Fantastic, lovely, amazing, stunning, spectacular and unbelievable! The words keep going like footsteps on a treadmill that never seems to stop.
They describe the views and the landscapes along the Great Ocean Road, considered to be one of the most beautiful coastlines in Australia.
It’s early in the morning and the sun hasn’t yet risen from the dark night. I’m in Melbourne outside St Paul’s Cathedral, next to Federation Square and Flinders St Station. Around me I have other excited travellers and backpackers who are waiting for their buses to arrive. The bus that I’m waiting for is Australian Wildlife Tours, which will take me on a three-day trip along the Great Ocean Road and then on to the Grampians National Park.
Buses come and go to pick up the people to take them away from Melbourne. Daylight arrives and suddenly my bus does as well. Finally the journey to the Great Ocean Road and to the Grampians will start. But is it really that great as everybody says? It’s a mission for me to find out.
A unique tourist attraction
The Great Ocean Road is a 243 kilometre long road along the southeast coast of Australia, stretching from Torquay to Warrnambool. It opened in 1932 and today it’s considered to be one of the most spectacular coastal drives in the country. Along the way you can see native birds, koalas, kangaroos, rainforests, beaches and cliff formations. The most stunning of these are the Twelve Apostles, a collection of limestone stacks rising out of the sea that have been formed by erosion over many centuries.
A living book
The bus is a bit smaller than general and the number of the passengers increases to fifteen people. The nationalities vary, as do the ages of the group members. I can easily lean back and just go with the flow because the tour guide has everything planned. We also have two nights of accommodation, two breakfasts, one lunch and BBQ included in the price. As a lone traveller it’s very convenient not having to plan and think for a couple of days. Our expert tour guide is a living encyclopaedia and has an answer to everything regarding the views, landscapes, climate, history and activities of the tour.
300 camera shots
The sky is clear, the temperature mild and it’s the beginning of autumn. We make a lot of stops along the Great Ocean Road and there are plenty of opportunities to catch the best picture of the day. The stop at the Twelve Apostles (which are actually seven) was definitely the highlight of the trip for me, surpassing all my expectations. Like statues they stand mighty in a row rising from the deep blue sea. With their commanding presence I like to think of them as the Guardians of the Great Ocean Road. After taking at least 300 shots with my camera we move on towards our hostel in Warrnambool where we check in for the night.
The next two days can be summarized as a fully packed schedule with a good mix of activities and experiences. The best parts for me are meeting the kangaroos, viewing the Mackenzie Falls and the cave paintings of Bunjils and doing the great walk to the pinnacle of the Grampians National Park.
Combine Adelaide with the tour
By doing this tour you can also choose to continue to Adelaide or go back to Melbourne. If you’re planning on visiting Adelaide this combination is a perfect way to save both time and money. When lunch on the third day is finished I have to say goodbye to the group members who are going on to Adelaide. It’s a sad moment because in just three days we’ve started to establish the feeling of a family in our group. According to our guide this is a common phenomenon, especially on the three-day tours.
It’s actually difficult to describe the Great Ocean Road and the Grampians National Park just in words and pictures. You need to see them for yourself. One thing is for sure. If you want to experience nature’s majesty, learn more about Australian history and climate and perhaps make new friends then you should definitely go for this tour along the Great Ocean Road and to the Grampian’s National Park. The next important question is what words will you use to describe what you see?
Along the Great Ocean Road with Australian Wildlife
Tours’ awesome bus.
The Twelve Apostles are breathtaking.
G’day mate! Deep discussions with an
The Grampians offers
spectacular stone formations,
hiking and Australian animal life.
We made it to the summit of the Grampians.
Our huggable tour guide Wookie.
Written by Erika Nilsson-Waara