The Great Ocean Road is one of the world’s most incredible highways, winding for hundreds of kilometres along the coast of Victoria next to the breath-taking Southern Ocean. Taking a drive with views of magnificent cliffs, rolling national parks, historic ports, spectacular mountains, and beautiful beaches is must-do for all visitors down under. With so many spectacular sights to see, take a look at our top tips for where to stop on the Great Ocean Road…
The Twelve Apostles
If you have ever seen a photo of the Great Ocean Road it is likely you have seen the Twelve Apostles. Situated just off-shore from the peaceful Port Campbell National Park, the Twelve Apostles are vast limestone structures which stand proudly emerging from the Southern Ocean. Their impressive beauty is made even more remarkable by the backdrop of the surrounding cliffs, making it one of the best places to stop on the Great Ocean Road. If you are looking to enjoy stunning sunsets whilst in Australia, then at this particular spot you’ll be in for a real treat.
Just 7km from the beginning of the Great Ocean Road at Torquay, the iconic Bells Beach is a surfers’ paradise, with dramatic waves crashing onto the golden sands. The views offered up overlooking the beach are extraordinary, and you may even be able to spot some kangaroos hopping about in the surrounding grasslands. If you are a keen surfer taking the Great Ocean Road drive at Easter time then you’ll have the chance to witness the world’s longest running surf contest right on this very beach.
Wye River is just one of the many picturesque villages found along the stunning stretch of coastline between Lorne and Apollo Bay. Nestled away under forest-covered hills which overlook the ocean, it offers up some of the more memorable views. Being surrounded by the Great Otway National Park, you’ll never be too far away from spotting some Australian wildlife at Wye River, whether it be a Koala, Kangaroo or even a swamp wallaby.
Known as ‘paradise by the sea’, Apollo Bay marks the halfway point of the Great Ocean Road, and, like Bells Beach, is a thriving hub for surfing and water sports. As well as having some beautiful beaches, Apollo Bay is also surrounded by the Otways, a range of hills carpeted in rainforest and filled with trickling streams and waterfalls.
Port Campbell National Park
The Twelve Apostles is just one of the many magnificent sights to see at Port Campbell National Park, and is certainly a place to stop on Great Ocean Road. This national park has an abundance of rock formations to feast your eyes on. The Loch Ard Gorge is a historic site named after a shipwreck which happened there in 1878, but today is a beautiful bay with crystal waters which will not disappoint. The Gibson Steps are another popular stop on the highway, the 86 steps leading down the dramatic cliff line are definitely worth it for an opportunity to stroll along the magnificent beach below.
On your journey to discover the very best of Australia, we can guarantee that it will not be complete without a drive down the iconic Great Ocean Road. We have chosen just our top five spots to stop at along this historic highway but we can assure you that there are many more. No matter where you stop along the way, just make sure to keep your eyes peeled as there are breath-taking views to be seen with every mile!
The organisation and communication were first class. The flexibility in travelling to the destination was impressive and the hotels where we stayed in were all of a good standard. Our Coach was driven by Ken, who was a character and nothing was too much for him.
Mr & Mrs Hall, Magnificent New Zealand
We both enjoyed the Magnificent New Zealand holiday immensely. The Coach Driver/Tour Guide was excellent and the hotels were really comfortable. The holiday was extremely good value and I would recommend it to anyone waning to taste the Antipodean holiday experience.
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