June 2013
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Travel – The Great Ocean Road – Australia – Part 1

The fantastic Great Ocean Road is very famous, and is an Australian National Heritage. The number of people who travel on this road is quite large and it has become famous outside Australia.

Overview of The Great Ocean Road:

• It is a listed 243-kilometre stretch of road down the south-eastern coast of Australia.
• The path involves the cities of Torquay and Warrnambool of Victoria and was built by returned soldiers between 1919 and 1932.
• The Great Ocean Road is considered the world’s largest war memorial and is dedicated and focused on the casualties of the First World War.
• The Great Ocean Road is considered an important tourist attraction in the area, winding through varying terrain alongside the coast.
• The road provides access to several prominent landmarks, out of which the most famous one is the nationally significant Twelve Apostles limestone stack formations.
• The great Ocean Road starts at Torquay and extends about 243 kilometres westward to finish at Allansford near Warrnambool.
• The road is 4 laned with most of the road being governed by a 80 kilometre per hour speed limit.
• The Great Ocean Road is more than just a mere road, located on the coastal region of south-west Victoria in Australia, extending from Bellarine Peninsula near Geelong to Portland.
• The core of the Great Ocean Road is highway B100.
• One of the most scenic areas of the road would be the stretch between Port Campbell and Peterborough, which is the section contained by Port Campbell National Park and contains the main rock formations.

The Coastal towns on the road are the following from east to west from Torquay (driving distance indicated)

• Torquay (0 km) which is the good Ocean Road’s surf central
• Bells Beach which is the home to the world’s longest-running surfing competition, the Rip Curl Pro Surf & Music Festival.
• Anglesea (18 km) which is a popular family beach.
• Aireys Inlet (28 km) which is a small town with great beaches
• Lorne (47 km) which is one of the largest and most popular resorts
• Apollo Bay (90 km)
• Port Campbell (188 km)
• Warrnambool (253 km)
• Port Fairy (283 km)
• Portland (356 km)

• The Great Ocean Road is a wonderful drive, with not just scenery, but with some splendid winding cliff-top roads.
• Motoring enthusiasts travel the for the sheer excitement that the road provides.
• The pathway is recognized as a tourist attraction in the region.
• This road hugs the coastline, which is referred to as Surf Coast between Torquay and Cape Otway.
• There is a Shipwreck Coast further west of Cape Otway.
• It provides visibility of Bass Strait as well as the Southern Ocean.
• The street traverses rain forests along with beaches and cliffs.
• These cliffs are made up of limestone and sandstone and are susceptible to erosion.
• Road signs organized over the road warn motorists of possible rockfalls.
• There have been cases of rockfalls before.
• The Town of Geelong which is close to Torquay, experiences special benefit from Australian and international visitors who travel along this path.
• The Royal Automobile Club of Victoria listed this pathway as the state’s top tourism experience in its Victoria 101 survey.

Great Ocean Road Marathon

• A 45 kilometre section that is between Lorne and Apollo Bay forms the path for the annual Great Ocean Road Marathon.
• The marathon started fairly recently, in 2005.
• The marathon record of 2 hours, 27 minutes and 42 seconds was set in 2011 by James Kipkelwon, of Kenya.

Best time to visit / climate:

• Victoria has a moderate oceanic climate.
• It has 4 seasons.
• Its elevation is at 435 metres above sea level.
• This causes the mean monthly temperatures to tend on average 3 – 4 degrees Celsius.
• Maximum temperatures over the summer period frequently exceed 30.0 °C and often reach above 40.0 °C.
• The mean daily maximum temperature for January is 25.0 °C.
• The mean minimum is 10.8 °C.
• In July, the mean maximum is 10.0 °C (for those who are surprised, Australia is in the southern hemisphere, and hence it has summer in December January and winter in June July)
• Average July minimum is 3.2 °C.

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Australia In a Sunburned Country Frommer’s Australia (Frommer’s Color Complete)

Location on Google Maps:

View Larger Map

How to get there:

• Most visitors begin from Melbourne.
• This is about 95 kms away from Torquay.
• One can also fly into Avalon Airport which is located near Geelong instead of Melbourne’s main airport.
• This is nearer to the road and there are car hires available here.
• Jetstar and Tiger Airways offer regular flight services from here.
• There are V/Line buses that are operated from Geelong along the Great Ocean Road.
• They go up to Apollo Bay 3 times in a day from Monday to Friday and 2 times on Saturday to Sunday.
• There is a bus from Apollo Bay to Warrnambool every Friday.
• There are also V/Line trains to Warrnambool regularly.

Places to stay (hotels / restaurants along with website / contact numbers):
Hotels at tripadvisor.com
Hotels at wikitravel.org
Hotels at wotif.com
Hotels at ballarat.com

Blogs / Sites
Blogs at wikitravel.org
Blogs at visitmelbourne.com
Blogs at wikipedia.org
Blogs and reviews at visitgreatoceanroad.org.au

Images and photos
Images at wikitravel.org
Images at visitmelbourne.com
Images at wikipedia.org
Images at google.com


Read more in the next post (Travel – the Great Ocean Road – Australia – Part 2)

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