I thought I had an idea of what the Great Ocean Road would be like. You know, Pinterest does a good job of telling you what to do and see, and when you travel throughout Australia you hear so many different things about the magnificent drive. “Don’t miss the apostles!” “Stop and stay somewhere along the drive!” “You MUST stop here. (Insert random place I’m probably never going to stop.)”
See, I’ve learned something so incredibly awesome about travel. It’s a lesson a I try and live by, and I play it over and over in my head when I hear people telling me these things I should be seeing and doing.
But you’ll have to wait for that hot tip until the end of this post.
I started in Torquay, staying at my beautiful friend Laura’s house, and then I slowly and excitedly made my way to the start of the Great Ocean Road. On a solo trip, I definitely take it for granted the many times I’ve been the passenger, fully able to take every ounce in, and when I’m driving I find I have to actually pull over to pay attention and take a look.
I spent a lot of time pulling over to take it all in.
I saw a sign that said “Teddys lookout” just on the outskirts of Lorne, and because my cousin’s dog (who I love) is called Teddy, I was enticed to have a look.
STRAIGHT up a vertical road I drove, wondering if my little rental KIA would make it to the top. It did, but I kid you not, it didn’t feel like it would.
Expecting nothing in particular at the top, I was treated to the most magnificent view. And what else are you to do but be absolutely stoked?
Starting to realise that I would probably never make tracks if I stopped at every single lookout, I started to be a little more selective on where I stopped. I decided to listen to my gut, and not being upset if I possibly missed something else that was great along the way.
If I can say one thing, it’s that this coast line is absolutely stunning. It’s true, it really is the “Great” Ocean Road.
I found myself staring up at these incredibly unique coastal homes that lined the ocean, some hanging off cliffs with the most insane designs. They take “beach shacks” to an entirely new level.
Stopping at the Loch Ard Gorge was possibly one of the most interesting spots. Mainly because I love a good story. The Loch Ard was a ship that crashed off this coast in 1878, and had only two survivors. Their tale is one courageous rescue and sacrifice, and I found myself imagining that situation, and how when a storm hits here – it must be absolutely wild.
^ That was the beach that the two survivors managed to make it to. Now as you can see, a pretty popular tourist photo opp.
Now I’m going to be perfectly honest. I skipped the 12 apostles. Probably the most “highlighted” spot along the Great Ocean Road, I was planning on giving it a go, until I saw the parking lot. I was waiting to pull int (before even waiting to find a parking spot), so naturally, I immediately felt chlosterphobic and left. There are SO many beautiful spots to stop along the way, missing one won’t make or break the trip.
Which leads me to my last thought – the magical little nugget of truth that I’ve learned to fuel myself with on every trip and travel I go on.
There are no “shoulds.”
ie: You “should go here” or “you shouldn’t miss that.”
There is only exactly what you feel like is calling out to you.
My goal for every travel experience is to not focus on what I could have seen, but what I did see. All the beauty. All the magnificence. Every ounce of what resonated in my soul.
That’s what travel is supposed to make you feel anyways, right? That kind of epic, awesome, full aliveness. GOSSSSSSH, I love the feeling.