Great Ocean Road Tour
Table of Contents
The Great Ocean Road is one of Australia’s most iconic road trips, providing travellers with stunning ocean views and abundant wildlife. It is a great way to experience the beauty of nature in all its glory and explore some of Victoria’s best coastal towns. With a Great Ocean Road tour, you can discover the region’s timeless beauty and witness various natural wonders.
Overview of the Great Ocean Road Tour
The Great Ocean Road is a mesmerising coastal drive stretching over 240 kilometres along Victoria’s south coast. It is one of the world’s most scenic coastal drives, offering a spectacular combination of dramatic coastline, stunning beaches, and lush rainforests. The tour takes you through several charming seaside towns with unique characters and attractions.
Starting at Torquay, the Great Ocean Road travels through several seaside towns, such as Apollo Bay and Port Fairy, perfect for a stroll in the fresh sea breeze and stunning ocean views. In addition to the coastal views, the road takes you through some of Australia’s finest nature reserves, including the Port Campbell National Park, home to the iconic Twelve Apostles and other natural attractions like limestone stacks and the Loch Ard Gorge.
The Great Ocean Road tour offers many opportunities to experience the natural habitats of Australian wildlife, with places like the Kennett River providing visitors with the chance to spot wild koalas and other native animals. Additionally, a morning tea stop at the Maits Rest ancient rainforest is perfect for nature lovers to explore the unique flora and fauna of the temperate rainforest.
Visitors on tour also have the chance to explore the famous surf beaches like Bells Beach and dip in the pristine waters. Scenic coastal towns along the way, like Lorne, Port Campbell, and Eastern View, offer plenty of photo opportunities and a chance to learn about the region’s history with stops at the Memorial Arch and Shipwreck Coast.
The unobstructed views and exceptional natural scenery of the Great Ocean Road make it a popular destination for tourists worldwide, and it is easy to see why. Tourists on the Great Ocean Road tour can opt for a full-day trip or a comprehensive two-day tour, including stops at Yarra Valley and Phillip Island. Whether you want to take a day trip, a short break, or an extended vacation, the Great Ocean Road tour remains the perfect getaway destination for unforgettable travel experiences.
Highlights of the Tour
The Great Ocean Road tour is a must-do for anyone visiting Australia. This scenic coastal drive offers some of the most stunning views of the ocean, limestone cliffs, and lush rainforest. Here are some tour highlights you will want to take advantage of.
The Twelve Apostles – This iconic landmark is what most people come to see. These towering limestone stacks rise out of the ocean and create a picturesque view that is simply breathtaking. Be sure to take the time to marvel at these incredible formations and snap a few photos to capture the moment.
Australian Wildlife – If you’re an animal lover, you’ll be thrilled with the opportunities to see native wildlife along the way. From spotting wild koalas in their natural habitat at Kennett River to seeing kangaroos and wallabies on the grassy stretches, there’s no shortage of Australian animals to admire.
Pristine Beaches – The Great Ocean Road tour includes stops at some of the most beautiful beaches in Australia. Take a dip in the clear blue waters at Lorne or stretch out on the sand and soak up the sun at Apollo Bay. These beaches are simply stunning and offer a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life.
The Otway Rainforest – Take a walk through the ancient Otway Rainforest and experience the quiet splendour of nature. This lush rainforest is home to some of the tallest eucalyptus trees in the world and offers some of the most beautiful scenery you’ll ever see.
Coastal Towns – The Great Ocean Road tour passes through several charming seaside towns full of character and history. Stroll through the streets and learn about the region’s fascinating history. There’s plenty to explore, from Port Campbell, with its shipwreck coast, to Port Fairy, a quaint country town.
Where does the Great Ocean Road start and end?
The Great Ocean Road is one of Australia’s most iconic coastal drives. Spanning 243 kilometres along the southern coast of Victoria, it winds its way past stunning scenic attractions and beautiful seaside towns. But where does this famous road start and end?
The Great Ocean Road officially starts in the town of Torquay, which is located about 105 kilometres southwest of Melbourne. Torquay is a popular surfing spot and the official gateway to the Great Ocean Road. Visitors can explore its beautiful beaches, including Bells Beach, which has become world-famous for its surf competitions.
The Great Ocean Road winds along the coast from Torquay, passing through picturesque towns such as Lorne and Apollo Bay. The road takes visitors through the lush Otway rainforest, offering opportunities to see native Australian wildlife in their natural habitat, such as koalas and kangaroos.
But the crown jewel of the Great Ocean Road is undoubtedly the coastline. The road passes by iconic landmarks such as the Twelve Apostles and the limestone stacks of the Port Campbell National Park. The towering cliffs and stunning ocean views make for a truly unforgettable experience.
After passing through Port Campbell, the Great Ocean Road winds along the coast before eventually ending in Warrnambool, this charming coastal town is full of history and culture, with a lovely maritime village and a range of heritage sites to explore.
