When travel books set out their opinions on “best ofs” the Great Ocean Road regularly appears in the “most scenic drive” list. The coastal road stretches away to the west of Melbourne and we decided to take our time investigating the area by booking Airbnbs at the beginning, middle, and end of the road.
Our trip, then, was relaxed, and had many spontaneous detours to visit beaches, lookouts, and forest walks. The fists stint, to the halfway point at Apollo Bay included watching experienced surfers ride the huge waves rolling in from the deep, and a rainforest walk that was reminiscent of New Zealand but with different bird noises and the added danger of possible encounters with venomous spiders and snakes. We also encountered sleepy, distant, Koalas, and over-friendly parrots.
Apollo Bay itself was very nice. It had good, safe, swimming beaches, and a lively centre with plenty of bars and restaurants.
After our stop-off we continued to the most famous sight, the 12 Apostles – limestone stacks rising dramatically from the surf.
The immediate area had a number of separate walks to see various different geological views, caves, arches etc. On one of those walks we encountered a large lizard that, for a very scary instant, looked very like a snake.
Just beyond the end of the road, near the town of Warrnambool, we visited a nature reserve called Tower Hill. This felt a little like jurassic park as it was an island in a crater lake.
The wildlife (Koalas, Kangaroos and Emus) could walk across the causeway from the island but, in reality they were contained in a safe environment.