The Great Ocean Road

Victoria Travel Blog

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Although some may argue that the heart of Australia lies in its east and northeastern regions, its southern side is not to be overlooked.  Just west of Melbourne, the Great Ocean Road is an incredibly scenic drive that stretches 243 km along Victoria’s coastline.  Filled with spectacular cliff formations and absolutely stunning countryside, it is definitely a natural wonderland. 

     Very similar to Hwy 1 in California’s central coast, the Great Ocean Road is made up of jagged ocean cliffs and small towns along the way.  Amongst the numerous towns is Apollo Bay.  It is a small beach community that surrounds a beautifully calm bay.  Adorable cafes and surf shops line the main drag along the shore.  For those traveling along the coast, it has an utterly serene view to stop at and enjoy a meal.  

     The main focus for travelers along the Great Ocean Road is its cliff formations.  The area is most famous for The Twelve Apostles.  Parallel to the vertical cliffs are giant limestone stacks that have formed from years of erosion.  Because old stacks continually collapse while new ones are formed, there is not exactly twelve apostles. Although there is constant change in formation over time, the clear skies and heavy sea mist caused by the waves always produce a picturesque and heaven-like view.  

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     Another popular spot along the coast is the Loch Ard Gorge.  It is a surreal view in which two cliffs almost entirely enclose the beach from the ocean.  The bright golden sand generates a rare turquoise color in the water and creates a mystical sight. Although the enclosure causes the tide to remain relatively calm, it is not recommended to swim in the gorge due to the risk of being crushed against the cliffs from strong currents.  

Island Archway

     An unfortunate recent event on the Great Ocean Road was the collapse of the Island Archway.  The arch was a dazzling formation that stood in vibrant crystal clear water.  This section of the coast is the historic site of where the ship Loch Ard ran aground in 1878.  The collapse of the archway created two stacks which have been officially named Tom and Eva, after the only two survivors of the shipwreck.    

     This coastline possesses an abundance of sheer beauty, history and wonder.  If visiting Australia, it is beyond any doubt that this is an area worth putting on the to-do list.  Anyone who has driven along the Great Ocean Road and experienced its numerous marvels can agree on one thing.  Erosion never looked so good.  

cneoridium says:
That's too bad!
We lost a nice arch in San Diego during the last El Nino..
Posted on: Oct 29, 2009
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