As this post goes live, the places we visited not even two weeks ago have been destroyed by bush fires, it’s hard to fathom the devastation and loss. over 100 homes are gone and many people have lost acres of land and livestock. So even as you look at the pretty pictures, please spare a thought for what these people have lost – these fires started on Christmas Day, so sad. Lorne itself has been almost completely evacuated, as has many of the areas along this stretch of coast. There is talk today of actually closing the G.O.R. until further notice.
Something that has been on my bucket list for awhile now is doing another run down the Great Ocean Road, with a decent camera, so now with the camera and new SUV we decided just before Christmas would be a great time, nice and quiet – and mostly it was.
So what is the G.O.R?
The Great Ocean Road is an Australian National Heritage listed 243 kilometres (151 miles) stretch of road along the south-eastern coast of Australia between the Victorian cities of Torquay and Allansford. Built by returned soldiers between 1919 and 1932 and dedicated to soldiers killed during World War I, the road is the world’s largest war memorial. Winding through varying terrain along the coast and providing access to several prominent landmarks, including the Twelve Apostles, London Bridge, Whale watching, and many other attractions. The areas also travelled included the Surf Coast, the Discovery (Or ship wreck) Coast and the Limestone Coast. You can also walk it……..there is a trail the whole way – no thank you!
As we literally had no real plans, no accommodation booked, and only a rough mud map of where we wanted to go, we had no schedule, so why leave early? So after a late night of fabulous light painting with the M.P.E. Group, we slept in………..yes, slept in! It was only Sunday and so far a really big week; Friday night had been Sir Elton John in Concert, we had also seen the horrible AC/DC Concert earlier in the week, a very hectic, last minute shopping, packing and so forth, followed by a lovely BBQ dinner and fabulous Light Painting. So we figured a sleep in was due. We also stopped off at my Aunts for Coffee along the way, so we really didn’t hit the road running til near lunch. We stopped at Torquay and had lunch and then hit the road, driving non stop until we reached Airy’s Inlet.
We drove around town a bit and then headed for the Split Point Lighthouse; my first of many Lighthouses/Light Stations on this trip. We stopped for coffee at the converted old Stables, now a cafe (really bad coffee). We walked along the bluff and then walked out to the beach, caves, rocks, birds, surf and a shot of the light house from below……….we spent many hours exploring this area.
Finally we dragged ourselves away and continued along until Lorne. There are a lot of waterfalls at Lorne, but after stopping and briefly and speaking to locals, there is no water. Everything is so dry, the creek beds, and rivers are almost dry in some areas, so waterfalls a waste of time in Summer……..this is a spring spot, apart from the beach, of course. Great beaches. Also a little known gem called Teddy’s Lookout, a little hard to find but so worth it. Lorne is officially the start of the Great Ocean Road.
We briefly stopped at Carissbrook Creek, where there is a creek meandering down to the ocean and hundreds, and hundreds of cairns, or stacked stones. It was difficult to get to with blackberry bushes everywhere. There were small cairns, big ones, some as tall as Moth!
Eventually we left and made our way to Apollo Bay, stayed at the Sand Piper Motel and ate at the Sandy Feet, great steak and Gluten Free meals. Briefly wandered around town as sun set (but we were on the wrong side of the hills to photograph it).
Well that’s about it, we needed an early night as we planned to shoot sunrise in the Otways in the morning……….more on that next post.