There is so much to see along this amazing stretch of coastline but I’ll do my best to fit it all into one post!
Torquay, Lorne and Apollo Bay
The three main towns you will drive through on the Great Ocean Road (GOR), all with amazing beaches and lots of choice for a good meal along the waterfront. I definitely recommend exploring these towns making sure to check out Bells Beach (the famous surf beach) near Torquay as well as Teddy’s lookout and Erksine Falls when you’re in Lorne. If you also plan on exploring the national parks in the area then I highly suggest staying in Apollo Bay. While Port Campbell is also in close proximity to the parks, Apollo Bay is still my personal preference (sorry Port Campbell).
After you’ve passed through Torquay and Lorne, Wye river is a great spot for lunch or a relaxing drink with a view over the water. A short drive further and you will also hit Kennet River. While I’m not making any promises, Kennet River is probably your best chance of seeing a koala or a few of the resident king parrots!
If you plan on driving past the Otways then another town worth seeing is Port Fairy. With (surprisingly) yet another beach to relax on, it also has a port to explore or you can go for a stroll on Griffiths island to see the lighthouse.
The National Parks
Port Campbell National park
The amazing iconic stretch of great ocean road and arguably one of the most beautiful national parks in Australia. The attractions along this stretch of coastline include:
- Gibson Steps
- The Twelve Apostles
- London Bridge
- Loch Ard Gorge (my personal favourite)
- The Grottos
- The Arch
A wide range of unique natural rock formations, this could easily take you a whole day if you want to stop and see them all.
If you venture off the path like we did you may be as lucky as us and stumble across an empty lookout. Prime spot for a sunset picnic 😉
Great Otway National Park
With an abundance of hiking trails, waterfalls and beaches there is so much to choose from! We only had one day to explore this national park so we did the California Redwoods, Triplet Falls and Little Aire Falls. California Redwoods is stunning and incredibly easy to walk while Little Aire Falls completely tricked us with its difficulty level (Side note: A 2.5km return hike is NOT a 2.5km loop it is a 5km hike). As someone who considers themselves fairly fit it pains me to admit I was sore for about three days after doing all of these hikes on the one day.
GLOW WORMS – I’ll be honest I was super excited to see this! While I believe you can see them at any time of year, their brightness will depend on current weather conditions such as temperature or recent rainfall. You can also see them in quite a few places throughout the Otways but Melba Gully is the main track. Make sure to bring your torches (using the light from your iPhone really doesn’t cut it trust me) but don’t shine them directly on the glow worms. There are usually quite a few people on the track so walking through a national park at night isn’t actually as scary as it sounds.
Unfortunately none of my photos could really do it any justice so I haven’t included them here but I definitely recommend going on a glow worm hunt of your own if you make it to the Otways!
Another activity you can do is the tree top adventures where you can walk through the canopy. The canopy walk does have a fee so combined with my fear of heights I couldn’t justify this myself. If heights don’t phase you though then go for it! I’d love to hear from someone who has done this.
If anyone else has anything to add please message me or comment below! As always I’m happy to hear from you 🙂
Amberlee Jane xx