Australia Great Ocean Road Trip Itinerary: The Full Guide!

Great Ocean Road Trip Itinerary
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The Great Ocean Road Trip has had to be one of Australia’s most famous road trips if not the entire world. You can travel through some of the most stunning UNESCO-listed scenery in the nation, over 375 km of gorgeous, meandering roads along the southern ocean. The Great Ocean Road can be travelled in one long day or spread out over a few days, which is what we advise.

Being one of Australia’s top tourist locations, the Great Ocean Road is best explored with your vehicle, allowing you to see everything there is to see. Many great tours like this one will take you to all the sights, including the Twelve Apostles, Port Campbell, Otway National Park, and more.

However, if that is not an option or you don’t like driving on the “wrong side of the road,” you can choose another choice.

The Great Ocean Road Trip Itinerary and Drive Route

However, if you have a car, you may stop wherever and anywhere you like, taking as much time as necessary to check out the beaches, admire the scenery, and enjoy the freedom to travel at your own pace. This particular trip, which spans three days and begins in Melbourne and ends in Port Fairy, is one we have personally taken a significant number of times.

Day 1: Melbourne To Apollo Bay

  • Distance: 195 km
  • Drive Time: 3 Hours
  • Sightseeing Time: 5 Hours

The travel will often begin in Melbourne and might either be a loop or a return trip. If Adelaide is another possibility for you, read the itinerary backward. You will likely pick up your rented vehicle at the airport if you have one. Gather your necessities, fill the tank, crank the radio, and drive to Apollo Bay.

How Far Is Melbourne From The Great Ocean Road?

It takes 1 hour and 20 minutes to travel directly from the Melbourne Central Business District to Torquay, where the road officially begins.

Geelong

Geelong will be the first station on the Great Ocean Road. This port city, which looks out over the stunning Corio Bay, is the second-largest in Victoria.

First, go to Eastern Beach. Swim in the southern ocean, relax in the heat, or take in the breathtaking views of Corio Bay while strolling along the Eastern Promenade. Take a seat on the SkyWheel for one of Geelong’s most incredible vistas. 

Check out the Geelong Boathouse for a traditional fish and chips by the sea for a delicious post-drive lunch. Geelong is renowned for its street art, which you will undoubtedly see while exploring the city.

Visit the Geelong Art Gallery and The Heritage Center to see even more artwork. Additionally, several wineries and breweries nearby are worth visiting to pick up some refreshments for the remainder of your stay.

Torquay

Torquay, a well-known must-stop along any of the Great Ocean Road drives and renowned for its world-class surf beaches, is located not far from the ocean. Paddling along some of Australia’s most well-known surf beaches is one of the best things to do on the Great Ocean Road. 

If you’ve never tried the sport before, taking a surf lesson is a specific method to get you comfortable on the board and in the water. Head to Bells Beach if you’re a more experienced surfer or want to walk on a beach known for its surf.

Bells Beach, well-known for hosting the Rip Curl Pro every Easter, is stunning and plays a significant role in Australian and surf culture. In addition to Bells Beach, there are many other excellent breakers, including San Juc, Winki Pop, Bird Rock, and Sparrows, to name a few. 

The Surf World Museum contains a wealth of information about the sport’s history in Australia and is also located in Torquay. The Australian Surfing Hall of Fame is also located here. 

The 44 km of trails that connect Torquay to Anglesea and Aireys Inlet along the coast are known as the Surf Coast Walk, and if you prefer hiking to surfing, you’re in for a treat. Depending on the path you travel, the scenery changes. But on this section of the Great Ocean Road Trip, every view is breathtaking.

Memoria Arch

Less than 30 minutes from Torquay and a true highlight of the trip, Memoria Arch is a must-see on any Great Ocean road trip. There is currently a sculpture there to mark the 75th anniversary of the arch, which was constructed in honour of the 3,000 men who worked on this section of road following World War I. 

This is one of Ocean Road’s most popular photo locations and an excellent place to take pictures. From here, keep going since there are still many Great Ocean Road sites.

Lorne

The closest town, Lorne, is an excellent place to stop for lunch at Bottle of Milk, use the restrooms, and then continue to Kennett River. If you want to see some natural Australian animals, it’s a great spot to go. You can satisfy your need at the Kennett River Koala Walk. 

The walk is around 15 km long, but the Grey River area, about 6 km in, offers the best possibilities for seeing the adorable native creatures. Just before you get to Apollo Bay, take the exit for this route. For the finest koala-watching opportunities, go early in the morning or late in the day. They can be seen perched high in the eucalyptus trees.

Accommodations In Apollo Bay

Because Apollo Bay is a popular destination, reserve your lodging in advance. The Apollo Apartment is the only accommodation we suggest when visiting Apollo Bay. This is your best option if you prefer a little extra room to spread out after a long day of driving the Great Ocean Road.

It has excellent facilities, comfortable apartment-style apartments, and fantastic views from practically any area on the property.

Day 2: Apollo Bay To Warrnambool

  • Distance: 160km
  • Drive Time: 2 hr 30 min
  • Sightseeing Time: 5 hours

Apollo Bay is undoubtedly one of the most attractive and spectacular destinations along our Great Ocean Road tour. It is a stunning beach community situated at the entrance to the Otways. 

