04 May, 2020
Last updated on 13 November, 2021
Even though Great Ocean Road is only 243 km long, you shouldn't rush it. These Great Ocean Road trip ideas will show you the many great places to visit on this trip. Check out the tips below and start planning this must-do Aussie road trip!
Must-sees on your Great Ocean Road trip
These Great Ocean Road trip ideas will show some of the best places to visit on your GOR road trip. And yes, please take your time. This 243 kilometres long coastal road needs to be enjoyed. Take it slowly to see more. But before you start planning your trip, have a look at these interesting Great Ocean Road facts. You'll find lots of info about the weather and when to go for that awesome road trip.
Known to the Aussies as “Paradise by the Sea”, Apollo Bay is a must for your next stopping point. If you have time, take a detour into the Aire Valley and hike to the Hopetoun Falls.
And for a well-deserved post-hike meal, head back to the Apollo Bay Foreshore to grab a bite. Fresh seafood headlines all the best menus so fish lovers will be spoilt for choice.
Your starting point in Torquay is well worth a wander. It’s a sleepy little seaside town that has a steady tourism footfall each year. And all the action happens outdoors; from cycling the seafront to sailing in the ocean, there’s plenty to keep you busy when the weather’s great.
But there’s one thing that rules here and that’s awesome surf. The town of Torquay is blessed with some of the most accessible beaches and some of the most fantastic breaks – this is a surfer’s paradise! Beginners should hit up Front Beach (nicknamed ‘Cosy Corner’) where the waves will take it easy on you.
The more adventurous should head to Bells Beach where the world’s best surfers come to compete at the Rip Curl Easter Pro every year. For good food and drink, head to Bell Street or The Esplanade for a choice of cafes, bars and restaurants. It never gets too raucous here but there’s always a great atmosphere.
From Cape Otway, you can hike parts of the Great Ocean Walk and then you can venture inland to explore the rest of the Great Otway National Park.
Take a tour of the lighthouse and don’t forget to visit the Cape Otway Centre for Conservation to observe koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, parrots, cockatoos and kookaburras in their natural habitat. If you’re looking for a bigger hiking challenge. You can journey from Cape Otway all the way to the 12 Apostles which will take you a whole day.
As you set off from Torquay to embark on the Great Ocean Road journey, it won’t be long before you reach the pretty seafront town of Anglesea. If you’re looking for a secluded beach spot to sunbathe or somewhere to enjoy a romantic picnic, this is the place to come.
The beach here is popular with surfers but with a long stretch of golden sand, you’ll be sure to escape the crowds. If you’re looking to stock up on healthy groceries, don’t miss Anglesea Fruitz – vegans, clean eaters, health fanatics and organic foodies will love this place!
Port Campbell is a great place to stop for great beaches and great surf, and with many cafes and restaurants overlooking the beach, you can be sure to dine out with the ultimate sunset views. Stay overnight if you want enough time to explore Port Campbell National Park or the Timboon distillery.
Enjoy the scenery from the viewing platform at The Arch, Port Campbell (photo: Jamie Davies)
Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve
If you have time, extend your route to Warrnambool and visit the Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve. Not only does this place hold significance to the local Aboriginal history but it’s also a great place to spot koalas, kangaroos, emus and other interesting wildlife. There are a number of walking trails (with signposts), a BBQ and picnic area, plus a visitor centre run by the Worn Gundidj Aboriginal Cooperative selling authentic aboriginal crafts and souvenirs.
12 Apostles: dramatic limestone formations
This is perhaps the most iconic part of your journey and it will certainly be the most talked about. The 12 Apostles is a tourist favourite and all the locals will tell you to go. These dramatic limestone formations have been carved from the cliff over millions of years due to the constant erosion from the stormy Southern Ocean and blistering winds.
These limestone mounds, which were once arches, collapsed at the top to form the freestanding stacks that you can see today. They are as tall as 45 metres high and they are best experienced during sunrise or sunset. Don’t forget to bring a decent camera to capture those sunset vistas.
One of the must-see Great Ocean Road trip ideas: Twelve Apostles (photo: Wenhao Ji)
Make it the best Great Ocean Road trip
The Great Ocean Road is best explored by campervan; no other vehicle will give you the flexibility that our Spaceships can provide. Roadrunner and accommodation all rolled into one, our Spaceship campers will get you to all the highlights of this beautiful coastal stretch. And Great Ocean Road has more to offer than just amazing sights and beautiful sunsets.
Foodies will love our blog post about driving on the culinary side of Great Ocean Road, which lists some great places to stop to sample some great craft beer, superb wines and local cheeses.