Goin’ round the twist on the Great Ocean Road

When I dropped off my Toyota Corolla (or my Noddy Car, as Peckie would say) in Melbourne, I thought to myself how lucky it was I hadn’t discovered until so late on in my trip that I quite enjoy driving – I could easily have blown all of my money on hire cars.

Now I’m thinking it’s lucky I hadn’t discovered the joys of cruise control and leather interiors until my last stint of car hiring.

I’ve picked up another set of wheels so I can do the cliche tourist thang of driving along the Great Ocean Road. The people at Avis probably though they were doing me a favour by giving me a free upgrade, but being confronted by this thing at 8am (when you’re used to driving matchboxes) was a bit scary.

I know nothing about cars, but I’m guessing by the bucket seats and the way every single dial and button on the dashboard has a blue flashing light on it, that it’s something a boy-racer would drive.

Luckily, after 15 attempts of reversing out of the car park and an hour circling Melbourne trying to get off the ring road, I’ve got into the swing of things, and I’ve had a brilliant day cruisin’ along the windy, twisting stretches of the Great Ocean Road.

The GOR, as probably no one else calls it, was built after the Second World War as an attempt to create Australia’s equivalent to Route 66.

The government thought building the road would be a good opportunity to give returning soldiers something productive to do, though I’m not sure swapping a rifle for a pick axe and making them hack away at a cliff-face in blazing sunshine would really be that much of an improvement in conditions.

Great Ocean Road
Still, driving along here is a great opportunity to see some incredible scenery – from the pine and eucalyptus plantations through rainforest, dairy country and coastal roads, the variation is something I’m surprised to see in Australia.

Biggest excitement of the day though had to be my last stop at Split Point lighthouse, aka the location of ‘Round the Twist’.

Round the Twist
I’ve driven through Torquay and Anglesea and stopped in a place called Lorne tonight, where I’ve had fish and chips in the middle of a field of cows overlooking the beach as the sun went down. This kind of work is definitely the best.

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1 Response to “Goin’ round the twist on the Great Ocean Road”

  1. Mike

    GOR, as I never called it, was one of my favourite places in Oz. I did much the same as you…stopping every 5 minutes to take a photo. Only I had a print camera. Cost me a fortune to get them all processed! Thanks for bringing back some great memories. PS England are winning the cricket – please make sure you rub it in with every Aussie you meet. It will only take a minute…