Winding along Australia’s southeastern coast between Torquay and Allansford, The Great Ocean Road is one of the country’s premiere scenic byways. Built between 1919 and 1932 by returned WWI soldiers in honor of their fallen brethren, the road is the world’s largest war memorial and an Australian National Heritage site.
The quaint Victorian towns and pristine beaches that dot the 243 km (151 mi) stretch are popular domestic vacation destinations. The road also attracts international tourists for the access it provides to some of the country’s most picturesque coastal landscapes. The Port Campbell area in particular is notable for the preponderance of magnificent limestone and sandstone rock formations including Loch Ard Gorge, The Grotto, London Arch and The Twelve Apostles.
During my recent trip to Melbourne, I drove the Great Ocean Road in search of the breathtaking vistas for which it is renown, and was not disappointed. The following shots are just a small sampling of the natural magnificence on display along Australia’s Victorian coast.
Erosion steadily chips away at a rock formation at Aireys Inlet.
“The Razorback” rock formation in Port Campbell National Park gets its name from its likeness to a flat razor when viewed from above.
Two limestone stacks near the Gibson Steps glow in the late-afternoon sun.
Bell’s Beach near the beginning of the Great Ocean Road is a popular surfing destination.
A high-dynamic-range photo highlights the otherwise subtle bands of color in the different layers of sedimentation that make up the Twelve Apostles limestone stacks.
A panorama from the shoreline captures Split Point Lighthouse watching over Aireys Inlet.
Wind, rain and waves conspire to eat away at the “Razorback” formation in Port Campbell National Park.
A portion of the Great Ocean Road winds around the shoreline near the mouth of the Cumberland River south of Lorne.
The limestone stacks near Loch Ard Gorge in Port Campbell National Park stand in seeming defiance of the relentless ocean.
Check all the high-resolution shots from my trip to Australia in my album on Flickr.