Great Ocean Road - Southern Australia - 30.10.2008


......After visiting the city on our first day in Australia, we left for out first tour. This is Melbourne - Chapter 2.
......Let me first tell you a brief history of this road. As its name says, it follows the coast line. At least most of it.
......The Great Ocean Road is a 243 km stretch of road along the south-eastern coast of Australia between the Victorian cities of Torquay and Warrnambool. The road was constructed to provide work for returning soldiers and dedicated as a Memorial to those killed in the First World War. It is one of Australia's great scenic coastline drives. There is a statue at the beginning of the road dedicated to those who built it, as you can see in the pictures.
There is a coastal section and a mountain and forest section. Everything is very well prepared for tourists. A lot of restaurants, resting rooms, places to stop the car and take pictures without bothering anyone. Good job, people!

......Between Apollo Bay and Gellibrand Lower, the road passes through the Great Otway National Park which includes some of the last surviving temperate rainforests in the south of Australia. A walk at Mait's Rest offers spectacular views of tree-ferns and Myrtle Beeches.
......After Lavers Hill is Melba Gully State Park which includes a 40-minute walk through tree ferns, Myrtle Beeches, Australian Blackwoods, passing a giant Otway Messmate and beautiful river cascades.
......Here we saw the koalas for the first time. Better said, we spotted the koalas in the trees. Most of them were sleeping. But there were some having "lunch". People call them bears. They are not bears. Just marsupials. it's against the law to get in contact with them. There are a lot of koalas in the zoos or minizoos. You are invited to take pictres with them but you're not allowed to touch any of them.

Isn't it big?

......Much of the road hugs the coast tightly, offering outstanding views of Bass Strait and the Souther Ocean.
......Between Anglesea and Apollo Bay is a particularly scenic stretch of road which passes through many towns where mountains meet the sea. The main beach in Lorne offers great views of Louttit Bay nestled in a natural amphitheatre of hills, and Teddy's Lookout is not far from the main street.
The section near Port Campbell provides access by foot or helicopter to some of the most scenic coastline in the world, because of its striking and dramatic natural limestone and sandstone rock formations. These formations have been created by erosion from waves and rain and include London Bridge (renamed to London Arch after the 'bridge' partly collapsed in 1998 or 1999), and most famously the Twelve Apostles, a miracle of nature in my opinion.
......In the present only 8 are still standing. You can see them from where we were. It was impossible to get down on the beach. The cliffs are too high. Or you can choose to take a helicopter ride. Which I did. 72 AU$. For 6 minuts of flight. But it was amazing. I saw the huge stones from very close.

This is the "beast". it's pretty scary at the first flight. It was only a huge window between me and the ocean below. And the pilot was making stupid jokes like "hold on, we'll hit the rock" and he was flying towards the cliff... As if there was something we could hold on to.
This is the point when we finally got down on the beach. There were some stairs leading down. It was like a corner of Heaven.
The beach was sandy. But not like ours. Our sand is made of shells. Their sand is made of rock.

Yeap... COLD. You figured out well. Good for you. But I wanted to do it. My first "bath" in the Tasman Sea.

......The last stop on the coastal section was at the London Bridge. Now known as London Arch.
......There is a legend connected to it. It is said that there were two lovers. And their parents didn't want them to get married. They run away and lived for a while in a shelter on that rock. But their supplies finished and the boy had to get back to town to bring some food. While he was away there was a powerful storm that broke the Bridge. When the boy came back he saw the desperate girl on the rock, surrownded by the ocean. She wanted to get to him so she jumped into waves. He jumped too. But the storm was too powerful and they didn't reach each other.

This is the vehicle. The company is called Go West and Pete, our guide, was the best. Funny and patient. If you ever get to Melbourne and book a tour with Go West, ask for Pete. You won't regret.
......On the way to the Great Ocean Road we stopped in this place. A sort of museum/comunity center. There were some natives living there. And they told us the history of this place. The most interesting part was the presentation of these...big sticks. They are in fact musical instruments called DIDJERIDOU. It's very difficult to play it. Somebody in the group tried and all he did was to make us die of laughter. The guide played it. The sound is strange. Cow mixed with a car engine...sometimes funny, sometimes sad...

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1 comment:

  1. I love the photos!! These places are so beautiful, wow..I want to visit so much!