The Great Ocean Road

As we approached Melbourne the crew gave us the expected “wake up” call at 5:15am that we would be docking at approximately 6:00am and “breakfast is being served in the Captain’s Table Restaurant”; welcome to Melbourne courtesy of the Spirit of Tasmania I (http://www.spiritoftasmania.com.au/).

The Great Ocean Road Memorial Arch

The Great Ocean Road Memorial Arch

Once we were docked it didn’t take long for the ship to disgorge its cargo of people, cars, caravans and trucks and the roads leading away from the dock had a momentary flush of traffic.  We headed straight to the Freeway and the West Gate Bridge (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Gate_Bridge) to take the road to Geelong (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geelong); it was still dark and air was very crisp with clear skies; even though it was Easter Monday, we were trying to be well away from the heart of Melbourne before any heavy traffic started.

Street Art in Anglesea

Street Art in Anglesea

On reaching Geelong we stayed on the freeway and headed for Torquay and the Great Ocean Road.  The 2013 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach surf competition (http://www.ripcurl.com.au/?aboutbells) was in full flight so there was quite a bit of traffic in Torquay and heading to Bells Beach; there was also a lot of bicycle traffic on the road with riders practicing for an upcoming event (http://www.greatoceanroad.com/events).  We negotiated the traffic and the bike riders and travelled steadily on to reach Anglesea where we stopped for a breather.

Split Point Lighthouse

Split Point Lighthouse

View of Loutit Bay at Aireys Inlet

View of Loutit Bay at Aireys Inlet

Down to the viewing platform at Split Point Lighthouse

Down to the viewing platform at Split Point Lighthouse

On reaching Aireys Inlet we stopped to take a look at the Split Point Lighthouse (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Split_Point_Lighthouse).  This lighthouse was built in 1891 and converted to automatic operation in the early 1900’s; external scenes for the television series “Round the Twist” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Round_the_Twist) were filmed around the Split Point Lighthouse.  One can drive right up to the base of the lighthouse but having the caravan in tow we parked some distance away and walked to the base of the lighthouse and out to the lookout.

Parked at Urquhart Bluff

Parked at Urquhart Bluff

View from Urquhart Bluff

View from Urquhart Bluff

Our next stop was at Urquhart Bluff as there was sufficient space for us to pull over with the caravan.  We had some great views of surf and surfers from this high point.  There were lots of places along the road where great views could be had but these were generally unsuitable for the caravan or so well patronized that there was no way for us to park safely.  We drove through Lorne and Apollo Bay and then on to Lavers Hill.  Just past Princetown we stopped to take a look at the Twelve Apostles (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Twelve_Apostles_%28Victoria%29).  The visitor centre here has been well established and a road underpass has been constructed to allow visitors to reach the viewing area in relative safety.

View from the platform at the Twelve Apostles

View from the platform at the Twelve Apostles

The Twelve Apostles a Different View

The Twelve Apostles a Different View

Along the road we found Loch Ard Gorge (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loch_Ard_Gorge) and then drove on to Port Campbell (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port_Campbell) where we fed the inner man (and woman) as it was late in the day and we were famished having had little to eat since our early light breakfast on the ship.

Loch Ard Gorge

Loch Ard Gorge

The Bridge at Loch Ard Gorge

The Bridge at Loch Ard Gorge

Surf Pounding The Arch near Port Campbell

Surf Pounding The Arch near Port Campbell

Further on from Port Campbell we came to London Bridge (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_Arch) and the Arch (http://www.flickr.com/photos/photojour/2405436056/) both limestone structures similar to the twelve apostles.  Our next stop was at Warrnambool (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warrnambool) where we filled the truck with diesel and pressed on to our overnight stop at Port Fairy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port_Fairy).  We stayed in the Port Fairy Gardens Caravan Park that evening and pressed on in the light rain next morning.

London Bridge near Port Campbell

London Bridge near Port Campbell

More Later!

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