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Drive along the stunning Great Ocean Road to explore Australia’s dramatic southern coastline. Keep your camera ready, because craggy cliffs, charming villages, seal and penguin colonies and secluded beaches are possible sightings on every turn. The trip’s highlights are the impressive free-standing rocks called the Twelve Apostles, separated from the steep cliffs by the eroding effect of the ocean.
The Great Ocean Road starts at Torquay, which is an just over an hour’s drive southwest from Melbourne, in the direction of Avalon Airport. The winding road connects Torquay with Allansford in the southern state of Victoria. If you can’t hire a car, take a coach from Melbourne’s Southern Cross Station to Geelong, the departure point for coastal bus services.
Learn how to surf on Bell’s Beach in Torquay, where some of Australia’s famous surf-wear brands started out. Further south is Anglesea, a coastal town surrounded by rainforest. Kayak over the Anglesea River or visit the Sunday craft market .
Enjoy the many cultural delights in Airey’s Inlet or climb the historic Split Point Lighthouse. Explore the Great Otway National Park at Lorne and hike through heath and rainforest to the Erskine Falls. Drive inland from Apollo Bay to do the Otway Treetop Walk.
If you love hiking solo or with a guide, set out on the Great Ocean Walk from Apollo Bay. The 8-day coastal trail leads all the way to the Twelve Apostles viewing platform in Port Campbell National Park. Camp along the way if you can carry your gear or book hotels along the way.
As seen from Port Campbell National Park, the limestone towers that make up the Twelve Apostles are sure to impress. Don’t be surprised to find only eight rock formations; the name is merely symbolical. Return to the viewing deck at dusk to see little penguins waddle ashore.
Finish your road trip at the historic quarter of Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village in Warrnambool and treat yourself to fresh seafood with ocean views.
Situated by the ocean, this spa hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Lake Pertobe Adventure Playground and Warrnambool Beach. Warrnambool Visitor Information Centre and Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village are also within 1 mi (2 km).
Located in Surf Coast, this beachfront hotel is in the city center and within 1 mi (2 km) of Lorne Surf Life Saving Club and Qdos Art Gallery. Lorne Country Club and Teddy's Lookout are also within 2 mi (3 km).
This family-friendly Torquay campground is located by the ocean, within a 10-minute walk of Surf World Museum and Torquay Central Farmers Market. Torquay Golf Club is 1 mi (1.5 km) away.
Situated near the airport, this motel is within a 15-minute walk of Warrnambool Art Gallery, Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village, and Warrnambool Visitor Information Centre. Warrnambool Beach and Logan's Beach Whale-Watching Platform are also within 1 mi (2 km).
Located in Surf Coast, this motel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Lorne Surf Life Saving Club, Qdos Art Gallery, and Lorne Country Club. Teddy's Lookout is 1.7 mi (2.8 km) away.
Situated by the ocean, this motel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Great Ocean Road Visitor Information Centre and Apollo Bay Harbour. Old Cable Station Museum and Marriners Lookout are also within 3 mi (5 km).
Located in the heart of Warrnambool, this motel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Warrnambool Botanical Gardens and Logan's Beach Whale-Watching Platform. Warrnambool Art Gallery and Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village are also within 2 mi (3 km).
Located in Surf Coast, this campground is within 1 mi (2 km) of Lorne Surf Life Saving Club, Qdos Art Gallery, and Lorne Country Club. Teddy's Lookout is 1.6 mi (2.5 km) away.