Scenic Drive through Great Ocean Road

Scenic Drive through Great Ocean Road
Scenic Drive through Great Ocean Road, Melbourne(Australia)- Photo taken from Helicopter ride

Experience the world’s one of the most scenic Drive of approximately 250kms along the Southern Ocean through Great Ocean Road.  Great Ocean Road stretches along the south-eastern coast of Australia near Victoria’s capital city of Melbourne.  This drive takes you through Australia’s exotic natural wonders like colonies of wild Koalas, misty waterfalls, historic lighthouse, tranquil dense Rainforests with unique flora and fauna, surf beaches, rugged limestone spires which are carved by ocean waves, stunning sunrises-sunsets and natural farm and fishing villages.  The drive along Great Ocean Road comes under the World’s 10 Best Coastal Drive.  So let’s go for Scenic drive through Great Ocean Road………………

The main Highlights of Scenic Drive through Great Ocean Road trip are

  • The Twelve Apostles
  • Loch Ard Gorge
  • London Arch
  • Walk in Rain-forest
  • Apollo Bay

This 150miles road trip starts from Melbourne passing through Geelong.  It takes around 90 minutes to reach the first scenic town of Great Ocean Road named Torquay.

Torquay – Torquay is famous for world’s best surfers’ area.  Torquay is home to famous surf bands – Rip Curl and Quicksilver.

Scenic Drive through Great Ocean Road
Torquay Surf Beaches

Airey’s Inlet – After Torquay, there is second stop at Airey’s Inlet, a beautiful boutique coastal town with peaceful & serene beach sides, stunning river valley.  Also, visit the famous lighthouse named Split Point Lighthouse.  From this point, the dramatic curves and unique natural beauty of Great Ocean Road begins.

After this for whole day go for a round, steep and curvy road rides over the cliffs and besides the Southern Ocean’s waves crashing the shores.

Lorne – Next stop is at Lorne which is the spectacular small town where greenery meets the beach.  This is an ideal and famous stop at Great Ocean Road for taking refreshments, lunch, shopping and in short,  freshen up.  There are more than ten waterfalls within 10 kilometers of Lorne with beautiful walkways.  Lorne is also famous for whale watching during May to September.  We missed waterfalls tour, due to lack of time as we have to reach 12 Apostles by sunset.

Scenic Drive through Great Ocean Road
Stopping at Lorne town for Scenic Drive through Great Ocean Road

 
 

Otway National Park – This is a cool temperate rainforest with highest rainfalls in the state.  It houses 3 layers cascaded waterfall.  The northern side of Park features tall Eucalyptus trees, ferny walkways, and tranquil dense paths.  Here you can encounter with colorful local special species of birds which are special Australian Parrots.

Port Campbell  National Park – Now you have reached the iconic sight of 12 Apostles. Travel along “The Shipwreck Coast” within Port Campbell National Park.  Port Campbell National Park is world famous for its unique limestone natural rock formations and Twelve Apostles.

Scenic Drive through Great Ocean Road
The Twelve Apostles at Great Ocean Road – Aerial Shot taken by me from Helicopter ride

This Port Campbell Park is at 190 km approximately to south-west Melbourne.  This park is located adjacent to Great Otway National Park.  The major attractions in the park are

  • The Twelve Apostles
  • The London Arch
  • Loch Ard Gorge
  • Gibson Steps
  • The Grotto

The Twelve Apostles are the show-stopper of the whole trip.  These huge 45 meters tall limestone pillars carved by ocean waves, were formed 20 million years ago.


Scenic Drive through Great Ocean Road
Sunset at Great Ocean Road

Don’t go by the name 12 Apostles, as actually in recent times there are Eight.  As they are eroded, it may reduce even further as actually in beginning there were Nine in the cluster.  Also, I recommend taking a short Helicopter Flight over The Twelve Apostles as this is lifetime and only one-time beautiful experience.  Though this flight is for few minutes but very scenic and you will get the whole Aerial view of that place.  You will fly around the rocky pillars very closely with miles of Southern Ocean in front of you.

