Dreaming about a memorable road trip that’s full of adventure, stunning landscapes and off-beat activities? For many travellers like us, finding the perfect route can be daunting with so much to see in Australia.
Our thorough exploration of Victoria’s Great Ocean Road has led us to an amazing discovery – it is one of the world’s most scenic drives stretching over 243 kilometres! Keep reading as we share our top tips and highlights for planning the ultimate road trip along this UNESCO-listed coastline.
Overview of the Great Ocean Road Route – Australia
Are you dreaming of embarking on an awe-inspiring road trip along Australia’s Great Ocean Road? Well, you’re not alone! We understand your desire to explore this iconic coastal route that spans over 240 kilometres. Having experienced this adventure ourselves, we’ve done our research and are here to provide you with all the tips and highlights you need for an unforgettable journey. Get ready to discover stunning landscapes, incredible landmarks, and hidden gems along the way. So, buckle up and let us take you on a virtual tour of the Great Ocean Road!
Distance and duration
Embarking on the Great Ocean Road journey, you’ll cover about 243 kilometres of stunning coastal terrain. This epic odyssey stretches from Torquay, famed as Australia’s surf capital, all the way to Port Fairy – a charmingly historic village.
While it’s technically possible to drive this jaw-dropping route in just one day, we highly recommend allocating at least three days for an unhurried and immersive experience. Be prepared for road trip magic as you’re gifted with spectacular ocean views and opportunities to explore lush rainforests and pristine beaches along your journey!
As we embark on our road trip along the Great Ocean Road in Australia, we can’t help but be excited for all the incredible highlights that await us. From the world-renowned Twelve Apostles rising majestically from the Southern Ocean to the charming coastal towns and lush rainforests, this journey promises breathtaking sights at every turn.
As we wind our way along this UNESCO-listed route, be prepared to witness some of Victoria’s most stunning landscapes: cascading waterfalls in the Otways, secret lookout points offering panoramic views of the coast, and golden beaches perfect for sunbathing or catching a wave.
Let’s not forget about the incredible wildlife encounters – keep your eyes peeled for koalas snoozing in eucalyptus trees and whales frolicking offshore during their migration season.
The perfect 3-day great ocean road itinerary
Embark on an unforgettable 3-day journey along the Great Ocean Road, immersing yourself in breathtaking coastal landscapes and iconic landmarks.
Day 1: Melbourne to Port Campbell National Park
On the first day of our epic Great Ocean Road adventure, we embarked on a scenic drive from Melbourne to Port Campbell National Park. As we left the vibrant city behind, the landscape transformed into breathtaking coastal beauty.
We couldn’t resist making a few stops along the way to take in the stunning views and snap some Instagram-worthy photos. The journey took us through charming seaside towns, picturesque beaches, and lush rainforests.
Our excitement grew as we got closer to Port Campbell National Park, home to iconic landmarks such as the Twelve Apostles and Loch Ard Gorge. We couldn’t wait to explore this natural wonderland and immerse ourselves in its rugged beauty.
Day 2: Exploring Port Campbell National Park
On day 2 of our amazing road trip along the Great Ocean Road, we get to explore the stunning Port Campbell National Park. This park is a true natural wonder, with its rugged coastline and iconic rock formations that have been shaped by the relentless power of the Southern Ocean.
One of the highlights here is the famous Twelve Apostles, these limestone stacks rising majestically from the ocean are truly awe-inspiring. We can also visit other impressive landmarks such as Loch Ard Gorge and London Arch, each offering their own unique beauty and stories.
The park is also home to several beautiful beaches where we can relax or even try some surfing if we’re feeling adventurous. Exploring Port Campbell National Park on day 2 is sure to be a highlight of our road trip adventure!
Day 3: Port Campbell to Melbourne
On the final day of our Great Ocean Road adventure, we packed up and bid farewell to the stunning Port Campbell. As we hit the road back to Melbourne, there were still a few amazing spots left to explore before concluding our trip.
Our first stop was the iconic London Arch, formerly known as London Bridge. This natural limestone formation offers incredible views of the ocean and surrounding cliffs. We couldn’t help but imagine what it must have been like when this formation was once connected to land.
Next on our itinerary was Loch Ard Gorge, named after a shipwreck, that occurred in 1878. The gorge is named after one of only two survivors from the shipwreck. The area features pristine beaches, towering limestone cliffs, and fascinating rock formations.
It’s worth taking some time to explore and soak in its rich history.
As we continued driving towards Melbourne, we made sure not to miss out on Gibson Steps – an opportunity for us to get up close and personal with the majestic Twelve Apostles. These massive limestone stacks rising from the Southern Ocean are truly awe-inspiring and provide plenty of photo opportunities.
Tips for an amazing road trip
- Take a self-drive tour to fully experience the beauty of the Great Ocean Road.
- Have a backup plan in case of unexpected weather or road closures.
- Make sure to catch the breathtaking sunrise and sunset views along the coast.
- Get an Australia SIM card for easy communication and navigation during your trip.
- Don’t miss out on visiting the national parks along the way for stunning natural landscapes.
- Splurge on accommodation to make your road trip even more memorable and comfortable.
