Road: The Twelve Apostles
An unforgettable highlight of the
Australian Great Ocean Road is the rock formations known as the Twelve
These 20 million year old
limestone towers rise dramatically out of the sea but after being
pounded for centuries by the raging Southern Ocean there are now only
eight standing. These photogenic rock stars are huddled together and
can easily be viewed from one of the many platforms along the cliff
tops. The colours are particularly spectacular at sunrise and sunset.
Other striking natural features in the area include the Loch Ard Gorge
and the Blowhole.
Whales and shipwrecks define the history of
the next section of the
road to Portland. The historic coastal towns of Warrnambool, Port
Fairy and Portland offer a taste of seafaring life, with their fishing
wharves, beautifully preserved colonial buildings and maritime museums
recounting the stories of ships that have foundered off the rugged
It is here that every year rare Southern
Right Whales come to breed,
so named by early whalers because their slow speed made them the
‘right’ whales to catch. Each corner turned on the Great Ocean Road
delivers another even more spectacular combination of cliffs, islands
and battering sea, each scene demanding a stop before the long and
winding road reaches its destiny.
English travel magazine Conde Nast Traveller
voted a drive along the
Great Ocean Road as one of the Top 20 Journeys of a Lifetime, not just
because of the magnificent scenery, but because the judges were seduced
by the range and quality of food available en-route.
It’s possible to visit the Great Ocean Road
as a day trip from
Melbourne, but a better experience by far is had by those who take time
to savour the landscapes, communities, habitats and wildlife, watching
nature’s drama unfold at every turn.