The Great Ocean Road: Day 1

6 days to tour one of Victoria’s most amazing coastal stretches. Having only ever done it as a half day bus tour previously, I kept my expectations low. But coming through the experience I want to relive every single moment of it!

Whilst I couldn’t keep 100% true to the domestic traveller ethos, I did my best to stay as close to it as possible. So where possible I ate what the locals would eat and enjoyed the activities and creature comforts of the locals too.

Day 1 began from eastern side of Melbourne and travelling through the city we came across the Westgate bridge undergoing some maintenance works. Whilst it slowed things down a tad, it didn’t affect us too much as, heck, we were on holidays!!

We drove through Geelong and I tried to get some shots of the Geelong Football Club’s home ground but alas, I wasn’t quick enough in the car!

Our first stop was Torquay and some of the outlet malls along the way. They were quite a few good deals to be had but alas, none that suited our needs. After stretching our legs, we moved onto our first beach. After sampling the cold fresh waters, we were adamant to keep moving and went to the first vantage point along the way. The one thing that really struck me along this route is the number of people that have sacrificed their lives for this country in the world Wars. Everywhere I went, there were memorials to the fallen. And each place had a few 100s to some even in the many 1000s. For a small community, you could only imagine the impact this would have had. But the serenity from the view was breathtaking. It was a cloudy blue sky with a few clouds.

Our next stop was the world famous surf Bells Beach. This is where they host the Rip Curl, Billabong, and World Surfing Championships. This is one of the places that Kelly Slater regularly visits when the Rip Curl championships are on!! The surf was quite choppy so we chose not to go in.

We then stopped for some lunch which consisted of cantaloupe, rock melon, peaches and a few packets of Grain Waves chips. I think overall the 2 food types cancelled each other out. Whilst the rest of the group were eating, I made my way over to one of the edges and watched waves crash over the rock. I never knew that sometimes just taking a moment to relax and watch the waves could be so serene. If you haven’t had the chance to take a step back, then you should do so from time to time. I was never one to be a very nature/outdoorsy (if that’s even a word) type of person, but having had this trip, I’ve come to realise how relaxing and revitalising it can be. And I plan to do more of these during the year.

Along the way should you ever get the chance, take a moment to stop off and check out the house that is suspended over the edge of the cliff. It was used in McCain’s chip ad where a fisherman heard his wife open the oven and then smelt the chips being laid on the table. At this point he reel’s his line out to the balcony and walks along it to the house. Yes, that is the house.

We then went to the beach opposite it and you could just imagine the clear sky and sand. Actually don’t. Check out the pictures on day 1 and be amazed.

One of the other amazing things is the fact that they have these signs to remind drivers to drive on the left hand side of the road. Once the hilarity passed, I then realised that this must have happened enough for the state to warrant to put these signs up. The drive suddenly became a little more hazardous.

Then finally, there it is, the start of the Great Ocean Road with the massive sign. You have to see it. It’s amazing!

Then along the way, we stopped by Cathedral Rock. If you get down to the rocky beach down below you get to see a rocky outcrop which is amazing and the sand swept beach makes you feel like you’ve stepped out on to your own little stretch of island paradise. But alas we headed off to our final beach – Anglesea where the waves were finally the best thing ever and we could actually body surf. And that rounded off day 1. We headed to our hostel and ate hot chips, dim sims and packets of chips for dinner at the Patton lookout enjoying the sunset. We then headed to the carnival opposite the hotel to top off the night. However, after the massive day, we were all pretty wrecked and went straight to sleep the moment our head touched the pillows… stay tuned for Day 2 (and pictures)

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