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The Great Ocean Road region is a gem that rivals the other stunning Australian landscape such Great Barrier Reef and Uluru, and is much easier to access. Stretching 243 kilometres from Torquay to Warrnambool, the road provides access to breathtaking coastal headlands and untouched national parks and is often regarded as one of the world's greatest drives.
The iconic 12 Apostles, immense limestone stacks that rise from the sea near Port Campbell, offer unrivalled views at sunrise and sunset. Do not miss the once in a life time opportunity to take a helicopter ride over the rock formations to witness a completely different perspective of this wonder of nature.
Surfers must take time to stop in to Australia’s largest Surf Museum ‘SurfWorld’ found in the Torquay, and excellent surf breaks exist in the town and nearby at Jan Juc and Bells Beach.
With its picture postcard scenery Lorne is another must-see on your drive – be sure to relax with a coffee from one of the sidewalk cafés or a heartier meal seafood from one of the local restaurants.
A little further down the coast and you will enter the fishing village of Apollo Bay where you can buy fresh fish from the Co-op on the pier. Apollo Bay is positioned at the southern tip of the ruggedly beautiful Great Otway National Park. This park comprises 13,000 hectares of wilderness including the historic Cape Otway Light Station and the more contemporary Otway Fly Tree Top Walk.
Next on your Great Ocean Road journey is the Shipwreck Coast where more than 160 wrecks lie – a legacy of the treacherous waters. Be sure to explore the rich maritime history that is recounted in the Flagstaff Hill Maritime Museum at Warrnambool. A thrilling finale to a museum visit is the sound and light show “Shipwrecked” which tells the story of the wreck of the clipper Loch Ard.
Warrnambool is also known as Victoria’s Southern Right Whale nursery and you can witness the whales from a land platform between May and October each year.
Port Fairy, one of Victoria’s busiest fishing ports offers marine adventures, fantastic food, antiques and art. Enjoy a stroll along one of the heritage walks to discover wide streets lined by charming nineteenth century cottages.
The Great Ocean Walk, which stretches from Apollo Bay through to Glenample Homestead, is an amazing way to see 104km of remarkable sights – most of which you would miss from your car. This walk has a step on and step off approach making it ideal for anyone whether you are interested in a part day, full day or six day hike. This walk can be enjoyed independently or as part of a guided tour.
The road itself was built between 1919 & 1926 by soldiers who had just returned from the First World War, and is considered the world's largest & longest war memorial. A visit here will certainly create plenty of memories for you.
There are plenty of tour companies offering day tours of the road out of Melbourne. These generally depart at 7.30-8am and return 7-8pm. It's a long day, but if you have limited time it is your best option. You can book these through your hotel or at the Visitor centre at Federation Square.
Another great way to see the Great Ocean Road is to take a trip seated on the back of a Harley Davidson Motorcycle. Yes, its different and no its not anything like you would expect. There are several Harley Ride Operators in Melbourne.
Self driving down the Great Ocean Road is an option best tackled over at least 2 days. The distance and times needed are always underestimated by visitors. There are also plenty of traffic accidents involving tourists falling asleep at the wheel half way back to Melbourne.
For more information about the Great Ocean Road & tour options, please visit the official websites: