve Apostles, and you will find photos after photos of these amazing limestones carefully stacked and carved up next to each other. You can view all of these and more with a chopper, provided at the tourist centre. 

The Korean Girl :)  
One can stare at these amazing view forever, I tell you. The chemistry between all the elements in the picture, the sky, the limestones, the brawns, the waves. 


This creation, is picture perfect. The Great Ocean Road is awesome - I can only say so much, the next time you're in Melbourne, reserve a day for The Great Ocean Road and you'll be back with so many pictures in your head enough for you to articulate them to your friends :) 


Love,
Jacqueline Rowena @ Jacqkie.

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