The Ultimate Road Trip: The Great Ocean Road
There can be few vacation destinations as exhilarating as Australia and anyone with even a passing interest in coastal beauty would kick themselves for missing out on the incredible surf beaches that stretch between Allansford and Torquay on the south-east coast of the country along the Great Ocean Road. The National Heritage site is a 243-kilometre long road that’s scattered with some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. The beaches are famous amongst surfers, particularly between March and May, June and August and between December and January. Whatever time of year you visit, however, there are a few locations along the great road that really shouldn’t be missed.
Bells Beach – Torquay
Situated south of Melbourne, Bells Beach is a world-famous surfing destination and the home of the Rip Curl Pro competition every Easter weekend. Even if you don’t (or can’t) surf, you’ll be able to watch some the top riders in the world tear up the surf. And what’s an Australian adventure without a little surf?
A small coastal town with an incredible ocean lookout dubbed “Mariners Lookout” and one of the less ‘touristy’ areas on the road. A definite must-see if you fancy a change of pace.
Whilst the surf here can be treacherous, the views are unreal. The entire area is framed by cliffs and nearby you’ll also find the iconic 12 Apostles limestones stacks, which are worth the journey alone. The area is also great for romantic beach walks, and let’s be honest, most Australian vacations are for lovers, right?
The London Bridge – Port Campbell National Park
Located out in the ocean, this rock formation is so-named as many locals feel it resembles a collapsed London Bridge. The views here are exceptional, but reaching the shores might prove difficult as there are no easy access points.
Kennett River Koala Walk
Everybody loves Koalas and if you’ve never seen one before, Kennett River is an idyllic way to see these cuddly critters. The path winds through the Grey River Road in the Otway Rainforest and is populated by thousands of the iconic little bears.
- Make sure to hire a car or a caravan. It’s an incredibly long stretch and buses are not exactly regular. There are plenty of hotels and hostels scattered along the road though.
- If you are able to hire a camper van (definitely our preferred way to see the road) then be careful about sleeping in your van as you might end up with a fine.
- The further down the coast you get, the more off-road sites you’ll find for camping.
- Always start your journey in Melbourne as it’s not only an incredible city in its own right but flights into Melbourne are more convenient and you’ll have more options when it comes to rental vehicles.
- Buy a local sim card so you have access to the internet and GPS for routes and research.
- Remember to take lots of water on your trip. It gets especially hot in the summer driving along the Great Ocean Road and the last thing you want to suffer from in the middle of a holiday of a lifetime is dehydration!