The Great Ocean Road is a scenic coastal road on the Southernmost tip of Victoria that spans 664 kilometres or 413 miles and connects the towns of Allanford and Torquay. A drive from one town to the other usually takes 9 hours, but if you’ve got the time, it’s the perfect opportunity to explore all the best Great Ocean Road stops and sights.
One of the best ways to see all the breathtaking sights is by going on a Great Ocean Road drive. Enjoy the view of blue waters along the coastal drive while sharing stories and listening to tunes with your best mates.
If you don’t have an available vehicle that can fit all your mates, don't stress! You can always book a car rental on Klook. It’s convenient, budget-friendly, and if there’s a change in plans, you can always cancel for free!
Plus, when you pre-book, you can get the best rates from Klook’s car rental providers such as Hertz, Alamo, Europcar, AVIS, and more! You can also choose from a wide range of vehicles—4-seater compact cars, SUVs, commercial vans, and more—as well as choose from various pick-up and drop-off points.
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After booking your car rental, the next step is to plan out your itinerary. Here are some of the best destinations and activities you can try when you embark on the Great Ocean Road drive:
Estimated Time: 13 days
Total Distance: 1,936 km (1,203 miles)
Day 1: Torquay to Lorne
Distance: 46 km
Estimated total drive: 1 hour
The starting point of your Great Ocean Road drive is Torquay, a surfer’s paradise thanks to its many beautiful beaches with incredible surfs. Its laid-back vibe resembles that of California, making it a great place to take it slow and feel the sand between your toes.
Here’s one of the beaches you can check out at Torquay:
Ride some waves or simply feel the ocean breeze at Bells Beach. Image credits @lustinherworld on Instagram
Bells Beach is only a seven-minute drive from the Torquay town proper and is the perfect kick start to your Great Ocean Road drive. Here you can catch a wave or take a stroll along the beach while admiring the cliff formations and the waves lapping against the shore.
Afterwhich, you can go on a 40-minute drive to Lorne, another quaint seaside town with fantastic beaches you can explore. You can go to Main Beach, a safe 2-kilometre expanse protected by Point Grey, where you can make use of their barbecue and picnic facilities while you watch the sunset!
Then, you can hit the hay and wake up bright and early for Day 2 of your Great Ocean Road trip.
Day 2: Lorne to Cape Otway
Distance: 109 km
Estimated total drive: 2 hours
The drive from Lorne to Cape Otway is filled with fun stops. Here are some of the best ones you can try on Day 2 of your trip:
Forrest Brewing Company
Have a boozy gastronomical experience at Forrest Brewing Company. Image credits @forrestbrewery on Instagram
Forrest Brewing Company produces one of Australia’s most exclusive, hard to come by beers. So naturally, you have to try some when you stop by during your epic road trip!
It’s also a popular destination among cyclists for its fantastic trail, so don’t be surprised if you’ll be drinking with a lot of bikers!
Otway Fly Treetop Walk
You don’t have to be Tarzan to walk on the forest canopy at Otway Fly! Image credits @otwayflyvictoria on Instagram
This is not your ordinary forest walk. On the Otway Fly Treetop Walk, you’ll be suspended 30 metres above the ground exploring the canopies! It covers 600 metres of the forest, so you have a lot of ground (or, in this case, a steel walkway) to walk through. You’ll also reach the Spiral Tower, a whopping 47 metres high, giving you an even better vantage point of the verdant rainforest.
Day 3: Cape Otway to Warrnambool
Distance: 145 km
Estimated total drive: 2 hours
The road to Cape Otway to Warrnambool is just as filled with exciting stops as the destination. Aside from the scenic coastal road, you’ll also be passing by the 12 Apostles, a collection of surreal limestone stacks at Port Campbell National Park.
If you want to do something more adventurous at the 12 Apostles, you can try this:
12 Apostles Tandem Skydive
Skydiving is a unique way to admire the beauty of the 12 Apostles. Image credits @skydive12apostles on Instagram
Marvel at the beauty of the 12 Apostles from a different perspective. Hop on a plane at ten to fifteen thousand feet in the air, strap on your safety gear, and let your diving partner guide you during your freefall. You’ll have a view of Port Campbell National Park like no other—you can even see all the way to Loch Ard Gorge and the Bay of Martyrs!
After your thrilling 12 Apostles experience, you can head to Warrnambool, a coastal town overlooking the Southern Ocean. Here, you can spend the rest of your day at the whale watching platforms of Logans Beach or check out the local arts scene.
The arts scene is particularly active at Liebig Street, where the Warrnambool Art Gallery resides. You can also indulge your taste buds at the local restaurants, cafés, and breweries.
