Great Ocean Road
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THE GREAT OCEAN ROAD is an amazing experience any time and it one of the most spectacular coastal drives in the world with its windswept magnificence and haunting drama.  It hugs the coast in a series of tortuous switchbacks that snake around the wooded foothills of the Otways.  Every turn yields a breath-taking vista.  It winds its way around ragged cliffs, windswept beaches and tall buffs and passes through lush-mountain rainforest and towering eucalyptus.

The roads runs 247 kilometers from Warnambool (where one can see the huge southern white whiles during September and October frolicking just metres from the shore) through to Torquay.  There is much to see and experience along the route.  The Great Ocean Road was constructed in August 1918 to commemorate the Australian soldiers who lost their lives in WW1.  Carved from precipitous cliffs and sodden rainforests in was finally completed in 1932. 

Its three main regions - Geelong Otway, Shipwreck Coast and Discovery Coast and Hinterland - feature everything from beautiful surf beaches, serene bays and inlets to rugged cliffs, huge rocky outcrops and lush rainforest. Explore the scenery, towns and cities by road or bike. Take a walk for a closer look. You can begin your journey at either end of the road and take the coast or inland route.

Inland, the road cuts through the Otways, which is a forested landscape ecologically rich and visually splendid. Within its dripping gullies stand tall tree ferns and ancient myrtle beech.  One can drive down avenues of some of the world’s tallest hardwoods and towering mountain ash.

Some of the major sights to look for along the way include Bells Beach and the Shipwreck Coast where over 80 shipwrecks lie at the bottom of the ocean.  The Loch Ard Gorge is the location where the tragedy of clipper ship Lorch Ard, which claimed the lives of 53 people, took place.  The sheer variety of the Port Campbell Park’s natural features are awe-inspiring.  Tens of thousands of years of erosion by the fierce Southern Ocean on the soft limestone clifs have created the spectacular natural rock and cliff sculptures synonymous with the Shipwreck coast. 

This coast also houses the Great Ocean Road's most recognizable attraction, the Twelve Apostles, which is a series of rock pillars rising majestically out of the ocean.  Other notable and distinct rock formations include the London Bridge, Blowhole, and Grotto, Lorne, Port Fairy and the Otway National Park wherein lies Moonlight Head with its eroded red cliffs and the haunting beauty of Wreck Beach .  Take a stroll at low tide, explore the rock pools and the exposed anchors of two ill-fated ships the Gabrielle (wrecked in 1869) and the Fiji wrecked in 1981 which lie exposed with their rusty flukes jutting skywards.
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