About Great Ocean Road
The Great Ocean Road: Pilgrimage to Nature
Running for 243 km along Victoriaâs coast from Torquay to the Warrnambool area, the Great Ocean Road is considered one of the most scenic routes on the planet. As you drive - or hike, take in views of the Southern Ocean on one side and rolling hills on the other.
Beyond the waterfront, national parks and reserves beckon. As you make your way along the Great Ocean Road, snap some shots of the iconic 12 Apostles or Loch Ard Gorge. Learn about surf culture in Torquay, relax with the family in Lorne or get to know local artists in Port Campbell.
Small towns dot the Great Ocean Road, offering a range of holiday rental options, from modern apartments steps from a beach to sprawling family estates in the hills.
Beaches along the Great Ocean Road
The Great Ocean Road offers many spots for surfing and quieter, protected waters for swimming. Bells Beach in Torquay is a surfing hub and offers scenic views for everyone else. The expansive stretch of golden sand hosts the Rip Curl Pro Surf and Music Festival each year.
Torquayâs main beach, bordered by swaying pine trees, is favoured by families with small children. Lorne boasts a 2 km sandy foreshore, where you can see wild cockatoos going about their business in the grass and trees. Other family friendly-beaches include Anglesea, where you can swim or surf, and Apollo Bay, which is patrolled.
Great Ocean Road Icons
If your time along the Great Ocean Road is limited, you might wish to head straight to some of its famous rock formations. Start off at the 12 Apostles, limestone boulders sprouting out of the sea close to shore.
View the jagged boulders from above as part of a helicopter tour or walk the path to various viewing platforms. For dramatic photo ops, visit at sunset. Another geological highlight of the Great Ocean Road is referred to as the London Bridge, a rock formation detached from the mainland and shaped like a bridge.
A short drive from the 12 Apostles and London Bridge is Loch Ard Gorge, a natural, perfectly formed cove, sheltering a smooth beach. Informative panels lead the way from the carpark to the beach, telling the story of two shipwreck survivors who drifted onto shore here in 1887.
Walking and Hiking Along the Great Ocean Road
Ambitious hikers can undertake the 104 km Great Ocean Walk over several days or opt for smaller segments. The trail runs from Apollo Bay to the 12 Apostles, winding past deserted beaches, through lush national parks and much closer to the Southern Ocean than if you were merely to drive.
Meanwhile, the Surf Coast Walk stretches for 66 km from Lorne to Torquay. Youâll be privy to sweeping cliffside panoramas of Bells Beach and the Bass Strait.
The Great Otway National Park boasts a network of trails leading past waterfalls, through valleys in bloom, beneath towering ferns and alongside clear forest pools, before weaving back to the coast.
Wildlife along the Great Ocean Road
During migration season, from June to October, youâll be able to see a variety of whale species in the waters close to shore. Lookouts have been set up along the Great Ocean Road. You can also stop at Logans Beach, where youâll find the stateâs southern right whale nursery.
In Kennett River, stroll along the aptly named Koala Walk. Keep looking up to observe wild koalas sleeping or snacking on eucalyptus leaves. Donât forget to feed the king parrots while youâre here. If you purchase seeds from one of the townâs shops, the brightly coloured birds will land on your shoulder - or perhaps even on your head!
Towns of the Great Ocean Road
The Great Ocean Roadâs communities all have distinct character and suit holidaymakers with varying interests. Lorne is one of the oldest resort towns in Australia. Families can visit the Lorne Sea Baths for a myriad of activities in and out of the water.
Torquay is where Australian surf culture was born. Shop at the original Quicksilver or Rip Curl stores at Surf Coast Plaza and soak up surfing history at the Australian National Surfing Museum.
Many day trips along the Great Ocean Road end in Port Campbell. Here, youâll find a thriving cafe scene, upscale boutiques and trendy galleries. A local highlight is to walk along the harbour and jetty for views of the areaâs characteristic limestone cliffs.
Travelling the Great Ocean Road
The Great Ocean Road officially starts in Torquay, just over an hourâs drive from Melbourne. The most convenient way to discover the scenic coastline is to bring your car, as public transport is limited, especially between towns.