The Great Ocean Road is the most famous tour for bike touring in Australia. But there is one part, where you should actually not follow it, but instead divert to the Old Ocean Road.
This is what I did, and here is my photo story about this wonderful detour, that actually is a vertical shortcut.
Why a vertical shortcut? Because this is the historic path of the road. Made not for cars, but for horse carriages. So it does avoid all mayor ups and downs.
If you are cycling from west (Adelaide) to east (Melbourne), you will have an easy time finding the spot where the Old Ocean Road departs from it’s paved sister. There is even a signpost.
But if you happen to cycle westbound as I did, you need to take care not passing the exit.
At some point you will be cycling a bridge crossing the Gellibrand River. And the exit is the small road right behind that bridge. As seen in this photo:
The Old Ocean Road is 12 km long and not paved.
But even in heavy rain – as I had it during most time I spend on the Old Ocean Road – the surface can easily be cycled. My tires were just 32 mm wide and I had no problems.
You will very likely not see any person or vehicle along that road.
But lots of green to your left and right.
At this point I stopped for some blackberries. They literally fell into my mug. Very easy picking, and very tasty.
Some cows along the Old Ocean Road. Not much traffic here, so every cyclist must be quite exciting for them.
As I said before, I was quite unfortunate to have a bit of a rainy day.
So my bike started collecting souvenirs.
This is the western end of the Old Ocean Road. You can spot the short uphill in the background where the road merges with the Great Ocean Road.
This very last piece was a bit tricky, soft sand and some corrugations. As you can see bike bike did not always go as I wanted it to go.
But still, this was just the last three minutes of my ride.
And if you ever cycle the Great Ocean Road: go and take this shortcut. It is a quiet piece of remote cycling and takes you away from the busy Great Ocean Road into the green nature.