A rough ocean? Yes. Lots of surfers? Hell yeah. Stunning cliffs and beautiful views? Sure about that! The Great Ocean Road is one of the most populair road trips you can take along Australia and that’s with good reason. Five highlights along the Great Ocean Road you simply can’t miss.
With our van we drive from Melbourne towards the Great Ocean Road. It’s autumn, cold and the rain is everywhere. But a lot of surfers can’t care less. Dozens of them are waiting in the cold ocean around Torquay, the starting point of the Great Ocean Road, waiting for that one big wave. And those big waves are coming fast.
Great Ocean Road
The Great Ocean Road is a beautiful coastal route in the southern state of Victoria and one of the most populair road trips you can do in Australia. Weird? Not at all! The route starts close to Melbourne, has a lot to offer, from beaches to forest, and the whole road is so enjoyable and lovely. Drive along majestic rock formations, beaches with surfers and nice towns along the road.
The way will take about 243 kilometer and can be found between Torquay and Warrnambool. Consider all the distances in Australia this is actually an extreme short road trip. Nevertheless you can take as much time as you want to visit all the highlights along the Great Ocean Road. We had about a week time to drive, but we weren’t bored a single moment. Not even while it was autumn and too cold to walk on the beaches. There is simply so much beauty to find, but the next five spots along the Great Ocean Road were my absolute highlights.
The Great Ocean Road never gets boring. When you start to drive from Torquay, you will notice that the landscape will change all the time. It’s not before you pass the Great Ocean Road halfway before the impressive and well-known rock formations will rise up from the ocean, proudly defending themselves from wind and water. The waves are making an impressive, breaking sound and the ocean looks mighty and fierce.
Every piece of rock is amazing to visit and it’s so easy to get lost in time and to stay here for an eternity, watching nature playing around. One of the most impressive places for me was the Razorback, next to the Loch Ard Gorge (first photo). It might not look that big, in reality you will feel small and the ocean is much more rough than you can imagine. A stunning place.
Otway National Park Tourist Drive
Like you drive suddenly in the jungle, that’s how it feels when you driving along the Otway National Park Tourist Drive. A world separated from the Great Ocean Road and officially not a part of it, but you simply can’t miss this wonderful piece of nature. The curling road will bring you deep into the forest, to hidden waterfalls and rippling streams. We visited the Hopetoun Falls and the Erskine Falls, but there is so much more to explore between the trees.
Something you can do as well (we didn’t do it because it was way to COLD and wet!) is walking around in the top of the trees. Yes, you get it right. In Otway you can find a park with walking bridges around the top of the trees. I can image this will give you a spectaculair view over Otway National Park. Must be an amazing experience!
Kennett River is a small town halfway the Great Ocean Road and there is not really much to see around here. But you can find lots of colored lorikeets and – that’s why we were there – koalas! You can find many of them in the eucalyptus trees around the caravan park. Koalas might be – next to the kangaroos – one the most iconic Australian animals, this lovely creature is hard to find Down Under. Lots of Aussies have never seen this marsupial in the wild.
In Kennett River it’s however not hard at all to see one of them. When we were there we spotted thirteen(!) koalas and one was just climbing out of a tree. It started to chew on leaves on the ground and although he saw us standing around, he couldn’t care less when we were standing next to him. How awesome!
The Twelve Apostles are thé highlight of the Great Ocean Road and the reason why this place is so well-known around the world. I am pretty sure you will recognize the picture of it straight away. These gigantic rock formations exist of – and I’m not kidding – not twelve, but eight stones (there were nine once, but one collapsed in 2005). There were never twelve anyway. I guess the one who came up with that name just had trouble counting.
You have to fight a bit to find a good spot to see these rocks. Yes, this is thé place along the Great Ocean Road where all the tourist busses are going to. Everyone wants to see it. I can see why, it’s absolutely amazing, but there are way more stunning places around the Great Ocean Road! So I don’t totally understand why this is the absolute highlight. I guess that just happens with all touristic places. But next to that it’s a place you must have been. They are amazing!
The most beautiful view over the Great Ocean Road? Go to Teddy’s Lookout in Lorne. Wow. It’s not only the view that is simply stunning but also the curling road you drive on after leaving this lookout. You drive next to the water where the rest of the Great Ocean Road leads close to the ocean, but not next to it. This is the kind of way where you can imagine yourself in a cabrio, with sunglasses on and a big smile on your face. When you’re not on the Great Ocean Road in autumn, like us.
This was one of those places I could easily have stayed for over an hour, just watching the ocean. We were really lucky as well, while it was cloudly and rainy the whole time, but right on this moment, there was a bit of sunshine. Like it was supposed to be this way.
To the Great Ocean Road as well?
The most awesome way to discover the Great Ocean Road is to rent a car a to drive your own car. You can make sure you will see all the highlights and stop wherever you want to stop. Camping is also not a problem and there are a few free camp spots around the Great Ocean Road. However, around the Twelve Apostles it’s hard to find a free spot, but there are plenty of paid camping spots and hotels. You can also join a day or multiply-day tour from Melbourne or Adelaide.