The Great Ocean Road - Australia

Australia's Best Scenic Drive

The Great Ocean Road - Australia

"Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0"

The Great Ocean Road of Australia is a 160 mile ( 243 km) coastal scenic drive along the rugged cliffs of Australia's south-eastern coast beginning in the Victoria city of Torquay and and ending Warrnambool.

The Great Ocean Road The road was constructed to provide work for returning soldiers and dedicated as a Memorial to those killed in WW-I.

The Scenic Route

It is suggested that you begin your journey at Torquay and head to Bells Beach, a popular place for surfers with an occasional great white shark scare.

The scenic drive takes you along a coastal route with many deserted beaches, small villages, and breathtaking scenery, along with some wildlife such as kangaroos, koalas, parrots, and penguins. This is a scenic drive that can be taken at your leisure stopping along the way

Along the route there are many stops along the way, especially to the small villages, each with their own charm and local seafood recipes, and of course an Australian brew.

Continue on along the coast to Lorne and Apollo Bay where you will encounter beautiful beaches and water sports with beautiful rainforest scenery in the nearby Otway Ranges. Lorne is on the Erskine River with views of both the state forest and ocean, and is one of Victoria's most attractive small towns. The 45-mile scenic drive from Anglesea to Apollo Bay is typical of the region's scenic coastal topography. Apollo Bay is the gateway to the 31,500 acre Otway National Park, known for it's temperate rain forest, with beautiful waterfalls, a large koala community, and many hiking trails. Stop in Apollo Bay for a quick bite of lunch.

Stop off at Cape Otway Light station, Australia's oldest, surviving lighthouse in mainland Australia. The light house in operation since 1848, sits high on a sea cliff where Bass Strait and the Southern Ocean come together. Stroll down the steps to get a beautiful ocean view. Looking to make this a casual drive, this can be a good place for an overnight stay.

Continue on to The Twelve Apostles, a series of eight limestone stacks or huge stone pillars which rise dramatically out of the ocean. There had originally been nine but one collapsed in 2005. This is a very popular scenic attraction that attracts many photographers. They have been renamed, perhaps for touristy value, the Twelve Apostles after having been called the Sow and Piglets for years.

Continue on to Port Campbell National Park. Take the self-guided Discovery Walk along the cliff top and an overlook above Two Mile Bay.

Continue on to  the end of your destination through Warrnambool and ending at Port Fairy.

Places to Stay

Peppers The Sands Resort
Torquay, Australia
This 112 room resort is nestled against the dunes and at the start of the world famous Great Ocean Road. The resort comprises two interconnecting, three-level buildings looking out to spectacular views of the surrounding golf course, coastal dunes. and Surf Coast

Comfort Inn The International
Apollo Bay, Australia
This 24 room hotel is in the centre of Apollo Bay opposite the main beach. All of Apollo Bay's 15 pubs and restaurants are within 5 minutes walk.

Port Campbell Parkview Apartments
Port Campbell, Australia
This 14 unit apartment complex offers affordable luxury accommodations. They are located in a quieter part of Port Campbell, yet only a short walk to the beach and town centre. They can accommodate large families or travelling groups. Guests can choose apartments with full kitchen facilities, well equipped kitchenettes or functional motel facilities.

Oscars Waterfront Boutique Hotel
Port Fairy, Australia
This 5 room Bed & Breakfast is situated on the waterfront in a quiet little town. Some of the front rooms have scenic views over the boats on the river.