An Incredible Drive
A very long day which is defiantly worth it, if you are planning a bit of a road trip along the famous great ocean road I would defiantly recommend breaking it up a bit there is lots to see and do along the length of it and a day really isn’t enough.
We did the whole stretch in a day from Melbourne to the 12 apostles and then back to Melbourne
just over 4 hours each way. If you are planning on doing it all in a day it is best to leave early, break the journey up by stopping along the way, we stopped off at a few different of locations.
Our first stop was the famed bells beach with koalas on the side of the road and far below brave surfers taking on the huge waves. The surrounding cliffs were a deep orange and looked like they were on fire in the morning sun.
Next, a morning stroll down to the lighthouse after watching the kangaroos hopping along the side of the road we parked the car and walked down to the light house. On our way back we settled in for a well earned coffee and cake at a very quaint cafe just before the car park.
The local magpies put on a show hoping to woo us into sharing some of our cakes.
Then we headed off back along the great ocean road at this point we were still high up driving on top of the cliffs the secluded bays below, breakers running their length.
Slowly the road began its descent, with the incredible blue of the ocean on our left and the lush green of the trees on our right I can see why it is such a famous drive.
Not long after Lorne we saw a sign for a Erskine Falls we couldn’t help ourselves and detoured off the main road to see if it was running. It was only a short walk down from the car park to the viewing platform out over the falls, but that wasn’t enough for my dad with a cheeky smirk pointing over the side he said “want to go have a look down there” “yer ok lets go” I replied the others who were the more sensible part of the group decided to stay up at the lookout and watch out for us far below.
Going down was good on winding steps cut out of the rock, at the bottom we looked up to see if we could see the others but they were to far up to make out.
My dad was in a very good mood and went off leaping from rock to rock towards the pool at the bottom of the waterfall filled with child like excitement.
After taking a few photos from the interesting perspective of the bottom of the waterfall it was time to get back up again. Now I’m pretty fit but by the end my chest was tight and my legs were about to sue for divorce but somehow we made it back up to the others alive, after a few minutes of hyperventilating we headed back up the last few steps to the car park and collapsed in the car.
I’m so glad i wasn’t driving as it took me a while to recover from our “great idea”. Thankfully we didn’t stop for a while after that allowing time for my legs to start talking to me again. We drove straight through Apollo Bay as we wanted to get down to the 12 Apostles first while the weather was still good as it can turn pretty quickly down here.
To get to the 12 apostles you don’t follow the coast all they way along as some people are lead to believe you actually turn inland just after Apollo bay and drive for quite a long time away from the coast before turning and coming back out on the waterfront again.
The 12 Apostles visitor center is set up pretty well, with a car park and visitor center on the opposite side of the road where you can also book a scenic helicopter ride. Then walk through a short tunnel running under the road itself which brings you out safely on the other side of the road. From there its a short level walk over to the cliff top walk with a few lookout spread out a good photo points.
It is almost always windy here and even in the summer months can be quite chilly so a jacket is recommended. After taking as many different angles of the 12 apostles as we could think of we headed back towards Apollo bay and had some delicious locally caught fish and chips.
There is a wide selection of places to stop all along the drive, with g from coffee and cake at little cafes overlooking the water to high class restaurants. Every type of accommodation you can think of and would make a great plane for a weekend away.
On your way home you can take the short cut back inland along the princes highway taking up to a hour off your travel time.