Australia: on the high road of the ocean - The360 Travel

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  • Sunday, November 3, 2019

    Australia: on the high road of the ocean

    Australia: on the high road of the ocean

    Cliffs, waterfalls, forests and beaches, the Great Ocean Road, in the south-east of Australia, promises a multitude of landscapes. It is the diversity that has made the popularity of this unmissable coast, most often visited in four days. A popularity that can also be explained by its final stage: the Twelve Apostles.

    The impressive Twelve Apostles

    Located four hours drive from Melbourne and 173 km from Torquay, starting point of the Great Ocean Road, the Twelve Apostles are the ultimate stop on this journey. On the various platforms accessible from the parking lots all along the road, it is easy to observe these rock formations that are more than 10 million years old. It is to the erosion and magic of nature that we owe these limestone towers about 50 meters high. The best way to observe them will be to go at bedtime, but also at sunrise. A night in one of the many motels and inns located nearby will be perfect to make it easier to wake up at 4 am. Note: Once faced with these towers, do not be surprised if you only have eight; the others have collapsed since the discovery of the site.

    Torquay: emblem of surf

    Torquay is the starting point of the Great Ocean Road, but above all, Torquay is known worldwide for its many surfing competitions. This reputation, the city owes the particular to the beach of Bells Beach, considered as the surfer's paradise. Each year, the World Surf League organizes the famous competition of the World Championship Tour: the "Rip Curl Pro". Many iconic surf brands have also sprung up in the region, such as Rip Curl and Quiksilver. It would not be surprising if a competition is going on during your weekend break. Whether you're a surf lover or not, you'll certainly find it hard to leave once beer and pizza are offered by the fans and families of the surfers.

    Erskine Falls: Victoria's highest waterfall

    After two or three stops on the beautiful beach of Point Addis and the charming villages of Anglesea and Lorne, the next step to start this second day on the Great Ocean Road will be to walk to the Erskine Falls. Do not be afraid when you see the 240 steps that you have to go down (and especially go back later) to reach the feet of this waterfall. Isolated in the heart of Australian flora, this waterfall nearly 30 meters high is well worth the detour. It's a great feeling of serenity that will take over when you walk on the rocks in the middle of the river.

    Parrots and koalas at Kennett River

    After discovering Australian flora, it's time to move on to wildlife. For that, a stop at Kennett River will be essential. If you dream of walking with more than three parrots on you and seeing koalas, you will be in the right place! For that, it will be necessary to go in the parking lot of Kafe Koala (where you will also be able to buy seeds for the parrots) and to borrow the Gray River Road located opposite. After that, let nature work and wait for these pretty colorful birds to peck in your hands. For koalas, nothing more simple: lift your head and open your eyes, they sleep just above you!

    Australia's oldest lighthouse in Cape Otway

    After spending a night in the charming town of Apollo Bay where the motels are not lacking, it is in Cape Otway that you will have to go. Here, you will see the oldest lighthouse in Australia, built in 1848. Attention, access to it is not free, but a small free trail from the parking will allow you to walk along the coast and observe the lighthouse from this last. On the other hand, if the lighthouses do not fascinate you, the stop at Cap Otway remains optional.

    Change of scenery at Gibson Steps

    After that, get back on the road for an hour and it's a whole new dimension that will be offered to you. After the flora and greenery, place at the rock and cliffs at Gibson Steps. From the parking lot, 86 steps lead you to the cliff-top beach of about 70 meters high. From here, you will see two of the first rocks of the Twelve Apostles. It is very likely that you feel very small and that you are speechless in the face of the force of nature. Then you will only have to continue the road and watch the sunset facing the Twelve Apostles.

    End of the journey to Warrnambool

    If you had the courage to get out of bed at dawn to enjoy the spectacle of the sunrise over the Twelve Apostles, before going back to Melbourne, a final step is recommended: Warrnambool. At one hour from the famous rock formations and only 10 km after the Great Ocean Road, you can picnic on the beach while scanning the horizon with the hope of seeing whales.

    A national heritage

    Before you go on the road, it is good to know that the Great Ocean Road (also called the B100 on the maps) is listed since 2011 on the list of Australian national heritage. Built between 1919 and 1932 by soldiers from the First World War, it gave access to the southwest coast of Victoria. Previously, it was accessible only by the sea or rough winding paths. Today, with its 243 km of landscapes all more impressive than the others, this road attracts more than 8 million tourists and generates an annual income of 1.5 billion Australian dollars.

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