We are so fortunate to call Australia home. But as international globetrotters (we wish we had a fancy title like this) we rarely see much of our own country. Ironic, isn’t it? That’s why we endeavored to see more of our own country this year before we embark on a special adventure soon. So, after a lot of debate, we agreed on visiting The Great Ocean Road in Victoria. And boy, aren’t we glad that we did. So, in order for you to conquer The Great Ocean Road like we did, we have compiled our exclusive guide in a step-by-step format for you to follow.
Hire a Car from Melbourne
Melbourne is the nearest major city to fly into. So hire your car from Melbourne and the first day and drop it back after your Great Ocean Road adventure and spend some days exploring this cosmopolitan city after.
Pit stop in Geelong
The drive to our overnight base in Apollo Bay took approximately 3 hours from Melbourne without stops. So we decided to make a pit stop along the way. Freckleduck is a cool café with delicious and healthy bites and is located right in the city centre, making it the perfect place to grab a coffee and refuel, the body, before continuing the long drive.
Check-in to The Seafarer’s Getaway
The most modern and affordable accommodation along the Great Ocean Road can be found at The Seafarer’s Getaway. As we visited during the cold winter months, a short stay in the beautiful beach lodge, complete with gas fireplace, ocean views, and a full kitchen, was unbeatable. The Seafarer’s Getaway’s location in Apollo Bay, one of the more developed towns along The Great Ocean Road, meant that we not only had access to The Great Ocean Road but we also were in close proximity of restaurants and major supermarkets, making our trip a lot more convenient. We cannot recommend The Seafarer’s Getaway enough because it quickly became one of our favourite hotels we have stayed at around the world for its tranquility and modern yet minimalistic style of accommodation.
Book your stay here || http://seafarers.com.au/
Relax and enjoy dinner at Casalingo
After the long drive, simply unwind at the resort and enjoy a dine-in or takeaway Italian meal at the popular Casalingo restaurant in Apollo Bay.
The Twelve Apostles and the Loch Ard Gorge
Wake up early and begin the hour and a half drive to The Twelve Apostles Visitor Centre. After enjoying the picturesque lookouts at The Twelve Apostles, make your way to the Loch Ard Gorge. Make sure to look at it from above and below to appreciate the sheer size and beauty of the area.
London Bridge and The Grotto
Make your way towards Peterborough along The Great Ocean Road for about 15 minutes and you will find yourself in the stretch of The Great Ocean Road that is dotted with cool natural landmarks and lookouts. Take the time to stop at as many as you like but make sure to include The London Bridge and The Grotto.
Cape Otway Lighthouse
The Cape Otway Lighthouse is Australia’s oldest working lighthouse and its location along the coast makes it a great destination to visit. It’s an hour and a half drive from The Grotto and the drive takes you through a pretty red Beech Tree forest complete with herds of cows that cause traffic jams sometimes!
Head home along The Great Ocean Road
Spend the day taking the windy route home to enjoy the scenery for a last time and to fit in last minute sightseeing. Make a pit stop in Lorne on the way home if you want to break the drive up.
If you are unsure of your driving skills, take the Princes Highway to get to The Great Ocean Road and drive home along the Great Ocean Road. This driving route gives you time to familiarise yourself on the easier to drive highway and get used to your hire car before tackling the windy curves of The Great Ocean Road.
In the rain the roads can be slippery so make sure to drive a bit slower especially through forested areas where the roads do not dry off as fast.
Use the overtaking lanes and pull over spots (sorry we didn’t know their technical name) if you want to drive slower. There is nothing worse than being pressured by fast car sitting on your bumper for 2 hours of driving, so for more cautious vehicles, always try to stop in one of the pull over zones to allow the faster cars to take over.
Take breaks! Not only is this a great way to get some rest but it also allows you to see more along your journey. Pick a cute picnic spot or lookout and make sure to walk around a lot.
Take a driving buddy. Try to take turns driving so that both of you can see the sights and take a break.
If you really don’t want to drive there are heaps of busses and tour companies that will take you to The Great Ocean Road, so don’t feel obliged to drive!
We love hearing from you!
Leave us a comment below with any other tips or must-sees for visiting The Great Ocean Road.