GREAT OCEAN ROAD
The Great Ocean Road is a 243-kilometre (151 mi) stretch of road along the south-eastern coast of Australia between the Victorian cities of Torquay and Warrnambool... It is an important tourist attraction in the region, which winds through varying terrain alongside the coast, and provides access to several prominent landmarks; including the nationally significant Twelve Apostles limestone stack formations. These formations alone make the trip worthwhile.
The Great Ocean Road was first planned towards the end of the First World War, when chairman of the Country Roads Board, William Calder asked the State War Council for funds be provided for returned soldiers to work on roads in sparsely populated areas in the Western district. By the time of World War 1, the rugged south-west coast of Victoria was accessible only by sea or rough bush track. Besides being dedicated as a memorial, it was also envisioned that the road would connect isolated settlements on the coast, and become a vital transport link for the timber industry and tourism.
In 1962, the road was deemed by the Tourist Development Authority to be one of the world's great scenic roads. And, was added to the Australian Heritage List just this year (2011).
The Cape Otway Lighthouse is about midway along the route. It also had sections widened between the Lorne Hotel and the Pacific Hotel to improve traffic, while aiming to preserve its character. Despite improvements, the road was still considered a challenging drive.