Continuing our journey after admiring gorgeous views at the Split Point Lighthouse, we reached the Great Ocean Road Memorial Arch. Historically, the Great Ocean Road was built by returned soldiers between 1919 and 1932, and is the world’s largest war memorial dedicated to casualties.
Great Ocean Road Entrance
Great Ocean Road Memorial
An excited witch! 🙂
Quoting the information board below:
The arch 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.
Saucer at the Memorial Arch
witch with the Great Ocean Road Memorial statue
Just next to the memorial arch was the great ocean! So very blue and vast. As usual, wind was strong and cold. *Brrr* I believe the beach would be more crowded and popular during summer!
Saucer by the beach
Us at the memorial arch beach
This time, we were up close and personal with the great ocean. Not only could we see it, we could touch and feel the water and the soft sand on the beach. It was surreal.
View of beach #1
View of beach #2
View of beach #3
OK, enough of pit stops already, we said! It was getting dark and if we didn’t keep on moving, we would end up driving in the dark! So from the Memorial Arch, we continued our journey towards Cape Otway, which was our destination for our night. We had booked a place in a Caravan park near Cape Otway and thought of staying there for the night before returning to Melbourne tomorrow. You see, our initial plan was just to drive half of the road for the experience of it. This was the road leading to Cape Otway – along a rain forest.
Rain forest route towards Cape Otway
This stretch of road was nothing like before, because the ocean was no longer in sight now. We were driving across the rain forest instead, towards the southern point of the Great Ocean Road. Soon, we saw the signboard and heaved a sigh of relief.
Referring to the GPS, we continued our drive and horror of all horrors – we met with a dead end! Well, it’s not a ‘dead’ end technically, but it was a road that we couldn’t proceed any further, for there was a herd of cows blocking us! Gosh! What were we going to do? There were so many of them and they’re so huge that we didn’t dare to go and shoo them away. *LOL* Worst of all, they were all standing there still, looking like they had no intention to move. So we waited in the car for 5 whole minutes, wondering if they were going to move. Luckily, an oncoming car came after that, and the guy in it actually shooed the cows away. So we quickly drove past, but in my heart, I was already worried that we’d have to go through the same path again when we returned.
Taken from the car
After we crossed the cows, Saucer spotted something from afar. It was a kangaroo! Oh my, there really was a kangaroo in the wild!
We drove by towards the lighthouse and it was 4.50pm. What did we find out? The lighthouse was CLOSED! I knew we were playing it close because the lighthouse was supposed to close at 5pm, but they were supposed to be open for another 10 minutes. 🙁 Oh well! We didn’t manage to take any pictures too because it was drizzling. Ah, what could be worse! It was really an unfortunate incident.
Cape Otway (source)
So, all that was left to do was to turn back and hunt for our shelter for the night. The place that we were planning to stay in was a Caravan park just a few kilometres away from the lighthouse, but when we reached there, it was so quiet and somewhat eerie because it’s in the middle of a forest, that we decided not to stay there. And hence, we continued driving in the dark… (to be continued)
*Update: Great Southern Touring Route application from Apple helps to plan your Great Ocean Road journey better: