Great Ocean Road or GOR is probably one of the world's most scenic coastal drives. You can choose to stop and admire the natural sculptures (like 12 Apostles, Bay of Islands and Loch Ard George to name a few), explore the rain forests, observe the wildlife, learn to surf, try local produce or just relax in one of the picturesque towns. We had high expectations and we did not get disappointed! Read below about our journey, the highlights and tips for your stay!
How long to explore?
GOR is a 243 km long coastal drive that spreads from Torquay to Warrnambool. And while you can probably drive it in 1 day we don’t recommend it. To truly appreciate the beauty of the coastal drive we recommend you 4-5 days but it all depends how much time you have, what you prefer and what you are interested in. It is most popular to start from Melbourne and see the 12 Apostles and head back. Don't do it. The great Ocean road has so much more to offer and 12 Apostles are just beginning of the journey (or the end depending where your starting point is). As we like to do things differently we started from Warrnambool.
What to see on Great Ocean Road?
There are truly so many things to see and do on the Great Ocean Road that you could easily spend 5 days exploring. However, if you have little time your best bet is to focus on the area around Warrnambool, the Port Campbell National Park and the rainforest. Below you can find our travel tips and highlights.
Cute town with a population of cca 35 000 surprises its visitors with many things to do such as whale watching, Wildlife reserve within city, nice beaches and cute restaurants and bars.
The main beach called the sandy Bathing Beach runs in front of Lake Pertobe Adventure Park. We certainly recommend you to encounter the wildlife within city center reserve located at Tower Hill. There is also a nearby Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village that explores the area's seafaring history through a large shipwreck collection. If you, however, prefer to observe whales head to the Logans Beach.
Port Campbell National Park Highlights
There are many things to do and see on the Great Ocean Road, the below is our experience with some tips and tricks.
Bay of Islands
Less known and less crowded but nonetheless beautiful the Bay of Islands is only 43km away from Warrnambool which makes it the perfect stop.
Loch Ard George
Loch Ard George has a beautiful beach and is a perfect stop to cool off during your trip and those hot sunny days.
London Bridge used to be connected to the mainland with an overarching arch but it collapsed and actually left 2 tourists stranded.
The Great Ocean Road, The London Bridge
Different from the London Arch a.k.a London Bridge, this arch was an astounding rock that is drilled out of limestone rock by waves from the ocean. Get ready your camera and capture the amazing view! :)
Get up close to this known landmark. There are steps that lead you up close so you can enjoy this up close.
The most famous landmark from the Great Ocean Road welcomes thousands of visitors during peak season so expect crowds during afternoon hours and high season. Our recommendation is to go early in the morning and walk down the Gordon Steps to see the giant rocks from the beach.
Where to stay?
We spent the night at the Pebble Point in a glamping tent and the experience was amazing! You have a cozy room with a view and the built in bathroom but you also enjoy the stars, the fire at the camping place and of course the wildlife ( rabbits, kangaroos, birds etc)