Travelling Along the Great Ocean Road

22 Jul

If there is one tourist spot that visitors to Melbourne should not miss, it’s the Great Ocean Road. This 240-kilometer scenic road is definitely a must-see. And if I were to give you an advice on the best way to go here, it would be to join any Great Ocean Road day tour.

The drive going to the ocean road itself is about over an hour from the city center of Melbourne. But going to the popular Twelve Apostles will take about two more hours. Some of the roads are winding and are so narrow, with parts that seem like cliffs hanging above sea (our tour guide tells us workers have actually died in building these parts of the road). So driving yourself, in my opinion, is not really a good idea, especially if it’s your first time and you want to enjoy the scenic, relaxing coastal view.

Gray Line tour bus. We didn’t actually book a tour under Gray Line coz it was too expensive. But the tour company merges their tours with Gray Line. Just paid $99 each. If interested, you can check the booking desk at Federation Square’s tourist centre.

Our day tour departed from Federation Square at past 8 AM. After the long drive, we stopped for morning tea at the little town of Colac. It was a funny moment for us when we realized that our morning tea was served from a portable table set up by our bus driver (who also happens to be our tour guide.. yes it is a one-man show, kudos to these tour guides who seem to be doing everything to run the show) and consisted of lamingtons, vegemite on crackers and Billy tea. It was my first time to try lamingtons (small sponge cakes covered with chocolate and coconut flakes), which I found quite nice. I’ve had a taste of vegemite before and did not attempt to have it again this time (yes, it entails an acquired taste). Billy tea is named aptly after the Billy tin can where it is served from. Our guide tells us that we were having a feel of how miners in Australia used to prepare tea, from big cans originally used for storage of meat.

Our first scenic stop was at the Gibson Steps. It’s quite a long descent, though, so for those weak in the knees, going down may not be a good idea.

View on top of Gibson Steps

Gibson Steps

The view of one of the 12 Apostles after going down Gibson Steps

Our lunch stop was Port Campbell Park. We only spent less than an hour here, and much of the time was spent for lunch. There’s not much to see anyway. But had a fun time having a picnic at the park beside the ocean. The rush of waves really have a calming effect, and though the winds are chilly, the flavors of home-cooked adobo and pinakbet in the cold weather in a foreign land just warms the belly, and the heart 🙂

Lunch picnic at Port Campbell

Law and myself at Port Campbell

We went on to see the blowhole panorama next to the Razorback at Loch Ard Gorge and moved on to the magnificent rock formations named the Twelve Apostles.

Myself, Tita Fe, Atheena and Papa enjoying the blowhole panorama

The Razorback

Long walkway with an amazing view of the Twelve Apostles

The Twelve Apostles

View of a few more of the Twelve Apostles

The remaining time in our tour was spent on driving along the the ocean road. I’d have to agree that this long road should be one of the most scenic ones in the world. I think you just cannot soak in enough of the view of the ocean 🙂 We passed by a lot of small towns along the coastline and we thought that if you have the time to just rest and relax, staying in one of these towns (like Lorne and Apollo Bay) would be quite nice. In case we do get that chance, I’ll surely post them here next time.

One Response to “Travelling Along the Great Ocean Road”

  1. Laurence Lim April 29, 2014 at 12:50 PM #

    Thanks for this post! It’s useful. Will be going there this June.

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