We did read some of the history of the GOR. There is a very nice mini-museum along the route which goes into details. Apparently working conditions on the road weren't much better than the military offered away from the front lines... Picks/shovels and dynamite. A canvas tent with your swag and boots. Canned beef and hard bread. Of course compared to the horrors of WWI, it was pure heaven! Better than unemployment and vagrancy as well.Did you read the history of The Great Ocean Road? It was in part used as a way to help returning soldier rehabilitate after WW1 - the routine, comradery and purpose was what they were familiar with, and this gave them a similar experience.
Great photos and write up so far - I love how different your Tasmanian adventure was to ours! Have you seen the weather that's hit Hobart in the last few days? http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-12/hobart-flooding-clean-up-worst-storm-in-decades/9753434