Australia is known for its breathtaking natural beauty, and one of the best ways to experience it is by driving the Great Ocean Road. This 243-kilometer coastal drive along the southern coast of Australia offers stunning scenery and a range of adventure activities that will make your trip unforgettable. From the iconic Twelve Apostles to world-class surfing spots and breathtaking waterfalls, there’s something for everyone along the Great Ocean Road. The Great Ocean Road is one of the world’s most scenic coastal drives and for good reason. It offers stunning coastal vistas, pristine beaches, and a range of adventure activities for visitors to enjoy. The road was built by returning World War I soldiers as a memorial to their fallen comrades and is now one of Australia’s most popular tourist destinations.
In this blog, we’ll explore some of the best things to see and do along the Great Ocean Road and provide tips for a safe and enjoyable journey. So buckle up and get ready for an epic adventure along one of Australia’s most iconic coastal drives.
Top Scenic Spots Along the Great Ocean Road
The Great Ocean Road is home to some of Australia’s most iconic landmarks and natural wonders. Some of the most popular scenic spots include:
The Twelve Apostles
One of the most recognisable locations along the Great Ocean Road and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Australia is The Twelve Apostles. The Twelve Apostles, which are situated off the shore of Port Campbell National Park, now have only eight limestone rock formations that emerge from the Southern Ocean; others have dropped. Over thousands of years, the water has eroded these majestic granite stacks, leaving behind imposing columns that may reach a height of 45 metres.
Popular tourist destination The Twelve Apostles are best viewed from the designated viewing platform on the cliff’s edge. The rock formations may also be seen from above by taking a helicopter flight. The Twelve Apostles are most beautiful around sunrise or sunset when the colours of the sky and the rock formations contrast beautifully.
The Grotto, Loch Ard Gorge, London Arch, and other surrounding sights may all be explored in addition to the Twelve Apostles. Visitors may explore the beach and the soaring cliffs that encircle Loch Ard Gorge, which got its name from the Loch Ard shipwreck that happened in 1878. Another noteworthy rock feature that was once a double arch but collapsed in 1990 is called London Arch. The Grotto is a singular natural creation with a pool of water enclosed by rocks and breathtaking seaside views.
In addition to being stunning, The Twelve Apostles and the nearby sights are also rich in mythology and history. Visitors may discover more about the indigenous Aboriginal culture of the area and the shipwrecks that have occurred nearby.
Loch Ard Gorge
One of the Great Ocean Road’s most attractive and historically significant locations is Loch Ard Gorge, which is a part of Port Campbell National Park. The clipper ship “Loch Ard,” which capsized on adjacent Muttonbird Island in 1878, inspired the gorge’s name. Only two of the 54 passengers and crew members on board survived—a young apprentice and a lady who washed up on shore in a cave that is now known as “Tom and Eva.”
Visitors to Loch Ard Canyon may stroll along the many walking trails that lead to various vantage spots for breathtaking views as well as explore the shoreline and the imposing cliffs that surround the canyon. Visitors may view the Southern Ocean’s furious waves slamming against the rough shoreline as they go around the gorge, which is bordered by towering cliffs that reach heights of up to 70 metres.
The Island Archway, which was a double-span natural arch before collapsing in 2009, is one of Loch Ard Gorge’s attractions. A stunning view of the sea and the shore is still available from the intact arch and the adjacent rocks. The Razorback, a long, slender rock ridge that divides Loch Ard Gorge from Thunder Cave nearby, is another attraction that tourists may explore.
A number of intriguing rock formations, including the Elephant Rock and the Muttonbird Island Lookout, which provides a sweeping panorama of the coastline, can be found in Loch Ard Gorge. The tourist centre, which is close to the gorge’s entrance, offers information on the history and legends surrounding the Loch Ard disaster.
A journey to Loch Ard Gorge is guaranteed to be a highlight of any vacation to Australia, whether you want to learn about the area’s maritime history or are just there to take in the spectacular vistas.
One of the most recognisable natural features along Victoria, Australia’s Great Ocean Road is the London Arch. This magnificent natural rock structure, which can be seen just west of Port Campbell, was formerly a portion of a bigger arch. However, a segment of the arch fell in 1990, leaving two towering rock formations that are still there today.
The limestone arch was eroded by ocean waves over the course of millions of years, forming it. The arch’s distinctive design and the picturesque views of the water and shoreline make it a well-liked location for sightseeing and photography. A brief path that leads to an observation platform with a panoramic view of the region is the site’s entrance for visitors.
Along with its natural beauty, London Arch is rich in cultural heritage. It was formerly known as the “London Bridge” until one of the spans collapsed and two distinct rock formations were left. Because of its similarity to the renowned London Bridge in England, the arch was given that name. The arch was once used as a lookout for smugglers during the 19th century and for fishing.
