And as our Australian story unfolds, a visit to the Victorian state is definitely incomplete if you have not taken a road trip down the world famous Great Ocean Road to witness the majestic 12 Apostles. So when in Melbourne, add this to your things to do list and believe me you will not be disappointed.
Widely accepted as one of the world’s most scenic coastal drive that ever was, the Great Ocean Road is 243 kilometres extending along the south-eastern coast of Australia between the Victorian cities of Torquay and Allansford and is listed as Australian National Heritage. My wife and I took this 4.5 hour scenic drive from Melbourne via Geelong along the Great Ocean Road to the 12 Apostles in October. The weather was wonderful with spring onset and the blooming flowers and the scenery taking on the luscious green spring shade. We returned through an inland route along the Princes Highway and it was shorter about 3.5 hours and that saved time.
So add this drive to your bucket list if you are in Melbourne or anyplace in Victoria.
Source: Great Ocean Road Melbourne Tours
The drive is scenic with lighthouses and waterfalls, beaches and bushwalks and lookout spots for the Australian wildlife. It was an absolute dream day albeit tiring because we returned back to Melbourne the same day.
We started out early morning from Melbourne in our rented car from Europcar. You can hire from Hertz or Avis as well or check some great deals at Apex Car Rental Australia. There are many tour buses offering day tour packages also from Victoria market in Melbourne but if you are comfortable driving then hire a ride and kickstart early morning to avoid the traffic. Keep lots of drinking water and goodies to eat because the road is deserted in most parts but so very beautiful and scenic- its almost straight out of a day dream!
There are many look-out spots all along the coastline where you can stop and take small breaks and enjoy the scenery.
Memorial Arch is a tribute to the World War One servicemen who built the Great Ocean Road.
We stopped at a small seaside town Kennett River which is on the Great Ocean Road and enjoyed some sandwiches and coffee.
Kennet River is a great place to spot Koalas, native birds including King Parrots, Kookaburras, Rosellas and sometimes even dolphins and seals.
Grey River Road is a popular Koala spotting area here. You can also get some stay options in the small towns en route in case you wish to extend your trip and not return the same day.
We took short break at many such vista points on the great Ocean Road to capture some photographs. As you reach close to the 12 apostles, do visit the Port Campbell Visitor Information Centre for all your travel needs- refreshing up and purchasing souvenirs.
After parking your car at the 12 Apostles parking lot, start walking down towards the ocean. There is a narrow wooden staircase in patches and a panoramic ocean view on your side. I went absolutely speechless with the view- the majestic limestone stacks towering with their rugged splendour against the oceanic backdrop.
Word of caution- be wary of the strong winds, wear adequate scarves and windcheaters.
The 12 Apostles were formed by constant battering and erosion by the strong waves and winds and now there are only 8 left. Its nature’s own creation like none other and you must absolutely go see the Apostles before they all gradually erode.
A helicopter joyride is also available by 12 Apostles Helicopters for an aerial view of the 12 Apostles.