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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you love exotic animals of Australia, and want to see them in their natural habitat, then go for this Road trip from Adelaide to Darwin. Click here to read more on it.
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……………………………………………………
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