Today we finally wanted to share our road trip on The Great Ocean Road. Soon we read in the news that there was a bushfire in that exact area. Luckily, no-one died during the bushfires, but people are being evacuated. Police is going from door to door, telling the locals to get out by Thursday morning. It’s good to hear that they have the situation under control. We weren’t sure to share our blog about The Great Ocean Road because of the fires. Because no one got hurt and everything is under control, we decided to look at it positively and make sure that people still see how amazing The Great Ocean Road actually can be. Therefore, in this post we share some of the amazing places we saw and give you a little guide for this popular road trip.
We’ve been asked to join Favoroute as one of their Travel Designers. Take a look at our guide, so you know exactly where to go on The Great Ocean Road.
The Great Ocean Road
The Great Ocean Road in Australia is one of the most popular road trips in the world. Drive along the coastline and experience the most breath-taking scenery you’ll ever see. See the incredible Gibson Steps, Twelve Apostles, spot kangaroos, koalas, emus, and surf at iconic surf beaches. This region also offers migrating whales, shipwrecks, rain forests and fishing villages. This blogpost will take you from Melbourne to Tower Hill, and gives you advice on where to stop for a great view, and which parks to visit. The Great Ocean Road is not a long drive, but it’s great to spread it across a few days so that you can really relax and take your time! If you take the time to explore each destination, you can appreciate the rich natural environments, the lively restaurants and take swims at unique locations.
You can start your trip in Melbourne, an amazing city in Victoria. Be sure to read about Melbourne in our previous blog for more recommendations. Rent a camper or car in Melbourne and start the road trip of your life!
Your first stop during the road trip is Torquay, where you will also spent your first night: the gateway to the Great Ocean Road. It’s not a long drive from Melbourne to Torquay; about 1 and a half hour. Torquay is a place for surfing – and the birthplace of the well-known surf brands Quicksilver and Rip Curl, meaning that you can find some great beaches here. Go for some surfing yourself, or relax and stroll along the beaches. Be sure to visit the famous Bells Beach, which has the international reputation as one of Australia’s best surf beaches. If you don’t like surfing, you can still enjoy some swimming or watch others catching waves.
After taking a dip at one of the beaches in Torquay in the morning, you will have a short 50-minute drive to Lorne. This is a great place for a delicious lunch or to relax once again at the beach. After your time-out, you have to start driving again, this time to Cape Otway. Cape Otway is worth the visit, and amazing to spent another night. You can camp at a camping site, or get a permit and camp in the Great Otway National Park. Here you can admire the rainforest and see native animals, such as kangaroos, koalas and more. Take a tour to the Cape Otway Lightstation, and you can even spent the night in the historical keepers’ cottages.
After waking up in Cape Otway, be ready to face some of the most amazing sceneries that the Great Ocean Road has to offer. The Gibson Steps are 86 steps that guide you to the beach, carved out into the rocks by Hugh Gibson – hence the name Gibson Steps. Watch the incredible two verticle rocks, nicknamed Gog and Magog, standing out in the ocean. Unfortunately, you are not always allowed to walk down those famous steps, as the waves can get rough. It’s easy to park your car at the Gibson Steps car park, and from there on you can also walk to the Twelve Apostles, which is just one kilometer away.
The Twelve Apostles will make you forget the rocks at the Gibson Steps immediately. Watch the impressive rock stacks that stand in the Southern Ocean, apart from the coastline. The rocks are created by the constant erosion of the limestone cliffs that began 10 million years ago. Drive up to Tower Hill to spent your last night at the Great Ocean Road. During the day you can visit the first National Park of Australia, the Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve where you can bump into kangaroos, koalas, emus and much more! Take some food with you and enjoy a picnic at one of the tables, and be sure not to let any emus eat your food, as it’s not healthy for them! They will try to steal it though.
You can drive back to Melbourne along the same route and experience the Great Ocean Road again, or you can go inlands which will be a bit faster; around 3 hours.
We wish all the people in in Kennett River, Grey River and Wongarra all the best, and hope for quick recovery. Currently The Great Ocean Road has been closed between Lorne and Skene’s Creek since Christmas, and will stay closed until early January.