Victoria Journals

Wandering Along Australia's Great Ocean Road

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A June 2005 trip to Victoria by stomps

Great Ocean Road Beach Photo, Victoria, Australia More Photos
Quote: This was a wonderful day trip to perhaps one of the most scenic places in the world.

Wandering Along Australia's Great Ocean Road

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Overview

Great Ocean Road Beach Photo, Victoria, Australia
Quote:
The Great Ocean Road runs along the Southern Ocean in Victoria, roughly from Geelong (near Melbourne) to Warrnambool. This is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Australia and many guide books list the Twelve Apostles, a rock formation sitting off the coast near Port Campbell, as something you must see before you die. I thought the road offered some of the most spectacular scenery I saw in the entire country, behind only Fraser Island.The winding road that leaves thousands of tourists in awe every day as they are entranced by the beautiful beaches and coves on one side, and thick, lush rainforest on the other was not a simple thing to build. 70 years ago, during the Great Depression, t...Read More

Twelve Apostles

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Attraction

Twelve Apostles Photo, Victoria, Australia
Quote:
Formerly known as the Sow and Piglets, until someone renamed them to something slightly more tourist-friendly, the Twelve Apostles rear their majestic heads just down the coast from Port Campbell. Their name is slightly misleading in that there are only eight Apostles—originally, there were nine (but the Nine Apostles isn’t quite as nice a name as the Twelve Apostles), and then on July 3, 2005, a week after I visited, the one closest to the viewing platform collapsed. Even in their reduced number, it is difficult to see all the apostles from the lookout point, since a few remain hidden behind the Victoria coast beyond.The Apostles were formed from the constant erosion of the Southern Ocean a...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 30, 2006

Twelve Apostles
west of Princetown on Great Ocean Road
Victoria, Australia

Otway Discovery

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Attraction

Otway Discovery Photo, Victoria, Australia
Quote:
The Great Ocean Road is obviously a huge tourist attraction, so there are plenty of options when booking a trip along it. Most buses leave from Melbourne, but you can leave from places like Ballarat, Geelong, and Torquay as well. Time is the major constraining factor when choosing a tour group—I would have loved to have pulled a Fraser and spent 3 days just touring around the coast and all the beautiful beaches, but unfortunately, my plane ticket back to Brisbane did not agree. Since all the tours I found were either 1 or 3 days (for returning to Melbourne…there is another whole range of tours that go the whole way to Adelaide), I chose 1 day.Something that struck me when comparing all the 1...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on May 30, 2006

Otway Discovery
Melbourne
Melbourne, Australia

Loch Ard Gorge

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Attraction

Loch Ard Gorge Photo, Victoria, Australia
Quote:
A breathtaking sight, not far down the coast from the Twelve Apostles but much less famous, is the Loch Ard Gorge. This gorge was the site of one of the worst shipwrecks in the Australian memory—that of the Loch Ard. This ship had been in transit from England to Melbourne for 3 months, and was only days from reaching its destination when it hit bad weather and steered drastically off course and much closer to the coast than intended. Unfortunately, the wreck was not famous enough for the builders of the Titanic to have learned from it—there were entirely too few life vests for those on board, and the seas were also incredibly difficult to swim in. These elements combined meant there were...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 30, 2006

Loch Ard Gorge
east of Port Campbell on Great ocean Road
Victoria, Australia

Kennett River Koala Walk

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Attraction

Great Ocean Road View Photo, Victoria, Australia
Quote:
Having not really seen koalas in the wild before, I was excited about the part of our tour that involved hiking through a park full of them. However, my excitement did not even begin to compare to the other people in my tour group, who had either just arrived in the country or not been to a wildlife park yet. Either way, all the girls on the bus squealed when the driver mentioned koalas, with one asking if there was any way she could take one home as a pet.When we arrived in the town of Kennett River, which is after the Split Point lighthouse but before Apollo Bay along the Great Ocean Road, our guide drove us up Grey River road to the top of a large hill. There, he gave us advice on how to ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 30, 2006

Gibson's Steps

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Attraction

Lone Apostle Photo, Victoria, Australia
Quote:
When traveling along the Great Ocean Road from Melbourne, Gibson’s Steps are literally just before the turn off for the Twelve Apostles. Of all the sights in the area, we visited the Steps last, after the Twelve Apostles lookout, Loch Ard Gorge, and London Bridge.When we arrived at the steps, the sun was beginning to think about setting, but hadn’t quite gotten that far yet. Everything was bathed in a dull glow, which, combined with the stunning scenery, made everything seem quite surreal. From the lookout near the top of the incredibly steep stairs, we could just see a few of the Apostles.The guide took a vote as to whether we wanted to spend any time at the beach or get back in t...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 30, 2006