We finally made a trip along the Great Ocean Road a few weekends ago. We packed everyone into the car, and as per usual we prayed to every possible god that the kids would be good!
From Melbourne to Torquay, where we were basing ourselves, is about 145km so not too far on a cold Friday night. We were staying in a property in the centre of Torquay, close to shops and restaurants, which was great. It meant we had everything on hand, should we need it. The house had all sorts of wonderful things to keep us all occupied; from ping pong, to basketball, board games, skateboards and a playstation! I was especially happy as there were plenty of lovely magazines, a beautiful deep bath, and a Nespresso machine.. Me time!! Bliss! Our first night was super comfy, warm and cosy!
We woke on Saturday to glorious sunshine, we headed out, grabbed coffee and milkshakes and hit the road! Driving out of Torquay and toward the Twelve Apostles, we passed all the iconic surf beaches that surround Torquay, and promised ourselves that we weren’t going home without dipping our toes in the water at Bells Beach!
The drive was spectacular. Travelling along the Great Ocean Road is such a magical experience. That iconic Aussie road trip; the ocean almost lapping at the road side as you twist and turn your way toward to the Twelve Apostles. Even with the bickering in the back it was bliss. We broke the 150km drive with a few stops in lovely little beachside towns. We saw Koalas in the wild, peeking at us through the tourist information window (Lorne), the children played on the beaches, and we had the best pork sandwich you could EVER IMAGINE (Apollo Bay)!!!! Pretty much could have stopped right there, the trip was already a cracker!
We made it to the Twelve Apostles at about 2pm, it was incredibly busy! Obviously! You can’t come to Victoria and miss this!
We joined the other gazillion visitors and walked the path (well, Monty hopped and Poppy tripped most of the way) across the road and down toward the ocean. The wind was howling, but thankfully it wasn’t cold. When we turned the corner and caught sight of the enormous sea stack sculptures, rising majestically out of the Southern Ocean, it truly took our breath away. The pictures do not do it justice! It is jaw droppingly beautiful. The hours of endless eye spy, and arguing, was definitely worth it.
Australia has some incredible landscapes, and it’s coastline is second to none. I now completely understand why this road is called the Great Ocean Road. It just has to be on the list for one of the greatest coastal drives of all time.
Highlights of the trip
The Australian National Surfing Museum– Torquay
You can read about our trip to the museum here…
Cost: Adult $12 Student/Pensioner Concession $8 Child (aged 16 and under) $8 Family $25
Location: 77 Beach Road Torquay Victoria 3228
Tel: 03 5261 4606 |
Opening hours: 9am – 5pm 7 days a week 364 days a year
Bells Beach is the beach you think of when someone mentions the movie Point Break… Although, it turns out, the movie wasn’t actually filmed there. Why? I have no idea, as this is possibly the greatest surf beach we have visited on our travels so far. I am not a surfer by any stretch of the imagination but this beach was amazing, and judging by the number of people slipping in and out of wetsuits in the car park, this is the place to surf! We could see the ocean was flecked with surfers waiting for a wave, the waves catching them, dropping them off, and then hurtling up onto the beach. We made our way down the wooden staircase on to the sand. The waves were crashing up right in front of us, almost wiping us out a few times. To think we were treading the sand that so many world famous surfers have walked on, is pretty special, and I just kept telling myself that Patrick Swayze probably stood here with Keanu Reeves at some point too… Well, I can dream, can’t I? Bells beach has a wonderful feel to it, and we’re definitely going to get back there some time. Probably not for a surfing lesson, I think I need somewhere a little more placid!
As we were self catering and the house was so beautiful, we didn’t eat out too much; however when we did, it was ace, so here are the details…. Our top eats were:
Apollo Bay Bakery
Apollo Bay Bakery was where we had a delicious, quick lunch, whilst being serenaded by a travelling ukulele band! How awesome does that sound? Well wait until you’ve tried the roast pork roll with crispy crackling, gravy, stuffing… Oh god I have to stop typing… I mean… The love we have for that pork roll….. Get in the car and go now!
Location: 125 Great Ocean Road, Apollo Bay VIC 3233, Australia Phone: 5237 6440
Open 7 days a week
Before hitting the road back to Melbourne we had a feast at Bomboras in Torquay. Local beer and plates of yumminess! Can’t go wrong with that! I had Brisket on Rye Bruschetta with Coleslaw, Mustard & Pickles.. Need I say more.. Tim had the mussels and said they were great! Check the menu and see for yourself..
Address: 37 The Esplanade, Torquay VIC 3228 Phone: (03) 5264 7881
M: 5pm-Late T: Closed W:11am-Late T:11am-Late F:11am-Late S&S: 8am-Late
‘Embrace the detours, enjoy the journey, explore the open road’- unknown