Christmas in Victoria

With tickets to the Boxing Day Ashes Test purchased immediately upon their release (Rachael’s idea obviously), we had long known that we would be spending our first Australian Christmas in Victoria.

We decided to book some time off work and fly down to Melbourne a few days before Christmas, giving us time for a second visit to one of our favourite places from travelling – The Great Ocean Road.

We picked up a rental car on arrival, and immediately headed west out of the city towards Torquay, situated at the eastern end of the coastal drive.

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The Great Ocean Road

We had finally made it to the Great Ocean Road, one of Australia’s most popular tourist attractions, and something we had both been very excited to experience since starting to plan our trip.

The 243km road follows the spectacular coastline between the Victoria towns of Allansford and Torquay, and was built between 1919 and 1932 by returning soldiers from WWI.

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We decided to spend almost 3 days travelling along the road, making sure we were not rushing, and could see as much of it as possible. With either viewpoints or attractions  every few hundred metres along large sections of the road, there is far too much to put it all into one blog, so this post will give an overview of our highlights.

The most well known and photographed of the road’s attractions are the Twelve Apostles. Confusingly there are only actually eight Apostles remaining, with the rest long since collapsing into the sea. We decided to view these at sunrise, to avoid the tour buses, and provide us with what we hoped would be spectacular views. This involved getting up in a pitch black campsite at 5am, the highlight of which was me slipping over in a muddy puddle, while Rachael stood and laughed.

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Despite our early start there was still plenty of people who had arrived before us. We joined them in making the short walk from the visitor centre to the boardwalk, where we battled the strong winds to reach the viewing platforms.  Continue reading