“The Great Ocean Road is an Australian National Heritage listed 243 kilometres (151 mi) stretch of road along the south-eastern coast of Australia between the Victorian cities of Torquay and Allansford. Built by returned soldiers between 1919 and 1932 and dedicated to soldiers killed during World War I, the road is the world’s largest war memorial.”
On Monday I spent most of the day in a car. Not the most glamorous start to a story, in fact my general aversion to driving made me think the day would be rather uncomfortable. It wasn’t. Driving the great ocean road was glorious. It happened quite spontaneously as one of the guys in our hostel room filled us all in about his plans to hire a car and was going with his friend and another acquaintance. He mentioned there was actually two spaces available and somehow me and another girl in the hostel ended up in the back seat of a five seater automatic (that’s a thing here apparently). Our merry little party consisted of myself, two French, one Italian and one German so quite the representative euro party.
Unfortunately one of the French lads was in charge of driving. Over all performance was a solid 7/10. However the first 20 minutes I thought we were going to die. Marin is probably a very reliable and confident driver in France but the exciting new challenge of an automatic plus the whole ‘driving on the
wrong right side of the road’ made for an interesting beginning. Overall he did only go round two roundabouts the wrong way and the first turning we took was almost onto incoming traffic. Apart from that it was very smooth sailing!
We managed to see a wild koala and a kangaroo! Although the kangaroo was actually road kill so not quite as thrilling as a nice live, hopping one. The koala experience was also slightly dampened by hoards of Chinese tourists thinking they could pet it and shoving iPads in its face consequently scaring it half to death. Luckily a local came to save it and managed to shoo the snap happy Asians back into their tour bus.
The highlight was definitely the twelve apostles, which are just big bits of the cliffs standing free in the sea (see below). We managed to find a little spot to clamber down onto a basically deserted beach and had a glorious time playing in the sea and sand, surrounded by lush blue ocean and spectacular views! Definitely worth a cheeky trip if you end up in the Melbourne vicinity.