During the year-end holidays when most stores, attractions, wineries, etc. were closed we headed southwest out of Melbourne (where the ship was docked) and drove the Great Ocean Road to the Twelve Apostles, that – despite heavily overcast and foggy weather – did not disappoint in their majesty, grandeur and intrigue. Our 11-hour drive was very similar to some of the windy, hilly and rugged coastal sections of California Highway One south of San Francisco (especially heading south from Carmel/Monterrey to Big Sur) and north from Bodega Bay to The Sea Ranch (at the northern end of Sonoma County).
“The Great Ocean Road is an Australia National Heritage listed 243 kilometres (151 miles) stretch of road along the south-eastern coast of Australia between the Victorian [state of] 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. Winding through varying terrain along the coast and providing access to several prominent landmarks, including the Twelve Apostles limestone stack formations, the road is an important tourist attraction in the region.” — WIkipedia
“The Twelve Apostles is a collection of limestone stacks off the shore of the Port Campbell National Park, by the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Australia. Their proximity to one another has made the site a popular tourist attraction. Currently there are eight apostles left, the ninth stack having collapsed dramatically in July 2005. The name remains significant and spectacular especially in the Australian tourism industry.
“The apostles were formed by erosion: the harsh and extreme weather conditions from the Southern Ocean gradually eroded the soft limestone to form caves in the cliffs, which then became arches, which in turn collapsed; leaving rock stacks up to 50 metres (164 feet) high. Now because of this erosion there are fewer than ten remaining.” — WIkipedia