Great Ocean Road01:08 PM on Tue 28 Feb 2012

...What made it Great?

Terms like 'great' are rarely appended to things as mundane as a mere road. Yet here we find ourselves about to embark on a backpackers road trip along Victoria's iconic 'Great Ocean Road'

Maybe Friday morning wasn’t the best day to start our trip, an epic Thursday ladies night at Base Melbourne St Kilda made an early night in something of an optimistic assessment of our plans. Were those bartenders really wearing swimsuits? Did I really 'suck it from a bucket' and why do we all feel so sheepish standing around reception hoping we don't see 'that girl' from last night. Argh why did I make such an ass of myself? It certainly was fun though.

red eye bar

red eye bar

It seems like forever getting out the sprawl of Melbourne, but the view crossing over the Bolte Bridge of the worlds most liveable city shows a cityscape as beautiful as any we had seen. A kind of European cosmopolitanism spliced with an American new world aura that no guide book seemed to have articulated in its entirety.

 melbourne

We finally reached Geelong, and from there the first signs appeared labelling the way to the 'Great Ocean Road' and what had began as a hangover riddled chore of a drive began to become something very different. From Geelong we reached Torquay and began our trip along the Great Ocean Road Proper. From Torquay to Anglesea, and from Anglesea to Lorne.

great ocean road

Every cliff, every beach and every landmark seemed cut out of a post card. It was as if our cameras did no justice to the flowing beach road, and as if the very road itself was created in some Gran Tourismo video game. Nature itself couldn’t have crafted something this idyllic, this epic? We stopped at Apollo Bay to get our breath back, the last beach town before we moved inland and made our way across to Port Campbell and the 12 Apostles. We ate, we talked and we rested from four solid hours of straight driving and took solace in the reality that the best part was still ahead of us.

 Great ocean Road

The last part of the drive to the 12 Apostles cut straight through the Cape Otway National Park, where the previously paltry 100km/h speed limits now became an almost absurdity on a road where hair pin turns happened almost continually. The heavy Canopy of the forest that makes up the national park let only fragments of light through cuts in the branches, and the road seemed an almost organic entity that interacted with our humble Shopping trolley. Turn after turn, we overtook tour buses of smiling Asians, and smoked out hippy combi vans full of crazy French, Dutch and German. Still the road snaked on out of sight. Another two hours of hard, heart stopping driving followed until our very forearms burned at the ache of the continual trip.

 great ocean road

We were tired, hungry, hungover, dishevelled and smelly (four guys in a poorly ventilated rental car for over six hours....you do the maths!) but we had made it. We parked and made our way along the walkway. It was already evening by the time we made it to the apostles, and if we had previously not been sold on the notion of a 'great' road, the sight of the 12 Apostles stretching out ahead of us dispelled our cynicism. We had made it, and as hungry, exhausted and claustrophobic as we had been, the view ahead of us was something that pictures and words couldn’t ever hope to articulate. Something that had to be experienced and not merely observed. I likened my emotional response to that of when I had viewed Angor Wat in Cambodia, or the Taj Mahal in India...something that couldn’t be truly justifiably captured in words or photos.

12 aposiles

It made a bloody good road,

something truly great!

Raph

Base Melbourne Stkilda

Tags: Victoria , Melbourne , Road trip

Comments

Tina: 03:38 PM, Mon 02 Apr 2012
The Great Ocean Road is absolutely stunning isn't it. The Great Ocean was actually built by 3000 men with picks and shovels when they returned from the war quite a few years ago, it took about 15 years to make. It is now the most popular road trip in Australia.

Wayne: 08:36 PM, Fri 19 Apr 2013
"The last part of the drive to the 12 Apostles cut straight through the Cape Otway National Park, where the previously paltry 100km/h speed limits now became an almost absurdity on a road where hair pin turns happened almost continually. " Except that for motorbikes that even 100km/h can be 'slow'. Oh, plus for the d.heads in vehicles that love to floor it on the straightish sections and then slow down to a relative crawl on most corners *cough* Growing up in the 80s + 90s and motorbikes along the GOR with the lesser traffic is still strong in my memory on most times I ride along here, I just won't go on normal 'non working days' as the frustration levels is just too strong to make a great road give back it's 'love'. I just wish people, probably mostly tourists who won't use the pull off spots for slower vehicles that we can't legally overtake anymore on single lanes, which most bikes with their power to weight ratio can easily overtake without being a death wish on most of the 'straights'.

Add Comments

Name *  
Email (will not be published)
Website
Comments *  
 

To help prevent spam comments, please click on the heart

 
HIGHEST RATED
I love Queenstown!:

I love Queenstown, and so will you :)...read more

 
Base Magnetic Island is truly magnetic:

Magnetic Island is Located within the islands of the Great Barrier Reef in north Queensland. Its ...read more

 
Rotorua - Feel the Spirit:

You are visiting New Zealand, you jump on your bus and hear your next stop will be Rotorua – New ...read more

 
2 Dutchies and a Campervan:

Traveling in Campervan is a great way to experience Australia....read more

 
Around the World in one City - Melbourne:

Melbourne Has Everything you could possibly desire and more....read more

 

Contact Us | About Us | Base or XBase | Hostel or Backpacker | Base Jumping | Work & Travel | Full Moon Down Under

Privacy Policy | Terms & ConditionsSitemap

Copyright © 2003–2011 Base Backpackers Pty Ltd ABN 46465464654 | Base Backpackers GST 086-023-849 | Trademark ™ The “Base” name and red “X” are licensed trademarks of Base Backpackers. | All rights reserved. Images supplied by Joe Florian, Cybele Malinowski, Miles Holden, Tourism Australia, Tourism New Zealand & Base.