The Great Ocean Road


Can you smell the salty air? The fresh breeze, and the warmth of the sun on your face? This is Australia, and the famous Great Ocean Road. Hugging the coast of the southern end of Victoria, this stretch of highway boasts views to rival any other. While the official starting point of the road is somewhat debatable, it generally runs from the town of Torquay, about an hour outside Melbourne, west to Portland (see map here). This view is of the landmark Twelve Apostles, in Port Campbell National Park. The limestone formations tower out from the water, having once upon a time been connected to the cliffside behind them (20 million years ago to be exact). They were created by the erosion caused by the waves, and continue to erode a tiny bit each year. Several rock elements have already succumbed to this erosion, so the landscape is in a constant state of change.

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There are signs posted in warning of this instability in fact. Complete with that good old Aussie sense of humor. A bit blunt perhaps, but gets the point across I’d say.

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It is an absolutely stunning view from the prescribed “safe outlooks”. For the more adventurous, you can take the Gibson Steps which take you 70 meters down to the sand. And that sand does look enormously tempting.

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There is a rich history of geology, shipwrecks and more on this particular stretch of the Great Ocean Road. A guided tour isn’t necessary. There are self-guided walks providing a wealth of information at Loch Ard Gorge, located about a 10 minute drive from the Twelve Apostles. If you do prefer to have a local expert show you the ropes and provide additional knowledge, there are a variety tours available. You can even take a helicopter trip along the coast. How cool would that be?

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If you are a reader of Travel + Leisure, and you just so happened to have seen the November 2013 issue, you might recognize one of these photos. In very exciting news (for me anyways…) my photo of the Twelve Apostles was pictured on page 14! Needless to say, this was a big moment for me. While great photographs are taken everyday all over the world, I just have to thank Australia and the Great Ocean Road for being so darn photogenic.


  • Wow what breathtaking views of those cliffs. This is one part of Australia I have not been and I need to go back. Love this.

    • Thank you!! It is indeed a gorgeous area – I wasn’t able to see the whole Ocean Road, so it’s still on my list of things to see when I get myself back to Oz. 🙂

  • This looks so gorgeous, isn’t it funny how some places it seems you can never take a bad picture of because it’s that pretty? One of my friends did a road trip on the ocean road, and it made me want to go to Oz so badly!

    • Haha it does make taking travel pics so much easier when the subject is naturally gorgeous! We were lucky this day too – there were gray clouds and rain almost the whole way there, and then once we stopped the skies cleared to these sunny skies!

  • Yeay, congrats! What a fun feather in your cap 🙂 And I am not surprised at all–your photos are absolutely gorgeous!

    • Thank you!! I was pretty surprise when I received the email saying they wanted to feature my photo, and then I was hesitant to believe it until I saw it in print! I’ll be keeping this issue forever I think. 🙂

  • stunning! it’s crazy to think in another 50-100 years the landscape and cliffs will even more different.

    • Exactly! Imagine what it looked like 100 years ago… it’s mind boggling to think how different it was, and will be. Tiny changes made everyday, adding up to remarkable results. There’s a metaphor for life somewhere in there I think. lol

  • What an incredibly beautiful place! Australia and traveling Australia has been on my mind a lot lately – I don’t know why, but I’m immensely attracted by this country! And Congrats on the feature: That’s so amazing! 😀

    • Thanks so much!! Australia is an absolutely amazing place – I just came back to the States this March after spending the previous year there, mostly in Melbourne. I never wanted to come back though! 🙂

  • Brilliant pics, Amy! The Great Ocean Road is a gorrrgeous part of Australia!

    • It is so beautiful there! So many wonderful parts of Australia, and I feel like I’ve only barely touched the tip of the iceberg! Definitely need to make it back there one of these days. 🙂

  • Thank you so much!! This place is a definite must-see for Australia. Do you have an itinerary planned yet? If you need any help or tips, let me know. I’d be happy to help if I can! 🙂

    • Randomjenta

      Making an itinerary is so difficult when one has limited time and an endless list of things wanting to see. 🙂 I am traveling with a friend of mine, and we have approx. 1 month in total. Want to do the Great Ocean Road (but perhaps only as a 1-2 to/from Melbourne, Sydney, Ayers Rock, and then drive between Brisbane and Cairns (Daintree National Park, Whitsunday Islands, and the Great Barrier Reef etc). I hope we find the time for everything! Oh, and we also want to climb Mt. Kosciuszko!

      • Wow!! That’s a pretty impressive itinerary! There’s so many things on that list that I wish I had done – but alas, I was working as well… pesky jobs lol. The distances are very large, so I would suggest having a definite route somewhat mapped out so you don’t waste time and resources hopping all over the place in random order. Sounds fun!! 🙂

  • I did a road trip along the Great Ocean Road a few years ago, it’s beautiful! And there are so many cool little places to stop and visit along the way! Congrats on getting your photo published, that’s awesome!

    • Thank you!! I still have to do the entire stretch, but I did little parts. Spent a day in and around Torquay once, which was also beautiful. Australia just has so many gorgeous places to see! 🙂

  • I NEED to go to Australia, it looks so gorgeous! It’s on my list of places but I am worried I won’t want to go anywhere else once I get there, so I’m still unsure as to when I would go!

    • Yes you do NEED to go!!! lol. Stay at least a month if you want to travel around a bit, or go on the working holiday visa and stay a whole year! I planned on only being there 3 months, but loved it so much I stayed the full year until my visa expired. 🙂

  • So gorgeous! I too NEED to go to Australia. It’s probably number 1 on our wish list. These pictures really capture the beauty. It’s no surprise to me they were published. You take excellent photos and so glad you received some recognition. Congrats!

    • Thank you so much!! As I’m sure I’ve said before somewhere, this place is just so photogenic, it makes it easy! I had an amazing time in Australia, and I am dying to go back one day. There is so much to see! I feel like I barely scraped the tip of the iceberg!

  • Casey

    These photos are seriously gorgeous!!!

    • Thank you!! It’s a seriously gorgeous stretch of coastline there! 🙂

  • Man Australia is just so enticing at the moment. Your photos are great, and congrats for having one printed!

    • Thank you!! Australia is a pretty amazing place – I’m really hoping to make it back there one day! 🙂