A list of the greatest road trips in the world is not complete without “The Great Ocean Road” in Australia. The winding coastal drive stretches 243km from Torquay to Warnambool in Victoria.
The Great Ocean Road was built by return soldiers between 1919 and 1932. The Road was dedicated to all soldiers killed during their service in World War I.
Today, a Great Ocean Road Itinerary is a must on many travellers bucket lists when they visit Victoria.
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- 1 Here is our Great Ocean Road Itinerary.
- 2 Bells Beach
- 3 Teddy’s Lookout
- 4 Kennett River
- 5 Apollo Bay
- 6 Cape Otway
- 7 Melba Gully Rainforest Walk
- 8 Gibson’s Steps
- 9 Twelve Apostles
- 10 Loch Ard Gorge
- 11 London Bridge
- 12 The Grotto
- 13 Bay of Martyrs
- 14 Bay of Islands
- 15 Childers Cove
- 16 Where to Stay
- 17 Tips for Visiting The Great Ocean Road
- 18 Rather a tour of the Great Ocean Road?
- 19 Don’t forget to share!
Here is our Great Ocean Road Itinerary.
Not only is Bells Beach one of Australia’s most famous beachs, it also has some amazing view points of the coast line.
Surfer’s come from all over the world to catch at wave at Bell’s beach. This is where the annual Rip Curl Pro Surf competition is held during March/April.
No matter your skill level, if you love surfing you cannot miss this stop.
Teddy’s Lookout is a beautiful spot. From this spot you can see St George’s River running into the ocean and the mountains that surround the Great Ocean Road.
If you’re not a local Aussie, one of your Australian bucket list items is most likely to see some wildlife. For some wildlife like Kangaroos, if you head to a golf course, or slightly out of the city you are likely to spot a mob.
Our other furry beasts that are not so easy to spot are Koalas. Koalas spend 23 hours a day curled up in a tree sleeping and the other hour….well that’s for munching on some Eucalyptus leaves. However, if you head to Kennett River you are likely to spot a Koala or two up in the trees.
One major sign that is there is a Koala around is cars pulled over on the side of the road and people aiming their cameras up in the tree!
Apollo Bay is typical of Australia’s beach side towns, you’ll find the pub, the life saving club and barefoot locals. It is the perfect spot to stop and stretch your legs or grab some fish and chips to eat on the beach. Just watch out of the Seagulls.
Prepare yourself for a beautiful drive through the lush green forest towards Victoria’s most Southern Point. Cape Otway is where the Southern Ocean meets the Bass Strait.
As you drive towards to the oldest Lighthouse on mainland Australia, Cape Otway lighthouse, keep an eye out in the trees for more sleepy Koalas. From the Lighthouse you will be treated to amazing sweeping views of the oceans. The lighthouse was built in 1984 and is known as the Beacon of Hope.
Tip: There is not much reception at the Lighthouse so make sure you put your next destination in your GPS before you get to the Lighthouse – or grab an old school map.
Melba Gully Rainforest Walk
This is an easily missed stop but it is a must. It is a short 30 minute walk through the rain forest, it is a quiet and tranquil walk. If you are there after dark you are likely to see the glow worms! Just be mindful of your step because the path can be very slippery.
Some confuse The Gibson steps as the 12 Apostles but you’re not quite at the 12 Apostles yet. At Gibson steps, climb down the steps and on to the beach and marvel at the enormity of the cliffs.
Standing below the cliffs at Gibson steps just makes your realise how small we really are. It is the first stop on The Great Ocean Road that takes away your breathe.
Take your time to walk along the beach and over the rocks and “around the corner”.
The Twelves Apostles is one of, if not, the most famous site on The Great Ocean Road. The Twelves Apostles are stacks of limestone sticking out of the ocean. Millions of years ago the twelves apostles were part of the mainland. However, over time the rest of the cliff has been eroded by the wind and the water.
The Twelve apostles are a very popular stop and very busy. I recommend going at sunrise or sunset. The views are beautiful and won’t have to wade through the selfie sticks to get a glimpse of the view.
Loch Ard Gorge
A little further on from the 12 Apostles is Loch Ard Gorge. The Gorge is named after a ship that sank along the rugged coast line.
Take the stairs down onto the beach and enjoy the limestone cliffs and the gorgeous water. Prepare to spend more time here than you ant you think!
From the car park you can go left and right, I suggest going left to take in the vies but do not forget to go right, that is where you will reach the beach.
Probably the second most famous site on The Great Ocean road is the London Bridge. It is not hard to see why it is so popular, the views are beautiful. The arch is in the Bridge was gradually formed via erosion of a number of years.
The Bridge fell on the 15th of January, 1990 leaving two tourists stranded on the island. They were stuck for several hours before being rescued by helicopter…. talk about a memorable trip!
The Grotto, is not what we typically think of a grotto, it is a hole in the cliff. Like many of the other sites, the hole was formed by the waves.
If you climb down to the lower viewing platform and see straight through the hole, from one side to the other. During low tide that you see the pool that is formed below the grotto, between the viewing platform and the ocean.
Bay of Martyrs
The next two stops on The Great Ocean Road are often overlooked because they are little bit further down the road and this is why it is worth spending three nights.
The Bay of Martyrs is part of the Bay of Islands Coastal Park and are similar to the Twelves Apostles in that there are limestone stacks sticking out of the ocean.
Bay of Islands
It has been argued that the Bay of Islands is more beautiful than the Twelve Apostles and this maybe because of the lack of crowds.
Like the Twelve Apostles and the Bay of Martyrs, you will find stacks of limestone sticking out of the ocean. The difference is, you have 32 km of coast line with many vantage points to stop and enjoy the views.
Enjoy the drive from Peterborough to Warnambool and make sure you have plenty of battery and memory in your camera!
The final stop on the Great Ocean Road is Childers Cove. As you are at the Western most point you will feel that you have discovered a remote area. This is a perfect place for a swim on a hot summers day (be warned….the water is very cold!) or explore the stunning nature that surrounds the beach.
Top Tip: If camping is your thing, this is a fantastic place to camp. You have the best spot for the sunrise and the sunset.
Where to Stay
Anglesea is a the beginning of The Great Ocean Road and is a great place to stay on your first night.
$ Anglesea Family Caravan Park
4 star caravan park with all the amenities you could think of!
$$ The Great Ocean Road Resort
4 star resort including a Jumpz Park and very close to the town center
$$$ The Anglesea Beachhouse
This five star property is located 1.5km from the beach and includes a beautiful well equipped shared kitchen and garden.
Tips for Visiting The Great Ocean Road
Drive from Torquay to Warnambool – if you drive in this direction the Coast will be on your left (in Australia we drive on the left) and the views will be even better!
Spend at least three nights – The Great Ocean Road is about two hours from Melbourne so it is a good idea to spend your first night at the beginning of The Great Ocean Road, your second night half way and your last night at the end of The Great Ocean Road
Don’t drive along the coast – if you are driving back to Melbourne drive home inland. It will save you hours.
Heading to Adelaide – many travellers that are heading to Adelaide will take the “scenic” route and drive from Melbourne via The Great Ocean Road to Adelaide.
Rather a tour of the Great Ocean Road?