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Australia: Great Ocean Road

London Bridge
London Bridge has fallen down

The Great Ocean Road follows the Victorian coast west for 243km from Torquay, just south of Geelong, to Warrnambool, not far from the border with South Australia, and its name sums it up: it's a great road that follows the ocean. It's also one of the most breathtaking drives around – it hugs the coast, sandwiched between the sea (which I think is called the Bass Strait, but it varies depending on which map I look at) and the various mountain ranges inland. It's one way to test the steering on the car, anyway... one slip and you're history, geography and biology all rolled into one.

Amazing Scenery

The Twelve Apostles
The Twelve Apostles

The Bass Strait stretches as far west as Cape Otway, my first stop on leaving Apollo Bay. Cape Otway is a really treacherous area of the coast – for ships, not Toyotas – and there's a great little lighthouse 14km off the Great Ocean Road, so I took the turn and went on a guided tour of the blighter.

1 Australians don't sunbathe, they sunbake. In fact, Australians don't even sunbake, they cover themselves in sunblock when they hit the beach. Only tourists sunbake; it's an indication of the seriousness with which Aussies take the threat of skin cancer.