Down Under In Mel: Great Ocean Road & 12 Apostles

Great Ocean Road also known as B100. It is the one journey where it can be hailed as the Top 10 Road Trip to take or even number 1 in Australia. It’s visited by uncountable tourists and locals to drive along this 243km long stretch of winding roads along the coast, boosting magnificent views of the pacific ocean and also through the lust greens of Victoria state and the small little costal towns. Starting from Torquay all the way to the Allansford. Besides the many outlooks and attractions along the way, mostly hugging the coast lines where you get the most amazing seaview straight down the rugged cliff the road you are on to the main attractions of your journey! The Twelve Apostles!

P6144014.JPG

However marvellous, the Great Ocean Road is a daunting journey and exhaustive one to be done in a single day. Especially in the winter months where you have less daylight. Although I managed to do it, it’s definitely aided by the fact that I have 3 drivers taking turn to drive the journey. I left central Melbourne slightly before 7am and god, the people in Melbourne are all early wakes, there is already a slight traffic on the streets, roughly about an hour of drive I had a slight breakfast break at High Street near Geelong, here I had my first take on McDonalds in Australia, trying out some of their breakfast items! Definitely not as cheap as Singapore!

img_9364

I had planned my route and before heading towards the Twelve Apostles, I will first take a slight detour to the Split Point Lighthouse, the first stop for the day! Shining brightly since 1891 this lighthouse is located in Aireys Inlet, a small town on Great Ocean Road. Converted to automatic operation in 1919, towering over 34meters tall, I got my first interaction with the sea. Together with the lighthouse, this place is perfect for pictures, a slight wandering of the grounds and simply just enjoying the view. It is possible to get a guided tour of the lighthouse, but for the price, I won’t recommend it!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Throughout the journey on B100, which is the Great Ocean Road, the speed limit range between 50 -100 km/h with slower speeds on the curves and downhill, the route is also well labelled with signs and warnings on the condition ahead and cautions. Great Ocean Road is a single lane two way road, as we should all drive responsible and safely, if you can’t keep up with the vehicles behind you, it is the practise to use overtaking lanes and inlets located along the road to allow overtaking. Hogging the lane is dangerous! The inlets also allows you to change drivers, take a break and stretch those legs. The views are impeccable too! It first takes you from the coast to the rain forests then back to the coast again, it is worth noting that while in the forests the slope are pretty steep, when going down hill, remember to check your speed. My parents even spotted a kangaroo in the forests while I’m busy manoeuvring the slope. We reached our first site in the Twelve Apostles cluster, London Bridge right at 11am, after roughly about a 3 hours drive……erm if you could keep it a little secret, there aren’t any cameras on the GOR and those country roads 🙂 As we approach the Twelve Apostles, the road changes to a long straight on a flat pasture above the cliff that we are on, with the sea below us. This place is breathtaking, imagine, blue skies, white clouds and the sea breeze to welcome us!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

London Bridge or how the formation are known as was actually located on the furthest point of our road trip, we decided to first go to the furthest and make slowly make our back to Melbourne, stopping on the sites. At the access point, carpark are available and you shouldn’t be unable to find a lot, the site is well maintained with access to the lookout. At the platform you get a sweeping views of the rocks, known as the London Bridge and also the crescent coastline onto the cliff. It’s just like a little memory job back to those geography days. Here, you can really feel the rush of the south pacific ocean, the powerful waves crashing into those golden baked cliff and coast. It is also due to this reason probably that lead to the London Bridge today. A comedy take on the London Bridge Falling, it is actually named this way when the section of the rock formation that connect the two formation, one of the mainland and one a little further out in the water. Due to the crashing and erosion from the waves, resulting in insufficient support, it collapsed. Resulting in it being known as London Bridge, when it collapsed in 1990, it was quite funny as two men had actually venture on it and after the collapsed, they are being stuck on that little “island” which had to be rescued by a helicopter! The upper and lower viewing platform boost view to be captured by your naked eyes!

