At the far end of the Great Ocean Road, the land starts to drop away suddenly into the ocean. For the majority of the drive, we are along hillsides that slope downwards into the sea. But once you get to the Twelve Apostles, the hills become sudden cliffs.
We got there for sunset, but the clouds had other ideas. It’s still an impressive spot. There are considerably less than 12 ‘Apostles’ left at this point, the sea has reclaimed several of them. What were still standing though made for some great scenery. The cliffs here just fall straight down onto the beach far below.
So the next morning, bright and early, we ventured down onto the beach nearby.
First was a group shot though. This was actually remarkably difficult, as the wind was absolutely howling here.
Down on the beach, the sun deigned to make an appearance and gave some lovely colours.
There was even a small rainbow that made an appearance (off to the middle-left). For a good scale of the sheer size of the cliffs, you can sort of make out a person below the cliffs in the mid-right area.
Back to the top, we got one final view of the Apostles before continuing along for the last stretch of the Great Ocean Road.
The next area was the Loch Ard Gorge.
The scenery here is what I’d describe as ‘dramatic’. It’s also got an interesting history. The area gets it’s name from the ship by the same name. The Loch Ard ran aground in 1878, killing 52 people. Only 2 people managed to survive the wreck, and made it into the Gorge, the only spot which they could reasonably get out of the ocean here.
Even then, I have to figure that both were very lucky. The waves here were simply pounding into the rocks and given the funneling action in some areas, the crushing power would be immense.
We spent about an hour or two simply wandering the pathways. The scenery never stopped impressing.
This is the bottom of the Loch Ard Gorge itself, where the two survivors managed to get out of the violent waters.
Behind, a cave.
Mutton Bird Island, to the right. The last spot of walking in the Loch Ard Gorge area.
Our final stop along the Great Ocean Road. London Arch. Or, what used to be London Bridge. There used to be a second span on the left hand side there, connecting the island to the mainland. That section fell into the sea suddenly some 20 years ago. Nobody died (immediately), but there were two people stranded on the now-island. They were eventually rescued by helicopter, but upon rescue it became known that the two were married…but not to each other. Oops.
The wonderful coastal scenery complete, our tour now headed inland towards the Grampians National Park.