A drive along the Great Ocean Road is an absolute MUST when visiting Melbourne. It is one of the best scenic drives in Australia and it is an undoubtedly essential part of an epic Victorian road trip!
You can visit a few stops along the Great Ocean Road as a day trip from Melbourne. I highly recommend spending a few days exploring the region if you have the time because there is a lot to explore!
One of the best things about visiting the Great Ocean Road is that most of the stops are free to visit. So, it can be a budget-friendly trip.
The Great Ocean Road was built between 1919-1932 by soldiers who returned from WW1. The road was dedicated to soldiers who perished during WW1 and because of this, this road is in fact, the worlds largest war memorial.
How long is the Great Ocean Road?
At 243km (157mi) long, there is no shortage of beautiful sights and potential places to stop. The Great Ocean Road starts in the famous surfing spot, Torquay and finishes at Allansford, near Warrnambool.
For the best experience, explore this amazing part of Australia by car.
Can’t drive The Great Ocean Road yourself? No worries!
If you aren’t confident navigating the windy roads, have no license or you are on a tight budget, you can also go on a tour operated bus, so you can totally forget about the stresses of driving and focus 100% on the incredible views.
Planning Your Self-Drive Great Ocean Road Tour
I’m going to share with you some tips for having the best Great Ocean Road self-drive tour because as a Victorian I believe this is the best way to experience this amazing part of Australia.
My absolute top recommendation for a The Great Ocean Road self-drive tour is to take your time to narrow down exactly what you would like to see and to make a list. Without a list of places to use as your guide, it can become incredibly tempting to stop every 5 minutes.
Be realistic about what you can see within the timeframe you have, use Google Maps to check distances between stops. It would take forever and a day to see the entire Great Ocean Road, so it is impossible to see it all in a day or two.
I will share with you some of my favourite stops, perfect for your Great Ocean Road Drive.
Great Ocean Road attractions to put on your list!
1. Loch Ard Gorge
Loch Ard Gorge comprises of a small piece of beach enclosed by rocky cliffs, it is kind of like having your own private paradise. It is a very captivating spot on the Great Ocean Road!
When I visited with friends, we spotted an echidna on the beach here. So be prepared to spot iconic Australian animals in the vicinity.
2. The Blow Hole
The Blow Hole is in the Loch Ard Gorge Precinct and is definitely worth checking out.
It is a magnificent rock formation where you can hear and feel the roar of the ocean. Literally!
You might actually get wet FYI.
3. The Twelve Apostles
The Twelve Apostles, of course, has to be mentioned. Despite the name, there are actually only eight of these magnificent formations still standing but they are guaranteed to take your breath away! The Twelve Apostles is a collection of limestone stacks, closely assembled together by mother nature.
The Twelve Apostles are an incredibly popular attraction on The Great Ocean Road and it has the tendency to be swamped with tourists.
I recommend visiting this stop in the morning to avoid the heaviest crowds.
4. Split Point Light House
Have you ever… Ever felt like this?
Okay, if you aren’t Australian you are probably lost at this point. Those are some lyrics from a theme song for a popular Australian kids TV Show called ‘Round The Twist’.
Why am I telling you this? The TV show, based on a book by Paul Jennings, was about a family who lived in a lighthouse and lots of crazy supernatural things happened to them. The Split Point Lighthouse in Airey’s Inlet is where this show was set.
This is especially worth visiting if you are a fan of the TV show ‘Round The Twist’ like I am. If you aren’t familiar with this TV show, it is still an awesome place to stop, in my opinion.
Food Recommendations for The Great Ocean Road
You are bound to work up quite an appetite with all that driving and sightseeing.
The good news is that this region is renowned for great food and wine! With multiple wineries, breweries, cheeseries and endless cafes and restaurants to choose from.
Budget-friendly food recommendation
Fish and chips
If you are on a budget visit a fish and chip shop! I believe this should be an essential stop for every tourist visiting Australia if they want a true Aussie experience.
If you eat seafood try ‘flake’ and if you don’t eat seafood try some potato cakes, I urge you! Fish and Chips are best eaten on the beach in sunny weather.
I highly recommend the Apollo Bay Seafood Cafe for fish and chips.
Other trip planning resources for The Great Ocean Road
If you are planning a trip to the Great Ocean Road I also recommend you check out the website ‘Explore The Great Ocean Road’ which is a great resource full of information on many stops along the Great Ocean Road. The website Visit Victoria is also a resource worth checking out.
Destinations to visit nearby
- Great Otway National Park: Go where the rainforest meets the sea, to discover a cool-temperate luscious green forest dotted with waterfalls. The Otways are great for hiking and camping.
If you would like to visit other popular beaches in Victoria check out my blog posts:
- Wilsons Promontory: Wilsons Promontory is a paradise for nature lovers full of unique beaches and a variety of walking tracks. This post features Squeaky Beach, Whisky Bay and Millers Landing Track.
- Cape Woolamai, Phillip Island: The Pinnacles are a rock formation at Cape Woolamai which is a popular spot for photography (especially at sunset). Cape Woolamai is home to a beautiful beach and a cape with hiking trails.
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