It runs from Torquay to Allansford a distance of 247km. It is splendid from Anglesea to Cape Otway and spectacular from there to Peterborough. Driving it east to west allows it to come to an appropriate crescendo like a well written piece of classical music. You could drive it in a day … but don’t.
Construction began in September 1919 and was carried out by servicemen returned from the First World War. It was open as far as Lorne by 1922 as a toll road – two shillings and sixpence for a car, 10 shillings for a wagon with more than four horses. Passengers paid one shilling and sixpence, many tried to avoid this by walking along the beach around the toll point.
Presently there is no toll payable but that may not last!
The full length of the road was opened in November 1932.
A pinnacle still attached to land …
and a rock that isn’t …
The coast as far as Cape Otway is called the Surf Coast beyond the cape it is called the shipwreck coast. Ship wrecks haven’t been as common since they switched from wind power to more reliable sources of energy.
My advice to the traveler is
- remember to drive on the left side of the road
- try to avoid the summer school holidays Christmas to early February
- don’t rush, spend a few nights on the road
- along the surf coast make sure to detour inland to visit the Otways forests and some of the waterfalls
- take a detour to the light house at Cape Otway – always worth it but in winter there is the added possibility of a whale passing by
- beyond the cape concentrate on the magnificent limestone stacks and cliffs at London Bridge, Loch Ard Gorge, Twelve Apostles, Bay of Martyrs
- when it’s done treat yourself to a couple of nights in Port Fairy the nicest town anywhere on Victoria’s coast.