The Great Ocean Road is listed in Australian National Heritage sights and stretches for about 245 kilometers covering several small towns along the coast. A drive through The Great Ocean Road is a must on your travel list if you ever plan to visit Australia. It’s quite scenic as popularly known and before you leave the country its worth taking those memories with you. It is the largest war memorial ever built and was built for lives lost in World War I by the soldiers who returned to Australia after the war ended.
It starts with town of Torquay in south east Victoria and finishes at Warrnambool covering the ocean line on one side and rain forest and mountains on the other. Though it’s good to visit the road in summers but keeping the view in mind, the road looks awesome at any time of the year. It’s recommended to drive through the road when the weather is calm as you wouldn’t want to be caught sightseeing in the rains, especially in winters.
We had just one day left for our vacation to get over and we were wondering what to do on that day. Covering the TGOR in one day is not possible if you really want to enjoy the whole experience without getting tired. Website information especially photos can be bit deceptive than the real thing but I must say this trip changed my view.
Since we were short of time, we decided to cover just a part of it for the time being. We made the town of Lorne as our point of return and started off early morning from Melbourne.
Taking small steps – Starting early (well my early was around 9 am) gave us enough time to go at our own pace while enjoying the drive. Straight drive on M1 (B100) lead us to Torquay which is around an hour from Melbourne. We parked at the information center and inquired about the places to visit. The information provided by them gave us a head start. The town is quite peaceful and all you can hear is splashing of waves at the Point Danger which was just around the corner. This is a look-out point one should not miss. As soon as I stepped out, fresh winter air filled me with boundless freedom. The grandness of the ocean is enough to belittle you in every sense. You are bound to forget everything and enjoy the view. From there began my experience of admiring nature at its best.
Heading further we came across the surf coast and lots of surfers enjoying their stint in the water. I could only admire them from a distant as never even in my wildest dream would I be so adventurous to try that. Bell Beach point is well sought by surfers around the world.
Jumping the Ladder – Skipping the Point Addis, we reached straight to the Angel Sea Golf Course which was another home to Kangaroos among several others in the country. Though it’s not a Kangaroo viewing sight for visitors but you can still have a bite in the club’s café while watching Kangaroos from little distance. And in case you are member playing golf, you will experience them hopping around very close to you as if they don’t care about your presence. While I enjoyed watching them walking around with my latte, my husband enjoyed clicking me with the Kangaroos watching me. That was quite a gesture.
Up in the Air – The spectacular view couldn’t get better than watching it from the Light House on a cliff which was out next stop. Visiting the light house is paid but the view from top is worth the effort and money. We walked towards the Light House for around 500 meters to catch a glimpse of the ocean and the sandstone formations. There is also a look-out point for those who don’t want to pay and go up.
Down to reality – Going further, we crossed the Memorial Arch which was built as a tribute to the soldiers who constructed the road itself, and finally reached the city of Lorne.
The road snakes up and down along the coast to keep you looking for more. Every turn is amazing and one can pull over around the curves for jaw dropping sights. It took us around one hour to reach Lorne besides stopping several times. Thanks to my husband who is an avid driver and enjoys it to the core without getting tired.
Soak in the seaside– We parked in the corner to look out for an eating joint. To our surprise, the town has several cafés and restaurants to choose from. We settled for Italian and ordered fresh pizza at Saporitalia. Its bit on the higher side but when the food tastes amazing, you don’t mind paying. Don’t look for Macca’s or cheap joints as there are none on the main street. If you wish to save on food along your drive, I suggest you pack from home.
The high street is lined with several boutiques as well for shopaholics. Didn’t have much time in hand, else I would have swiped in one of them.
Across the road is the Beach Pavilion located on the foreshore to experience lip-smacking food while you watch the waves roll by. The tranquil water just soothes you from within and you would never want to get up from there. I wish there was a bit of sun falling on me to make the experience immortal.
The town is picturesque and can be enjoyed in all weathers. After the meal which was super light and tasty it’s a good idea to beguile some time walking along the beach. A roasted corn cob would be a great combination in the rains. I wish I had a holiday home nearby where I could come regularly to unwind every now and then. The salty drizzle on my face was refreshing as well as numbing my senses. However, it did restore the balance that was missing from my life.
The Free Fall – 10 Km up the north from the Lorne city center, is the Erskine Falls. But before we reached there, we stopped at Toddy’s Lookout. As the name suggests, it’s another viewing point at a height. The road down will make you catch your breath momentarily.
Up the road, we stepped down to take a glimpse of the falls amidst the dense rain forest. Reaching 200 meters down, the fall was beautiful. Though not larger than life, yet it was enchanting and capable of holding my attention for quite a while. It is better viewed from below if you can handle climbing back the steps.
Return to abode– This brought us to the end of our to-do list for the day with a quest for more. It was like when you just start gearing up for more and suddenly you realize the joy ride is over and you have to come next time.
We headed back to Melbourne and this time it was my husband who was enjoying the view of the ocean from his side. I glanced back at the ocean and it winked back taking a promise of a re-visit soon so that we spend some more time together. It holds back a part of you. A happy part of you. This was one of my best day trips in a long time.
We will soon continue our trip further on the road from where we left this time.
About the Author: Mansi Kumar is a novice traveler who is all set to explore new dimensions in traveling and is eager to experience diverse cultures across the globe. Academically, an MBA in HR from UK and having worked for several Multi-National companies in India, UK & UAE is now settled in Melbourne Australia. Her areas of interest apart from traveling are writing, reading fictional stories and history. She started off as a single traveler who is now recently married but continues to explore new places with her better half with same zest and passion to bring out something new every time from every place.