- Take time to detour and explore hidden gems off the beaten path.
Must see places on the Great Ocean Road
When road tripping along the Great Ocean Road, make sure to check out these must-see places: Torquay, known for its epic surf breaks; Bells Beach, a mecca for surfers from around the world; Point Addis Marine National Park, offering stunning coastal views; Aireys Inlet and its iconic Split Point Lighthouse; Memorial Arch, a tribute to the road’s construction workers; Lorne, a charming seaside town with beautiful beaches; Kennett River and its famous koala population; Apollo Bay, a great spot to indulge in fresh seafood; Maits Rest rainforest walk in Cape Otway National Park ; Beech Forest – an enchanting area with giant old-growth trees ; rugged Johanna Beach ; and finally Port Campbell , home to the majestic Twelve Apostles.
Torquay, the starting point of our Great Ocean Road adventure, is a surfer’s paradise. Known as the surfing capital of Australia, it offers world-class waves and a vibrant beach culture.
Whether you’re an experienced surfer or just want to watch the pros in action, Torquay has something for everyone. Apart from surfing, you can also explore the town’s unique shops and boutiques that showcase local surf brands.
Don’t forget to visit Surf World Museum, where you can learn about the history of surfing in Australia. Torquay is the perfect place to kick off your road trip with a splash!
Bells Beach, located along the Great Ocean Road, is a must-visit spot for surf enthusiasts. This iconic beach is renowned worldwide as the birthplace of modern surfing in Australia. With its powerful waves and stunning coastal scenery, Bells Beach attracts both professional surfers and spectators alike. It’s no wonder that it has become one of the most famous surfing spots in the world.
As you stand on the cliffs overlooking Bells Beach, you can feel the raw energy of the ocean crashing against the rugged coastline. The beach offers consistent swells and challenging breaks that are perfect for experienced surfers looking for an adrenaline rush. Even if you’re not a surfer, watching skilled wave riders carve through giant barrels is truly awe-inspiring.
Aside from its legendary status in surfing culture, Bells Beach also offers breathtaking views of Victoria’s scenic landscapes. The golden sandy beaches stretch as far as the eye can see, bordered by towering cliffs adorned with vibrant native flora.
It’s a sight that will leave you feeling connected to nature and inspired by its beauty.
Point Addis Marine National Park
Point Addis Marine National Park is a hidden gem along the Great Ocean Road that should not be missed during your road trip adventure. Located just a short drive from Torquay, this coastal park offers stunning views of rugged cliffs, pristine beaches, and crystal-clear waters.
As you explore Point Addis Marine National Park, keep an eye out for some of Australia’s unique wildlife, such as kangaroos and echidnas. The park also provides excellent opportunities for birdwatching, with various species of seabirds often spotted in the area.
One of the highlights of Point Addis Marine National Park is its incredible surf breaks. If you’re into surfing or simply enjoy watching the pros in action, this is the place to be.
With its powerful waves and renowned breaks like Bells Beach nearby, it’s no wonder that this stretch of coastline attracts surfers from around the world.
Whether you want to take a leisurely stroll along secluded bays or challenge yourself with a thrilling surfing experience, Point Addis Marine National Park has something for everyone.
Aireys Inlet is a hidden gem along the Great Ocean Road that shouldn’t be missed. This charming coastal town, nestled between Lorne and Anglesea, offers a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure.
With its pristine beaches, picturesque cliffs, and lush rainforests, Aireys Inlet is a haven for nature lovers. Take a leisurely stroll along the stunning shoreline or hike through nearby trails to discover breathtaking lookout points with panoramic views of the ocean.
If you’re lucky, you might even spot some local wildlife like kangaroos or koalas in their natural habitat. Don’t forget to check out Split Point Lighthouse – an iconic landmark overlooking the coastline that has become synonymous with this beautiful town.
As we embark on our road trip along the Great Ocean Road, one of the must-see landmarks that shouldn’t be missed is the Memorial Arch. This iconic structure holds great historical significance as it commemorates the World War I veterans who built this incredible coastal road.
As you drive through this arch, you can feel a sense of respect and admiration for those who sacrificed so much for our freedom. Take a moment to appreciate their courage and bravery while enjoying the stunning coastal views that surround you.
It’s an opportunity to reflect on both Australia’s natural beauty and its rich history. Don’t forget to capture a photo at this remarkable location as a memento of your journey along this unforgettable road trip.
Lorne is a charming coastal town nestled along the Great Ocean Road, and it’s definitely worth a visit during your road trip. With its stunning beaches, lush greenery, and vibrant atmosphere, Lorne offers something for everyone.
As you explore this picturesque town, make sure to spend some time at Lorne Beach, where you can soak up the sun or take a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear waters of the Southern Ocean.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even try your hand at surfing or paddleboarding. Afterward, take a stroll along Mountjoy Parade and browse through the boutique shops and art galleries that line the street.
As we continue our road trip along the Great Ocean Road, one of the must-see places is Kennett River. This charming coastal town is known for its abundant wildlife, making it a perfect spot to stop and connect with nature.
