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A visit to the Apostles only one highlight

The sights along the Great Ocean Rd, including the Twelve Apostles, do not disappoint and are among the highlights of the Victorian Discovery tour.
The sights along the Great Ocean Rd, including the Twelve Apostles, do not disappoint and are among the highlights of the Victorian Discovery tour.

THE walking track ducks, dips and weaves through native Australian vegetation before dropping away suddenly to reveal the magnificent sight of the Twelve Apostles. Standing at the lookout, I was greeted with an endless serene sky that contradicted the rough waves of the ocean crashing below.

I was mesmerised watching the splashes of blue, green and turquoise mix together against the textured tones of the yellowed limestone cliffs. It is a picturesque setting that is breath-taking regardless of which turn the weather takes.

There is a reason the Great Ocean Rd is a well-loved landmark of the Victorian coastline. The sights never become dull as you explore Victoria with a new tour from Scenic Tours.

The 11-day tour takes you through some of the best sights Victoria has to offer, and includes a perfect blend of cityscapes and country ease. The tour centres on the Great Ocean Rd, a 243km stretch from Torquay to Allansford, with various stops to drink in the breath-taking sights.

The Twelve Apostles, off the shore of Port Campbell National Park, are limestone formations that have gradually eroded over time to form caves, cliffs and rock stacks. Don't be alarmed if you can't count 12, though, because despite its name there have never been 12 and due to erosion the count is evolving.

At the end of the Great Ocean Rd is Warrnambool, where the movie Oddball, a story of a mischievous dog trained to protect penguins from their predators, was based. The story continues with the Meet the Maremma tours each summer.

 

Meet the Maremmas tour guide Phil Root with one of the newest and cutest Middle Island Maremma Project recruits.
Meet the Maremmas tour guide Phil Root with one of the newest and cutest Middle Island Maremma Project recruits. Rebekah Yelland

The Middle Island Maremma Project, a project between Warrnambool City Council and Warrnambool Coastcare Landcare Group, started because of a dwindling penguin population on the island due to fox attacks.

Maremmas were chosen for their nature of becoming fiercely protective of the livestock they guard. The are trained to ward off any threats. I met the dogs during the tour. Though petting is not allowed, the sisters Eudy and Tula plus the extended puppy family charmed me with their charisma.

Victoria is rich with history and each new location provides guests an opportunity to delve deep into the past. Visits to the the National Wool Museum in Geelong, Flagstaff Hill in Warrnambool and the Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka in Ballarat are among the tour highlights.

At the National Wool Museum, the Reminiscence Cottage provides a sensory experience recreating Australian home life of 1930-50. As one of its kind in Australia, the space was designed for individuals living with dementia and their carers and is now an award-winning project.

We spent hours exploring the Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka where the original flag used in the Eureka Stockade is on display.

 

The bollards in Geelong that stand along the city's foreshore.
The bollards in Geelong that stand along the city's foreshore.

The flag was rumoured to have taken nine days to make. A replica flag, meanwhile, took just two nights.

In addition to the history lessons, there was still plenty of time to enjoy the healing spas at Daylesford.

Topics:  general-seniors-news travel travel-australia



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