Day 4: Warrnambool to Grampians
Distance: 136 km
Estimated total drive: 2 hours
A good two-hour drive from Warrnambool is Grampians National Park, or simply known as Grampians. It’s famous for its hikes, nature trailers, waterfalls, as well as lively cycling and food cultures. It’s a bit of a detour from the coastal roads as you head towards a more mountainous region.
If you want to cover a lot of ground at Grampians, you can try this:
Grampians Hiking Day Tour
On this full-day tour, you’ll see all the highlights of Grampians with the help of an expert guide. Throughout the trail, you’ll see the Grand Canyon, Silent Street, the Pinnacles, Boroka Lookout, and Mackenzie Falls. You’ll also head to Halls Gap for a delicious lunch to refuel your energy for the rest of the day.
Day 5 to 7: Grampians to Port Fairy to Melbourne
Distance: 136 km
Estimated total drive: 5.5 hours
After your hiking experience at Grampians, it’s time to head back to the coast with an hour and a half drive to Port Fairy. This town is home to one of the busiest fishing ports in the region and plenty of antique shops, boutiques, and crafts shops well-loved by the art community. Port Fairy is also home to quaint nineteenth-century cottages and rustic churches that are great for photo ops.
Then you can head to the many cafés and restaurants before you embark on your four-hour drive to Melbourne. There, you can spend the next couple of days trying out these activities:
Melbourne Coffee Lovers Walking Tour
Indulge your caffeine cravings in this three-hour walking tour
PSA to all coffee lovers: this walking tour in Melbourne is for you. You’ll visit four top cafès in the city, each with its own style of blends and flavours, and sample a cup of coffee from each shop. A knowledgeable guide will tell you all about the city’s coffee culture and why it’s loved by coffee enthusiasts.
See all of Melbourne from the Eureka Skydeck. Image credits @eureka_skydeck on Instagram
Have an unbridled 360-degree panoramic view of the city from the 88th floor of the Eureka Skydeck, the highest observation deck in Melbourne. From there, you can see iconic landmarks such as Port Phillip Bay, Dandenong Ranges, and Albert Park Lake. You can also take a closer look using the 30 binoculars and viewfinders!
Melbourne Star Observation Wheel
Have a fantastic view of Melbourne on this extraordinary ride. Image credits @melbourne_star to Instagram
The Melbourne Star Observation Wheel is no ordinary theme park ride. It’s 40 storeys tall and is the only giant observation wheel in the Southern Hemisphere!
Relax inside the spacious cabins with glass walls for a 360-degree panoramic view of the city. If you’re a sunset lover, you can go at dawn to catch the spectacular view from inside the Melbourne Star.
Werribee Zoo Ticket
Have a safari-like experience in Werribee, an open range zoo in Melbourne
You don’t have to fly to Africa to have a safari experience. Simply stop by Werribee Zoo during your Great Ocean Road Drive! Werribee features a guided safari tour on a bus, where you can get close to the animals without the usual barriers and walls in zoos.
During the Serval Cat presentation, you’ll witness giant felines hunt and leap right in front of you, with no barriers between you! Aside from the adrenaline rush, you’ll also learn more about the zoos conservation efforts thanks to the knowledgeable guides.
Werribee Zoo is on the route returning to Torquay, so at this point, you’ll be heading back to where you started and concluding your epic road trip.
If you want to journey across the Great Ocean Road but you’re unable to self-drive, you can also join complete tours that start from Melbourne. All you have to do is book the tour of choice, go to the designated meeting point, and let the professional guide lead the way.
Here are Great Ocean Road tours that you can try if you prefer not to drive:
1. Great Ocean Road Reverse Itinerary Tour from Melbourne
Start your Great Ocean Road journey in Melbourne with this tour
On this reverse itinerary tour, you’ll begin at Melbourne and head to several stops along the Great Ocean Road. These include Great Otway National Park, London Bridge, Loch Ard Gorge, Razorback, Port Campbell, and Kennet River!
The itinerary includes 12 Apostles, making it the perfect opportunity to revisit!
2. Great Ocean Road Sunset and Chocolate Day Tour from Melbourne
This one is for the chocolate lovers
Experience all the best stops on the Great Ocean Road but with a sweet, chocolatey treat! See the historic Memorial Arch, the eucalyptus trees of Great Otway National Park, and, of course, the 12 Apostles. You’ll also be visiting the Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery to indulge in some delicious treats!
