Great Ocean Road
One of the most iconic road trips in Australia is located on Melbourne’s doorstep. The Great Ocean Road is just 100 kilometers south west of Melbourne. The journey begins in a town called Torquay and winds along the coast for 244 kilometers full of small coastal towns, famous surf breaks, a foodie haven, gorgeous national parks, countless waterfalls and rainforest walks, as well as breathtaking coastal viewpoints.
This winding road will transport you from sandy beaches to rocky cliffs and there will be a treasure for everyone to enjoy along the way. That is the beauty of this road trip, you have the opportunity to forge your own path and decide how you personally wish to experience this epic journey because there are simply so many options to take along the way.
The Journey begins in a town called Torquay which is the surf capital of Victoria and arguably of Australia as it is home to the famous Bells beach surf break, the surf brand Rip Curl, and the surfing history museum. As you follow the winding coastal highway it leads you through clifftop viewpoints, lush rainforests, and secluded beaches.
Along the way you will have the opportunity to spot local wildlife such as koala, sea lions, kangaroos and even whales if you are lucky. You can zip-line your way through the forest at an adventure park, enjoy a feature film at a historic cinema, or see a rare Victorian sunset over the ocean at Shipwreck Beach.
In terms of nature and national parks there is no shortage along this great ocean track. Most notable would be the Otway National Park where you can enjoy a stroll through a California Redwood Forest, a morning walk down to a misty waterfall, or go on a self-guided tour through a rainforest with 300 year old trees. Aside from the Otway you also have countless waterfalls and viewpoints along the way. Be sure to stop at Erskine falls outside of Lorne for one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the region, also a trip to the great ocean road would not be complete without seeing the famous 12 apostles, a collection of limestone stack that rise up out of the Southern Ocean with stunning unison.
For the foodies in the group you are in luck. Many of the small towns that you will pass through are a foodie heaven. Host to many cozy cafes, modern fine dining, as well as ethnic cuisine ranging from boutique Asian eateries to a taco shack. If your taste buds are still wanting more be sure to check out the gourmet food trail on the way. Here you will find cheese fresh from the farm, chocolateries, ice creameries, as well as a fudgery with fresh local delicacies.
If it is an adventure you are after then be sure to come prepared. From surfing to ziplining, to skydiving, mountain biking, paragliding, horseback riding, surfing and everything in between you will not be disappointed. One day you can be following a line through one of the 16 mountain bike trails that cut through the bush terrain of the Otway and the next you can be dropping in at one of the heaviest waves at Bells Beach. And if you still have energy for more than a zipline through the sky top canopies of the forest, or a skydive over the famous 12 apostles is at your fingertips.
As you can see there is something for everyone on this winding coastal road through country Victoria. And one of the most amazing things about the Great Ocean Road is no matter how many times you take this trip there will always be something new for you to discover. So keep your eyes open and your plans flexible. Be ready to turn off at the lookout that wasn’t on your itinerary, to try a new sport, and to take the time to slow down and enjoy the view.