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Which direction to drive on GOR?

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posts: 169
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Which direction to drive on GOR?

Hi everyone,

I am planning a 3 day, 2 night trip on the great ocean road, starting and ending in Melbourne. Unfortunately my travel dates happen to coincide with the queen's long birthday weekend (June 10-12), so I'm guessing it'll be very crowded (and my accommodation options have been greatly limited). At someone's suggestion I looked at ridetours.com, but my husband and I prefer the independence of self-drive. I was originally thinking to go Melbourne to Lorne or Apollo Bay on the first day, then to Port Campbell for the second night, and then back to Melbourne on the 3rd day. However, something on the ride tours website made me wonder if I should reverse my route....

Ride tours says "Also, at Ride we don’t like to follow all the other buses if it can be helped. So whilst everyone else turns left out of Melbourne, we turn right and head to the end of the Great Ocean Road and work back. This means that we will have a lot more time at sights without loads of other tourists around. The trip also works a lot better in this direction because we get the long drive out of the way first and then the trip just builds and builds and gets better and better."

I am not sure exactly what the turn left/turn right out of Melbourne means and its hard for me to understand how reversing the route would avoid the crowds, but reading this made me wonder if we should do the inland road to Warrnambool on the first day and then work from there back to Melbourne along the GOR. Opinions?

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Business Travel, New South Wales
posts: 27,372
reviews: 615
1. Re: Which direction to drive on GOR?

I think it comes down to personal choice. I prefer to do the Melbourne to Lorne trip first, the main reason being , you are on the view side driving to Lorne and the view is amazing.

Plus on the way home you can just relax and chat about the spectacular scenery you have just witnessed.

Lorne, Australia
posts: 6
reviews: 25
2. Re: Which direction to drive on GOR?


I am glad to see you are thinking about coming down to our beautiful part of the world. I agree with the other post go from Melbourne to Port Campbell first as this puts you on the viewing side of the road. I travel this road nearly every day to and from Geelong and I never tire of it.

I would recommend going from Melbourne to Geelong then on to Torquay where you can check out the surfwear factory outlets, from there travel through Angelsea to Lorne. Take the time to follow the signs to the golf club in Anglesea where you are pretty much guaranteed to see kangaroos roaming around in the wild.

Why not have lunch at Ä la Greque in Airey's Inlet? Then walk it off along the beach at Fairhaven. Completing your days travel in Lorne. You will need to book accommodation in advance for the weekend even in winter and especially on a long weekend. This will be an easy day, as if you travel Lorne direct from Melbourne it is only a 2 hour drive.

On the second day you will cover the most scenic part of the Great Ocean Road when you first leave Lorne. It has to be one of the best drives in the world. Progress through Apollo Bay and on to the twelve apostles where you will be able to spend quite a while taking in the spectacular scenery. From the twelve apostles it is not far to Port Campbell. Once again book your accommodation in advance.

Keep in mind you will have to get out of the car to see the sights at the twelve apostles and the weather in June can be very cold, wet and windy. Then again you can get some very nice weather on the Queen's birthday weekend! The drive this day is longer but comfortable.

Next day take the inland route back to Melbourne. The queen's birthday weekend is relatively busy in all the coastal resorts but it is not unpleasantly so. Nothing like summer. The weather can be wild but that is when I love it most, it is so spectacular.

Have a wonderful trip.

3. Re: Which direction to drive on GOR?

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