The great ocean road.
Are you ready to tackle it? Here’s what you can expect. It begins in Torquay and only spans 244km to Warrnambool. This doesn’t sound like a lot right? You can probably tackle this in an afternoon and call it a day? Wrong. Well at least partially. When I set out to tackle the great ocean road I assumed 2 things.
1. It would be 100km/hr the whole way.
2. It would be straight(er).
Well now that I look back I have NO idea why I would think that. It follows the fricken COASTLINE! The average speed is 60km/hr and these are some of the curviest roads I’ve ever driven on. What does that mean? My 3 hr trip time just became 6. But that’s ok you can still tackle that in an afternoon or so but there are a few things you can not miss.
Here’s what’s happening on the road:
- Lorne – An adorable surf town. There are a ton of great waterfalls and walks to be done in Lorne like Erskine falls, Cora Lynn cascades walk, Allenvale mill to phantom walk, Kalimna falls etc. You could easily make a day or three just wandering around these walks and around the town. Grab groceries/a picnic here.
- Next will start the twists and turns portion of the road.. which really won’t stop until the end. Buckle up (literally). Also make sure you have a competent driver, this road isn’t for the weak (or weak stomach’d). This is also the most beautiful portion so make sure you have someone in the car with the video setting handy on the left side of the car. You’re going to want capture this. Stop at a beach along the way and settle in for a few hours. Don’t forget your picnic!
- Ready to camp? The most beautiful campsite I’ve ever seen is nestled between the cliffs called Cumberland river holiday park . Need a dog friendly campsite or one close to the beach? Try Skenes creek campsite just before Apollo Bay. Spend the night in this area. You’re coming close to the end of the GOR.
- Apollo Bay is another cute town 10 minutes further, great for groceries and breakfast. This is your last real town before the end of the road.
- The 12 Apostles is next. You can spend about 1 hour here if you want to be quick. Do the upper path, take your photos and get out of dodge as it will most likely be busy and full of tourists. Want to go off the beaten path? Follow the signs and head down to the beach this will take 2 hours if you’re slow (there’s a lot of steps involved). Want to really go off the beaten path? Check out Loch Ard gorge and cave about 10 minutes down the road. It’s gorgeous and you can swim there (sort of if you like big waves).
This is basically the end of the road unless you want to say you’ve driven the whole way. I wouldn’t drive all the way to Warrnambool. Drive until you stop seeing the ocean and that’s it. You’ll never see it again so turn around.
Want to stretch this out? Sleep in Lorne, Skenes creek, Apollo Bay. Got a week? Cover everything you’d like on the GOR then try heading up to the Pink lake near Dimboola and the Grampians. You can take the highway back to Melbourne from up there.
Sound amazing? Well it is. If you have a few days while in Melbourne definitely check it out. It’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen in all of Australia. Don’t forget to stop as many times as you’d like to check things out. It’s worth it! Use this as a loose guide but blaze your own trail and make your own adventures!
Grab the basics before leaving Melbourne like snacks, water, camping supplies. These will start to become more expensive along the road.
Plan your route before you leave but leave room for PLENTY of stops along the way.
Make a playlist before you set out so you have tons of time to stare out the window
Keep your towel, bathing suit and hiking shoes within reach so you easily stop without hassle
The ocean in Victoria can be rather sharky, swim safely and not alone. Avoid dusk and dawn and swimming with pets.