Owns 'FoodLit'. Highly qualified, established food & lifestyle writer, former restaurateur, founder professional writing business, Articul8. Long, diverse writing history, passion for food culture, the land & inspired food language.www.foodlit.com.au
Published August 20th 2012
How Great Does It Get?
The Great Ocean Road is a renowned, must-visit tourist destination, so I'm always stunned to come across Victorians who have never been! Maybe it's easy to take things we have in our own backyard for granted. Maybe it's time to hit the road for a leisurely, mesmerising meander along our most stunning coastline.
With a new freeway (bypassing Geelong) and within 90 minutes from Melbourne's CBD, you get your first glimpse of the deep blue sea as you round the bend into Anglesea.
This gorgeous town has resisted the over-development that some other seaside towns have succumbed to. It's a veritable haven with its long beach (patrolled in season) renowned for its dependable waves. It's a boogie-boarder's dream and great for learning to surf. Walk the spectacular coastline, but check tide times so you don't get stranded.
At Aireys Inlet, discover the lighthouse (where the kid's popular TV program, Round the Twist, was filmed). Please don't just look. Get down onto the sand, climb a section of Eagle Rock if conditions allow, explore a stunning Marine Sanctuary close up, and rock scramble to your heart's content (again aware of tide times and never turning your back to the sea).
At Fairhaven Beach, opposite the famous Pole House, check out how the waves ebbing into shore (after an almighty crash) reflect the sky above – so it looks like you're walking in the heavens. Heavenly!
If doing a day trip, I wouldn't venture much further past this point. You really need a few days to do the road properly (at least 2 to do Port Campbell, more if going further), otherwise all the fresh air and relaxation has you too (beautifully) buggered for the drive home.
At Lorne, check out Erskine Falls. (It's 308 steps – I've counted – down and back up again). Follow the river for another 500 metres and discover the little-known, small, but very sweet Straw Falls.
Drive 20 minutes to Deans Marsh and pick your own berries (in season) – a whole heap of them: strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, loganberries, silvanberries, and more at Gentle Annie. (The pancakes from the café are sensational!)
About halfway between Lorne and Apollo Bay, please make a stop at the Wye River General Store. This is no ordinary General Store – it is a food-lover's paradise and probably the most exciting thing to happen food-wise on the Great Ocean Road for several years.
Foodies will also know Chris's Beacon Point just before Apollo Bay. In a word, DIVINE – food, views, accommodation, and warm, Mediterranean-style hospitably. Please do it!
On we go through Apollo Bay and onto Port Campbell along a coastline that will have you pinching yourself to make sure it's real. It's breathtaking. The famous Twelve Apostles are grand and majestic, but a personal favourite of mine is the nearby Loch Ard Gorge.
It's impossible to list all the beautiful attractions of the Great Ocean Road here. For more enticements, click here and here.
A great way to enjoy this beautiful coastline, without worrying about driving, is with Melbourne Australia Tours, who offer a range of tours along the world-famous, great windy road and to other destinations. What are you waiting for?