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!
12 thoughts on “A Little Travel Memory… Goodbye Ye Faithful Apostles”
I love those types of drives so dearly. When we were on the PCH, my eyes were glued to the window as I took in the raw beauty of the ocean. Hopefully I’ll be able to see at least 1 apostle before they all disappear!
You definitely still have some time, the other apostles are still in pretty
good shape – and if you love the PCH then you will be similarly glued to the
scenery of the GOR!
Awww… This picture brings back very fond memories! I just love that part of Australia. Thanks for posting it.
You are so right that seeing all this in one day is not a good idea. I did it differently. I went along the GOR with an organised tour that took four days to get from Melbourne to Adelaide. That was a great pace. Plenty of time to see all the sights and have relaxing walks etc. We even climbed an extinct volcano on the border of Victoria and South Australia.
I did that tour twice, first in 1995 and later again with my parents in 2000. They loved it.
Obviously I don’t know if these tours still excist, but I’ll be surprised if they didn’t.
That four day tour sounds absolutely perfect! I didn’t have the time when I
was there, so I did the one day and it was overwhelming and so fast that I
missed a lot and the fun that comes from exploring each place and simply
enjoying the beauty. That volcano sounds like a great stop…now I feel like
I need to go back and do it again!
I visited them earlier this year, too! I went on a pre-booked tour and didn’t really enjoy it – too much stuff squeezed into far too little time to actually enjoy – but the 12 Apostles were great. I’m really glad I got to see them. Was it crowded when you were there? I can only imagine how beautiful that place must be when you’re the only soul around…
I also went on a tour, but it was a little bit off season, so each spot
wasn’t crazy touristy, although the tour went way to fast and it was like 20
mins in each spot and hours of driving in between. I would love to go back
and drive it in a car and camp along the way, I’ve heard good things from
backpackers who have done it that way!
Shoot, at that rate by the time I’d make it there there might not be any left. I didn’t know that Great Ocean Road was based on the PC Highway…
I thought that was pretty neat, the guy who had the GOR commissioned had
been to California and loved the coastal drive so much that he decided to
replicate on the most scenic spot in his own country!
So sad to hear they are disappearing, didn’t know that! I looooooved my time there, despite it being super crowded.
Yep, they’re falling into the ocean so good thing we’ve both already seen
them, sooo stunning!
Great shot Shannon. I was recently a tourist in my own country and visited the apostles about 3 weeks ago. It had been many years since I had last been that far down the ocean road, and I enjoyed my time there. My tip would be don’t go around the Christmas holiday period, as the crowds were out of control.
Thanks Jason :) I remember backpacking Oz over the Christmas time period
and all of the locals assured me that it’s not always that crazy busy when
the kids are in school. Luckily, I was there in November and managed some
shots without a slew of tourist heads popping into the frame!