Last updated on July 14, 2013
The scenery on the Great Ocean Road in Australia reminded me of the blown Murano glass sculptures in Venice , Italy. This post was really inspired entirely by the photo below. Like a glass-blower, nature purposefully highlighted the scene with a sizable dose of reddish-orange limestone (two colors opposite on the color-wheel and therefore complimentary :). My tour guide on the Great Ocean Road shared all kinds of facts and stories, with a handful of local lore thrown in for good measure, but it was this drive’s likeness to the another beautiful road that makes me smile inside; the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) in California also possesses a constant gag-me-there-is-just-no-end-to-the-pretty-landscape feeling and the Great Ocean Road was actually specifically built to model the PCH.
On a sadder note, this photo of the 12 Apostles is one of those “enjoy now, it won’t be there later” shots. Originally there were nine limestone formations ( nicknamed the 12 Apostles) and in the intervening years they are crumbling into the sea. These austere sentinels stand guard over the southern Australian coastline and when I visted there eight were still standing. Now, two years later, just seven. :(
Quick Travel Tips: Great Ocean Road and the Pacific Coast Highway
Where: Daytrips for the GOR leave at least every other day from Melbourne, . The PCH is best done in a rental car with friends and a picnic basket.
How long: All of the highlights can be driven on both of these in about 7-10 hours…but that doesn’t make for a hugely enjoyable day if they’re done in one shot like that!
Personal Recommendations: On the PCH drive, stop off at the Winchester Mystery House—it’s a “road trip into the paranormal” and a bizarrely intriguing side-trip. On the GOR, sitting inside the Loch Ard Gorge with the swelling sound of the ocean ebbing sticks with me to this day, make sure you make it that far on the road!