Then go to Loch Ard  Gorge and know the shipwreck story.  After this go for London Arch (London Bridge) view.  This is natural bridge shaped arch which was connected to the mainland, before 1990. In 1990’s due to erosion, it got separated from the mainland.  Also, a couple of tourists were stranded over here and were rescued by helicopters.

London Arch can be viewed through 3 angles throughout different pathways for complete views.

Port Campbell – Visit this popular Holiday and beach resort village.  Port Campbell is a fishing village.  This seaside village is very lively and colorful with many restaurants, cafes, and bakeries.

Scenic Drive through Great Ocean Road
Port Campbell town

TIPS FOR THE Scenic Drive through GREAT OCEAN ROAD –

  • The whole drive is very scenic and therefore take extra memory for your cameras as you will take loads of photographs.
  • Check the weather before planning this trip as clear skies and summers are mostly recommended for this outdoor activity.
  • As the route is through mountainous slopes, curves and bends you may feel slightly dizzy or nausea during the drive. Be prepared for it. Take a light meals whole day and also keep some medication to prevent motion sickness.
  • Don’t do the Great Ocean Road full tour in one day as it would be too hectic and rushy trip. Split your trip to a minimum two to three days with a stay over at one of the beautiful towns on Great Ocean Road.  Visit all rock formations, sandy beaches, waterfalls, wildlife along the whole drive. I did this tour in one day, for which I deeply regret now.
  • If you are driving from Torquay(East) to Warrnambool(West) route then, mostly the stunning views will fall on your left side. Grab your seat towards left as major viewing areas, points, and stunning landscapes will lie on your left.
  • Australians drive on the left-hand side just like U.K. or India and so be prepared for it. If you are not very expert driving on mountains then opt for local operated tours.
  • Wear comfortable shoes or footwear as there is a lot of hikes and walk all day long.
  • Carry small jacket or hoodie as in evenings it can be little chilly or windy.
  • I recommend HELICOPTER TOUR OVER THE TWELVE APOSTLES.
  • Fuel your car to full as you will find Gas Refueling Stations after long distances.
  • Carry lots of water and refreshments as in between there are no shops or supermarkets. Only you will hotels and shops at small towns only.
  • If you love beaches then pack your swimming essentials with you.
  • During your rainforest tour, you cannot go with strollers and wheelchairs and mostly you have to carry your kids/children.
  • There is weak mobile signals or phone coverage in between some places, so carry an offline and hard copy of maps with you.
  • Don’t rush for The Twelve Apostles, because there are too many views points and places in between. Admire and enjoy the wonders of nature.
  • Bushfires are serious during extreme summers. Check live updates of bushfire if you are visiting this in extreme summers.
  • Don’t miss Sunset or Sunrise over The Twelve Apostles – beautiful natural wonder of Australia.

I have done this tour before a couple of years ago when I was living in Melbourne, Australia. Check all details as there may be some slight changes in recent times.

Very soon I will be posting Things to See or Do in Melbourne.

There are many wonderful nature tours in Australia. Check their official tourism website.

So, till then KEEP TRAVELING……………… KEEP EXPLORING……………………………………………………

All photos are taken by me and use of photos without permission would result in legal action.

DISCLAIMER – The content of the blog is solely my views of a place or a thing. This is not to offend any class, religion, ethnicity or nation. My views can change from time to time. This blog may contain some advertisements or links to commercial products and for that, this site is not responsible after you click those advertisements.  We are the independent owner of this site and views expressed in this are our own. All photographs are owned by me.  There can be slight differences in distances, locations or some details for which I (owner) am not responsible.  This post may contain some affiliate links, means at no additional cost to you.  I will earn if you will click through affiliates and make a purchase

 

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62 Comments

  1. I’m so glad I found your post! I’m planning a trip to Australia next year and we also wanted to drive along the Great Ocean Road. Now I know where the good spots are – and the 12 Apostels are already on my list of course 😉

  2. This looks awesome. We just did one of the most scenic drive in the US, and it is so fun to make all the stops.

  3. WOW, I had no idea you see see the twelve apostles and all of these sights on the same road trip! And yes, the helicopter tour sounds like a great way to see it. Australia is so massive, these are great tips for maximum road trip.

