Road Trip down the Great Ocean Road

After a cold and windy Saturday, the Sunday morning was pleasant with a cool, mild temperature and light breeze. The overcast morning sky was starting to clear to a sunny day. I told my partner that we should go for a drive and enjoy the beautiful weather while it last. When I said “a drive”, I was thinking just a short drive along Port Philips Bay, close to the city. I didn’t mean a long country drive. But, we ended up with a long drive out of the city. My partner wanted to go and see the “12 apostles”. We both knew only as much as what we have seen in a postcard and that it is along the Great Ocean Road.

We left our apartment about noon, thinking that it would take 1 1/2 hours to drive to Great Ocean Road to see the 12 apostles. It was a long drive to get out of the city. Melbourne is flat, flat and flat. Driving west along the Princes Highway, I was wondering when we will ever see the rural country Victoria with farms and stocks like herds of sheep or cattle. I guess I have been living in Tasmania for too long, and forgotten what it was like to live in a sprawling mega city like Melbourne with suburbs after suburbs along the highway. There is not a single farm land to be seen. Nothing like Hobart, that anywhere within a 15-minutes drive, the scenery changes from brick and mortar to greens rolling hill, farmlands and grazing animals.

After slightly over an hour drive, we were both hungry and decided to detour from Princes Highway to a seaside town, Torquay. That was our first stop, and the first sight of the Southern Ocean. It was a beautiful long stretch of surf beach with a beautiful esplanade, parks and rows of pine trees.

It was a short stop. We only wanted a quick bite. We saw maybe 3 seaside cafes along the Esplanade. They were all busy and crowded with customers overflowing onto their outdoor areas. We didn’t have the time to sit and eat. We gave these 3 places a miss, and continue down another street and found a small cafe. There was no customer. We went in. Saw a few pies and some chicken wraps. We selected a chicken wrap each, toasted with a bottle of water for $21. We both took a bite of the toasted wrap. Looked at each other, and both said the same thing – it was plain, very plain, almost tasteless with little pieces of dried chicken breast and little sauce and no seasoning. It was the worst chicken wraps we ever had. It was disappointing and not worth the price. We were amazed how such food can be served at all. I suppose it was for unexpected “out of towner” like us. As we were about to finish our wraps, an Audi convertible pulled up next to our car. The couple got out and walked into the cafe. I was going to tell them to go somewhere else but held back.  If it was you, would you tell the couple about the food or let them find out on their own?

We got back into our car and continue our road trip. Next we came across another seaside town, Anglesea, with stunning views of the ocean and beach. We stopped at one of the lookout on the way to Aireys Inlet and the Split Point Lighthouse, which can be seen from afar along the coast.

At the lighthouse cafe, we decided to take a break with 2 pots of lemongrass and ginger tea and an English scone each for $16. It was nice to sit in the garden soaking in the mid afternoon sun.

I asked one of the girl who worked there, “how long will it take to drive to the 12 apostles?” That was when we found out that we were no where near the 12 apostles. She told us that it was another 3 hours drive from where we were! I was shocked, but had no one to blame except us. We went on the road trip unprepared. Not knowing where we were going except the Great Ocean Road. I asked her another question. It was 4 pm by then. “Is there anything else interesting to see before we make our way back to Melbourne?” She told us there is a quaint seaside town about 20 minutes drive further along the ocean road,  called Lorne, and there is a stunning lookout point – the Teddy’s Lookout. She was right. The view was breathtaking!

After I got home, I googled the Great Ocean Road and 12 apostles. It stretches 243 kilometers along the southwest coast of Victoria. That, we said to ourselves have to be a long weekend trip maybe in summer next year.

5 responses to “Road Trip down the Great Ocean Road

  1. Would love to do that drive. Is Apollo Bay along there too? Beautiful coastline. Shame about the wrap :/

    • Hi Mary – yes, Apollo Bay is there too. One of my colleague was telling me that either use Apollo Bay or Lorne as an overnight stop for the weekend trip to see the 12 apostles. We may use Lorne as our base when we go back. Another colleague told me that there are lots of nice galleries in Lorne. Cheers, Victor

  2. I’ve done the Great Ocean Road trip twice and both times have absolutely been blown away by the natural beauty along the way, and those lovely places you mentioned, like Lorne, Torquay, Anglesea, and also Port Campbell and Port Fairy further along. I also have truly enjoyed the Bendigo region, and going to places like Lake House Restaurant – an unforgettable experience. Steve has just finished (last week) a road trip round country Victoria, visiting his most desired restaurants along the way….you should check it out when he wriites about it, and see what he recommends.

    • Hi Rita – thank. That sounds like a wonderful road trip you had along the southern coast line.

      I will keep an eye out on Steve’s posts. Cheers, Victor

  3. Pingback: Day Four – Great Ocean Road, VIC to Glenelg, Adelaide, SA – 900kms | Brian

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