The Great Ocean Road is one of the
Best coastal drives in Australia
The Great Ocean Road in Victoria
If you have never driven along Victoria’s Great Ocean Road then you are in for a real treat. And, if this is not your first time then you are in for a treat anyway. Different seasons bring with them different hues, ever changing landscapes and the Great Southern Ocean is never ever the same.
The Great Ocean Road officially begins at Torquay and winds its way along the coast for over 240 kilometres until it reaches the seaside town of Warrnambool. This great, iconic, ocean drive derives its reputation not solely because it follows probably the most spectacular coastline in Australia but because it also traverses terrain which is constantly changing and simply awesome. Prepare to drive past beach after beach after beach – all of them beautiful and many of them deserted. You will also pass through temperate rainforests and along massive limestone cliffs.
History of the Great Ocean Road
The idea for a road which would follow the contours of our coastline was first conceived towards the end of World War One. At that time the southwest region of Victoria was virtually inaccessible, the only routes being by sea or along rough hewn, bush tracks. The founding fathers of this road had the foresight to see that such a road would be invaluable for tourism and there was of course a more pressing urgency at the time to develop a more reliable transport link for the logging industry.
The road was to be built as a memorial for fallen soldiers of World War One and construction began in 1919 and the labour force consisted of 3000 returned servicemen. There is now a sculpture at the beginning of the Great Ocean Road to commemorate their hard toil. As you can imagine, cutting a road into the side of cliff faces would have been very strenuous work. One lucky break came whan the steamboat Casino became stranded near Cape Patton and was forced to throw its cargo overboard. The cargo consisted of 500 barrels of beer and 120 cases of hard liquor. No work was done for two weeks! Classic.