  4. Australia looks amazing. Do you really see koala bears from the road?? 12 apostles looks unreal! Like it’s made from clay or something! art! You actually saw that?!?

    1. yes, I saw Koala roaming freely and once Kangaroo too crossed the road and our bus just stopped in between to take those glimpses. I could not take pictures of kangaroo as he ran very fast. Those Apostles are made up of limestone and yes I watched them very closely.

  5. This in on my bucket list and hopefully will get to it next year. The long drive and the sea on your side. What else could you want. The twelve apostles another great think to tick off my list. Thanks for sharing tips. Visuals are great as well

  6. Thanks for the tip about timing as I would definitely have tried to pack it all in to one day. It is even more stunning than I imagined although I think a dangerous detour for me could be to Torquay to Ripcurl. I love their stuff

  7. That looks so impressive and beautiful! Australia is actually very high on my list, probably next year… Your post gave me some great additional inspirations. The London Arch somehow reminds me a lot to the coast line of Iceland with these huge rocks and cliffs. Also the 12 Apostles (or actually 8) must also be something truly amazing to see with the own eyes…

    1. yes, you are very much correct, the cliffs and rock formations along Great Ocean Ride looks quite similar to those of Iceland’s road trip.

  8. I missed out on this when I was just in Australia. Those limestone pillars look incredible! Thank you for this guide!

  9. I live in Victoria and have done this scenic route many times and I can vouch for this list! no matter how many times I do it, I am always still so awed by how beautiful it is. It truly never gets old. If you have time, I’d add the Otway ranges too and look for the waterfalls and go to the Otway Fly.

  10. So many great sights along the Great Ocean Road! I will take your advice on the helicopter tour. That seems like the best way to see the 12 apostles!

  11. Sad that there are only 8 of the 12 Apostles left now. I was reading a news item recently which mentioned a few other similar natural landscapes that have been eroded with time. Your suggestion to take a helicopter ride looks beautiful.

  12. Simply enthralled to read your post, so much scenic beauty and natural structures that are beyond words could describe, this road trip is definitely worth it. I wish I can do it someday. IN love with the pictures

    1. Great Ocean Road drive is more beautiful than pictures. No camera can capture the real beauty than seeing it personally. Must visit place in Australia.

  13. This 250 kilometers of scenic road is a something which is to be added to my bucket list of destinations. The Twelve Apostles, the nature’s wonder, will surely be the sight to watch out for.

  14. I’ve not been to this side of Australia. I’ve added the Great Ocean Road to my “must-see” list. I’m particularly intrigued by the 12 Apostles. Thanks for the great post.

  15. I like the natural rock formations and Twelve Apostles. Beautiful colors and scenery. I place I would love to reach with my camera kit.

  16. I have heard about this drive. It looks amazing, and in over all, Australia has so much to offer. I would love to visit here someday. Very useful tips! I have not realised that a fire or something like that could affect on the visit on this area during summers.

  17. These are some amazing photos and a beautiful travelogue. I love the landscape and the wildlife of Australia. Although, the whole place looks really hot, is there a winter or monsoon season to take this road trip too?

    1. Yes you can any time of the year… but check for clear weather as durin fog you will miss all those beautiful sights. In summers it is not so hot.. very pleasant

  18. Oh, how I love road trips, especially the scenic ones, and even more if they run along the coast. Planning great Australian tour later this year and a couple (or more) of scenic road trips will sure be part of my itinerary. Thanks for sharing. Eva

  19. I am still struck by how similar the Great Ocean Road is to Big Sur in California.Taking a helicopter ride over the Twelve Apostles seems like a brilliant idea. I love seeing nature from the air.

  20. Wow! I would love to see the Port Campbell National Park. The natural rock formations are fascinating. I wonder how time limestone pillars became that tall.

  21. My wife and I have been looking to visit Australia for some time now. We have some friends in Melbourne, so the Great Ocean Road would be an incredible opportunity for us. I will save this article for when we decide to make the trip. Lots of great info!

