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30 March 2012 / leggypeggy

Sensational scenery on the Great Ocean Road

You can't see Twelve Apostles. Some have collapsed and some are farther down the coastline.

Our next stop was the Great Ocean Road—the world’s largest war memorial and also one of the greatest scenic roads.

Started in 1919, the road was built by 3000 returned servicemen to honour fellow soldiers who were killed in World War I.

An advance survey team battled through dense wilderness at about three kilometres a month. Construction was done by hand; using explosives, pick and shovel, wheel barrows and some small machinery. The work was often dangerous. Several workers were killed on the job; the final sections along steep coastal mountains were the most difficult. The complete road was opened in 1932, although some sections opened in 1922.

The road runs for 243 kilometres (151 miles), between the Victorian towns of Torquay to Warrnambool.

It’s an important tourist destination—with spectacular scenery. Thousands of people cruise along the coastline each day to see rainforests, koalas, Bass Strait, the Southern Ocean, beaches and the incredible limestone and sandstone formations of the Twelve Apostles, London Arch/Bridge, Loch Ard Gorge and The Grotto.

The Great Ocean Walk opened in 2004. It’s a string of connected walking trails that runs for 104 kilometres that follow the coastline from Apollo Bay to the Twelve Apostles. In 2011, the road was added to the Australian National Heritage List.

I’ve traveled the Great Ocean Road many times in the past, so we did only a small section on this trip. We joined it at about Wattle Hill and finished at Warrnambool.

The winds were fierce and the seas were rough, although you can’t really tell from the photos. But when you see it like this, you can understand how the area is also called Shipwreck Coast.

We made two scenery stops on this trip—at the Twelve Apostles and London Bridge.

I had to get a pic of London Bridge. Poor John and I and our daughters, along with my mother, were there in January 1990—just two days before the bridge collapsed, leaving two tourists stranded.

I can still hear my mum saying, after she heard news of the collapse, ‘Peggy, I don’t know why you insist on taking me to these places.’

Be sure to check out What’s cooking on page 32.

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Leave a Comment
  1. lmo58 / Mar 30 2012 9:49 am

    Hi Peggy,
    Thank you for all the information about this part of Victoria and the previous post about Holbrook. The photos are really good too.


    • leggypeggy / Mar 30 2012 10:31 am

      Glad you are enjoying them. More to come. 🙂


  2. mickeydownunder1 / Mar 31 2012 3:06 pm

    As you know, having JUST return from the Great Ocean Road, this was a pleasure and interesting to read. Have you visited Mait’s Rest Rainforest Trail,

    the Great Otway National Park, which includes a rainforest trail and the “infamous” Otway Black snail (a carnivorous snail with Godwana origins)

    and the Cape Otway Lightstation? (the “oldest, surviving lighthouse in mainland Australia”)
    Sadly, while there WERE 700 plus lighthouse keepers in Australia, there are none left today, simply because of money!
    Thank you! WHOO HOO! 🙂


    • leggypeggy / Mar 31 2012 10:46 pm

      Thanks for those links. I never knew about the carnivorous snail! I love the Great Ocean Road and hope lots of people visit it.


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