Discovering Scenery & Surf Along The Shipwreck Coast
Melbourne and Adelaide are vibrant cosmopolitan cities, however one of the most important tourism attractions in this part of Australia – The Great Ocean Road – has weaved its way onto many itineraries for valid reason.
At 243 kilometres (151 miles) long, the road was built after the finish of World War
One in the hope it would become a transport link for the timber industry, and connect
isolated coastal towns.
Construction began by returned servicemen and the road was subsequently dedicated to fallen soldiers. Today, the Great Ocean Road winds through varying terrains including erosion-prone cliffsides and rainforests, and various sections have been christened the Surf Coast and the Shipwreck Coast.
"I have seldom seen a more fearful section of coastline” – Captain Matthew Flinders, the first person to circumnavigate Australia"
Memorable road journey
The Great Ocean Road links Torquay to Allansford, near Warrnambool via a coastal drive with some of the most memorable views in Australia. The trip takes in seaside towns, unique rock formations and eucalyptus forests. Adventures Beyond can take you there on a Day Tour, but we recommend a 3 Day Tour to appreciate the scenery.
Top 5 attractions
Travelling the Great Ocean Road you experience unrivalled sights like the 12 Apostles limestone stacks and Loch Ard Gorge, a perilous yet beautiful site so named after a clipper ship that ran aground nearby in the 1870’s.
See the Australian version of London Bridge – albeit, a natural rock structure, now known as London Arch after a collapse many years ago.
Surfing aficionados will be familiar with Torquay, Australia’s surfing capital, and the iconic Bells Beach which stages the annual Rip Curl Pro surfing competition.
Surf World Museum in Torquay is a mecca for everything surf-related and showcases surfing memorabilia and celebrates Australia’s beach culture.
If you fancy a peek at koalas in their natural habitat, visit the Great Otway National Park where you can wander along forest boardwalks under the canopy of eucalyptus trees.
Even the presence of lighthouses couldn’t prevent numerous shipwrecks along stretches of this rugged coastline. Over 630 ships have met their peril on Victoria’s coast although only 240 of those have been found, hence the moniker - the Shipwreck Coast. Sheer limestone cliffs, forest walks with glow worms and a journey concluded with fresh local fish washed down with a glass of Australian wine.
These are some of the many reasons the Great Ocean Road is a must-see destination for visitors to Australia.
(waterfall in the Great Otway National Park – image: Flickr)
Adventures Beyond has multiple options for tours along this popular route – to discover the Shipwreck Coast book our Great Ocean Road tours now!