And finally, a road.
We enjoyed the drive down the coast and decided to have lunch at a seafood restaurant just below the Historic Grand Pacific Hotel near Lorne, Victoria.
The Grand Pacific Hotel
The Grand Pacific Hotel was built in the 1870’s as one of the first hotels along the Great Ocean Road. Victoria's Lieutenant-Governor declared the Great Ocean Road officially open at a ceremony near Lorne's Grand Pacific Hotel, the site where the project's first survey peg had also been hammered into the ground 14 years before.
The Pier became a new focal point for the town’s people, especially after 1879 when Henry Gwynne built the impressive three-storey Grand Pacific Hotel. Henry Gwynne suffered a serious blow-out of costs during construction and the estimated $12,000 ended up costing $24,000. Opening day for the hotel was January 1880, and Cobb and Co Coaches provided a special express service for early guests.
Originally it was accessed only by sea with superb views in one of the most unique settings on the coast, opposite the Lorne pier. It has been fully restored and now offers all modern services in a classic restored building.
A little way past the hotel we decided to check out a RV park to see how similar an Australian one is to the US. They tend to have smaller sites, 20 amp power and water. While we're there we saw our first Koala bear in the wild. They sleep about 20 hours a day and hang around in eucalyptus trees eating the leaves.
The road hugs the coast and it is one scenic view after the other as the photos below show. We had taken about 200 photos in a day or so. I'll spare you viewing all of them.
The road was narrow near the Big Hill but there was a turnoff to a large plaque. I thought it would be a great spot to place a cache and checked the geocaching site and found it was right. We couldn't find the cache due to high weeds.
We saw a sign for a lighthouse and pulled off the road to check it out. I was able to drive up the steep hill to the lighthouse but it was closed to visitors.
By this time a thirst descended on us and we managed to find a local craft brewery. We stopped in an enjoyed a few of their draft beers. They really hit the spot.
It was getting late and we had to find a motel for the night so we skipped some great views and decided to back track the next day. We lucked out and found a nice place for the night. We had a pizza for dinner in Port Campbell and called it a day. A great day at that.