Since we are simply Cruizin’ we decided to stay another day at Torquay as we were wanting to meet with a friend from Qld who now lives in Geelong and this was the only day we could do it.
She was very kind to us and drove down to meet us in Torquay which saved us getting into the traffic of Geelong, although it would have been another good test for our Navman.
We met at Growlers on the Esplanade at Torquay and had a great view over the ocean. Unfortunately the day we were there it was overcast and raining (and cold) so we had to sit inside. Never mind the coffee was great and we were cosy and warm. It was a great catch up and we really enjoyed meeting our friend.
After we had bid farewell we headed into the shopping centre to replenish supplies for the Great Ocean Road. Amongst our purchases was this rather large sourdough loaf – I’ve never seen one quite like it before. It weighed in a 1.3kg. I’m expecting it will last us for quite a while!
It was also going to be our youngest daughters birthday so we purchased a card and posted it on a Thursday. Thanks to Australia Post it finally arrived on the Sunshine Coast in Qld 3 working days later (Tuesday)! Her birthday was on the Saturday. Oh, well, better late than not at all.
I managed to do a couple of loads of washing before tea and got them all dried as well. Then all that was left to do was to pack up in preparation for departure on the Great Ocean Road Adventure in the morning.
We managed to get away in good time and passed by the places I have written about before like, Bells Beach, Point Addis and Anglesea. Before too long we were heading into countryside we had not seen before. Our first port of call was at Spit Point Lighthouse, and Loutit Bay.
We were unable to take our caravan up to the lighthouse as the parking area is not very big, so we opted to stop near the park and walk up the hill to the lighthouse. We have since heard that some of our new friends we met at Port Campbell did take their van up to the lighthouse and almost got stuck trying to turn around to come back down.
This lighthouse was built in 1891 as a manned station but was taken over in 1919 by the Commonwealth Government and converted to automatic operation.
After spending a bit of time here walking the track around the bluff and seeing the sights, we were off on the Great Ocean Road Adventure again!
Of course a couple of the most photographed houses on the Great Ocean Road are on the stretch called Fairhaven Beach.
These really are individual homes, with magnificent views.
Not far from here at Eastern View is the home of the Memorial Arch.
There was much I didn’t realize about the Great Ocean Road – and not the least was the fact that the road had been built by returned soldiers and sailors of the first World War.
Approximately 3000 such men laboured on the road. They had endured much during the war, and on return to Australia it was critical for their rehabilitation back to civilian life. Many returned to their pre-war jobs, others took up Soldier settlement farms subsidised by the Government. The Great Ocean Road Project offered them a chance to work in the open, enjoy the comradeship of others and contribute to the young nation of Australia.
The arch at Eastern View commemorates the construction of the road, and symbolises the sacrifice made by so many in the First World War. It stands astride the largest enduring War Memorial in the world, “The Great Ocean Road”, a living memorial to our forefathers.
In 1917 the Great Ocean Road Trust, a citizen initiative, was established to build the road and to provide employment for returned servicemen. From 1919 work proceeded in stages, according to the availability of men and money. A total of three thousand ex-servicemen worked with pick and shovel, using the stone and natural materials of the area. They stayed in well-organised camps complete with vegetable plots, cooks and pianos.
Here, at Eastern View, travellers paid a toll to use the Great Ocean Road from 1922 to 1936 when the government took over the road and its maintenance.
The Great Ocean Road fulfilled a dream to link up the seaside settlements, open up the coast for development and provide the motoring public with ‘one of the most beautiful ocean drives in the world.’
Today the Great Ocean Road stretches from Torquay to Nelson. It combines wonderful landscapes and seascapes with the bush of national parks and conservation reserves. Each year 1.2 million vehicles pass under the archway and millions of visitors enjoy vistas and activities along the Great Ocean Road. Refer: greatoceanroad.org.au
This is the third arch over the Great Ocean Road. The first arch was built near the current site by the Great Ocean Road Trust in 1939. The two plaques attached to the original arch were retained when the old arch was replaced by the country roads board in 1973. The third and current arch was rebuilt following the destruction of the second arch by fire on Ash Wednesday 1983.
I was pretty excited to arrive at the arch and to learn so much about the history of this great road.
Cruizer himself even got out of the car to commemorate this momentous occasion. He was particularly taken by the medals on the jacket of one of the ex-servicemen who was immortalised in bronze as part of the statue at the memorial arch. Then he thought he might as well go for a ride in the wheel barrow!
Leaving Eastern View, the road climbed around the side of the mountain and we stopped at Cinema Point to have a look back over the beach.
Again we were amazed at the scenery.
After many twists and turns we found ourselves in Lorne.
We had decided this would be our stopping point for the time, and we booked into the Lorne Foreshore Caravan Parks – Top Bank for 3 nights.