  22. One of our Australian clients live near Port Campbell. The Twelve Apostles rock formation is beautiful and eerie at the same time, especially during misty weather. Also, I have some Australian friends who do DWS (deep water soloing) somewhere in this stretch.

    1. Wow that’s great, Your friend lives in a beautiful place. I don’t know much about DWS but it must be interesting thing.

      1. DWS (deep water soloing) is a form of rock climbing wherein a climber ascends sea cliffs. No ropes or safety equipment is used. If he/she falls, he/she simply falls into the water below and swims back to the cliff for another try.

      2. very adventurous… By reading only, I am getting goosebumps, but it must be most beautiful thing to do.

  23. I did this route 8 years ago on my 30th birthday and was not blessed with good weather! High winds and spotted rain storms ALL DAY. I was also on a bus tour which isn’t as great as driving yourself but despite all of that -still remember the magnanimity of the apostles and the Arch!

    My trip to Melbourne had me thinking I’d love to spend a few years there!

  24. There are two scenic drives that is still on my bucket list and this is one of them. The other one being the California Coast. Twelve Apostles rock formation is gorgeous and thanks for the info on it only being 8. I would have been counting for 12 and losing my mind not being able to count 8 🙂

  25. No doubt the great ocean road is so famous. Twelve Apostles definitely are the show stoppers. But the other pit stops are no less wonderful. I would take this route the first time I visit Australia. Thanks for the virtual tour in the meanwhile 🙂 and all the information.

  26. The Great Ocean road makes for one of the most scenic road trips in the world. Of course the 12 apostles is a magical place. A helicopter ride over this iconic sight must indeed have been an experience that you will cherish for a long, long time. You have brought alive the spectacular Great Ocean road and have tempted us to get there asap!

  27. I’m so glad I stumbled across this post, my husband and I were just discussing different road trip options in Australia. The Great Ocean Road definitely looks like one we should be putting top of the list! Surfing in Torquay sounds like so much fun. Great tips about the motion sickness though – my husband gets horrendously motion sick so will definitely have to bring some drugs along with us!

  28. This is probably one of the best road trip destinations I’ve read about, Yukti! The Great Ocean Road goes right to my bucket list after reading your post. The scenery seems unforgettable. I would love to live near Port Campbell. 😀

  29. Such an awesome experience. Driving through the great ocean road looks so much fun with many beautiful nature. The London Arch looks amazing with different angles, as well as the Torquay. I will take the helicopter tour if I have a chance to go on the same itinerary.

  30. That’s an amazingly scenic place! Beautiful coastline and dramatic rock formations. The London Arch reminds us of the now collapsed Azure Window in Malta.

  31. What a absolutely beautiful place to take a road trip and explore! Australia I think is one of those places everybody wants to or has to visit once in a life time! Your photo’s are gorgeous and information very useful.

    1. You can go through guided tours which are available from Melbourne. They stop at all these scenic stopovers with lunch and breakfast inclusive. Even I took the guided tour, as the person driving does not enjoy the scenes on Left hand side.

  32. This looks like an epic road trip. Who wouldn’t love a trip like this which involves rocky crags, stunning beaches, lighthouses, whales, and national parks? Great suggestion to take a helicopter ride over the 12 Apostles. They are stunning. And it looks like you could almost jump from the mainland to London Bridge. I loved going whale watching, and would happily do it again and again.

    1. Very true… It is an epic and unforgettable road trip in Australia. Seeing all forms of nature at one place is really wonderful.

  33. I had the chance to see the Great Ocean Road 2 years ago and loved every minute of it, it’s absolutely gorgeous! I agree with your advice to take more than one day – we did two days on our trip, and because of that got to see both the sunset and the sunrise at the 12 Apostles! Amazing how different the light was!

  34. I really love looking at those beautiful beaches from Australia! But having a road trip like this sounds really cool and packed with a different and wonderful experience. It is like you will just stand there and enjoy the ocean breeze and look at the perfect views. Thanks for sharing!

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