A Lifelong Connection to The Sea and The Great Ocean Road
The Sea and The Great Ocean Road
I have always had a strong connection with the sea as result of having many holidays in small coastal towns via The Great Ocean Road that sweeps down around the rugged west coast of Victoria a state in Australia.
During my childhood, my family spent many joyous summer holidays at a simple rented holiday house by the coast at a place called Moggs Creek which lies just before Aireys Inlet on your way to Lorne.
We would go to the beach everyday as we only had to walk down a steep path, across the road and there it would all be, the smell, sight and sound of the strong ocean waves crashing on the beach front.
The sea can get quite rough and powerful at any of these beaches along this stretch of road 'The Great Ocean Road' and the waves can be large at times but the sea is calm in the bays where the local towns are situated.
It is a spectacular sight to see, great waves crashing onto the rocks below, such a sense of wild freedom and a great drive to make if you have a few days or even weeks to spare as there is so much to see along this coast line.
This was my first introduction to the sea where I soon learnt all of its tricks.The push and pull of the tides and waves, the under currents, dangerous rips and to be dumped by a wave all on small rubber floaty boards that were pumped up much the same as the boogie boards in shape and size that are used now.
Such began my love of the sea itself and the connection I have with the Great Ocean Road.
Map of The Great Ocean Road
The Great Ocean Road hugs the contours of Victoria's rugged south west coast of Australia.
The long journey starts at Geelong and the Ballarine Peninsula heading down to Torquay, a surfers paradise, on through Moggs Creek, Airey's Inlet, Anglesea and on to Lorne.
Travelling from Lorne on to Apollo Bay, once and still an active fishing village but some what of a tourist destination these days, are some of the most stunning beaches you could find in the world as well as the surrounding rain forest created by the Otway ranges.
Then we come to the famous Twelve Apostles, part of coastline created and sculpted by millions of years to form the spectacular rock stacks that rise out of the southern ocean.
A similar coastline has formed around the town of Port Campbell with the formations of The Blowhole and Grotto.It also has nation wild life park which is an added attraction to this small historic town.
On to the more historic towns of Warrnambool, Port Fairy and Portland.These have the sea fer ring village life feel with fishing wharves and beautifully preserved colonial building and maritime museums recreating the stories of the ships that founded the rugged shipwreck coast.
Holidays Along The Great Ocean Road
As I grew older my experience with The Great Ocean Road changed from the innocent family holidays at Moggs to trips down the coast to Lorne to hang with the sun bleached blond long haired surfers and drink coke at the local coffee shop listening to 'All Along The Watchtower' and other Jimi Hendrix tracks on the jukebox.
This seeming and becoming a much more interesting past time to have over the summer holiday period.
Then came the camping trips to Moon Light Head with the then boyfriend and years later in a more series relationship staying for a couple of weeks at a time at Anglesea in a friends holiday house there.
Now it was The Stones ' Tattoo You ' that we were listening to, the early eighties.
As fate may have it or the mere fact of this beautiful coastline existing, my parents made the big decision to sell their house in Parkville in the city and retire to a small house in the country surrounded by the Otway Rangers, a few miles inland from Skenes Creek which is not far from Apollo Bay. So again The Great Ocean Road and its familiar coastal towns played its part in my life.
They had the best of both worlds here with the bush and native wildlife along with many visiting parrots, and the sea and local town, Apollo Bay, close at hand.
They stayed close to twenty years here until they decided it was getting a bit too much for them, what with the chopping of wood etc and needed to be closer to the family in town.
We, their children and grandchildren, had great holidays down here at Skenes and would make the trip whenever we could especially in the summer holidays.
Many long walks on the beach, swimming and shopping in the interesting small sea towns buying fresh fish from the fish markets, that had only been caught that morning.
It was an ideal way to spend time with your family and to get to know each other on a different level and they too, mum and dad, had a great life here enjoying the simple pleasures of living with nature in close proximity to the beach.They would look forward to our visits with the grandchildren and getting to know them all well on these holidays but be glad when we had all gone back home.
Along the coastline on the beaches and along the rocks where they walked every day religiously is now where both their ashes have been scattered.
I, ' too' would like mine to be scattered along this stretch of coast with them both, with the knowledge that they are somewhere with me in spirit enjoying the feeling of freedom and purity of the ever changing face of the sea.
At last free.
The Many Sites Along The Great Ocean Road
Have you travelled down the Great Ocean Road?
The Great Ocean Road
© 2009 Julia M S Pearce