One of Melbourne’s most popular day trips is The Great Ocean Road. From the city it’s only about an hours drive to get to the start of this scenic route. The Great Ocean Road stretches 244 kilometres along the south eastern coast of Australia. It was built by soldiers who returned from World War One and is the world’s largest war memorial! Check out our video about our trip along The Great Ocean Road at the bottom of this post.
Along The Great Ocean Road
The first place, right at the start of the Great Ocean Road, that’s certainly worth a stop is Bells Beach. A beach that’s world renowned for its surf. The Rip Curl Pro is the world’s longest running surf competition and is held at Bells Beach every year.
Continue your drive along the coast. There are several small towns where you can do some groceries or have a coffee and plenty of beautiful viewpoints to stop and stretch your legs. A popular stop for a photo is the Memorial Arch, a tribute to the World War One soldiers who built the Great Ocean Road. After passing the arch and the town of Lorne, you get to a small place called Kennett River. It’s easy to miss but keep your eyes peeled because this is a very special place. Kennett River is one of the best places in Australia to see koalas in the wild! From the road, turn right for Kennett River and then directly left into Grey River Road. In the many eucalyptus trees, you are bound to find some furry koalas lazing around!
After some koala spotting you might be ready for a bite to eat. Stop in Apollo Bay for some fish and chips. When leaving Apollo Bay, the winding road brings you through the lush forest of The Great Otway National Park. If you have the time, there are many nice hikes you can do here.
The Twelve Apostles
The 12 Apostles are The Great Ocean Road’s most famous sight. These limestone rock formations were formed by erosion due to extreme weather coming from the Southern Ocean. The 12 Apostles are an impressive sight. You can go down Gibson’s steps to see these giants from the beach. From the main carpark you can walk down to several viewpoints from where you can look out over the rugged coastline and see the Apostles on either side. And don’t worry when you are counting them, there are actually only 8 Apostles!
Just a few minutes drive from the 12 Apostles is Loch Ard Gorge. Here you can find a small beach surrounded by immense walls of limestone.The clear blue water in the bay calls for a swim. It’s one of the most beautiful beaches we have ever been to.
If you have enough time, spend at least three days along the Great Ocean Road. There are so many things to see and do along this amazing route. You can rent a car from Melbourne and there are plenty of hotels, hostels and campsites to spend the night. If you are strapped for time and can only spend one day on the Great Ocean Road you can book a day tour from Melbourne. Most of these tours cost under a $100,- and will show you all the highlights.