The Great Ocean Road is best experienced over a road trip of at least 3 to 4 days. Take your time to soak in the different atmospheres of the various coastal towns, and to visit the multitude of attractions just waiting in store.
We began our week-long trip on the Great Ocean Road, with Lorne as our first destination.
From Melbourne, take the M1 toward Geelong. Follow the clear signage directing you to the B100 (Great Ocean Road) towards the town of Torquay. Follow this route to reach all the towns on the Great Ocean Road. Don’t forget to admire the scenic views spanning the amazing coastal drive!
Torquay was the first of many towns along the coast. We were so excited to have started on the Great Ocean Road with perfect weather. Wind-swept trees and the sea-cliffs in the distance were sights to behold.
We continued on the B100 towards Lorne, stopping at Bells Beach for a few scenic shots. Adrenaline-pumped locals were running down the hill to the beach and jumping into the swirling (and cold) waves with their surfboards! It was a classic Aussie moment. As evening fell, we were enarmoured by the beauty of the sunset.
We arrived at the Mantra Lorne Resort late in the evening. It was a fantastic place to stay for a couple of days. The beach was in our backyard, with direct access through the fence; there were numerous indoor and outdoor facilities for recreation & sports. The town of Lorne was quaint and wonderful. We would also recommend patronising A Bottle of Milk for lunch and dig in to their juicy & tender home-made beef burgers!
Situated on the other side of the roundabout from the Mantra Resort is a narrow road leading to Erskine Falls, one of the most popular waterfalls in the Otways area. It plunges 30 metres into the lush tree-fern gully of the Erskine River. We took the well-paved steps down to the falls for a 30 minute round-trip.
From the falls, a short detour on the route back to town took us to Teddy’s Lookout, which had a beautiful bird’s eye view of the road leading out of Lorne and the coastline.
A short drive out of Lorne toward the lighthouse at Aireys Inlet yielded some nice views.
Lorne to Apollo Bay
Directions: Continue along the B100 Great Ocean Road toward Apollo Bay
Recommended Accommodation: The Apollo Bay Beachfront Motel was a cosy place just opposite the town’s visitor centre! We even had our own garage & front porch.
We visited Mait’s Rest Rainforest Trail (takes approx. 45mins) in the morning before driving toward the famous Cape Otway Lighthouse. The warm, fluffy scones together with fresh cream & jam served at the lighthouse café are a definite must for all visitors!
Besides climbing the lighthouse for a fight against strong gusty winds at the top, learning about the history of the lighthouse & getting to turn the light structure , a lesser known fact is that there are aboriginal attractions within the vast gazetted lighthouse area.
Entrance to the aboriginal area + a picture with our friendly guide to aboriginal history in Australia.
We came to a small shack with a friendly guide explaining the various Aboriginal tools and interesting historical information.
On the road out of the Cape Otway lightstation, keep your eyes peeled to the treetops to catch some wild koalas in action!
Apollo Bay to Port Fairy
Directions: Continue along the B100 Great Ocean Road toward Warnambool. Connect to the A1 toward Port Fairy.
Recommended Accommodation: The Victoria Apartments is a cosy & well-furnished apartment just one street off the Port Fairy town centre, complete with your very own garage and automatic door!
Due to fog and rain on the way up Laver’s Hill just on the outskirts of Apollo Bay, we stopped at a wonderful family-run café called The Shoppe! It had the most amazing beef pies and scones!
A stop at the 12 Apostles & Loch Ard Gorge are tourist must-dos, although the crowd during the peak seasons may be overwhelming.
The Bay of Islands along the Shipwreck coast is a less-popular yet more enchanting place to visit! The turn-off might be slightly obscure, but the trip there was definitely worth it, especially so when there weren’t throngs of people & tour groups.
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