On December 7th, we drove on the Great Ocean Road from Allansford to Torquay.
The Great Ocean Road is an Australian National Heritage listed 243 kilometres (151 mi) stretch of road along the south-eastern coast of Australia between the Victorian cities of Torquay and Allansford. Built by returned soldiers between 1919 and 1932 and dedicated to soldiers killed during World War I, the road is the world’s largest war memorial.
In 2011, the road was added to the Australian National Heritage List.
Construction on the road began on 19 September 1919, built by approximately 3,000 returned servicemen as a war memorial for fellow servicemen who had been killed in World War I. An advance survey team progressed through dense wilderness at approximately 3 kilometres a month. Construction was done by hand; using explosives, pick and shovel, wheel barrows, and some small machinery, and was at times perilous, with several workers killed on the job; the final sections along steep coastal mountains being the most difficult to work on. Anecdotal evidence from ABC archives in 1982 suggested workers would rest detonators on their knees during travel, as it was the softest ride for them.
The soldiers were paid 10 shillings and sixpence for eight hours per day, also working a half-day on Saturdays. They used tents for accommodation throughout, and made use of a communal dining marquee and kitchen; food costing up to 10 shillings a week. Despite the difficulty involved in constructing the road, the workers had access to a piano, gramophone, games, newspapers and magazines at the camps. Additionally, in 1924, the steamboat Casino became stranded near Cape Patton after hitting a reef, forcing it to jettison 500 barrels of beer and 120 cases of spirits. The workers obtained the cargo, resulting in an unscheduled two-week-long drinking break.
The span closer to the shoreline collapsed unexpectedly on 15 January 1990, leaving two tourists stranded on the outer span before being rescued by helicopter. No one was injured in the event.
The Twelve Apostles is a collection of limestone stacks off the shore by the Great Ocean Road.
Originally, the site was known as the Sow and was renamed to The Apostles in the 1950sfor tourism purposes, despite only ever having eight stacks.
Anyway, we saw lots of beautiful rocks (under the rain) so nothing extraordinary but the road itself was really nice to drive on : sinuous and wooded.