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Chris Sayer’s Travel Diary

Sunday, 02 Oct 2011

Location: Great Ocean Road, Australia

MapWe perform an advance search party to explore the Twelve Apostles without the caravan hitched to the car. By the number of tourists and their buses or motorhomes crowding carparks, we were wise to do this without the caravan in tow. Obviously a very popular tourist attraction, we are surrounded by every nationality on this Sunday afternoon.

Many had advised us to take a helicopter flight over the Apostles, and the $160 each for the fifteen minute ride was exorbitant but worth it. Skimming the cliffs as they fall away beneath us to give way to a raging sea, was a thrill unlike any other. Even at ground level, however, there were so many vantage points to take in the view that it would be impossible to see them all. Reminding us very much of the sheer cliffs on the Tasman Peninsula, these cliffs in front of us are the fastest eroding shoreline in Australia, one of the fastest in the world.

From above we could see disused roads that were formerly the official Great Ocean Road, now perilously close to the edge as the invading coast dares to gobble it up in its advance inland. We could even see evidence of landslides and large chunks of cliff-face that had fallen away, the helicopter pilot telling us many occurred just a couple of weeks ago.
Our farewell to this landscape was spent by walking down a steep staircase to beach level, and walking barefoot in the surf as the cliffs and stone stacks towered above us. I felt like Charlton Heston at the very end of the 1968 movie classic “Planet of the Apes”, expecting to see the Statue of Liberty half buried in the sand.