“Should you ever feel too lonely… listen for the roar of the sea – for in it are all those who’ve been and all those who are to come.” Simon Van Booy
The Great Ocean Road is a 243-kilometre stretch of road along the south-eastern coast of Australia between the Victorian towns of Torquay and Warrnambool. It has an Australian National Heritage listing and is one of the world’s most scenic drives.
I once read that there are more travel articles published about this area than anywhere else in the world. I have no facts to back this statement up, and I assume they were talking about Australian publications, but this tidbit of information was immediately interesting to me because, at the time, I hadn’t been published. I’d spent about a year sending what I thought were brilliant story ideas to editors, without any luck whatsoever.
It was one of those light-bulb moments; to write about the places/things I’m passionate about. The Great Ocean Road has been my home – as I lived near Port Campbell when I was a toddler and in Lorne when I was a teenager – and it’s a place I’ve returned to time and time again. It’s without a doubt one of my favourite places in the world. So, to cut a very long story short, I wrote an article and, a few months later, I was published. My travel writing journey had begun.
So, why am I thinking about this now?
Because of my Dad.
After I decided to write an article about the Great Ocean Road, I went on a road trip with my Dad. Mum was busy doing something else that weekend, so it was just the two of us hitting the road. We visited my sister, who lives about 20 minutes from Port Campbell and the famous Twelve Apostles rock formations. Dad drove me to all my favourite places including Loch Ard Gorge and the Grotto. We had one of those stormy days, where the light was filtering through the clouds and it was a photographer’s dream. That weekend is one of my favourite memories of my Dad, who passed away almost six years ago. This week he would’ve turned 80, so, yeah, I’ve been thinking about my Dad.
The Great Ocean Road is many things to me. It’s been my home. It makes me think of my childhood. It’s where I cycled with 8000 other participants on the Great Victorian Bike Ride. It’s where we scattered my Dad’s ashes. It’s where I’ve gone hiking, on numerous occasions. And, most recently, it’s where I took my niece’s wedding photographs. So, here I am, sharing some of my photographs…
…in memory of my Dad.