As I’ve mentioned before in an earlier post, Melbourne is the gateway to the Great Ocean Road – one of Australia’s most spectacular coastal routes. I met up with some friends from Nottingham, who were living in Melbourne at the time, and we decided to jump in their car and spend a two day road trip exploring a good chunk of the 250km coastline, with one night camping out by one its many beautiful beaches. Stocked up with more wine than food to keep us going through the night (got to get your priorities straight!) it was a great experience to camp outdoors, hearing the waves crash against the beach as you fall asleep and the happy singing of native birdlife as you wake up.
The GOR is an amazing drive through winding mountains, with roads lined by rugged beaches and the clear blue sea. We stopped at more lookouts than we could count to take in the breathtaking views, and even managed to spot a few wild koalas in a forest we passed through. It was great because we managed to find a place with no other tourists around…it was just us and the koalas. So for my first sighting, this made it a very special experience to see them in their natural environment, doing what they do best – sleeping or waking up very briefly to lazily chew on some eucalyptus leaves.
But the star of the show had to be the 12 Apostles, which are the main attraction on this route. While a couple of rocks sticking out of the sea might not seem like the most exciting of things to see, I’m glad to say they lived up to all the hype. The 12 Apostles (of which only eight remain) were formed around 20 million years ago as the sea gradually eroded the cliffs. Now these huge limestone rocks tower magnificently above the ocean beneath them and we were very lucky to get extremely good weather that day, giving us a great view. Although it’s a long two days to be driving in a car (thanks Jon and Michelle!!) all in all it’s such a worthwhile trip and you never get bored of the scenery. The only downside was having to constantly shoo away flys when you did have to get out of the car (now I understand the practicalness of those unfashionable cork hats!).
Here’s just a snapshot of our time exploring Australia’s Great Ocean Road…
Pretty amazing hey? Have you ever done a coastal road trip somewhere in the world? If so, I’d love to hear your recommendations below!
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