The Great Ocean Road photo

10 Tips for a Great Ocean Road adventure

The Great Ocean Road is a National Heritage-listed site that runs along the South-Eastern coast of Australia. 243 kilometres long, to be exact. Earlier this year we decided to pack our bags and tick this one off our bucket list. Here is a little guide for anyone else looking to take the journey, based on our own adventure.

1. What To Bring

First thing’s first, you will need a car. This is most definitely a road trip adventure. You may already be driving in from interstate. Or if you’re a Melbournian, there’s plenty of places to rent a car and hit the Great Ocean Road. The journey from the city centre only takes about 1.5 hours. Get a chance to test out that campervan, Ferarri, pink stretch hummer – take your pick.

Secondly, bring a friend, bring your mum or better yet, bring bae. There is nothing better than sharing the experience with someone. Splitting the driving and photography duties also comes in extremely handy. Remember to bring a camera because there are endless photo opportunities to be had. Make sure your iPhone is charged, the digital has a card in it and the 35mm is loaded.

Great Ocean Road

2. Eat and Sleep in Lorne

Lorne is a popular destination along the Great Ocean Road with plenty of shops, accommodation and a very nice beach. Depending on your budget there is a range of places to stay. From caravan park vibes to lavish high-end hotels. Stay wherever floats your boat. Take a stroll along the beach at dusk, make your way along the rocks and head to the wharf. We had a great time mingling with some local fishermen as the sun went down. Top picks for food along the main strip are Mexican Republic, and Chopstix noodle bar. The best cafes would have to be The Bottle of Milk or Cafe Kaos.

Lorne - Great Ocean Road

Lorne Fishermen on the wharf

3. Go on a Bush Walk – Triplet Falls

Venture off the coastal road for a couple of hours and head towards Great Otway National Park. Here lie Triplet Falls and Erskine Falls, perfect for getting your nature hit. There are plenty of walking tracks, waterfalls and lookouts throughout this spectacular rainforest. Here are some song lyrics we ignored – “Don’t go chasing waterfalls, please stick to the rivers and the lakes that you’re used to” – TLC

Triplet Falls

Triplet Falls Photo

4. Go Surfing in Torquay

Head to the beach and hit the waves in Torquay. There are tonnes of different surf breaks along this coastline. We’re sure you’ve heard of the famous Bells Beach before. This spot is popular for a reason and definitely worth checking out. It’s the home of the Ripcurl Pro World Surf League which takes place in April every year. Like us, you might not be seasoned pros either. So we’ve got you covered with a recommendation for a top surf school in the area. Torquay Surf Academy is a great place to go for some lessons with awesome teachers who are super friendly.

Surf lessons Torquay

Surfing at Bells Beach

5. Split Point Lighthouse – Aireys Inlet

If you watched Round the twist when you were younger you’ll definitely recognise this lighthouse! Split Point Lighthouse, in the sleepy town of Aireys Inlet is a very cool spot for taking some holiday snaps. If you’re keen, take a tour up into the lighthouse. There are also some great ocean lookouts from ground level too.

Split Point Light house

6. Balancing rocks – Carisbrook Creek

The Balancing Rocks at Carisbrook Creek are a really interesting thing to see. We spotted them as we were driving past and had to check them out. During peak holiday season there can be quite a substantial amount of these man-made balancing rocks sculptures. They’re definitely worth a peep and you could even try adding your own rock sculpture to the collection!

Carisbrook balancing rocks

7. The Great Ocean Road Sign 

You can’t prove you were actually on the Great Ocean Road unless you get a photo of the official log sign, right? It looks like something from an American State Forest entrance and is an excellent location for some Instagram shots! Please take care and stay off the road as much as possible when attempting selfies, squats or star jumps.

Photo at the Great Ocean Road sign

The Great Ocean Road sign

8. Johanna Seaside Cottages

Stay a night in the picturesque country town of Johanna. There’s a campground right near the beach or you can rent these amazing seaside cottages located on private farmland. The cottages are fully furnished with a spa bath and beautiful views. It’s an awesome place to unwind and take a break from all the driving.

Johanna seaside cottages

9. Loch Ard Gorge

The Loch Ard Gorge is part of Port Campbell National Park and is about three minutes west of The Twelve Apostles. There is a carpark just above the gorge and stair access down to the base. You will be amazed by the scale of the gorge and the narrow ocean opening that Mother Nature has created from this cliff face. Don’t forget your swimmers as it is a perfect place for a dip.

Loch - ard gorge photo

Lock-ard Gorge photo

10. The Twelve Apostles 

Last but not least is The Twelve Apostles, these beautiful limestone stacks are just off the coastline of Port Campbell National Park. There’s a reason why this such a popular sightseeing destination, it’s definitely one of the most amazing things we’ve ever seen. Fun fact: there are actually only eight formations left in the cluster due to erosion…

photo of the 12 Apostles

12 Apostles photo

Sometimes we feel like we have to travel across the world to escape on a holiday but that’s really not the case. There are so many unique and beautiful places right on our doorstep that are well worth a visit. So next time you’re thinking about your next holiday adventure, why not drive down the stunning Great Ocean Road. We guarantee you’ll enjoy the adventure