Toronto – Canada



Photography by James T. Rutka, MD



On The Great Ocean Road




On a biennial basis for the past decade I have traveled to Melbourne, Australia to participate in a medical conference entitled, “Controversies in Neurosurgery”.  As the journey to Melbourne from Toronto is quite long, I have typically taken a few extra days to explore the sites around this great city “down under”.  On my last visit to Australia in November 2019 I decided to travel “The Great Ocean Road” from Adelaide to Melbourne with one of my former neurosurgery fellows who now lives and works in Adelaide.


The Great Ocean Road was built just after World War I by returned Australian veterans.  The road courses along the coast of Victoria facing the Southern Ocean.  The vistas along the way are as staggering as the scenery is spectacular.  The first day we drove from Adelaide to Port Fairy, a beautiful and historic coastal town.  We stayed in a lovely bed and breakfast inn, the “Drift House”, where we spent the night.  The next day I went for an early morning run, and stumbled upon a beautiful beach.  Although it was late spring, I just had to go for a swim in the Southern Ocean, where the water temperature was a refreshing 16 degrees Celsius!


From Port Fairy we drove to Childers Cove, which was recommended by the staff at the “Drift House”, and enjoyed the rugged landscape of the majestic limestone stacks being pounded by the powerful surf of the ocean.  From here we drove to the official section of the Great Ocean Road, where we spent time at the famed tourist sites, all in a row, including the Bay of Islands, the Grotto, the Arch, and the Razorback.  But my favorite was our visit to the Twelve Apostles National Park.  The Twelve Apostles is a collection of massive limestone pillars that stand apart from the neighboring shore, and are formed by water erosion.  Sadly, there are only eight of the original Twelve Apostles still standing.  The ninth “Apostle” collapsed in 2005, and the others are at risk of doing the same.


From the Twelve Apostles we drove from Lorne to Torquay, then on to Melbourne to participate in the neurosurgery conference at the University of Melbourne.  Seeing the Great Ocean Road was a reminder to take the time to visit these national monuments and scenic sites whenever I travel to far away places on business. 








Comments are closed.