If you're planning a 2 day Great Ocean Road itinerary, Apollo Bay is a great place to base yourself for the night. With plenty of restaurant choices and accommodation options, this is a popular town to stop in for travellers driving on the Great Ocean Road.Where is the best place to base yourself on the Great Ocean Road? ›
If you're planning a 2 day Great Ocean Road itinerary, Apollo Bay is a great place to base yourself for the night. With plenty of restaurant choices and accommodation options, this is a popular town to stop in for travellers driving on the Great Ocean Road.How many days should I spend on the Great Ocean Road? ›
We recommend spending at least 3 days on this epic road trip, although you could also pick 1 or 2 glorious days on the coast. Our comprehensive guide includes a day-by-day breakdown, a map to help you navigate, and suggestions for where to stay each night so that you can make the most of every precious daylight hour.What is the best way to see the Great Ocean Road? ›
An absolute must-do for anyone wanting one of the best views of this part of the Great Ocean Road is to book in for a Twelve Apostles Helicopter Ride. Soaring high above the limestone stacks you'll get the best views of Victoria's Shipwreck Coast.What is the closest town to the 12 apostles? ›
The closest town to stay in with plenty of shops and cafes is Port Campbell. The 12 Apostles are part of the Port Campbell National Park, stretching over 30 kilometres along the coast from Princetown to Peterborough. The 12 Apostles are about halfway between Princetown, the closest town, and Port Campbell.What is the nearest town to the Great Ocean Road? ›
Port Campbell is a small town, but it is the closest to some of the most famous attractions on the Great Ocean Road. Nearby you'll be able to see Gibson Steps, the Twelve Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge, and London Bridge.How long do you spend at 12 apostles? ›
The main attraction is the twelve apostles, spend at least one hour here absorbing the view and taking Instagram worthy pictures. Then head to the Loch Ard Gorge bridge, just a 3-minute drive from the twelve apostles. There is a great history of the iconic location and its shipwreck.Does it matter which way you drive the Great Ocean Road? ›
Most people drive the Great Ocean Road from east to west to get the better coastal views. However, crowds are smaller going west to east. The Great Ocean Road in Victoria is Australia's most famous driving route.What is the most scenic part of the Great Ocean Walk? ›
On the Great Ocean Walk, you'll get to see ocean views, rainforests, cliffs, and rock formations. There are many scenic parts of the Great Ocean Road Walk that you can see. But the most scenic part would be between Cape Otway to Aire River.What is the best season for Great Ocean Road? ›
Summer. The summer months are the most popular time to visit the Great Ocean Road. The warm temperatures combined with beautiful beaches and spectacular coastal views, draws visitors from all over the world. Summer is the time that Melburnians take their holidays to the Great Ocean Road.
There are a few different towns along the Great Ocean Road where you can stop over for the night. Some popular towns are Torquay, Lorne, Apollo Bay, and Port Campbell. Each town has beautiful accommodations to stay at or even just a simple room.Is it better to stay at Apollo Bay or Port Campbell? ›
I recommend overnight stays near Apollo Bay and Port Campbell as we did. If you have an extra night, you could add it to either of those locations depending on your interests—Apollo Bay is nearer forests and waterfalls and Port Campbell is nearer the Twelve Apostles and many other beautiful coastal rock formations.Where is the best place to see the 12 Apostles? ›
Port Campbell National Park
They are best viewed at sunset when the yellow rock turns red, orange and every shade in between. Stop at the Twelve Apostles visitor centre and walk the short trail to the windswept lookouts to see the dramatic sight of waves crashing against the famous sea stacks.
Featuring the major stops, seaside towns and villages along the Great Ocean Road including Torquay, Anglesea, Airey's Inlet, Lorne, Wye River, Kennett River, Apollo Bay, Port Campbell National Park, Port Campbell and Allensford; plus Warnambool and Port Fairy (as an extension to the official end of the Great Ocean Rd ...How far is lorne from the twelve apostles via great ocean road? ›
Yes, the driving distance between Lorne to The Twelve Apostles is 163 km. It takes approximately 2h 2m to drive from Lorne to The Twelve Apostles.Which part of Great Ocean Road is best? ›
For lovers of all things wild and grand then the western section is perfect for you. Why? Because it is the home of the Port Campbell National Park – one of Australia's most natural attraction-heavy national parks! The park has long been famous for hosting the 12 Apostles (despite them being more like eight now!)What is the best part of the Great Ocean Walk? ›
- Milanesia Gate to Moonlight Head. This walk is well off the Great Ocean Road and can be challenging to find. ...
- The Three Beech Forest Waterfalls (and Otway Fly). ...
- Castle Cove to Johanna Beach. ...
- Gibson Steps. ...
- Shelly Beach Picnic Area to Blanket Bay.
IS THE GREAT OCEAN ROAD WORTH IT? Of course. The number one attraction for most people is the Twelve Apostles rock formations – in fact there are now only eight, the others having collapsed into the sea – near Princetown in Port Campbell National Park.