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Dream journey across amazing Australia

Saleque Sufi |
Update: 2014-09-22 22:56:00
Dream journey across amazing Australia

Mahabub was very keen to visit the Great Ocean Road and Twelve Apostles .But thinking of the long drive and too much stress on Rozyand Koli I was not much willing to take almost four hours’ drive each way. Rozy after the first days hustle actually could not make it.

This actually lost the driving initiative as her enthusiasm keeps all enjoy every moment of togetherness. I knew if she could she would never have said no. For a lady having two artificial valves set only a few months back and on a strong antibiotic it could be a great risk taken.

We had to start a bit early but it still took us almost four hours to reach 12 Apostle. The GPS guided us through picturesque Victorian countryside, rain forests, orchards, farmlands. On the way up we could hardly drive along the coast. Our main objective was to visit 12 Apostles and Loch Ard Gorge and drive back along the Great Ocean Road.

Here is a brief on the Great Ocean Road, Tweleve Apostle and Loch Ard Gorge.

Great Ocean Road.

The Great Ocean Road is an Australian National Heritage listed 243 kilometers (151 mi) stretch of road along the south-eastern coast of Australia between the Victorian 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.

The road is considered a tourist attraction in the area, in which much of the road hugs coastline affectionately known as the Surf Coast between Torquay and Cape Otway and the Shipwreck Coast further west of Cape Otway, providing visibility of Bass Strait and the Southern Ocean. The road traverses rainforests, as well as beaches and cliffs composed of limestone and sandstone, which is susceptible to erosion. The road travels via Anglesea, Lorne, Apollo Bay, and Port Campbell, the latter being notable for its natural limestone and sandstone rock formations including Loch Ard Gorge, The Grotto, London Arch and The Twelve Apostles. At the stretch of the Great Ocean Road nearer to Geelong, the road meanders along the coast, with tall, almost-vertical cliffs on the other side of it. Road signs put up along the road warn motorists of possible rock falls, which have occurred before.

Twelve Apostle:

The Twelve Apostles is a collection of limestonestacks 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 8 apostles left but 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 45 metres high. Now because of this erosion there are less than ten remaining.

The site was known as the Sow and Piglets until 1922 (Muttonbird Island, near Loch Ard Gorge, was the Sow, and the smaller rock stacks were the Piglets); after which it was renamed to The Apostles for tourism purposes. The formation eventually became known as the Twelve Apostles, despite only ever having nine stacks. In 2002, the Port Campbell Professional Fishermen’s Association unsuccessfully attempted to block the creation of a proposed marine national park at the Twelve Apostles location, but were satisfied with the later Victorian Government decision not to allow seismic exploration at the same site by Benaris Energy; believing it would harm marine life. The stacks are susceptible to further erosion from the waves. On 3 July 2005, a 50 metre tall stack collapsed, leaving eight remaining. (compare the two pictures from 2002 and 2012).

On 25 September 2009, it was thought that another of the stacks had fallen, but this was actually one of the smaller stacks of the Three Sisters formation. The rate of erosion at the base of the limestone pillars is approximately 2 cm per year. Due to wave action eroding the cliff face existing headlands are expected to become new limestone stacks in the future.

The Loch Ard Gorge

The Loch Ard Gorge is part of Port Campbell National Park, Victoria, Australia, about 3 minutes drive west of The Twelve Apostles. It is a visible example of the process of erosion in action.

The gorge is named after the clipper shipLoch Ard, which ran aground on nearby Muttonbird Island on 1 June 1878 approaching the end of a three-month journey from England to Melbourne. Of the fifty-four passengers and crew, only two survived: Tom Pearce, at 15 years of age, a ship's apprentice, and Eva Carmichael, an Irishwoman immigrating with her family, at 17 years of age. According to memorials at the site, Pearce was washed ashore, and rescued Carmichael from the water after hearing her cries for help.

Pearce then proceeded to climb out of the gorge to raise the alarm to local pastoralists who immediately set into plan a rescue attempt. After three months in Australia Carmichael returned to Europe. Four of her family members drowned that night. Pearce was hailed as a hero, and continued his life living until age 49 and being buried in Southampton, England.

The arch of the nearby Island Archway collapsed in June 2009. The feature now appears as two unconnected rock pillars.[1] They have since been officially named Tom and Eva after the two teenage survivors of the Loch Ard shipwreck.

Visit to Tweleve Apostle:

It was a bright Sunny day with smooth breeze blowing .Usually the area is very windy .Last time we visited we could hardly walk to the platform to view apostles .But this time it was really very pleasant. Being Sunday hundreds to tourist flocked at the National Heritage site. Everyone was trying to count the apostles but it was always eight not twelve as other apostles already disappeared. We took some great photographs of the apostles. Many tourists come by bus as it is included in the pacakage of many tourist groups for Victoria Visit. Few who can afford take Helicopter Ride. We saw even a person having two artificial legs also came with her partner to have a view of twelve apostle.

Visit to Loch Ard Gorge

After taking a quick lunch we drove to nearby Loch Ard Gorge which is another magnificent location for the visitors .We had a feeling looking at the gorge that in another hundred years some apostles may be created from the erosion by the continuous strike of the tidal surge of the Southern ocean on the limestone. While there we met two lovely little girls of an Asussie Malaysian Couple who also came to see the wonderful panoramic views.

Driving back along the Great Ocean Road was wonderful and at the same time stressful as well. We stopped at few places to relax looking at the blue ocean and admiring the works of World War 1 veterans constructing such a wonderful road along the coast which everyday giving lot of joy and entertainment to many. We could only return home by 9PM and had to explain our experience to Rozy and show her all the photographs.

BDST: 0840 HRS, SEP 23, 2014

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