If you've ever visited or planned on visiting Victoria or Melbourne then I am quite sure that you've heard of or even visited it yourself - The Great Ocean Road.
For everyone else - What is Great Ocean Road?
To put it simply, it is 243 kilometres (151 mi) stretch of road along the south-eastern coast of Australia between the Victorian cities of Torquay and Allansford. It was built by returned soldiers between (1919 - 1932) and it is dedicated to soldiers killed during World War I. The road is the world's largest war memorial. Winding through varying terrain along the coast and providing access to several prominent landmarks, the road is an important tourist attraction in the region. (Source)
You will find multiple companies and organisations who offer from one day to multiple days road trips. You can also organise your own. Me and my friend decided to take one day road trip with the amazing tour organiser Aussie Escapades which is (or at least was at the time) single-handedly ran by the amazing Justin. If you are in Melbourne either alone or travelling with a company - I would really recommend checking out their webpage to see current trip offers. I have nothing but positive words for him and if you check the Facebook Reviews you will see I'm not the only one singing him praises. If you are on a look out for a friendly local tour guide, small group size and unforgettable trip - then Aussie Escapades is the right choice for you.
We kicked off our adventure in the early morning hours. Justin kindly provided us with some morning snacks (another big plus of taking the tour with Justin - he has a lot of treats to make sure you are not hungry during the trip and he also takes care of lunch with cooking Aussie BBQ on the road).
One of our first stops on our day trip was Bells Beach.
Bells Beach is the home of the world's longest-running surfing competition – the Rip Curl Pro Surf & Music Festival. The competition was first held in January 1961 and then at Easter every year.
The next stop was one of my favourites - Anglesea Golf Course. That's because there are kangaroos jumping all over the golf course.
The word is that every year a couple of kangaroos die due to the high speed of the golf balls hitting them in the head. :(
Unmissable Memorial Arch at the Eastern View.
Memorial Arch is a tribute to the World War One servicemen who built the Great Ocean Road. (Source)
Teddy's Lookout viewing platform
Kennett River is a great spot for getting some great pics with the local colourful birds. (Justin even provided us with bird food!)
Kennett River is also one of the best places in Australia to see koalas in the wild!! Just head up the road and...
Start playing the game - Spot The Koala ;)
(This one is living on someone's back garden!!!)
The path back up doesn't really look half as good as it did going down :D
12 Apostles is probably one of the most famous attractions on the Road. Even though there is number 12 in the name, there were ever only 9 limestone stacks which were formed by erosion.
Due to the harsh ocean weather conditions there are currently only eight apostles left. Last one collapsed back in 2005.
It is believed the Apostles could disappear completely in the next 25 years. :(
We completed our road trip at the Loch Ard Gorge.
The gorge is named after the clipper ship Loch Ard that has sunk just before reaching the end of it's 3 month journey from England to Melbourne on 1 June 1878. There were 54 passengers and crew on board but only 15 year old ship's apprentice and 17 years old Irishwoman survived.
In 2009 the arch and the feature now appears as two unconnected rock pillars. They have since been officially named Tom and Eva after the two teenage survivors of the Loch Ard shipwreck. (Source)
I had an amazing time during this road trip and I would definitely recommend it to anyone visiting Victoria. Not only you get to see the breathtaking view during your ride but you have a chance to meet some of the Australian locals like kangaroos and koalas. If you are currently thinking of doing this trip - do it. You won't regret it. (Just make sure to check the weather first tho. ;)