America’s got the Pacific Coast Highway, Australia’s got the Great Ocean Road.  Both are stunningly beautiful with jaw-dropping views.  Both are prone to the kind of weather that sends sane cyclists to an indoor spinning class.  And both are worth the effort even in torrential rains and gale force winds.

The Great Ocean Road is by far the flatter and shorter (just under 300 KMS) of the two.  Like Highway One in the US, the GOR hugs the coast, twisting and turning along the Southern Ocean.  At times the highway turns inland, climbing up into the heavily-forested hinterland.  There are fishing villages, and quaint little towns full of tourists sipping coffee at street side cafes.  It’s a fun ride but best avoided on weekends and school holidays when the area is flooded with day-trippers from Melbourne.

I’ll let the photos tell the rest of the story…

The ride couldn't be more beautiful! Relatively empty roads mid-week and off season. But watch out for the wind--gusts could knock you off your bike.

 

This rugged section of the GOR is known as the Shipwreck Coast. Explorer Matthew Flinders said of the Shipwreck Coast, "I have seldom seen a more fearful section of coastline."

 

Just down the road is the iconic Twelve Apostles--a collection of limestone formations--these days 12 are no longer visible.

 

Checking out the "London Arch." This formation used to be known as "London Bridge" until part of the arch collapsed into the sea.

 

Plenty of welcoming cafes and trendy eateries along the way.

 

 

And there's no shortage of spots to trundle on down to the beach--swim at your own risk--the water is fiercely cold and the current strong.

 

Most of all, the Great Ocean Road is all about enjoying the fantastic views of this ruggedly beautiful coastline,

 

We’re in Melbourne at the moment, bustling around as we prepare for our flight to New Zealand this evening.  Many thanks to all our wonderful hosts in Australia–you’ve truly made this part of the trip memorable.

 

Just one of the many families who have hosted us in Australia. A big thanks to all who have opened their homes to us.
Good Times on the Great Ocean Road
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3 thoughts on “Good Times on the Great Ocean Road

  • December 10, 2012 at 6:24 PM
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    Safe travels to New Zealand you two. Super photos of Australia! We continue to ride along with you in our hearts and minds. Not sure of your route in NZ but if you stay with Warmshowers hosts “Blokesonbikes” Glenn and Steve, please say hi from us. Wonderful people. Take care, Chris & Heather & Molly.

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    • December 27, 2012 at 2:06 AM
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      Will try to look up the guys from Blokes on Bikes–hope you two had a happy holiday season!

      Reply
  • December 11, 2012 at 9:08 PM
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    I’ve loved your Oz pictures, can hardy wait to see the New Zealand photos, safe travels, rb

    Reply

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Rugged coastline, pristine beaches, sleepy fishing villages, rolling farmland, world-class diving and spectacular seafood. The Eyre Peninsula has it all...

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