P6143919.JPG

I did spend some time here before heading to Port Campbell, the nearest town to the Twelve Apostles for some lunch and also a toilet break. A short drive away, it is the main town in the area. Here there are a couple shops and cafes. The main sites are the harbour and docks. These area and also the jetty are pretty beautiful, with seagulls, the beach. It’s such a lively scene. Parking are widely available and petrol can be found here also. I also did had lunch at a little cafe called Forage on the foreshore, which I would cover in a separate post next.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I went to the next place at about 2pm. Seemingly Loch Ard George, it’s actually not the main sites that I am particular looking forward to visit! It just look pretty ordinary to me int he picture and I was really just visiting it for the sake of visiting. The crowd here are also slightly more than the previous one. Lots are still widely available! However what lies in wait is a surprise and in fact became the highlight of the trip and also Twelve Apostles. You just can’t take it for granted and really, never see a book by it’s cover. The good things are always hidden! At first after alighting from the car, I was really disappointing, I thought that it was only taking a view of the George, which is neither magnificent or impressive to me. At the same time, Gibson Steps, were repeating itself in my mind. However, it feels that there much something more, given that both my mum and I feel that the amount of people here must haven shown it to be a popular attraction.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I spend quite some time, taking picture on the lookout and also on the stairs. Somehow, we realised that my dad was missing and after some look around, we found him all the way down at the beach where the stairs lead to! Holy, yes a beach! We quickly make our way down to join him and also a surprise lies in wait! Do take note that there is quite a number of stairs and they aren’t for those with a weak leg. Furthermore, once you are down there the gradient is slightly steep, such that you require some strength to move in those sands! This is where you gotta be! If you didn’t make your way down the stairs, you would have probably just skip this lookout! The beachfront along the George is the highlight of this place. The rapid strong pacific ocean waters gushing in through the George, together with the bottle neck effect and the golden glistering fine beach, damn, imagine that view. First let me show you this picture.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Doesn’t it look somehow similar to you? When I saw this, I simply just stare at it, amaze, jaw dropping! Unbelievable was the word butterflying in me! IT LOOK EXACTLY LIKE THE SCENE IN THE HIT K DRAMA, DESCENDANTS OF THE SUN! DAMN! I should have probably brought my uniform and take a picture here right! I simply just spend so much time here, walking in the sands, taking pictures here and there, climbing the rocks, getting near to the sea. I MIGHT HAVE ALSO GONE A LITTLE OVERBOARD HERE AND ALMOST DIED TO! I MEAN IT, ALMOST DIED! The playful me, went near the portion where the waves hit, just to do a act pose for a picture. I anticipate the waves to just hit below me but but, while taking a picture the water suddenly gushes up and I couldn’t react in time. It was such a close shave, I totally might have been engulfed by the ocean and hit against some rocks!

IMG_9456.JPG

Thank goodness, I only left with this consequences!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Nearby was also a cave with great vibes, the cave had overturned sharp limestone on it’s roof! Super awesome, although I didn’t explore it!  The next place that I went to was the main visitor centre of Twelve Apsotles, this is also the place where you could get a great awesome view of the remaining limestone stacks that are still standing till today. There are currently 8 apostles left. The visitor centre is open from 10am till 4.30pm, parking are widely available along with parking spaces together with the viewing area, it is lovely. If you got a loose budget, you could also take a helicopter ride, getting a bird view of Twelve Apostles and the surrounding! I spend a short while here, it is a slight walk from the visitor centre to the viewing deck. The place was definitely crowded with all the tour groups in addition to us. Here you could feel all the water vapour all over you, the strong brute of the water gushing against the cliffs and headlands! No wonder some of them has collapsed due to wear and tear! The view is really marvellous, out of this world, you really gotta visit it and see it with your naked eye, although currently checking it out on Seeing The World In Steps will be fine for now 🙂

img_4876

From the visitor centre, it is also possible to walk over along a path to the Gibson Steps! Although the lazy me decide to just drive over instead. Gibson Steps has been at the top of my mind since the moment I had started researching about Twelve Apostles and planning my visit here. The best time to be here would of course definitely be during sunset, getting the iconic view of the 12 Apostles from the beach, with the orange sun together with the limestone. Gibson Steps actually mean the steps that connect the cliff all the way down to the beach. It is quite a height, about 70 meters!

img_4885

In fact it is a mixture of steps and slope down the cliff in a zigzag manner, despite this, it is really steep and high. Plenty of the steps carved on the cliff stones are also super high and slippery. Especially when it is wet, I would definitely recommend using the handles and take extra caution down the slope! Sure isn’t fun to roll down to the beach! Simply staring at the boundless ocean from the beach is actually a kind of pleasure and listening to the sounds of the waves. I enjoyed also the view of the steep cliff formation parallel to the coast. The views were great too, with the light slowly getting behind the cliff. As the daylight gone by, my time here at Twelve Apostles has also slowly come to an end!

Some tips for you guys would be to stock up plenty on food and water, you will be travelling long distance in rural areas, although things are available they are expensive. Also travel with comfortable space. Do make use of inlets on the road to change driver and take a short break, stretch those legs. If you didn’t drive here before, you won’t know the feeling of feeling free speeding down those long winding roads, feeling the air running thru your hair. We decided to return back to Melbourne using the Princess highway instead as it is more practical and also shorter!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s