Published on April 29th, 2014 | by Ann Rickard0
The 12 Apostles – Victoria
It was almost an annual pilgrimage every January to take to the Great Ocean Rd for a Sunday drive.
Once every five or so years we got to stay for a week in one of the camping grounds along the road, but that was heady stuff, a rare treat to be savoured.
The Great Ocean Rd, carved in rock and winding around the rugged southern coast of Victoria, offers one of the most scenic and exciting drives in the world, more thrilling than Big Sur in California (sorry to my American friends, that’s only my opinion).
The Great Ocean Rd bends and twists in continuous sinuous motion, offering a picturesque view and unexpected thrill around every corner of its 243 kilometres.
The road was built by returned servicemen from the First World War as a dedication to those killed in the war, and will forever be a memorial to their bravery.
My memories of the road are all fond.
My father would pile us in his old car and drive through Geelong to this legendary road of dips and twists and hairpin bends, of great surf beaches interspersed with tranquil bays, quiet inlets, rocky outcrops and imposing hills.
Just say the names Torquay, Barwon Heads, Lorne or Apollo Bay and I’m transformed back to childhood.
It seemed to take forever to reach the legendary 12 Apostles but when we got there it was as though we’d arrived at heaven’s doors.
They were wild and blustery heaven’s doors as we scrambled out of the car to brace against the wind and stare in awe at the majestic limestone cliffs rising so imperially from the formidable ocean.
The 12 Apostles (only seven left now, at my last count) make you feel small and insignificant and just a little frightened. At least that’s how they affect me. It is the roar of the Southern Ocean, the frightening power of the waves, the overwhelming feeling that Mother Nature is, and will always be, boss here.
If I still lived in Victoria I’d make an annual pilgrimage just to stand before these regal beauties.