Saturday, April 28, 2012

Twelve Apostles & Great Ocean Road Tour, Victoria

Note: Blog re-opened after suspension due to privacy/security issues. Hopefully that's done with!

Have you heard of the Twelve Apostles (see Wiki >here<)? If you ever paid any attention at school you should have, for they do attract millions of visitors every year!

The Twelve Apostles are natural limestone-rock formations dotted along Victoria's Great Ocean Road drive. They once existed as part of the coast, but thousands of years of tidal erosion has worn the coast away, leaving only a few significant and marvellous formations.

As a local Victorian, I suppose it's kinda embarrassing that I haven't really seen them before. I took a road-trip up here a few years ago, but it was a rainy and miserable day - not good for tourist-hopping! So when my Mum found a deal for a commercial tour to see The Great Ocean Road we jumped on it (even my own mother who was born and raised here hadn't seen them!). I was particularly excited about the photographic opportunities it offered to the photographer within me! This blog post is really just a bit of information about the tour, and my snapshots!

It was an early start! 7AM departure, that means really early morning for a Sunday! Federation Square is a great spot for tour-pickup though, central for both tourists and locals. On our large tour coach were lots of international tourists, and us few locals.

The Twelve Apostles are one of the many sights along The Great Ocean Road drive (it's OK, before this I didn't know there was other stuff too..). Leaving from Melbourne, you soon pass through Geelong and then onto Anglesea. The seaside suburb of Lawn is where we stop for lunch.

Lunch was included in the cost of the tour, and was at a busy pub on the main street. I suppose this place has a deal with the tour company, but we were given a selection of main meals, including vegetarian options. I had chicken schnitzel; it was OK (not impressive).

After lunch it was finally time to see those most-famous APOSTLES! Today was perfect! The sun had just come out, and the coast looked amazing. A photographers dream!

These magnificent limestone structures were once part of the coast, but after years of wearing and tearing by the sea they are cast adrift. Apparently there aren't twelve any more, so it's kind of a privilege to see them at all! You can bet the landscape will look totally different by the time you bring your kids here.

We walked along the board-walks built for viewing the sight. It was beautiful, but I was most psyched that the weather had cleared up to make it a good time for photos! Us photographers are weird, we spend more time with our cameras figuring out the best ways to capture the scenery, while we miss what's around us now. What's better, long term enjoyment or short term fulfilment? (Duhh, they're both awesome!).

The Twelve Apostles aren't the only thing to see on The Great Ocean Road drive. We also had stops at the Loch Ard Gorge, Shipwreck Coast (so named for obvious reasons) and the London Bridge limestone formation which resembles a bridge (but it's no longer a bridge because it collapsed.... remember that children's song?). 

 Loch Ard Gorge - where hundreds of shipwrecks occurred

 Loch Ard Gorge

 London Bridge - The gap between the two structures used to be connected by a limestone 'bridge' (it collapsed o_o)

Seaside town of Port Campbell, our last coffee-break. Beautiful town for a holiday home (except in winter!)
It was a long day! The tour departing at  7AM and returning to the city at 9PM. I made good use of those long hours sitting on the bus by listening to podcasts of my school lectures! What a good student I am ^_^

We were taken by APT Tours, who I'd highly recommend! The APT tour office is located in Federation Square, at Russell Ct. The highlight was really the bus driver, who gave full commentary along the drive of interesting and useful information. The tour greatly outweighed my expectations, what a long and fantastic day! Now I can die happily knowing that I've seen Victoria's landmarks.  

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