Driving the Great Ocean Road

After more Little Penguin watching in St. Kilda, we got our rental car and headed out. It takes two people to drive: one to steer and all that, and one to make sure that our mantra of “Drive left – look right” is being followed.

Two hours from Melbourne we came to an excellent fruit/cheese/vegetable store – something that we had not found in the city. We stocked up and soon were picnicking on the coast and no longer completely dependent on restaurants. Cora seems to be a happy traveler, especially when well-supplied with cherry tomatoes and mandarin oranges.

The “Great Ocean Road” snuggles up to the big Southern Ocean rollers, at times right at the edge of the sea and at other times switch-backing away from the water and up and over mountainous headlands. It was built by soldiers after coming home from World War I as a way to reintegrate these brutalized men back into society. In both WWI and WWII, Australia had the highest percent of casualties of any of the allied nations. Such are the fruits of Colonialism…. (Example: Gallipoli)

One such excursion in Cape Otway National Park brought us to a fantastic canopy walk high in the forest of 100 meter tall Eucalipt trees. We arrived a bit too early – the walk opened later than we expected due to winter hours. So, we took our own little walk in this forest of oh-so-tall trees. There we saw our first wild wallaby. Here is the photo that Cora got in the tiny moment before this shy creature disappeared into the thick underbrush.

The canopy walk was dramatic. We strolled along getting higher and higher on the metal walkway that extended for a kilometer or so winding its way through the forest. We were the only people here for most of our visit.

The highest point on this canopy walk is a little room at the top of a tall tower that is near the level of the tops of the highest trees. One reaches this point via a spiral staircase that goes around and around. Val took off to beat Cora to the top but soon started flagging and Cora shot past to claim the Canopy Crown!

The Southern Ocean is tearing the land away, leaving towers standing, for a time, separated from the land. So, the Twelve Apostles are perhaps seven and that great arch everybody loved is no more. It is a dynamic and dramatic landscape.

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Fantastic photos! I love the sculpture of the men building the Great Ocean Road. Thanks for the history lesson. xox

  2. Wonderful shot of the wallaby, Cora.
    The canopy walk looks spectacular.
    Such a different perspective on the world.

  3. Wow, how exciting to take a canopy walk in a giant Eucalipt tree forest. And Cora’s photo of the Wallaby is wonderful. I really like your system of making sure you’re driving on the left side of the road!
    Cheers, Carol and Dave

  4. Thanks for sharing. Looks like some great adventures

  5. Glad that no one in your group is afraid of heights! (Gulp, says Annie…) Scott says we should think twice about buying real estate on the Great Ocean Road. And that it is quite a climb up the spiral staircase! I hope they had lemonade at the top! Missing you guys!
    xo S and A

  6. Dramatic photos—-the ocean drive and canopy walk create great adventure. It looked like the walk was caged with mesh? I loved the wallaby photo, Cora! I know you are all in great shape, so the daily hikes are enjoyed. The is a very special part of the world!


  7. The photos are fantastic! I’m enjoying reading about your latest adventure. You would not catch me going up those stairs! Eek! 🙂

  8. epic scenery and super cute wallaby! xo xo xo

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