Marriners Lookout is the place in Apollo Bay for the best panoramic views. The viewpoint offers the most spectacular panoramic views of Apollo Bay and the shoreline and is accessible directly from the parking lot via a short trail.

Head to neighbouring Lake Elizabeth to try your luck spotting some wildlife. Beautiful lake views may be found here; if you’re lucky, you might even glimpse a platypus. Keep your eyes alert since these unusual and endearing indigenous creatures have been known to utilise the lake as a nesting area when young.

National Park of Great Otway

Great Otway National Park is extraordinarily lush and stunning, and it’s only 15 kilometres from Apollo Bay. Despite the Great Ocean Road’s extensive coastal coverage, this national park is a hidden gem that sits more inland. 

This park spans around 200 hectares and is one of the few attractions along the Great Ocean Road that is not a beach. It’s a terrific place to leave the beach and still be in nature, thanks to its deep, lush valleys, high rainforests, magnificent waterfalls, and many walking trails.

Melba Gully, one of the best walking trails to explore in this area, is full of stunning big fern trees and glow worm caverns, which are best observed at night. Visit Maits Rest for a shorter trek that will take you through a lovely rainforest. 

Visit this website for more details about the Great Otway National Park trails. This is a beautiful location to find waterfalls if you want to do some waterfall chasing.

Just a few of the many attractions include Stevenson Falls, Triplet Falls, Little Aire Falls, and Hopetoun Falls. As you walk the pathways, watch for koalas in the trees and lovely native birds flying around. From this point forward, you will have travelled a lot of distance. But one of the most amazing Great Ocean Road sights is right around the corner.

The Twelve Apostles

It’s easy to understand why The Twelve Apostles rank among Australia’s most breathtaking vistas as you travel along the coastline from Great Otway. There are presently just 8 of the original 12 limestone stacks left because of erosion brought on by saltwater and centuries of slamming waves. 

But that in no way lessens the beauty of the scenery. Booking a Twelve Apostles Helicopter Ride is a must-do for anyone who wants to experience one of the best views of this stretch of the Great Ocean Road.

Port Campbell National Park

Continue down the Great Ocean Road toward Port Campbell after passing the Twelve Apostles. The first sight along the route is Loch Ard Gorge, close to the Twelve Apostles. 

Sadly, these stone arches crumbled ten years ago after serving as a natural bridge over the gorge. Loch Ard Gorge is still a beautiful location for swimming, nevertheless. Only two pillars provide a spectacular Port Campbell National Park perspective.

Where To Stay In Warrnambool

On day three of your action-packed tour down the Great Ocean Road, you’ll search for a location to spend the night before continuing your journey. The ideal place to carry out that action is Quest Warrnambool. 

These serviced apartments, conveniently situated a short distance from Port Campbell, have fantastic rooms and a stunning pool area, making an excellent stopover.

Day 3: Warrnambool To Port Fairy, Then Melbourne (Or Adelaide)

  • Distance: 30km to Port Fairy, then 312 km to Melbourne
  • Drive Time: 30 minutes to Port Fairy, 4 hours to Melbourne
  • Sightseeing Time: 4 hours

There is still a lot to see and do, even though it is the last day of your Great Ocean Road schedule. After your delayed arrival, you’ll want to visit a few of Warrnambool’s attractions. 

Head to Bohemia Cafe & Bar for a takeaway coffee or a wicked and delectable breakfast to power up for your final day. Visitors will enjoy the breakfast tacos, smoothie bowls, and packed lunch menu available for consumption on-site or to go.

Port Fairy

A picturesque causeway connects Port Fairy, a little village on Victoria’s famous shipwreck coast, to an island worth seeing. Stroll down the Port Fairy Wharves; it’s one of the most incredible things to do here. 

Get some fresh air by walking along the piers at the Moyne River. This is a terrific site to see the fishermen bring in their catch, which you can find in the local eateries, in addition to taking in the breathtaking vistas.

A Return to Melbourne

You can depart Port Fairy after your Great Ocean Road itinerary and travel the M8 National Highway back to Melbourne to begin your next round of Australian adventure. 

Remember to pause along the road for a late-afternoon lunch or coffee in one of the tiny towns, or you may take a detour up to Ballarat for the night to learn about the gold rush.

FAQs

What Is The Length Of The Great Ocean Road?

The Great Ocean Road may be driven in one long day (approximately 8 hours round trip), but we advise breaking it up into several days.

Great Ocean Road: Is It Worthwhile?

No doubt. The Twelve Apostles rock formations, of which there are only eight left after the others crashed into the sea near Princetown in Port Campbell National Park, are the main draw for most visitors.

Are There Risks Along The Great Ocean Road?

Driving along the Great Ocean Road is relatively safe if you follow the necessary safety measures. Fog-related low visibility, slick roads caused by rain, and traffic from automobiles and people in congested areas can all be significant problems.

Final Words

Australia is filled with natural beauty and attractions. It is one of the most famous palaces among all travellers. A Great Ocean Road Trip in Australia has many attractive stops to visit.

You can enjoy parks, sunsets, national parks, and many more beautiful places with your family and friends. Enjoy your vacation in Australia. So why are you waiting? Plan for a Great Ocean Road trip with your family and friends in Australia.

Hi, I'm Md Abid Hasan. The owner & content editor of Travellye.com. Travellye.com is a travel blog that covers road trips, day trips, and destinations guide.

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