My first week in Australia has been busy, busy. Trying to throw all of you off my trail had me bouncing from Melbourne out to the historic Goldfields, up to the stunning high country of the Victorian Alps and then back to the stormy southern coast. I am still quite amazed by the diversity of landscapes I’ve traveled through in such a short time.
I finally stopped running at Torquay, Australia’s official “Surf Capital” and the starting point for the Great Ocean Road. We featured the famous Australian route in our October issue as one of our 27 “ultimate drives” worldwide and I can see why now. Rarely does car travel grant you the kind of intimacy and cinematic landscapes I discovered along the road. I was also amazed by the abundant wildlife all around: brilliant birds, echidnas, gray kangaroos and even a koala, which was a very lucky find for me.
I spent three days motoring along Victoria’s rocky and resplendent coastline, made all the more dramatic by the mysterious mix of sunshine and thunderstorms that I encountered along the way. I think deep down, I was secretly hoping for a red convertible or a Jaguar–something befitting a road of this beauty. Alas, Avis only offered me a sensible white Ford, which I was grateful for in the days that followed.
My advice to anyone planning the drive? It’s fairly obvious, but take more time. There is a lot to experience here: beautiful ocean cliffs, dense corners of Aussie rain forest, poetic seaside towns, and Australia’s living, breathing surf culture.
- Nat Geo Expeditions