In summary, the Great Ocean Road starts in Torquay and ends in Warrnambool, offering visitors a stunning coastal drive full of natural beauty and cultural attractions. Whether you’re a nature lover, a history buff, or just looking for an unforgettable road trip, the Great Ocean Road has something to offer everyone.
Apollo Bay is a seaside town along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Australia. This charming town is a popular stopping point for tourists exploring the iconic Twelve Apostles, just an hour’s drive away.
But don’t let its proximity to the Twelve Apostles fool you; Apollo Bay is a gem in its own right. Lush green hills surround the town and offer stunning panoramic Southern Ocean views. Visitors can stroll along the Apollo Bay beach, lined with cafes and restaurants serving delicious food and drinks. For those feeling adventurous, the beach is also an excellent spot for swimming, surfing, and fishing.
One of the top attractions in Apollo Bay is the Mariners Lookout. This lookout point offers unobstructed views of the ocean and the verdant surrounding landscape. The breathtaking views are worth the uphill hike to the top.
Another popular site to visit in Apollo Bay is the Cape Otway Lighthouse. This lighthouse was built in 1848 and is one of the oldest lighthouses in Australia. Visitors can climb to the top for incredible coast and ocean views.
Apollo Bay is also a seafood lover’s paradise. The town’s location on the coast means plenty of fresh seafood, and visitors should try the seafood chowder or fish and chips at one of the local restaurants.
The nearby Great Otway National Park offers plenty of options for those who enjoy hiking and exploring nature. The park is home to some of the tallest trees in Australia and has numerous walking trails that lead to waterfalls, scenic lookouts, and picnic spots.
The Great Ocean Road Memorial Arch
The Great Ocean Road Memorial Arch is a unique landmark with significant historical and cultural importance. Located between Lorne and Apollo Bay, the arch has become an iconic symbol of the Great Ocean Road and is a must-see tourist attraction.
The arch was built in 1939 to commemorate the soldiers who fought and died during World War I. It was also made to honour the workers who built the Great Ocean Road, constructed by returning soldiers between 1919 and 1932.
The arch stands tall at 9 meters and is made of wood and steel. On top of the turn, you’ll find the words “Great Ocean Road” inscribed, while the plaques on the sides honour the soldiers and workers who played a significant role in the construction of the road.
Visitors to the Great Ocean Road Memorial Arch can park their cars in the designated parking area and walk to the arch to take photos and admire the scenic surroundings. The site around the turn offers stunning views of the ocean and the lush green landscape, making it the perfect spot to capture some fantastic photos.
If you visit during ANZAC Day, you’ll be greeted by a moving dawn service held at the memorial arch to pay homage to the soldiers who fought in the war. The ceremony is a solemn reminder of the sacrifices made by the servicemen and women to ensure our freedom.
In addition to its historical significance, the Great Ocean Road Memorial Arch is a popular starting point for visitors embarking on a scenic coastal drive along the Great Ocean Road. It serves as a reminder of the road’s importance as a tourist attraction and the hard work that went into its construction.
Overall, the Great Ocean Road Memorial Arch is an important landmark that symbolises the spirit of camaraderie and resilience among the Australian people. It is a fitting tribute to the soldiers and workers who played a crucial role in the creation of one of the most scenic drives in the world.
Seaside Town of Port Campbell
Port Campbell is a picturesque seaside town located along the Great Ocean Road. It is a popular destination for tourists exploring the region’s stunning coastal views and natural wonders. Port Campbell is a must-visit destination for anyone travelling along the Great Ocean Road with its pristine beaches, towering limestone cliffs, and beautiful ocean views.
One of the town’s main attractions is the Port Campbell National Park, home to some of the most beautiful natural wonders on the Great Ocean Road. Visitors can explore the towering limestone stacks known as the Twelve Apostles, which rise majestically out of the ocean and offer breathtaking views of the surrounding coastline. The park is also home to the Loch Ard Gorge and the London Arch, two other stunning rock formations that have been worn away by the forces of nature over thousands of years.
Apart from its natural beauty, Port Campbell is also a great place to experience the laid-back lifestyle of a small seaside town. Visitors can stroll along the town’s main street, with charming cafes, restaurants, and shops offering locally made goods and souvenirs. The city also has a beautiful beach, perfect for swimming, lounging, and enjoying the stunning ocean views.
For those interested in wildlife, Port Campbell is also a great place to observe Australian animals in their natural habitat. Visitors can take a safari tour to explore the nearby coastal heathlands and spot wild kangaroos, echidnas, and birdlife. The nearby Kennett River is also home to wild koalas, making it a great spot to observe these cuddly creatures in the wild.
Shipwreck Coast & Pristine Beaches
The Shipwreck Coast is one of the most iconic spots on the Great Ocean Road. For centuries, the craggy coastline and rugged cliffs have proved treacherous for seafarers, resulting in numerous shipwrecks. Today, visitors can explore the area and learn about the tragic history of these maritime disasters.
