25 October 2016

Scenes From The Great Ocean Road

The second installment of the posts on road tripping through Australia's Great Ocean Road. Australia's most famous road tour routes. I recently shared the first installment a few weeks ago which included a video with views of the 12 Apostles from a Helicopter. The pictures in this post are from ground level while driving through the famous B100 road and wheezing past cute seaside towns, postcard picture kangaroos in open fields, tree hugging koala bears and those beautiful beaches that we are used to seeing on Home and Away. The beaches are plenty! Many you will have all to yourselves this beautiful stretch of the road gives you. Great Ocean Road is one of those Road trips that you have to do in a lifetime. The history behind the road is also beautiful in itself in that is serves as a permanent memorial to those who died while fighting in World War 1. It was built by returned servicemen who upon return, many had no jobs and lacked the skills to get back into work. It was through campaigning and lobbying by Alderman Howard Hitchcock to bring about the idea to get the servicemen involved in this audacious task of building this road and bring about an end in the isolation of many of the little towns in this part of the country. It's quite sad that he never actually got to see the end of it. However, it is said that they drove his casket road the whole stretch of the B100 Great Ocean Road.

The tour lasts about 10-12 hours. I left my friend's place where I was staying Melbourne at 6.30is and rode the tram to the tour offices. We then set off around 7am driving past quiet beaches, charming little towns, coast-hugging lighthouses, snaking through forests of eucalyptus trees. We had a chatty Australian tour guide giving us the round down of a little history of Australia. From how the Aboriginal lost most of their land, to how most of the Koala bears have chlamydia to the best surfing spots in Australia, as well as how surfing has spawned some of the best sports surfing brands out there.

If you are able to do this road trip and take your time over, say, 2-3 days, I would highly recommend it. On this occasion though I only had time for a one-day road trip. Which was supplemented by other road trips around Sorrento, Geelong, Yarra Valley and a few other spots that I can't quite recall the names of?

Below are a few tips on booking your Great Ocean Road tour:

Tips on booking Tours:

- If you are In Melbourne then head to the Visitor Centre in Federation Square. They have plenty of leaflets on just about any tour you can do in Melbourne.
- Pick up the leaflets and compare how many stops are included in the tour. Most will include the rainforest, a couple of beach stops or surfing stop, a stop at the lighthouse, Gibson Steps, Loch Arch Gorge and the 12 Apostles.

- Check out the price of adding a helicopter ride over the 12 Apostles. The helicopters used are the same but some tour companies will charge between $99AUD or $130AUS.

- The Visitor Center are usually only allocated a number of seats by the tour companies as they also sell tickets for the same tours. So if you happen to find that the places are sold out for the tour you want when booking from the Visitor Center, then book directly with the tour company as they may still have a spot for that tour from their own allocation. For example, if each tour has about 10 places, they may sell 5 or 6 places from the  Visitor Center while they also hold and sell the other spots left.

When Traffic comes to a halt because of cute little furry animals...

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