As you stroll through the lush rainforest or walk along the pristine beach, keep your eyes peeled for koalas lounging in the eucalyptus trees. Kennett River is renowned for being one of Victoria’s best spots to see these adorable creatures in their natural habitat.
But that’s not all! Kennett River also offers fantastic birdwatching opportunities. The area is home to a variety of colourful parrots and cockatoos, so be sure to bring your binoculars and camera.
If you’re lucky, you might even spot a few kookaburras perched on branches or hear their distinctive laughter echoing through the trees.
After enjoying some quality time with Australia’s unique wildlife, take a break at one of Kennett River’s picturesque picnic areas. Sit back and relax as you soak up the stunning coastal views while savouring a delicious packed lunch or snacks.
Don’t forget to keep an eye out for dolphins frolicking in the waves – they often make appearances near this tranquil town.
Apollo Bay is a charming coastal town nestled along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Australia. With its pristine beaches, picturesque harbor, and stunning views of the surrounding Otway Ranges, Apollo Bay offers a perfect retreat for travellers seeking relaxation and natural beauty.
Whether you’re looking to laze on the sandy shores or explore the nearby rainforests, Apollo Bay has something for everyone. Enjoy fresh seafood at one of the local eateries, take a scenic hike through Great Otway National Park, or simply unwind with a stroll along the beachfront.
Whatever your interests may be, Apollo Bay promises an unforgettable experience on your Great Ocean Road adventure.
Maits Rest is a must-visit spot along the Great Ocean Road, and it’s perfect for nature lovers like us. Located in the heart of the Otway Ranges, this enchanting rainforest walk allows us to immerse ourselves in lush greenery and discover unique Australian flora and fauna.
As we stroll along the well-maintained boardwalk, we’ll be captivated by towering ancient trees, moss-covered rocks, and crystal-clear streams. The air is filled with the sweet scent of eucalyptus as colourful birds grace us with their presence.
It’s a serene escape from the bustling road trip and offers a peaceful atmosphere to unwind and connect with nature. Remember to bring your camera as you won’t want to miss capturing the magic of Maits Rest!
Beech Forest is a hidden gem along the Great Ocean Road that nature lovers simply can’t miss. Nestled in the lush rainforests of the Otways, this enchanting destination offers a unique and immersive experience.
As you wander through the towering beech trees, you’ll feel like you’ve entered another world. The tranquil surroundings are perfect for a peaceful stroll or a picnic amidst nature’s beauty.
Keep your eyes peeled for native wildlife, including koalas and vibrant bird species that call this area home. And if you’re up for an adventure, there are hiking trails that lead to stunning waterfalls such as Hopetoun Falls and Beauchamp Falls, where you can witness the raw power and natural beauty of cascading water.
As we continue our road trip along the Great Ocean Road, one of the must-visit places is Cape Otway. Located on the southern coast of Victoria, Australia, Cape Otway offers a unique and breathtaking experience for travellers.
This rugged coastal area is known for its stunning cliffs and pristine beaches, making it a perfect spot to soak in the beauty of nature.
One of the highlights of Cape Otway is its historic lighthouse, which stands tall as a beacon on the edge of towering cliffs. The iconic Cape Otway Lighthouse provides panoramic views of the surrounding coastline and offers an opportunity to learn about its fascinating maritime history.
Keep your eyes peeled because you might even spot whales migrating offshore during certain times of the year.
Nature lovers will be delighted by Cape Otway’s native wildlife, including koalas that call this area home. Take a walk-through dense eucalyptus forests to catch sight of these adorable creatures lounging among treetops or explore some nearby walking trails that showcase the diversity of flora and fauna in this region.
Johanna Beach is a hidden gem along the Great Ocean Road that offers a pristine and secluded coastal experience. As we drove towards this breathtaking spot, our excitement built up as we couldn’t wait to explore its rugged beauty.
Nestled between towering cliffs and lush greenery, Johanna Beach boasts stunning stretches of golden sand and crashing waves that will leave you in awe. We spent our time here walking along the shore, feeling the soft sand between our toes while listening to the soothing sounds of the ocean.
If you’re lucky, you might even spot some whales or seals offshore during their migration seasons. It’s definitely worth taking a detour to Johanna Beach for a peaceful moment amidst nature’s wonders on your Great Ocean Road adventure.
Port Campbell is a charming coastal town along the Great Ocean Road that should not be missed on your road trip adventure. Located in the Port Campbell National Park, this picturesque destination offers breathtaking views of rugged cliffs, pristine beaches, and iconic landmarks.
One of the highlights here is the famous Twelve Apostles, towering limestone stacks that emerge from the Southern Ocean. As you explore Port Campbell, make sure to take a stroll along its beautiful beach and visit other stunning attractions like Loch Ard Gorge and Gibson Steps.
With its natural beauty and historical significance, Port Campbell is definitely worth a stop on your journey along the Great Ocean Road.
Travel to the coast!
Embarking on a road trip along the Great Ocean Road is an adventure that every traveller should experience. With its stunning coastal landscapes, iconic landmarks, and exhilarating surf spots, this journey promises to create memories that will last a lifetime.
So, grab your camera and hit the road for an unforgettable Australian escapade!