Along the Great Ocean Road in Australia

The trip to see the Twelve Apostles and the Great Ocean Road, near Melbourne, Australia started at Federation Square (across from St. Paul’s Cathedral) where I got to see the possible tour options at the tourism office located there.

Melbourne, Flinders, train station, Australia, photo, travel

Flinders Train Station, across from Federation Square

I returned there to take the bus on the day of the tour and a long but rewarding day began.  Along the way we stopped to see some of the flora and the wildlife (koalas, kangaroos and birds).  It was amazing to see koalas and kangaroos just freely roaming around, not in a zoo or animal park.

fern, Australia, flora, vegetation, photo, green, travel

Close-up of a fern in the park where we stopped to see the koalas

Kangaroo, Australia, Melbourne, Great Ocean Road, wildlife, tour,

Kangaroos roaming (or hopping) free along the Great Ocean Road

bird, Australia, Melbourne, Great Ocean Road, wildlife, tour,

Colorful bird!

koala, Australia, Melbourne, Great Ocean Road, wildlife, tour,

Koala doing what they do best: sleep. Tons of sleep.

The Twelve Apostles (who knows if there are really 12 at any given point, one of the more famous ones had collapsed not long before my visit) are fascinating as they “show” the process of water and wind shaping our landscapes.

Twelve Apostles, Melbourne, Australia, Great Ocean Road, park

A nice park has been set up to help see the Twelve Apostles

As the water washes away softer terrain, these “islands” of stone become separated from the mainland.  Great Ocean Road, Melbourne, Australia, sea, photos, Twelve Apostles

You can tell where new ones will appear:  any of those fingers or peninsulas are apostles-in-the-making.

Great Ocean Road, Melbourne, Australia, sea, photos, Twelve Apostles

At some point, the underside of a finger begins to hollow until an arch forms.  The arch eventually collapses separating part of the former peninsula from the mainland (see next photo).  In turn, an arch may form on the newly-formed “island” and, when the arch collapses, it will just leave just a column which over time will also collapse leaving nothing behind.  The cycle of life!

Great Ocean Road, Melbourne, Australia, sea, photos, Twelve Apostles

Here is a finger where a part collapsed creating an “island” arch

Great Ocean Road, Melbourne, Australia, sea, photos, Twelve Apostles

By now, this “island” has become quite isolated and is developing an arch that will further weaken it

Great Ocean Road, Melbourne, Australia, sea, photos, Twelve Apostles

Columns in the water: former arches, former fingers, former mainland!

Now, the park has very easy trails to walk and get good vantage points, and the tour goes to other interesting spots such as Loch and Gorge.

Great Ocean Road, Melbourne, Australia, sea, photos, Twelve Apostles

Loch and Gorge

But what really captivated me was the brief helicopter ride to see the apostles from above.  I had never ridden a helicopter before so there was a double thrill aspect to the experience for me.

Great Ocean Road, Melbourne, Australia, sea, photos, Twelve Apostles

Viewing them from high was a real treat

Finally, if you decide to drive the Great Ocean Road and you are not from Australia or the U.K. (or some other places like them), please mind what this sign says as you explore this beautiful road!road sign, great ocean road, australia, driving, photo

Comments

  1. Leave it to me to have the train station pic as my favorite. Looks more old world European or Russian to me and not something I would expect down under..
    Karl recently posted..“Nomads” and Real Homeless – Thoughts During Christmas timeMy Profile

  2. Gorgeous!! I have been dreaming of visiting here. Can’t believe I haven’t been to Australia yet…maybe in 2014?! 😉
    Erin at The World Wanderer recently posted..2014 Resolution: Nowhere to Go But Everywhere.My Profile

  3. My kind of post: wildlife and beautiful scenery. This looks like a fantastic road trip in Australia provided you stick to the right lane.
    Traveling Ted recently posted..Running loops in the shadows of the Petronas TowersMy Profile

  4. The existing Apostles and the Apostles-in-the-making are incredible! I didn’t make it there or on the Great Ocean Road on my one and only visit to Australia. I did see plenty of freely-roaming kangaroos, though. You’re right: it is something to see them just rambling about!
    Francesca (@WorkMomTravels) recently posted..2014 Chicago Boat, Sports & RV Show – and a giveaway!My Profile

    • There is so much to see in Australia, Francesca, that it would take a months-long visit to see it all! I focused on the likely suspects Sydney, Melbourne and vicinities BUT I am proud to have targeted Tasmania: I loved that place!

  5. i was soo sick the day we drove the great ocean road, and i still thought it was one of the most beautiful roadtrips. except we only saw koalas, no kangas!!! thanks for sharing 🙂 xo! the romantic
    the lazy travelers recently posted..no travel required: #frifotosMy Profile

  6. That is so beautiful. It looks like spending the extra money for a helicopter ride makes the experience even better. Definitely on my list for when I eventually get to Australia.
    Lance | Trips By Lance recently posted..2013 Travel Year in ReviewMy Profile

  7. I regret not doing this while we were in Australia – I love road trips! 🙁 But hey, all the more reason to return!
    Kieu recently posted..New year, new lookMy Profile

  8. Gorgeous photos!! Really want to get to Australia this year.
    Lola recently posted..One Bucket List Item for 2014My Profile

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