Unlike previous Christmas breaks, we wanted to spend our holiday season in an off-beat location. Amongst all the options, we narrowed to Tasmania, a beautiful island state of Australia. Before we landed in Tasmania, we took a pitstop in Melbourne for a day as Melbourne happens to be one of the most popular ports for taking either a flight or a ferry to Tasmania.
Amongst all the options, we decided to do ” The Great Ocean Drive” and see the 12 Apostles. It had to be our only choice as we love nature, we love driving and we absolutely love great loud music in our car.
How to Get to 12 Apostles
There are 2 popular routes to go to 12 Apostles: the shorter route takes about 2.5 hours and the longer route popularly known as “The Great Ocean Drive” takes about 4.5 hours. We decided to take the shorter route first to reach 12 Apostles and took the Great Ocean Drive during return. The only reason for this was the weather. Melbourne sees 4 seasons in a day. We started our day really early and as we left the town, it was cloudy and raining. We wanted to maximize our experience of Great Ocean Drive by stopping where we like and admire natural beauty along the way. Hence, we took the chance of going straight to the 12 Apostles first.
I found the shorter route to be very scenic too. We had good restaurants and stopovers along the way. As the day was progressing, the sun started shining bright and strong. It turned out to be one of the most beautiful sunny day to be on the roadtrip.
What to See
We made our first stop at Gibson’s steps. The winds at the Gibson’s steps completely blew me away, quite literally. Gog and Magog are about 70 meter high giant limestone cliffs. We made our way down to the beach via some 100 odd steps that were carved out of the cliff. You can reach as early as 8:30 AM as the park opens at 9 AM and there is no entry fee needed for this place. So you could see Gibson’s steps before making your way to the park.
Soon thereafter, we reached Twelve Apostles. There are many ways to admire the beauty of Twelve Apostles. You could either do a Helicopter tour for a panoramic view or indulge in the great ocean road walk to follow coastal trails and lookouts. We did the later. The Twelve Apostles are a collection of limestone stacks that are formed as a result of erosion over the centuries.
After a visit to the Twelve Apostles, we made our way to the Port Campbell National Park. We did many self guided walks at Loch Ard Gorge; Grotto and London Bridge. These 3 are must do the great ocean road.
London Bridge has an exciting story of being a natural archway which collapsed in 1990. Views of Grotto were mesmerizing.
We made many stops on our way back to Melbourne on the Great Ocean Road. What started off as a rainy cloudy day ended up being so shiny and every moment turned out to be magical.