One of the must-see attractions on the Shipwreck Coast is the historic Loch Ard Gorge. This stunning natural wonder is named after a clipper ship that wrecked nearby in 1878. Visitors can explore the gorge’s towering cliffs and pristine beach, surrounded by dramatic rock formations and crystal-clear waters. The area is also home to the Island Archway, a stunning natural arch destroyed by a storm in 2009.
While the Shipwreck Coast is known for its dramatic cliffs and rocky coastline, it is also home to some of Australia’s most beautiful and unspoiled beaches. One such beach is the aptly named Princetown Beach, situated at the mouth of the Gellibrand River. The beach is surrounded by lush greenery and has stunning views of the rugged coastline. Visitors can stroll along the beach, swim in the crystal clear waters, or relax on the soft sand and enjoy the stunning views.
Another pristine beach in the area is Johanna Beach, situated at the foot of the Otway Ranges. This secluded stretch of sand is surrounded by lush rainforest and offers unparalleled ocean views. Visitors can dip in the rock pools, surf the waves, or picnic on the soft sand.
Nature Reserves along the Great Ocean Road Tour
The Great Ocean Road Tour is known for its stunning ocean views and abundant nature reserves. These reserves are home to some of Australia’s most unique flora and fauna and offer visitors a chance to experience the natural beauty of this coastal region.
Port Campbell National Park is one of the most famous nature reserves along the Great Ocean Road. This park is home to some of the most iconic landmarks in the area, such as the Twelve Apostles and the Loch Ard Gorge. Visitors can also explore the park’s pristine beaches and lush rainforests, home to various native wildlife.
Visiting the Kennett River Koala Walk is necessary for spotting some of Australia’s famous wildlife. This reserve has many wild koalas and other native birds and animals. Visitors can stroll through the help and try to spot these cute, furry creatures as they sleep in the trees.
The Otway Ranges is another famous nature reserve along the Great Ocean Road Tour. This region is home to some of Australia’s tallest trees and unique plant species. Visitors can take a hike through the lush rainforest and enjoy the peaceful sounds of nature as they make their way through the towering Eucalyptus trees.
Visiting the Cape Otway Conservation Park is necessary for those looking to get off the beaten track. This park is located at the southernmost point of the Great Ocean Road and offers visitors a chance to explore the beautiful coastline and rugged mountains. Visitors can also explore the lighthouse, which offers stunning ocean views and the surrounding landscape.
The Twelve Apostles
The Twelve Apostles are among the most recognisable landmarks on the Great Ocean Road Tour. These limestone stacks rise majestically out of the ocean, creating a stunning natural wonder that draws visitors worldwide.
The Twelve Apostles were formed over millions of years as the southern ocean eroded the soft limestone cliffs that once lined the coast. Over time, the relentless waves carved out caves, arches, and eventually isolated rock pillars that now stand tall as the Twelve Apostles. Today, eight of the original stacks remain, having survived the powerful forces of wind and water that continue to shape this rugged coastline.
Visitors to the Twelve Apostles can enjoy the fantastic views from various vantage points. Several viewing platforms are located along the coastline, offering visitors unobstructed views of the towering stacks and the breathtaking ocean views. For those seeking a more adventurous experience, a helicopter or scenic flight is a great way to see the Twelve Apostles from above.
Visiting the Twelve Apostles is about more than just the stunning views. Visitors can also learn about the history and culture of the area at the nearby visitor’s centre, which offers exhibits and information about the natural history and geology of the region. And for those looking to stretch their legs, a walk along the cliff tops of the Great Ocean Walk offers stunning coastline views, including the Twelve Apostles.
How long should you take to do the Great Ocean Road?
When planning a trip to the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Australia, one common question that many travellers ask is, “How long should I spend on the road?” Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer to this question, as the ideal time to spend on the Great Ocean Road varies depending on several factors.
One of the critical considerations when planning your Great Ocean Road adventure is how much time you want to spend exploring each site along the way. The road has numerous landmarks, including the Twelve Apostles, the Port Campbell National Park, and the Otway Rainforest. Each location is worth visiting, so you will want to invest enough time to explore each site fully.
Another factor to consider is the time you want to spend enjoying the scenery along the way. The Great Ocean Road is renowned for its stunning coastal views, which offer countless photo opportunities. If you are a traveller who enjoys taking time to soak in the sights, you should take a more leisurely approach to the road and allow several days to complete the journey.
The season in which you visit the Great Ocean Road is also an important consideration. In the summer, the road can be busy with tourists, and you may need to make allowances for traffic delays and crowds at popular sites. On the other hand, if you visit the road during the quieter winter months, you can move more quickly along the route and pack more stops into a shorter timeframe.
Considering all of these factors, the average traveller will want to allow at least two to three days to complete the Great Ocean Road journey leisurely. However, if you are a traveller who enjoys a more relaxed pace or wants to explore every nook and cranny of the road, you should allow up to a week to fully experience all this stunning region offers.
Ultimately, there is no right or wrong way to approach the Great Ocean Road journey. Whether you take a few days to explore some of the binding sites or spend a whole week diving deep into this incredible region, you will surely come away with memories that will last a lifetime.