The Great Ocean Road (GOR) is one of the best roads Australia has on offer. The road takes you through Rain forests. As well as beaches and spectacular cliffs and offers beautiful scenery & breath taking coastlines. You’ll feel like you’re riding on a race track as the road twists and winds its way around the coastline. It’s certainly a playground for cyclists and it’s a hell of a spot to ride your bike!
The GOR follows the coast along the south-eastern coast of Australia. Its 243 kilometres in length windinng its way through varying terrain along the coast and provides access to several prominent landmarks. Including one of Australia’s most iconic attractions; the Twelve Apostles.
The area is steeped in history & is known as the Shipwreck coast. There are approximately 638 known shipwrecks along Victoria’s coast, where gales, human error and, in some cases, foul play caused these vessels to be wrecked.
Explorer Matthew Flinders said of the Shipwreck Coast, “I have seldom seen a more fearful section of coastline.”
It was envisaged that the road would connect isolated settlements along the coast & to become a vital transport link for the timber industry and tourism.
The road was originally built in-between 1919 to 1932 and 3,000 returned soldiers were hired to construct the road. The GOR was dedicated to soldiers killed during World War 1.
Construction was done by hand. Workers used explosives, pick and shovels, wheel barrows, and some small machinery. At times construction was dangerous, with several workers killed on the job.
The final sections along steep coastal mountains being the most difficult to work on. In its original state, the road was considered a formidable drive. Given that it fitted only a single vehicle comfortably at any given time. Areas with sheer cliffs would be most hazardous. With only few places for drivers to pull over to allow others to proceed in the opposite direction.
Whether you head out to ride a small section of the GOR or attempt the full distance this is a bucket list ride. It is arguably one of Australia’s best stretches of road to ride.