The Great Ocean Road is a 273 km stretch of road along the south-eastern coast of Australia between the Victorian cities of Torquay and Warrnambool. The road was constructed as a Memorial to those killed in the First World War. It is one of Australia's great scenic coastline drives.
The idea for the road was suggested as far back as 1864. Surveying began in 1918 and construction took place between 1919 and 1932.
Parts of the Great Ocean Road run around steep coastal mountains. These were the trickiest and the final sections to be built.
In 1922 the section from Eastern View to Lorne was completed.
In 1932 the section from Lorne to Apollo Bay was finished, thus completing the entire road.
Between Anglesea and Apollo Bay is a particularly scenic stretch of road which passes through many towns where mountains meet the sea. The main beach in Lorne offers great views of Louttit Bay nestled in a natural amphitheatre of hills, and Teddy's Lookout is not far from the main street.
The section near Port Campbell provides access by foot or helicopter to some of the most scenic coastline in the world, because of its striking and dramatic natural limestone and sandstone rock formations. These formations have been created by erosion from waves and rain and include Loch Ard Gorge, the Grotto, London Bridge (renamed to London Arch after the 'bridge' partly collapsed), and most famously the Twelve Apostles.
Between Apollo Bay and Gellibrand Lower, the road passes through the Great Otway National Park, which includes some of the last surviving temperate rainforests in the south of Australia. A walk at Mait's Rest offers spectacular views of tree-ferns and Myrtle Beeches.
After Lavers Hill is Melba Gully State Park which includes a 40-minute walk through tree ferns, Myrtle Beeches, Australian Blackwoods, passing a giant Otway Messmate and beautiful river cascades. If you return at night with a spotlight you will see thousands of Arachnocampa glowworms.