We’ve heard a lot about Great Ocean Road (GOR). We’ve seen countless photos promoting this place and were dreaming about seeing it one day with our own eyes. Almost everyone advices that this trip should not be done in one day. But when we finally got an opportunity to see it, we had maybe 12 hours top. So, what did we do? Well, we unanimously decided that it’s better to see it in turbo mode rather than not see it at all. No one knew if there ever would be another chance. That’s how our journey began. Great Ocean Road and Twelve Apostles in one day? Can it be done? Yes, it can. We did it and don’t regret a single second of it!
We’ve made this trip during our holiday journey with Agnieszka, Miss Redactor. Everything started with a visit in Melbourne (more about that you can find in this post – link). Next on our list was the most famous Aussie road trip – Great Ocean Road. The whole road has 243 km in total and goes from Torquay to Warrnambool. GOR is not only the most beautiful and famous route in the world, it is also the biggest World War I memorial. Built by soldiers in memory of their fallen comrades. The whole project took over a dozen years to finish. The road was completed in November 1932.
Our adventure started with Twelve Apostles. The most recognizable place on the whole Great Ocean Road. The fact that the weather wasn’t perfect and that we were there during weekend when this place is swamped with tourists, did not ruin this experience for us at all. The view was rewarding everything. Landscape was just fabulous. Additionally, thanks to the clouds and wind, colours were changing dynamically. One minute we saw beautiful, but dangerously looking cliffs, just to see a wonderful, gold warm with turquoise ocean in the next one.
Twelve Apostles are made from limestone, measuring even 45 meters high. They were formed through centuries by erosion, when ocean waters were flushing away the lime tone creating these majestic monuments. At the time, there are only 9 left. Rest have collapsed into the ocean waters.
Loch Ard Gorge
Our next stop, Loch Ard Gorge, was located couple of minutes drive away from Twelve Apostles. This place is so interesting that we spent there more time than on the first attraction. Loch Ard Gorge is a beach located between huge cliffs, with massive waves breaking into the bay. There is a sad and heart touching story connected with this place. In 1878 on nearby Muttonbird Island a ship with 54 passengers on board has crashed. There were only 2 survivors – 15 years old Tom Pearce and 17 years old Eva Carmichael. Tom was thrown on the beach by waves but after hearing screams and crying coming out of the water he rushed with help. Visitors of Loch Ard Gorge can see the cave in which both survivors found shelter.
Time was running out and we had still couple of places to visit. We had to push the tempo. Next on the list was located west from Port Campbell, the phenomenal The Arch. Another breath-taking place. Created by nature, 8 meters high rocky arch. The atmosphere is additionally build up by waves breaking over this lime stone statue. It will definitely remain in our memory for long time.
We are driving forward to London Bridge. Well its remains, to be specific. That’s because in 1990 this limestone monument has suddenly collapsed, leaving two tourists stranded on its other side. Thankfully nothing happened to them and they were quickly evacuated by a helicopter. Well they for sure have a good story to tell during family dinners, haven’t they? Personally we probably would rather not to be in their shoes when that happened tho ; )
Our visit to The Grotto was rather short. It’s a really cool place, but not spacious. So, if you end up there with another group of tourists it might be hard to take a photo without someone’s head or hand in it. We were fortunate to take a couple, including one selfie! Ufff. Nevertheless, we really recommend a trip downstairs to admire this amazing view.
Bay of Islands
Last stop on our trip. The weather decided to take a 180 turn. It really turned into a beautiful sunny and warm day. Finally, we could enjoy the view in full sunlight and without cold wind. Bay of Islands are, like Twelve Apostles, limestone rocks raising above the ocean. Definitely less popular, but also fabulous. No one talks about them and they are often skipped. But it is definitely worth to take a ride here and see them.