The Great Ocean Road is one of the world’s most scenic drives. It traverses rainforests, cliffs, national parks, and beach towns. From artisan restaurants to small-scale wineries, local farmers markets to beach cafes, this stretch of coastline is a must-see for nature lovers, beach go-ers, and adventure seekers.
The Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Australia begins a 1.5 hour drive from Melbourne. It spans 400 kilometers, beginning in the town of Torquay and ending in Nelson on the South Australian border. Depending on your stype, the road could take 2-5 days to complete. The itinerary below is perfect for a relaxed 2-day road trip.
Places to go, things to do, and can’t miss photo opps –
1. Learn about Surf Culture in Torquay
The Great Ocean Road starts from Torquay, a cute beach town with views of the cliffs and relaxing beaches. Often mentioned as a surfing capital of the world, check out the surfing museum or the place where Rip Curl and Quicksilver surf brands were founded. This is also a great stop for a quick bite or to stretch your legs before hitting the road.
2. Relax at Bells Beach
Bells Beach is renowned for surfing and is also the first of many quintessential photo opportunities. The high cliffs are a dramatic backdrop to the natural curve of the beach, slowing down the waves and creating outstanding surfing. If you prefer sightseeing this area has great vantage points along the cliffs. Exposed reef, steep cliffs, and clear blue waters do not disappoint!
3. Catch some Waves in Lorne
A great beach town with excellent restaurants, convenient cafes and ice cream shops, Lorne is the perfect spot to rent a board or take a surf lesson. For renting I highly recommend Lorne Surf Shop. Alternatively, take a surf lesson from the HAH Lornebeach kiosk by the sea.
4. Grab a Photo at Cape Patton
30km south of Lorne is the high lookout at Cape Patton. The pull-off stop offers a spectacular ocean view, a panorama of Apollo Bay, and the coastal green hillside. Depending on the tide you might see some surfers catching some waves below.
5. Taste the Best Ice Cream in Australia at Apollo Bay
Perched between the ocean and the hils, Apollo Bay has class and charm. There are excellent dining options with picturesque views of the bay. Relax on the beach or take a walk in the foothills of the Otway Ranges. For a delicious treat try the best ice cream in Australia of 2017 at Dooley’s Premium Ice Cream. They have some funky flavors like Vegemite ice cream, or stick with their award-winning classic chocolate or vanilla.
6. Gaze in Awe at the 12 Apostles (spoiler – there’s only 7).
Perhaps the most sought-after attraction along the Great Ocean Road, these limestone towers are rising out of the ocean. Don’t let the name fool you: there are only seven rock formations, all of which were eroded away from the mainland. Originally called The Sow and Piglets, the name was changed to attract more tourists (and it worked).
7. Explore the Caves at Loch Ard Gorge
10 minutes beyond the Twelve Apostles is a lesser-known (but no less striking) photo opp: Loch Ard Gorge gives a different perspective of the 12 Apostles as well as a secluded beach. Take the stairs down to the beach to discover towering rock formations, rustic caves, and the sunset through the cliffs opposite the beach.
The Great Ocean Road is a spectacular drive of beaches, towering cliffs, surfing opportunities, and delicious food. Take your time and stop for lots of photos along the way! There’s no rush, so take in the beauty this landscape has to offer.
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