Road Trip: The Great Ocean Road

The MOTH (man of the house) and myself spent a four day weekend catching up with a girlfriend who lives in Melbourne.  We became friends through our husbands who worked together and have maintained the friendship link as first she moved country, then we moved country and then we reconnected and then we drifted apart.  It has been six years since our last meeting and while I had thought of her often I no longer knew how to reconnect.  Neither of us realised but we had been travelling a similar thought path.  At the time I was suspending my Facebook account, she found the MOTH via that social networking medium and voila here we are.  Funny old thing, life!

My friend and I at one of the many panoramic lookouts along the Great Ocean Road

The highlight of the weekend was time spent with her and her three sons.  We packed a week of sightseeing into a few days but being together for the drives provided opportunities to fill in the six years’ gap.  While her and I sat up front, her new partner and the MOTH road shotgun in the back.  The men behaved well in the back considering the countless temptations to butt in and comment on either the driving skills or many pit stops.


Today’s post is a photo memory of our Great Ocean Road road trip but first a little historic background.  The Great Ocean Road was built by WWI returned service men and is a permanent memorial to those who died while fighting in that war.  The road was carved into the rock and winds around a portion of the southern coast of Australia.  As early as 1880 plans were afoot to help ease the rugged coach track through dense bush to railways between the towns, now cities, or Lorne and Geelong.

Soldiers on coastline

However, it wasn’t until after the war when thousands of returning soldierswere employed in the construction of the road.  Picks and shovels were their tools and the only transport available were horse-drawn carts.  Survey work began in August 1918 and the road officially opened in November 1932.  It is humbling that having given so much for their country these men returned to engage in back-breaking work to build something of such magnitude and significance for Australia.

Horse and Carts

The Great Ocean Road is a major tourist attraction we enjoy thanks to the vision of one man, Geelong mayor Howard Hitchcock.  Such a project served two purposes.  Firstly it provided employment for the returning soldiers and the completed project would become one of Australia’s major tourist attractions.

Twelve Apostles 1

The twelve apostles are rock stacks that rise out of the ocean along the coastline.  The stacks were formed from the limestone cliffs that have been eroded by the southern ocean and the wind.  Scenic lookouts offer breath taking views from one headland to the next with pristine beaches, islands and a wild variety of vegetation.

Coast along Great Ocean Road

The picnic goodies, drink bottles and cameras were loaded into the car at 8.00am on Saturday morning and we wouldn’t return home unit 11.15pm that night.  A long day goodness me, what a fabulous experience for a shutterbug.  The busyness of life-as-we-know-it makes it hard to believe we were in that exquisite part of Australia a mere five days ago.  Never mind, there’s next time to look forward to … I wonder where that road trip will take us.

Originally posted on my other blog:  QueasyPeasy


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