If you have not heard of the Great Ocean Road in Australia, then you need to break out google search now and realise you just made an awesome discovery. The Great Ocean Road along the south eastern coast of Australia, is a beautiful coastal drive full of adventure. With amazing wildlife, beautiful beaches, obscure rock formations, and magnificent national parks; this road trip will definitely be one to remember.
Just a few months ago a few friends and I decided to fly into Melbourne and drive the Great Ocean Road. The road trip was planned last minute and we really just had a list of stops and pulled over whenever we heard someone say, "OH MY GOD!" or sounded really amazed.
Since our road trip was pretty awesome and I feel like we managed to fit in all the highlights of the Great Ocean Road, I though it would be best to share our journey so you can have the best experience.
First, we landed at Melbourne airport and picked up our rental car from JUCY before heading out on the road trip. We were all really pumped since this was our first time visiting in Australia and we had plans for everyday of our three week Oz extravaganza. We definitely did not relax on the first and decided to head straight to our first stop on the list, Bells Beach.
Bells Beach, is located along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Australia. This beach is beautiful and is known to be one of the best surfing spots in the world. It's also home to the worlds longest running surf competition, Rip Curl Pro Surf Competition. However, be weary of sharks (we heard about a lot of shark attacks on Bells Beach from the locals). The beach is perfect for a short stroll and just a wander around to take in the beautiful views.
Nest stop and not too far from Bells Beach is Split Point Lighthouse in Aireys Inlet.
Split Point Lighthouse was constructed in 1891 and was originally called Eagles Nest Point. It is still used today and they have daily tours offered for the lighthouse. However, it is just as beautiful to walk around the lighthouse yourself and to explore Aireys Inlet. This was one of my favourite stops along the way. Definitely walk down onto the beach and explore a bit, it is very beautiful down by the water.
After visiting Split Point, our last stops of the day were in Lorne and Apollo Bay.
Apollo Bay is a beautiful coastal town along the Great Ocean Road. This is also a great stopping point at the beginning of your road trip. Apollo Bay has many beach walks and day activities to enjoy and relax. Apollo Bay is also host to the annual Apollo Bay Music Festival and the Great Ocean Sports Festival.
After a beautiful night at Apollo Bay where we slept in a very uncomfortable rental car, we headed out first thing in the morning to Great Otway National Park. Great Otway is a wonderful national park full of amazing treks, wondrous waterfalls, beautiful beaches, and home to many of Australia's famous animals (koalas and kangaroos).
Next up we headed further down the Great Ocean Road until we arrived at Port Campbell. Port Campbell is a very cute little town which is where we ended up staying for the night until we headed back to Melbourne the next day. But to continue our trip we visited the Bay of Islands, Bay of Martyrs, The Grotto, London Bridge, Loch Ard Gorge, and the infamous Twelve Apostles. All of these stops are within a 5mile/8km radius of Port Campbell. Its very simple to drive around and visit all of these stops and they're all magnificent. This coastline is one of the most extraordinary coastlines I have seen so far. This was definitely where most of the trip highlights began.
If you ever get the opportunity to road trip the Great Ocean Road, then take it. It is a quick road trip but it is an experience you will not forget and will cherish forever.
Check out our OZ Extravaganza experience across Australia: