The Great Ocean Road.
Melbourne (Victoria) is Australia’s most liveable city and just hours in any direction will take you to some of Australia’s best tourist attractions, none more famous than the Great Ocean Road.
The fact it’s the smallest of Australia’s mainland states, and also the most diverse—culturally, geographically and economically — means a step in any area of Victoria will land you in truly original experiences; experiences more valuable than any physical souvenir. So hire a campervan and explore Australia’s iconic Great Ocean Road – one of the best weekend trips, only an hour from Melbourne…
Where is the Great Ocean Road?
|1-3 Day Round Trip||Approx 500km Round Trip|
From Melbourne: The Great Ocean Road starts at Lorne, just a little bit past the infamous Bells Beach & Torquay. It’s an easy 1.5hr drive from Melbourne CBD.
The road winds along the coast for about 244kms (about 3-hours) until Warnambool. After driving The Great Ocean Road a lot of travellers head north to Halls Gap, where kangaroos abound in the natural splendour of The Grampians.
Heading south from Melbourne in the direction of Geelong, you’ll pass through an abundance of farmland. In Spring rapeseed farms blossom in huge fields of bright yellow flowers, lining the highway for miles on end. The land is a patchwork quilt and truly remarkable when these flowers are in blossom.
First port-of-call is Geelong, an iconic Aussie town full of AFL-mad, laid-back Victorians. Keep driving another 25 minutes or so and you’ll reach the ‘unofficial’ start of the Great Ocean Road, the beautiful little surf town of Torquay. Torquay and nearby Jan Juc, is Australia’s southern surfing capital – home to the legendary surf break ‘Bells Beach’. Over the Easter long weekend (4 days in Australia!), Torquay comes alive as the wold’s best surfers descend upon Bells Break for the Rip Curl Pro.
It’s a remarkable area, kangaroos bounce playfully in the farmland opposite the surfing reserve and you’ll often see little echidnas waddling on the paths and tracks that follow the headlands.
Continuing further towards Lorne, you’ll pass Anglesea and Aireys Inlet. On hot summer days these little coastal towns are a buzz with Melbournians looking to cool off in the temperate waters of the Southern Ocean.
The road starts to twist and bend and very soon you will descend upon the famous ‘Memorial Arch’ Great Ocean Road sign – perfect for a quick photo opportunity. It’s from this point that you are officially on the Great Ocean Road! The road hugs the coast for miles on end, offering spectacular views for you and your passengers up to and beyond Lorne.
Lorne is a pretty little town right on the beach, featuring plenty of great pubs and restaurants. There’s surf schools and shops to stock up for the roadtrip ahead, so have a look around, take a break and get ready for the rest of the roadtrip. Lorne is an ideal spot to spend your first night on the Great Ocean Road, although I would seriously recommend heading just a little further (about 20 mins) to Kennett River Caravan Park…
Kennett River Caravan Park is in an amazing location, right opposite the beach and nestles under tall gum trees – it’s also home to a number of koalas! From around $25 per night you can camp out in your campervan or motorhome right under the koalas and wake up early to catch the spectacular sun rise over the ocean. This park is definitely worth checking out if you’re on the Great Ocean Road.
Continuing along the Great Ocean Road, make your way through ideallic Apollo Bay and towards Cape Otway Lighthouse. The drive towards the lighthouse is spectacular, enveloped by trees (more koalas!) and the view from the light house is equally impressive.
Now for the cherry on top – point that campervan or motorhome towards Port Campbell and the world-famous 12 Apostles! If you’ve never even heard of the Great Ocean Road, you will almost certainly have seen pictures of the 12 Apostles. Standing tall against the vast Southern Ocean, these crumbling limestone pillars have become synonymous with the Great Ocean Road and tourism in Victoria. And for good reason – they truly are spectacular!
Aside from the 12 Apostles, there’s several other, equally impressive natural rock formations along this stretch of coast, including Loch Ard Gorge and The Arch. To see these amazing sights costs nothing and the photo opportunities are priceless. There’s a small souvenir shop near the 12 Apostles if you feel like sending a post card home to make your friends jealous!
After taking in these breathtaking natural monuments, spend the night in Port Campbell where you’ll find several accommodation options, including a local caravan park with all the facilities you’ll need for a great night’s rest. Otherwise continue towards Warrnambool and the picture perfect little town of Port Fairy!
If you’re in a rush to get back to Melbourne, take the inland route on the A1 through Colac, which offers the chance to check out some truly beautiful Victorian countryside.
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