Going to the Great Ocean Road has always been a dream of mine, and visiting the 12 Apostles is on my ‘things to do before I die’ list. Happily, I did both during my trip to Australia; but as much as the road trip was a fulfillment of my childhood dreams, it was so, so much more than that.
I don’t think I could imagine how awe-inspiring the waves, the cliffs and the ocean were. Couldn’t imagine how small and insignificant I feel when I stand in front of these structures.
I took tonnes of photos because I want to remember my roadtrip, but to me, the beaches, the coastlines are so beautiful that photos and words can never do justice to them. But at the same time that was a savagery to the pretty scenery that you can’t see from photos. Those pretty blue waves were huge, the currents were deadly, and the wind was so strong that I was literally stumbling back at one point from the force.
It kind of reminded me that no matter how much men try to convince themselves that we are the masters of our universe, we are not. Nature can destroy us on a whim.
Sorry for being philosophical. But thinking about Great Ocean Road gives me the inclination to ponder mankind’s existence, the meaning of life, and mysteries like why are manhole covers round instead of square. hahaha.
Great Ocean Road…
The Great Ocean Road is a stretch of road along Australia’s coastline, from Torquay to Warrnambool. Do you know that GOR is in fact the world’s largest war memorial? Over 3000 men built the road; most of them were soldiers who returned from WWI.
Me and Blessann rented a car for two days, packed our jackets, scarves and toothbrushes, bought bottled water and snacks, and set off!
Nothing but fields and fields of green and pretty skies of blue! Maybe it was because it was a weekday, but we saw very few cars on the road while we were travelling.
Our first stop – a wildlife sanctuary.
This is the cutest wombat ever. At first me and Bless were just looking at this furry rectangular lump of fat make its way nonchalantly across its enclosure…
… then it just keeled over. Hahahaha! No pausing, no folding of its fore and hindlegs – just toppled off to the right and snoozed in the sun. So cute I wanttobringyouhomeandcuddleyouwooohoo.
My turn to drive!
And we arrive at the town of Torquay. There is something picture-perfect about this town – the houses are all neatly arranged, the grass patches are level with no weeds at all, the roads are perfectly smooth, there’s no rubbish any where… it’s like a Stepford Wives town.
Torquay is also the birthplace of many famous surf shops such as Ripcurl and Quiksilver.
The famous Bell’s Beach where many surfing tournaments are held. It was damn cold when we went there for a dip in the sea – surfers were wearing fuckin’ wetsuits while the two of us wore t-shirts and board shorts in. hahaha.
Living in Singapore, you don’t really have any idea how cold cold can really get. When the freezing water hit my legs, it actually hurt. You know that feeling of pain you get when you hold a handful of ice cubes in your hand for too long? Yeah, imagine that from your toes all the way until above the knee, where the water has soaked you. Painful. 😦
Aahhh look at these two hot hunks! Blessann sabo-d me – she told the guys I hail from a land down yonder where there weren’t any surfer dudes and thus I wanted to take photos with two. Meanwhile I was just grinning stupidly away.
Bless is angry she didn’t get to take photos with the surfer dudes. Lunch at Port Campbell! Awesome burgers. I’ll say this though, food isn’t cheap on the GOR. I don’t know why; because so many tourists pass by this area? Maybe.
After lunch, headed to Erskine Falls. This is a beautiful place. Also really cold. I was not at all sweaty even despite making the trek up.
Ok, I have to confess something embarrassing. I watch shows like I shouldn’t be Alive and I have to admit, the concept of people getting lost and freezing to death is alien to me. I mean, I assumed that if I were lost in a forest I should just find a cave, get a fire started and wait for rescue. Didn’t seem that deadly to me.
Then I find myself in Erskine Falls where I can really imagine that if I don’t find shelter or warmth by nightfall, if I am in the forest alone at night with no fire, I would die. It’s that cold. Not to mention if I were to fall accidentally into the water. The chill when the wind blows your cold, wet clothes…. brrr I get cold just thinking about it.
Ok I digressed. Moving on.
Here’s the two of us all bundled up!
Here’s the view from Terry’s Viewpoint, a scenic lookout near the waterfall.
Finally, a look at the road we would be travelling on! It’s literally next to the ocean and just protected by a flimsy barrier. Lose control of the car, you’ll go into the ocean. “Swim back!” you say. No you can’t. At least I don’t think so. The currents are way too strong and it will dash your body against the rocks.
I’m being morbid but this is what I mean when I say that the place has a savagery to it.
While leaving the place, we saw a wild kangaroo!
Here’s us and the kangaroo, happily ignoring us.
Me against the big rocks. hahaha.
See the waves on the left side of the photo?
The thing about photographs is that they have no depth so you can’t see how far away the waves are. Right now they appear to be close to me, and they appear to be maybe my height. They aren’t. These waves are about half a football field (lengthwise) away from where I stand, and THEY ARE FUCKING HUGE. It’s damn scary.
Yummy… dinner at Apollo Bay’s Great Ocean Deli. Again, food is not cheap here, despite the fact that they are good.
The original plan was to cut it grunge and sleep in the car, but in the end we stayed at a motel for AUD80. I have to admit it was my idea because I wanted to bath and sleep in a proper bed. =/ Should have grunged it out!
The next day! On our way to Cape Otway lighthouse.
Furry little balls! Koalas like the one above were everywhere on our roadtrip. Often you will just see a curly furry ball in the vee of branches on trees.
“What’s this? A woman wearing a leather jacket in front of me?”
“Aaaahhh fuck this shit I’m walking away.”
The house where they send telegrams from. Don’t laugh at me, but I got the creeps when I was inside this house.
Me and the lighthouse!
I wish you can hear how loud the wind and the waves were. The wind was so strong that I couldn’t walk to the other side of the lighthouse, because I was forcibly forced back by the wind.
After Cape Otway, it was time to head to 12 Apostles. Unfortunately, a truck in front of us had an unfortunate accident involving milk (I am not kidding) and the road was blocked for an hour. So there we were, slacking in the car.
The 12 Apostles.
This is not even 1/10000 of how beautiful and inspiring the structures were. You know how some tourist destinations are overrated, and when you see the real thing, you’ll just go, chey?
Not with the 12 Apostles. Not with me anyway.
It’s amazing. You hear the crash of waves, you feel the wind blowing you back, and you see the structures…
The other side with two other Apostles. It’s hard to believe that these structures will be gone soon, because they are so massive, but the waves crashing onto them are relentless. Maybe these structures will be gone by the time we are 50. Maybe the waves will carve new Apostles from the cliff walls. But it’s still beautiful.
This is the Shipwreck Coast. To understand why it got this name, just look at this photo…
… and see how high the waves can crash. See the rough waters on the left. Imagine a ship being forced into this inlet. You won’t be able to do a thing once the current has picked you up and hurled you towards the cliff walls.
The Bay of Martyrs
Logan’s Beach. It was whale season when we went there; unfortunately we did not see any whales at all.
Warrnambool is a big coastal town. Also very pretty and quaint. I like this place very much.
Some seafood platter from the local restaurant.
After eating dinner we went on our way back to Melbourne.
This is scary driving. No streetlights, but an endless stretch of long road, 3 hours long. Nevertheless, I’m glad I drove – at least I get to experience how scary it can be.
So there you go, my Great Ocean Road roadtrip. 🙂