Australia’s Great Ocean Road: A Road Trip In Film, Literature & Television.
On a rainy Saturday in Sydney, why not plan a book and film road trip?
The Great Ocean Road – a Guest Post by Russ Calvert
There are some locations that stand out from the rest when cinematography or literature are the topics at hand. Paris is one that springs to mind, as is the backdrop of a busy city like New York or Sydney’s Circular Quay. However, one location often less talked about is the setting around the Great Ocean Road in Australia’s southern state of Victoria, with its ancient limestone structures jutting out of the sea and winding roads along clifftops.
There are countless films, books and music videos set along the Australian southern coastline; a hotspot for tourists, the media industry is always referencing this coastal haven.
The Great Ocean Road is probably more known for its feature in Mad Max (1979) and the family TV series, Round The Twist. However, Tim Winton, the acclaimed Australian author briefly mentions the sickly winding roads of the Great Ocean stretch. While miserable and hungry, Winton reminisces more about the west coast in Island House as his family journeys to the eastern sprawl, while still a child. Although Winton’s view isn’t a favorable one – simply out of feeling homesick and distinguishing the west from the east – the Great Ocean Road landscape in his brief mention is an accurate one.
Nonetheless, Winton’s unwinding portrayal of the Great Ocean Road aside, diehard Mad Max fans – Australian and international – still flock to its Australian film locations every year. One such location is Fairhaven, along the Great Ocean Road, where Mad Max’s house still sits, overlooking the sweeping views. 310 Great Ocean Road, Fairhaven is a mecca for those who still remember the 1979 release of the movie, and doubles as a favourite beach tourist destination at the same time.
Also popular with the Bollywood scene, music and cinema alike, the Great Ocean Road features as one of the great Australian backdrops in Dil Hi Dil Mean, featuring now sadly deceased Kunal Singh. During the love song, Ae Nazneen Suno Na, the clip opens with the sweeping seascapes of the Great Ocean Road’s Twelve Apostles location. The unmistakable birds eye view of the Southern Ocean crashing against the limestone structures is a poignant reminder of its overwhelming beauty and sheer power.
The 2005 Rom Com Hindi film Salaam Namastre also prominently features several locations along the Great Ocean Road, with Fairhaven near Aireys Inlet being one of the favourites for the cinematographers, as well as the clifftops near the Shipwreck Coast.
But mostly remembered for the family long running TV show Round The Twist, based on Paul Jennings’ publications, is the lighthouse in Aireys Inlet. Split Point Lighthouse featured prominently in the 1989-2000 series, and throughout, gave us glimpses of the Great Ocean Road’s extraordinary landscape. Still open to the public, the circa 1891 lighthouse gives fans a chance to experience the setting and historical context up close on guided tours.
Photo source: Split Point Lighthouse © Danjamaz/WikiCommons CC.
About The Author: Russ Calvert is the owner of Bush To Ocean Road Tours. He runs private tours of the Great Ocean Road for up to 7 people and has lived in the area for his whole life.
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