Car Trip to Australia: 7 Spots along the Great Ocean Road
The Great Ocean Road stretches for 243 kilometers along the beautiful Pacific Coast of the Australian state of Victoria. The route is proclaimed one of the most magnificent tourist highways. It passes through countless seaside towns, golden sandy beaches and cuts through the green walls of the jungle.
Traveling along the Great Ocean Road can take from one day to several weeks, depending on the number of stops and the chosen distance. The fastest and most acceptable option is an express tour, including a three-day trip from Melbourne to Adelaide. However, the best solution is to rent a car in Australia under 21 and plan a vacation according to your desires. So you can explore all the sights at your own pace and leisurely enjoy the beauties of the Great Ocean Road. No matter what way of transportation you choose, you should definitely make the following 7 stops on the way…
West Gate Bridge
(photo by manraj singh1)
The most popular tourist route originates in Melbourne. Get on a comfortable bus or start the engine of a rental car and go on an adventure. When you leave the city, you will never miss the West Gate Bridge.
The huge concrete structure has a length of about 2.6 kilometers and the height of 58 meters. The bridge is divided into four lanes – it’s included in the list of the longest buildings on the entire Australian continent. This is a great observation point, because of its wide viewing angle: it offers a magnificent view of Westgate Park and the Yarra River.
(photo by jlcummins)
For the first time the construction of the Great Ocean Road was started back in 1864, but the implementation of such a large-scale idea had to be postponed due to the unstable political situation in the world. Work began only in 1919, after the return of soldiers from the fronts of the World War I.
About three thousand people worked six days a week for meager pay, which barely covered the cost of food. However, former military had the good goal – to create the best highway in memory of the fallen comrades. The first section was opened in March 1932. Only in November 1932 the grand building was finally completed.
Immediately after commissioning, three monuments were installed on the road, and one of them has survived to this day. The wooden Memorial Arch and a bronze monument depicting busy builders mark the entrance to the Great Ocean Road.
(photo by Eduardo Arostegui)
One hundred kilometers from Melbourne there’s the most popular beach area for surfing. It is named after the pilgrim family who settled there in 1840. Part of the territory is separated for the reserve zone and is listed in the register of Victorian Heritage.
Every year Bells Beach hosts the most grandiose surfing festival. As part of the Rip Curl Pro Surf & Music Festival sports competitions and music battles are held. Be sure to ride the waves, even if you have never stood on the board – you will be provided with the whole sea of positive emotions.
Cape Patton Lookout
Cape Patton is located near the Apollo Bay – this is a great observation platform, bordered by dense rainforest. During the development of Australia, many ships were wrecked in this area, and this is not surprising, given the wind speed and the force of the waves.
Today Cape Patton is a popular attraction. Steep green rocks go to the turquoise water, while the ocean breaks on smooth gray stones and foams like sparkling wine. Travelers should definitely stay there and take a couple of photos to remember this amazing beauty for a lifetime.
Otway National Park
Otway National Park has the area of 103 square kilometers. It was founded in 2004 and now it’s one of the friendliest places in Australia. The main advantages of the park are swift waterfalls, impassable jungles, practically unchanged since the days of dinosaurs, as well as a diverse animal world.
For an additional fee, you can take a ride on the magnificent speed on steel ropes stretched over the canopy of trees. Be sure to visit Cape Otway Lighthouse. Climbing the steep twisted stairs to the roof of the snow-white structure is difficult for visitors, but the efforts made will be rewarded with a fantastic view of huge waves crashing against the coastline.
Loch Ard Gorge
Undoubtedly, Loch Ard Gorge is considered to be one the most magnificent places along the Great Ocean Road. Coral sand favorably contrasts with the cold blueness of the ocean and yellow rocks. The gorge was named after the Loch Ard ship, which crashed there in 1878.
As a result of the tragedy, almost all the crew members died, with the exception of two teenagers. While standing on top of a cliff and looking down at the frothy whirlpools, you will be able to assess the difficulty of maneuvering between the stone giants. However, it’s absolutely safe to swim on the beach, hidden among the natural walls, since high cliffs protect the bay from violent winds.
The name of the attraction is not quite true. In fact, there are only eight limestone formations left – the rest collapsed into the depths of the sea in different years under the influence of strong storms.
The place is literally teeming with tourists, but, despite its vivacity, it doesn’t disappoint. The height of some rocks is comparable to ten-story buildings. The authorities are very responsible in organizing excursions, thus the territory in the area of the Twelve Apostles is replete with warning signs and fences. In the late afternoon Australian penguins appear on the beach. At dusk, hundreds of small birds return to their homes, hidden in the sand dunes.