The Great Ocean Road is the most visited “Great” site in Australia with over 23 million visitors in 2015 (wayy more than the Great Barrier Reef’s 2 million visitors). I guess you could say that a ton of people have been dying to sea it… *weak ba-dum-tss*
After our full day on the road (the school paid for a tour through Go West Tours), I can see why this road brings in waves of tourists every year (okay, I’m done).
As we were gonna be on a bus all day, I wanted to be comfortable. But, knowing that I was also gonna take at least 12 pictures of myself, I also had to look presentable.
- golf shirt – Old Navy
- leather jacket – Danier
- pants – Club Monaco
- boots (not shown) – Target
Needless to say, the actual road wasn’t the only attraction on the Great Ocean Road. From beaches around every turn of the road, to exotic birds and koalas in the Otway National Park, to the beautiful limestone pinnacles at different sites (specifically the Loch Ard Gorge, Gibsons Steps, and the 12 Apostles), the Great Ocean Road was an amazing experience.
“Life’s a beach” has never been truer for me than on this day trip. Though the weather wasn’t exactly beach weather, just being by the ocean and walking on sand made me feel like I could stay there forever (like, build me a house on the beach, please). If I don’t have the option of living near mountains in the future, I would be okay settling near the ocean.
As the bus drove through Otway National Park, we stopped at two places. At the first stop, we found ourselves surrounded by beautiful birds while fluffy koalas watched from the rooftop perches. What caught me completely off guard was the size of the cockatoos. THEY. ARE. MASSIVE. But also cute.
At the second stop, we were entrenched in a lush rainforest, surrounded by massive Victoria ash and tree-ferns. Victoria ash (as it’s known in Victoria) is the second tallest species of tree in the world, right behind the California redwood. And as for tree-ferns… well… they sound made up, don’t they? Weeell they also look made up. The trunk looks a lot like a miniature palm tree trunk covered in various mosses, but then it erupts into a fern. Like, girl are you drunk??? Also, believe it or not, the only time it rained during the entire trip was when we were in the rainforest (I am literally the only person who finds this amusing).
As we drove to the Loch Ard Gorge, Leo (our tour guide) told us the story of a shipwreck that took place in the 19th century. Out of the dozens of people on board, only two people survived and washed up at the Gorge. Though the Gorge is absolutely breathtaking with its limestone walls, waterfalls that dive into the ocean, and its tall stalactites, Leo’s story helped me imagine it as it would’ve been nearly 200 years ago ― and it is scurry.
Gibsons Steps is a set of stairs that wind down the coastal walls and help make the beach below more accessible. From the beach, two of the 12 Apostles were visible, making for a cool vantage point.
Arguably the most well-known site on the Great Ocean Road, the 12 Apostles do not disappoint. Formed through erosion, there were originally 9 columns (so the name doesn’t really make sense, buuut we’ll let that slide), with one crumbling into the ocean in 2005. The fallen column is endearingly(?) referred to as Judas (It’s funny because #GrowingUpCatholic).
I can’t even begin to convey how awe-inspiring these columns (some close to 70m tall!!) really are. Seeing these natural wonders made me feel as alive and excited as standing on any mountain peak I’ve ever conquered. There is just something so utterly sublime (#ArtHistory) about the way they were formed and the way they stand today.
Before embarking on this day trip, I was warned by several people about the existence of wind. Well, let me tell you, the existence of wind at these sites is real. #WindGameSTRONG
Please enjoy these shots of our luscious locks, courtesy of the wind.
- The Great Ocean Road is an amazing experience and if you ever find yourself in the Melbourne or Victoria region, you should 100% do it. DO IT.
- The Great Ocean Road is such an amazing experience that I will definitely be back, hopefully for longer (week-long trip down the Great Ocean Road, anyone?)
- I will never feel more humbled by anything other than Mother Nature. Mountains, oceans, 70m tall limestone columns…