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Written by Shrinivas on April 17, 2020 Share on

Great Ocean Road: Attractions, Adventures & Things to do

The Great Ocean Road is a 243km stretch of road along the southeastern coast of Australia. It is listed as one of the Australian National Heritage sites. The road stretches between Torquay and Allansford. It is one of the world’s largest war memorial built as an homage to the soldiers who lost their lives in World War I. It is a two-way road, with speed limits ranging between 50 kmph and 100 kmph. Home to craggy cliffs, empty beaches and bountiful wildlife it is considered as the word’s most scenic coastal drives. Hiking, Waterfalls, Skydiving, surfing are few amongst the major activities along the region.


The construction was carried out by the soldiers who returned from between 1919 and 1932. The road was first planned towards the end of world war I. The road was intended to connect isolated settlements on the coast and become a crucial link for the timber industry and tourism. It was initially titled as South Coast Road and the construction began in 1918 and the first segment was opened in 1922. Construction was done by hand; using explosives, pick and shovel, wheelbarrows, and some small machinery.

Getting Around

The Great Ocean Road stretch can be covered in anything between 1 & 4 days. The best recommendation is to hire a self-drive car and spend a minimum of 2 days on the road. A point to be noted here is that in Australia people drive on the left. The downside of taking a single day trip is the fact that it gets crowded with tourists throughout the day. The most scenic stretch is between Lorne and Apollo Bay. Port Campbell National park.

The night can be spent in Apollo Bay and the journey to continue all the way to Melbourne. Fuel is expected to be filled at the start itself as the distance between fuel pumps would be long.

Also Read: Top Things to Do in Melbourne in 2023


The cheapest way to explore is by camping. A ton of free campsites can be found along the route. Apollo Bay and Port Campbell satisfy the taste in terms of luxury accommodation options. More motels can be found in boutique hotels in this stretch.

Book your vacation to the land of Kangaroos and Koalas

Things to do

Embrace the scenery

The dramatic south-west coast of Victoria is home to an incredible variety of scenery. Few examples include the 12 Apostles, the charming fishing hamlet Port Fairy.

Immerse into nature

The most versatile showcase of natural beauty is specific to the Great Ocean Road. Ranging from old volcanoes and rugged coastlines to rivers and rain forests, all can be found here.

Meet the wildlife

Native wildlife can found in abundance in The Great Ocean Road. Koalas in the wild at Kennett River and in the Great Otway National Park are the major highlights.

Major highlights

Port Campbell National Park

The Port Campbell National park extends from the eastern face of Curdies Inlet in Peterborough to Point Ronald at Princetown. It is home to The 12. Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge, London Bridge, The Gibson Steps and The Grotto. Apart from being about standing at the 12 Apostles and taking
the “I made it” snap, the park also offers beach walks, shipwreck stories and cliff-top tracks.

The 12 Apostles

Formed a little over 20 million years ago, the 12 Apostles are massive limestone structures standing 45 Mts above the sea level. The gradual erosion of the limestone cliff by the sea is how these structures were formed. As of date, only eight of them still remain. The best time to experience the scenic beauty of the place would either be during sunset or sunrise. A family snap is recommended with these structures as the backdrop.

Lord Ard Gorge

Lord Ard Gorge is one of the most magnificent beaches on the Great Ocean Road. The title Loch Ard Gorge is coined after the ship Loch Ard, which ran aground on Muttonbird Island at the end of the journey from England to Melbourne.

London Arch

Formed by the erosion process by the sea, the London Arch was originally attached to the mainland and was a complete double span. However, in 1990, the span closer to the shoreline collapsed unexpectedly. Prior to the London Arch was referred to as London Bridge because of the striking similarity of its namesake.

The Gibson Steps

The Gibson steps are minutes away from the world-renowned 12 Apostles. It takes visitors down onto a long lustrous beach. Apart from the scenic beauty the beach offers, it is also a popular spot for fishing with plenty of colourful species of fish and other sea creatures flocking just beneath the surface of the sea. Swimming here is not recommended despite its popularity for fishing as the reefs and rip holes account for a rough sea surface in this area.

The Grotto

The grotto is located 9km west of Port Campbell and is one of the must-visits in the region. It’s one of the most enchanting rock formations in Australia and being a part cave, part blow-hole, part archway, it has the most serene views of the ocean. The grotto is filled with limestone carved rock formations and viewing it from the lower viewing platform provides horizon, the jutting rock formations and pools all in one stop.

Also Read: Top Festivals in Melbourne, Australia

Plan your Great Ocean Road trip

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Best time to Visit

The best time to visit Great Ocean Road would be during the summer days in Australia, i.e December to January. These months see the lowest amount of rainfall and days although still not hot, can range between 16 to19 degrees centigrade. However, being the peak season time, a large number of crowds and little over heavy traffic can be expected throughout the stretch. If thin crowds and off-peak rates are the goals of your trip, then off-peak season between February and march or October and November would be the ideal time to plan the trip. The days are considerably warm and relatively dry.

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