I was still puffing as we rounded the last cliff and saw the elevated promontory ahead walking the final steps out to the end we were greeted by a magnificent one hundred and eighty degree vista, that was nearly too much to take in – the beauty and vastness of the Grampians National Park opening up before us.
The Pinnacles is one of the most popular viewing spots in the Grampians. The two hour round walk sorts out purely day trippers from those wanting more: the view more than justifies the effort. It’s part of a great day trip route around the park highlights that was outlined in an information sheet by the hostel staff at the Grampians YHA. They had heard that question before.
This trip to Western Victoria was a bit of a last minute decision – five free days in late Autumn, and looking to escape the city I picked up a car from Tullamarine and headed for the Great Ocean Road.
On a strikingly clear blue afternoon, Aireys Inlet and Split Point Lighthouse gave us our first taste of the outstanding coastal views ahead. There is roughly 200 kilometres from Anglesea to Warrnambool along what they call the Surf and Shipwreck coast. Australia is not short of good coastal scenery but this is one of the finest with its sheer cliffs, long empty beaches, windswept points, winding roads – and lighthouses.
Okay, I’m a sucker for lighthouses – I see one on a map and odds on, I’ll drive there. Split Point was a good example – well maintained with that bright white look, easy to reach, good photo spots with a cute tea room. It was an excellent start to the trip.
A lot has been written about the Great Ocean Road. The winding road hugs cliffs with sweeping sea views around every bend, interspersed with atmospheric little towns along the way. It is a great drive, best undertaken after lunch when all the day tour buses have trundled through. But it should never be the sole reason for visiting this region because there are many other little spots that offer more charm and less traffic.