The Great Ocean Road, VIC, AU
Australia has a lot of coastline. It ranges from swampy marshes, to beautiful beaches, to craggy cliffs and everything in between. Victoria, in the southeastern part of the country, has miles of land that meets water. One of the most celebrated of those regions is the Great Ocean Road. We first heard about it in a travel magazine a few years ago, and Tiffany thought it looked gorgeous so we decided to check it out (via wine country of course! We’ll post more about that soon.)
Little did we know that this was…a thing…that one does. Drive the Great Ocean Road that is. It’s a thing…that Australians ask…if you’ve done. So consequently….
Life Achievement Unlocked:
Drive The Great Ocean Road.
(Hey, who are we to say it’s not epic?)
The Great Ocean Road is a long stretch of coast between the city of Melbourne and the border shared with the state of South Australia. The most famous feature on this spectacular scenic drive are the Twelve Apostles. They’re a collection of rocky outcroppings that have been separated from the mainland due to erosion. Photos of these pillars can be found at tourist shops all over Australia. They’re an item high on many people’s must-see lists mainly due to their unique nature but also due to the fact that they are deteriorating at a relatively rapid rate and won’t be around forever. You see, there used to be nine of them but now there are only 8. Remember that they formed due to erosion? We’ll the erosion hasn’t stopped, and they’re being knocked over and disappearing into the ocean.
“Now wait a second” you say, “Why the heck did they call it The Twelve Apostles if there were only nine!?” An amusing side note is that the site was originally called “The Sow and Piglets” until the name was changed to “The Twelve Apostles” to rake in the tourists.
Yes everyone, Australia lied to us…all of us, as in, THE WORLD…and if the tourist center complete with a cafe, bus parking, tons of Japanese tourists with massive cameras and helicopter flights departing every 15 minutes at $100 a seat is any indication, it worked.
The rocks were pretty cool to look at but we actually were much more impressed later in our drive with the Bay of Martyrs
(Yeah, to the best of our knowledge no one died here for their faith. Who names these things?!)
Like the Twelve Apostles, there are a series of outcroppings that have been separated from the mainland, but unlike the Apostles, there is no massive tourist push here. Just a turnoff with a bit of parking and access to the beach. No fences, no gigantic warning signs every 10 feet, no crowds of pushy people jostling for position with their cameras, just nature at it’s finest with a bit of mist to enhance the atmosphere. It was amazing.
We also saw a few sites with some historical significance. The one that really caught our attention was Loch Ard Gorge.
(which isn’t actually a loch and is named after a shipwerck that occurred at a nearby island but heck, Australia tossed the truth into the Southern Ocean wrapped in burlap sack about 100 kilometers back so why not!? Loch it is! At least this time they have a passable excuse.)
Apparently back in 1878 the ship LOCH ARD was on its way to Melbourne from England and after three months of sailing wrecked just one day shy of arriving at its final destination. All but 2 people onboard died.
The Bay of Penises in the Marquesas, French Polynesia also suffered the indignity of being renamed by European settlers.
Greg and Tiffany are traveling around the world on sailing yachts and keep a video blog of their (mis)adventures. If sailing to Tahiti on a 44 ft sailboat, 3-day delays for wine tastings, getting pooped on by seagulls, opening coconuts with dull machetes, sailing past tornadoes and ukulele Christmas carols are for you, then check them out at www.CoastGuardCouple.com!