Visitors may take a boat ride through the archway or a helicopter trip to get a better look at the surviving arch and the landscapes around it. These excursions provide guests with a distinctive view of the arch and an opportunity to take in the area’s breathtaking natural landscape from several perspectives.
Along with the arch itself, London Arch is a fantastic location to see animals like seals and penguins, which are frequently seen along the beach. It’s a terrific location for both nature lovers and adventure seekers because the nearby locations provide a variety of adventurous activities including hiking, swimming, and surfing.
Australia’s Great Ocean Road passes via Bells Beach, a well-known surf spot. It is well known for producing reliable waves, which have drawn surfers from all over the world for decades. The beach, which is popular with both surfers and non-surfers, lies around 100 kilometres southwest of Melbourne.
Bells Beach is located in a stunning location, encircled by high cliffs and wild shorelines. John Bell, a pastoralist who lived in the region in the middle of the 19th century, is the name of the beach. When Bells Beach Easter Classic, one of the oldest and most famous surfing competitions in the world, was chosen to take place there in the 1960s, it attracted attention from all over the world. Major international surfing competitions, such as the Rip Curl Pro, which draws thousands of tourists each year, are still held on the beach today.
The beach itself is a large, open swath of sand that stretches down the shore for a number of kilometres. Thanks to its consistent waves that may rise up to 5 metres, it is well-liked by both novice and expert surfers. However, Bells Beach’s waves may be strong and hazardous, therefore exercising caution when swimming or surfing is always suggested.
In addition to surfing, Bells Beach offers a wide range of other sights and activities. There are some fantastic hiking paths and vantage spots around the nearby cliffs and shorelines, which give breathtaking views of the ocean and the surroundings. The waters off the shore of the beach are a well-liked location for fishing since they are home to a diversity of fish species.
For those interested in surfing, hiking, or simply taking in the area’s natural beauty, Bells Beach is a must-stop location along the Great Ocean Road. The beach is a terrific spot to enjoy Australia’s laid-back coastal culture and has plenty to offer everyone, whether they are seasoned surfers or novices.
One of the most visited sites along Victoria, Australia’s Great Ocean Road is the Otway Lighthouse. The Otway Lighthouse is an excellent site to begin your excursion along the Great Ocean Road, whether you’re interested in discovering the local animals, trekking along picturesque paths, or simply taking in the breathtaking coastal landscape. The lighthouse, which is situated on a picturesque promontory not far from Apollo Bay, has been directing sailors over the perilous Southern Ocean since 1848.
The lighthouse is situated on a rocky promontory with expansive views of the sea and the nearby shoreline. Visitors may climb to the top of the lighthouse to take in the breathtaking views and discover the area’s fascinating history. A museum that chronicles the history of the early settlers who constructed and maintained the lighthouse as well as the perilous circumstances they encountered while doing so is located inside the lighthouse.
There is a variety of fauna in the region around the lighthouse, including kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, and other kinds of birds. The area’s flora and animals may be explored on foot throughout the grounds, or visitors can join a guided tour to learn more about the area’s ecology and wildlife.
Due to the frequent sightings of migratory whales travelling through the region throughout the winter, the Otway Lighthouse is also a well-liked location for whale watching. For a chance to see these magnificent animals up close, guests can join a guided tour or choose to simply observe from the observation deck.
The Otway Lighthouse not only has stunning scenery and a variety of species, but it also provides a number of adventurous activities. Some of Victoria’s top surfing beaches are located nearby, while local rivers provide chances for kayaking, rafting, and fishing. Hikers and mountain bikers are drawn to the area’s rocky shoreline and surrounding woodlands to explore the varied paths and picturesque vistas.
Adventure Activities Along the Great Ocean Road
Australia’s Great Ocean Road is renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty and picturesque journeys. It also serves as a centre for adventurous activities, which bring tourists from all over the world. Here are a few adventurous pursuits you may partake in while travelling the Great Ocean Road.
- Surfing: The Great Ocean Road contains some of Australia’s top surfing beaches. World-famous Bells Beach, which is close to Torquay, has hosted international championships for more than 50 years. Jan Juc, Point Addis, and Apollo Bay are some further well-liked surfing locations along the Great Ocean Road.
- Hiking: The Great Ocean Road is home to a number of beautiful paths that provide breathtaking views of the nearby countryside and shoreline. The 104-kilometre Great Ocean Walk, which connects Apollo Bay with the Twelve Apostles, provides some of Australia’s most magnificent coastline vistas. The Otway Fly Treetop Walk, the Cape Otway Lightstation Walk, and the Erskine Falls Trail are a few further well-liked hiking routes nearby.
