Often considered one of the most scenic drives in the world, the Great Ocean Road is a must-do during your trip to Australia.
Following the south-eastern coast between the cities of Torquay and Allansford, there are plenty of stops along the way.
Where you decide to visit will depend on how much time you have and where you start. Most people start the return journey from Melbourne and complete the route in 1 – 3 days. We would recommend renting a campervan and spending a minimum of 2 nights for this Great Ocean Road itinerary.
Torquay is a great first place to stop as the first town along the Great Ocean Road heading from Melbourne. Park your vehicle on the Esplanade and take a stroll along Torquay Front Beach.
Bells Beach, featured in the movie Point Break, is just a short drive around the corner.
Watch surfers catching waves at the location of the world’s longest continuously running professional surfing competition – Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach.
If you haven’t seen a Kangaroo yet, the Anglesea Golf Club is the perfect place to get an up-close glimpse. The club does charge $12.50 per adult to take part in their Kangaroo Tour, however, if you are not in Australia for long it’s worth it to see these fascinating native animals.
Anglesea beach is also a pleasant stop. Take a blanket and picnic to refuel for the rest of the day.
Aireys Inlet – split point lighthouse
The small town of Aireys Inlet is home to the beautiful Split Point Lighthouse. Take a guided tour and learn about its history or take a mooch around the area.
Great Ocean Road Memorial Arch
No Great Ocean Road itinerary is complete without a stop off at the signature Memorial Arch. Make sure to take lots of pictures so you never forget this epic road trip of a lifetime!
To switch it up a bit, take a detour off of the coastal road to Erskine Falls. There you will find a lovely walking track to see a pristine waterfall.
Lorne is a beautiful quaint seaside town and the perfect place to stop for the night. There are plenty of accommodation options, however, if you are in a campervan the Queens Park Caravan Park is a great option.
Grab some dinner at the Lorne Pier Seafood Restaurant or at the Grand Pacific Hotel Restaurant. There are plenty of things to see and do in Lorne including the shipwreck trail which follows the coast along to Lorne beach.
A very short drive from the caravan park is teddy’s lookout where you can start the day as you mean to go on, with a beautiful coastal view.
Kennett river (Koala walk)
30 minutes along the coastal road will bring you to Kennett River. A popular stop-off for tourists as here there is the chance to see Koalas in the wild. Head to Forest Edge where a short walk will hopefully lead you to where the sleepy animals spend most of their day.
Hands down one of the most spectacular panoramic views on the Victorian coast. Mariners Lookout is a must-stop on the Great Ocean Road itinerary if the weather is good, offering incredible views over Apollo Bay. Unlike some of the other stop-offs, the lookout is not packed full of tourists and can sometimes be had all to yourself, which makes it that much more special.
Great Ocean Road Brew House
Situated in Apollo Bay, the Brew House is a great little spot for a bite to eat.
Here you can also sample a huge variety of the locally made beers. So, if you are into your ales you could spend quite some time here. However, if you mean to carry on the journey on the same day, perhaps limit yourself to just one! (Unless of course, you are not the designated driver.)
Cape Otway Lightstation
Known as the oldest surviving lighthouse on the Australian mainland, and considered to be one of the most historically important in the history of the country. The Lightsation is one of the main stops on the Great Ocean Road. The admission to the lighthouse does cost $18.50 for adults but includes daily talks at 11am, 2pm & 4pm and also talks on aboriginal culture at 12 noon and 3pm.
Back up the coastal road towards the famous twelve apostles, you will firstly come across Gibson Steps. Here you can safely venture down the cliff face onto the rugged beach that is truly breathtaking. The full force of the ocean that has carved the unique landscape here can be felt on this beach.
The twelve apostles are of course the most well-known landmark along this Great Ocean Road itinerary. The views here are spectacular! The rough seas over time have created 12 natural monoliths that stand alone in the ocean along the stretch of coastline.
This stop can be very busy with tourists that come from far and wide, but do not let that put you off. Stopping here to get a good photo is definitely worth the hassle.
Loch Ard Gorge
This little section of the Great Ocean Road is all within walking distance. Park up close by and you are able to walk to Tom and Eva lookout, Loch Ard Gorge, Island arch Lookout, The razorback, Mutton Bird Lookout, Thunder cave and Sherbrook River. All areas of natural beauty with a rich history that can be learnt along the way.
The small town of Port Campbell is a good place to stop for the second night after a full-on day of sightseeing.
We stayed at Port Campbell Recreational Reserve which cost $15 per adult, but has all the basic amenities you will need plus a BBQ area to prepare and cook your own dinner.
The Arch and the bridge
A 7 minute drive from the small town of Port Campbell, are more incredible rock formations known as The Arch and London bridge. The viewing platforms are perfect to take in the stunning coastline and catch a glimpse back at the twelve apostles that can be seen on a clear day.
Not far from the last two stops, The Grotto is a small inland cove with a window made of limestone that looks out onto the ocean. A pool of seawater collects in the bottom of the window reflecting the mood of the sky. The Grotto is a must-see along the Great Ocean Road, it really needs to be seen to appreciate the natural beauty of this place!
Head onward or head back
If you are on a three-day itinerary at this stage it would be advisable to head back towards Melbourne on the fastest route. However, from here you can also continue on into South Australia and beyond.
If you have a few more days, head north to the Grampians National Park. A change of scenery from the coast, here you can surround yourself in the mountains. Maybe even try rock climbing or visit one of the many Vineyards in the area.
Check out our map for this Great Ocean Road itinerary
Watch our highlights
Follow us on social media: