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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.
Located in Lorne, this beachfront hotel is in the city center and within 2 mi (3 km) of Lorne Surf Life Saving Club, Lorne Country Club, and Teddy's Lookout. Erskine Falls and Split Point Lighthouse are also within 12 mi (20 km).
Situated near the beach, this luxury apartment building is within 1 mi (2 km) of Lorne Surf Life Saving Club and Teddy's Lookout. Lorne Country Club is 1.6 mi (2.6 km) away.
Situated by the ocean, this romantic hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Torquay Central Farmers Market and Surf World Museum. Torquay Golf Club is 1.9 mi (3.1 km) away.
Situated by the ocean, this spa hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Middle Island and Lake Pertobe Adventure Playground. Warrnambool Beach and Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village are also within 1 mi (2 km). Warrnambool Station is 27 minutes by foot.
Situated by the sea, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Lorne Surf Life Saving Club and Teddy's Lookout. Lorne Country Club is 2.3 mi (3.6 km) away.
Situated by the ocean, this luxury hotel is 2.1 mi (3.4 km) from Torquay Central Farmers Market and 2.1 mi (3.4 km) from Surf World Museum. Torquay Golf Club and Bellbrae Estate Winery are also within 6 mi (10 km).
This family-friendly Warrnambool campground is located near the beach, within a 10-minute walk of Lake Pertobe Adventure Playground and Warrnambool Beach. Middle Island and Pickering Point Lookout are also within 15 minutes. Warrnambool Station is 25 minutes by foot.
Situated by the ocean, this spa aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Coogoorah Park and Anglesea Surf Beach. Anglesea Golf Club and Ellimatta Reserve are also within 1 mi (2 km).