- Mountain Biking: The Great Otway National Park is a well-liked venue for riders of all ability levels, offering a variety of courses. The Forrest Mountain Bike Trail Network includes more than 50 km of routes that weave through beautiful forests and steep terrain close to the town of Forrest.
- Kayaking and Canoeing: There are several rivers and lakes along the Great Ocean Road that are ideal for these water sports. Paddling is popular on the Barwon River, close to Geelong, and Lake Elizabeth, close to Forrest. Sea kayaking experiences are also available along the Great Ocean Road, giving you the chance to explore the rocky shoreline and get up close to the local species.
- Scuba Diving and Snorkelling: The Great Ocean Road is home to some of Victoria’s top spots for these water sports. A variety of marine life, including vivid fish, rays, and even seals, may be seen in the vicinity. The reef at Moonlight Head, the Aire River Estuary, and the Port Campbell Marine Sanctuary are all well-liked diving locations.
- Rock Climbing: Some of Australia’s greatest rock climbing chances may be found on the rocky cliffs along the Great Ocean Road. Rock climbers of various abilities enjoy the cliffs at the Point Impossible and Point Addis beaches, which are close to Torquay.
- Skydiving: Try skydiving over the Great Ocean Road for the ultimate thrill of excitement. Many businesses provide tandem skydiving adventures that let you see the breathtaking coastline scenery from a whole different angle.
Tips for Driving the Great Ocean Road
Although travelling along the Great Ocean Road may be an incredible experience, there are a few steps you should take to make sure your journey is safe and enjoyable. Observe the following advice:
Take Proper Time: The Great Ocean Road is a lengthy trip, so take your time and soak in the sights. Plan your journey so that you may stop frequently to see the scenery.
Look at the forecast: The weather along the Great Ocean Road may be erratic, so be sure to do so before you set out on your trip. Be ready for varying temperatures, wind, and precipitation.
Make a Route Plan: Plan your route according to your interests and time limits. There are a variety of routes you may follow along the Great Ocean Road. Be cautious to check for any road closures before you set out on your journey as some portions of the route may be blocked due to weather or maintenance.
Stay Alert: The Great Ocean Road has curving lanes and high cliffs, making it a dangerous drive. Keep your eyes and attention on the road, especially while travelling through tourist-heavy regions.
Pack Essentials: Be sure to bring the necessities, like water, food, sunscreen, and bug repellent. Although there are many eateries and cafés along the road, it’s always a good idea to have some snacks and water with you.
Where To Stay On The Great Ocean Road
There are several lodging alternatives along the Great Ocean Road to meet all preferences and price ranges. There is something for everyone, whether you’re seeking an opulent getaway or a cost-effective choice. The following are some of the preferred places to stay along the Great Ocean Road:
Premium Accommodation: The Great Ocean Road offers a wide range of alternatives for people looking for a premium vacation. You may splurge on a variety of opulent luxuries while taking in the breathtaking environment at spa getaways, boutique hotels, and other accommodations.
- Southern Ocean Villas
- RACV Torquay Resort
- Wyndham Resort Torquay
- The Boomerangs
Beach Towns: The Great Ocean Road passes through a number of beach communities that provide a variety of lodging choices. These villages offer affordable hotels and inviting bed & breakfasts, making them excellent bases for exploring the region.
Caravan Parks: For travellers on a tight budget, trailer parks are a fantastic lodging choice. Many parks are adjacent to the beach or other parks, giving visitors a practical and reasonably priced choice.
Camping: It is a fantastic alternative if you’d want to spend more time in the great outdoors. Along the Great Ocean Road, there are a number of campgrounds such as the Princetown Recreation Reserve, Johanna Beach Campground, Aire River East and West, Bimbi Park
that provide breathtaking views, and access to hiking trails, beaches, and other outdoor activities.
No matter where you decide to stay, be careful to make reservations in advance because space may fill up fast, especially during the busiest times of the year.
The Great Ocean Road is one of Australia’s most iconic road trips, offering stunning scenery, adventure activities, and plenty of opportunities for relaxation and rejuvenation. From the rugged coastline and the Twelve Apostles to the charming seaside towns, there is something for everyone along this magnificent stretch of road.
Whether you are an adventure seeker looking for a thrill or a nature lover seeking peace and tranquility, the Great Ocean Road has something to offer. From surfing and hiking to mountain biking and kayaking, there are endless opportunities to explore and discover the natural beauty of the region.
So pack your bags, gather your friends or family, and hit the road for an unforgettable adventure along the Great Ocean Road. You won’t be disappointed by the stunning scenery, friendly locals, and endless possibilities for fun and relaxation.