The Great Ocean Road, Australia: Beating the daytrippers at The Twelve Apostles

The Great Ocean Road, Australia: Beating the daytrippers at The Twelve Apostles

or: an Easy 6-Step Tutorial on How to Overcome the Challenge of Being Stuck Between Crowds and a Hard Place

There’s only one thing that could potentially kill a relationship faster than a trip to IKEA* and that’s travelling with your beloved. Make it a day trip with an arduous 6 hour-round trip-drive to a much beloved tourist hotspot on the weekend, starring the immovable object (my boyfriend, the crowds) vs. the unstoppable force (me and my ardent desire to nail the perfect souvenir shot), and you’ve got a recipe for a nuclear breakup. But then again, I like a challenge and we love having adventures together, which is why we spent a Saturday driving from Melbourne along the Great Ocean Road to see the Twelve Apostles. Of course, everyone else also got the memo, which made getting that perfect “picture to remember” a challenge - but if there ever was a time to apply the only useful skill I learnt from 3 years at Central St. Martin’s, this would be it. Read on to learn how to overcome the challenge of crowds at famous travel destinations by blending two photographs in Photoshop to create the perfect scene.

*Unless, of course, you go in there with the following strategy: Do all the actual browsing online, make a shopping list and print it out to bring to IKEA. When you and your other half arrive, head first to the cafe for meatballs to stave of any hanger (that’s right, hunger + anger pangs). Bypass the black hole that is the Showroom and go straight to Marketplace to pick the small items. Then use the in-store picking service (this is where the shopping list comes in handy - just hand it to the staff and let them do the work) and arrange for next-day delivery AND assembly. Reward yourself with a dollar hotdog that tastes vaguely like plastic.You’re welcome.



The Great Ocean Road, Australia: Beating the daytrippers at The Twelve Apostles

The Great Ocean Road, Australia: Beating the daytrippers at The Twelve Apostles


The Great Ocean Road, a rugged 243-kilometre stretch of one of the world’s most beautiful coastal road, is a scenic drive through the best of Australia’s rugged beauty. The diversity of the region that The Great Ocean Road spans (from the surfer’s paradise that is Bells Beach to the wild koalas of Kennett River and all the pretty scenic seaside towns in between) as well as its status as the world’s largest war memorial is what makes this stretch of road an Australian National Heritage site.

The Twelve Apostles is arguably one of, if not the main, highlights of the Great Ocean Road. A dramatic collection of limestone stacks seemingly rise from the sea, closely clustered. The Twelve Apostles - or rather, the eight apostles; one having crumbled the same way it was created, by erosion caused by the Southern Ocean’s ferocious waves and wind - has only ever been 9 stacks, but the misnomer (personally, I like its other name the Sow and Pigs) hasn’t deterred the millions of visitors who flock to pay their respects to these spectacular natural limestone monuments. As one of Australia’s greatest landmarks and most popular travel destinations, the viewing platform at The Twelve Apostles on a weekend afternoon is busier than a one-legged man at an arse-kicking competition. An impossible situation for any modelling-school reject wanting to live out their Australian fantasy, but merely a mild annoyance for this pixel pusher...



1. Take 2 photos; one of yourself on an empty section of the viewing platform (ideally with as little landscape as possibly, for easier editing) and one of the scenery itself.

2. Open ADOBE PHOTOSHOP. (Don’t be brand new and act like ya’ll never heard of it before, I know for a fact half of you are on that Liquify diet...)

3. Choose your TWO IMAGES TO BLEND; the ones (1) where you’re perfectly contrived the most candid pose and (2) with a stunning natural scene devoid of the unnatural infestation that is humanity. I selected a cropped section of the photo below.

4. Add the scenery photo as LAYER 2 above your portrait. Set LAYER 2 to MULTIPLY, OPACITY 100%.

5. It’s time to make a cut out of yourself. The “correct” way to do it is to use a masking layer and paint brush, but let’s be real, if I cared that much for technique I’d be restoring the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, not ‘shopping myself for the ‘Gram. I used the MAGNETIC LASSO TOOL to select the outline of myself, the boardwalk, and the railing. Don’t bother selecting the rogue strands of hair (and believe me, there will be a lot of those by these windy cliffs), they will show through LAYER 2 because you’ve already set the opacity to MULTIPLY.

6. Invert your selection and delete.

The Great Ocean Road, Australia: Beating the daytrippers at The Twelve Apostles

...of course, if digital chicannery is not your cup of tea, you could always circumvent the crowds by visiting The Twelve Apostles extremely early. The times to avoid are...basically, anytime after 10:00am, when the tour buses spew forth their cargo and when the daytrippers (including yours truly) arrive. The Great Ocean Road is best explored over the course of at least a long weekend to make the most of all the attractions along the way. Luxy has a marvellous post on how a road trip on the Great Ocean Road should be done; ie. at a leisurely pace with very early starts to the day. 

As for my boyfriend and I, our day trip from Melbourne to The Twelve Apostles and back was an exercise in harmony, patience, stamina (on his part - he valiantly drove most of the way back and forth, the efforts of which were rewarded with a bucket of Korean fried chicken when we got home). More than just a test of our relationship - Can we handle a 6 hour drive without wanting to throttle each other? Yes, yes we can - which we both passed with flying colours) this experience was also a test of my editing skills overcoming one of my least favourite travel challenges (People. so many people).

What is your greatest travel challenge? Does it involve crowds? You know the saying, “Hell is other people”...


Posh, Broke, & Bored. Theme by STS.