A road trip along the Great Ocean Road is... well great. It’s right in the title. From the breathtaking clifftop views to the top surfing destinations in the world to the expansive forests of Otway, this road has all of the adventure, beauty, and good eats to keep everyone entertained. Perfect for a day or a long weekend, here are our must-see stops between Torquay and Port Fairy.
Melbourne to TorquayThe first stop on your Great Ocean Roadtrip will be Torquay, just an hour drive from Melbourne. If not the surf Mecca, Torquay is on every surfer’s list nonetheless and the perfect place to start a road trip along the southern coast. The town is home to internationally known brands like Rip Curl and QuickSilver. The Australian National Surfing Museum also calls Torquay home, meaning visitors can spend a day fully immersed in surf culture without ever dipping a toe in the water.
Torquay to LorneThe drive to Lorne from Torquay takes less than an hour, unless you stop at iconic Bells Beach for a surf or the Aireys Inlet Lighthouse to see the ocean from the top of the tower. The town is known for its majestic views from the ochre cliffs of the Surf Coast Walk to the forests of the Great Otway National Park which runs along the town’s outer edge. The town is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream with all of the watersports, hiking, and wildlife spotting available. Once you’ve had your fill, it's time to hit the road for another hour to the next stop in Apollo Bay.
Lorne to Apollo BayThis sleepy beach town offers plenty of opportunities to get outside. Known for its short hikes and waterfalls, the town also offers beaches, river fishing, and cycling. Apollo Bay is also filled with little shops and restaurants. One of the top things to do in town is to eat fresh-caught seafood. There are places all over from little shacks offering fried options to upscale restaurants serving up organic, seasonally-available dishes.
Apollo Bay to Cape OtwayBreathe in that pure fresh air at the Great Otway National Park. Explore tranquil waterfalls, lush rainforests by bike, hike, ride, kayak, board or drive.
Cape Otway to Port Campbell 12 ApostlesThe 12 Apostles are mammoth limestone pillars that rise 50m out of churning waves and are only 1 hour from Cape Otway. They were once a part of the mainland but erosion has eaten away at the land between them and the cliffs. Despite the name, there have only ever been eight pillars, and after the collapse of one of them in 2006, there are only seven. You can see them from the Great Ocean Road or for a birds-eye view, the best photos, and an unforgettable time book a helicopter tour out of Princetown. Whether staying for just a couple of minutes to snap a pic or for a half day experience, this stop is the perfect moment to stretch your legs and take in the rugged beauty of Australia’s southern coast.
Port Campbell to WarrnamboolThe trip from Port Campbell to Warrnambool takes about an hour and you’ll want to schedule a couple of hours for this stop, especially during the winter. There is nowhere else in Australia to go whale watching that is quite like Warrnambool. Observation decks are set up along the beach so visitors can get a close but respectful look at these majestic creatures. Though binoculars are suggested, the whales are easy to see with the naked eye - or a camera lens.
Warrnambool to Port FairyThe last 30min leg of this trip will take you to the Port Fairy. The waters off of this area are notoriously treacherous. More than 600 ships have run into trouble off of the coast in this area. The Shipwreck Trail takes visitors through beautiful beaches and cliffs to the sites of some of the most well known of these wrecks which are marked with informational plaques. This quiet walk along the water at sunset is the ideal way to wind down after a day of travel.
Lorne Bay View Motel and Apartments offer stylish and affordable Lorne accommodation in the heart of town.
Coastal Motel is ideally located in the heart of Apollo Bay, along the famous Great Ocean Road in Victoria.
Parkview motel and apartments are just a 5 minute from Port Campbell Beach. They provide a variety of accommodation options.
Eight Spence is located one block from Warrnambool’s CBD on a quiet residential street off the main highway.
Stocking a collection of beautiful homewares and accessories from Australia and from around the globe.
Bloom is a creative space offering beautiful artworks, apparel, home wares & coffee.
Enjoy the rustic modern ambience of this renovated Railway Station. Taste & buy some fine Single Malt from the working Distillery.