Tribute to the Victorian bushfire victims
I’ve just been for a weekend seminar in Melbourne last weekend when the huge bushfires struck across various areas in the state of Victoria. I feel really devastated and sorry for the loss of lives and the destruction of several towns and lives that I thought I’d write this blogpost to give tribute to the people affected by and those who volunteered during the fires, and the beauty that the state of Victoria has to offer. Before I press on, I’d like to encourage those of you reading to donate to the Victorian bushfire victims (if you haven’t done so already) through the Red Cross. I certainly did despite not having an income at the moment. I hope my blogpost will encourage people to appreciate what this part of Australia has to offer, and realise that it’s a fragile environment that needs to be protected.
I did a day trip to the Great Ocean Road, despite the fact that there is a risk of those fires happening in the area. I took a tour and we had a lady driver named Susan, who was quite a character. She told us that we are in for a treat today, as she was up late last night to bake us some lamington cakes for morning tea. She said this with absolute seriousness. We stopped a couple of hours later at Bells Beach in Torquay where we finally got to taste her “creations”. She made us some billy tea, which is basically tea made in a tin pail and mixed with gum leaves. And then, she brought out these lamington cakes with a label “Susan Day”… Somehow they didn’t look homemade, but anyway, they tasted great!
The Sights along the Great Ocean Road
Bells Beach was a gorgeous stop. It’s one of the best surfing destinations in Australia. A lot of surfers flock to this beach for competitions and championships and just to enjoy the waves. The town of Torquay (where this beach is situated) is also known for producing surfing gear like RipCurl and Quiksilver.
We then proceeded along the road and saw so many beautiful bays and cliffs. Our tour passed by the towns of Anglesea, Lorne and Otway National Park.
Our next stop briefly at the memorial for the construction of the Great Ocean Road, which was started in the 1920s, and was a very tricky one to build. It was very remote and rugged at that time that it took a long time to finish building. Ex-Australian servicemen who fought in the First World War were hired as labourers, as there were not much jobs for these returning servicemen from the war.
The tour continued and had a stop at Apollo Bay for lunch. Apollo Bay is a tiny town where a lot of people go for holidays. The beach looked nice, but not much in the town itself.
The Twelve Apostles and fabulous rock formations
The highlight of our trip was seeing the Twelve Apostles. They’re the rock formations that used to be part of the mainland and broke off. They stand just a few meters from the shore, and they look stunning! Unfortunately, due to erosion over the years, only 8 of the original 12 remain in the area. Also, due to the gradual erosion along the coastline, there will potentially be new ones that will be created, as the land breaks off to the sea.
Another highlight on the trip was the Loch Ard Gorge. There was a story about a shipwreck that happened in the 1800s, and only 2 survivors managed to get to land on that gorge. The ship was called Loch Ard, hence the gorge was named after it. There is a beautiful beach at the bottom, and a couple of tracks where you can view the scenery of great rock formations and cliffs.
Our last stop was the London Bridge. It’s another rock formation out in the sea with an archway at the bottom. There used to be a land bridge between the archway and the mainland, but it fell into the sea a few years ago. Our tour guide Susan told us a story of a couple who got stranded on the rock when the land bridge collapsed while they were on the rock. At that time, there were no phones and the one of the guys who witnessed it had to drive a couple of hours to get help and rescue them. The media apparently turned up, thinking it was a newlywed that got stuck. It turned out that they were having an affair, and they obviously got busted on national television! Anyway, I thought it was an entertaining story to share. Back to the London Bridge, it’s another gorgeous rock formation and worth a visit.
The Great Ocean Road is a fantastic stretch of coastline road to travel at! I would love to do a drive there myself when I get a chance in the near future, now that I’ve seen what most people have been raving about. I hope you enjoyed this post.
Until the next Fabulous Journey!