During our visit to Australia, we decided one of the adventures we wanted to take was to travel along the Great Ocean Road. It is said to be one of the most beautiful drives in the world. It is even on the National Heritage List due to its beauty.
You never know with all the hype of certain places wither it is worth visiting that place or not. Well, let me tell you this is surely one of the destinations to add to your next trip to or around Australia! You won’t be disappointed, I’m sure of that.
The beautiful rock cliffs, the raging Southern ocean, quaint little seaside towns. Well, there is also the koalas, they are adorable. Plus we wanted to see them in the wild, not in a zoo or anything. This was a great place to do that. Really the Great Ocean Road is all just a great place to spend a few days and take in the beauty of how beautiful Australia really is.
After deciding we were going to make the drive next we had to decide what were the best things to see along the way were. Really with 3 days, we were able to visit most of the places along the way. I would say it is a perfect amount of time, well unless it rains for 2 of the 3 days. Which is what happened to us when we were visiting.
I have shared a rough itinerary in our post of 2 weeks Australia travel itinerary. This post will get more in depth and give you a few choices on other places you could choose to visit that we wished we would have added, or decided it wasn’t worth the stop. It will also give you the option to extend your journey to an area that is amazingly beautiful as well, after exploring the Great Ocean Road.
The entire drive, which is from Torquay to Allansford and is 243km or 151 miles long. It is a beautiful drive, so I suggest you spend at least 2 days, but 3 would really let you enjoy everything along the way better and what I suggest.
3 Day Great Ocean Road Itinerary
Day 1 Melbourne —> Apollo Bay
On the first day, I suggest you start your drive by around 7-8am. That way you will be just ahead of the tour buses that will be filling the road and stops along the way. Plus you will have plenty of time to get through each of your stops, and not be rushed.
It will be about 1 1/2 hour drive from Melbourne until you actually start the Great Ocean Road. The total trip for the day is 287 km at about 4 hours and 54 minutes, this being one of the longer driving days. This also is one of the most beautiful days of driving, with all the winding and turning of the roads along the ocean.
First day on the Great Ocean Road Itinerary
- Bells Beach – This is just a fun spot to watch the surfers as well as sit and relax. Not a must stop, but fun to watch for some of us.
- Erskine Falls – Hidden back in the deep forest are the beautiful waterfalls in the photo above. It was a beautiful place to stop.
- Lorne Fish and Chips – A well-known place along the Great Ocean Road to get some amazing fish and chips.
- Kennett River – Kafe Koala – So a couple things about this stop. When we went here there is a well-known spot on the road just behind the camper park that is well known to have koalas. This was the first time we were actually able to see a koala in Australia. They also have beautiful tropical birds along the road here. Just watch for people looking up in the trees, that is where you will find the koalas. I am going to say something from experience here. Google Maps may tell you that there is a koala walk up a long winding steep road far from civilization. Don’t believe them, there really isn’t any koalas up there just lots of soaking wet ground not meant for small rental cars…
- Otway Fly Treetop Walk – Taking the zip line tour you will get a one of a kind bird’s eye view of the rainforest.
- Beacon Point Restaurant – A great place to eat dinner overlooking the ocean.
- Stay the night in Apollo Bay. We stayed at the Coastal Motel, a smaller but clean and great place to stay. Right across the street was a little boardwalk where we were able to view the Milky Way at night. Talk about an amazing experience!!
This day should be a pretty easy just enjoying the sites from viewing koalas to waterfalls and then eating dinner overlooking the beautiful ocean views.
Day 2 – Apollo Bay —> Port Campbell
So for the second day out of the Great Ocean Road, you have a couple different options on which way you will take. It really all depends on what you would rather do/see. Due to the fact that it is a shorter planned day anyway, I would choose to just stop at all of the destinations. That is the itinerary I will be sharing on the Google Map below. Amend the day however you see fit.
- First Option – Visit Hopetoun Falls, they are some beautiful waterfalls. Doing this your total trip will be 108 km and take you 2 hours 1 minute to drive.
- Second Option – Take a trip out to Cape Otway Lighthouse. This would be 114 km and take you 1 hour and 52 minutes.
- Third Option – You could do them all and just do a little bit of backtracking. Doing all of them will take you 164 km and be 2 hours 44 minutes of driving.
Either way, you choose you will get a beautiful view of this amazing area today.
Second day on the Great Ocean Road Itinerary
- Cape Otway Lighthouse – The views and scenery are stunning out here. There is also a chance you will see a koala in this area.
- Hopetoun Falls – Another beautiful waterfall along the Great Ocean Road!
- Gibson Steps – This is a spectacular way to walk down to the beach and get a great view from below.
- Twelve Apostles – At one point and time there used to be 12 rocks still standing, now there are only 7 left due to erosion. This is a stunning place to view really at any time of the day, but especially at sunrise or sunset.
- Tom and Eva Lookout –
- Loch and Gorge – while at Loch and Gorge make sure to venture down the other pathways to see the lookout and Razorback.
- Scenic Lookout – A perfect view of Port Campbell.
- Stay in a hotel in Port Campbell for the night.
Day 3 – Port Campbell —> Warrnambool
The last day on the Great Ocean Road is a short and smooth day. For a total of 70km and it will take about 1 hour and 8 minutes. This will give you plenty of time to enjoy the beach at Childer’s cove, go shopping, or just sit and relax! We stayed in the Best Western Olde Maritime, it was a nice and clean hotel to stay in, that I would recommend.
Last day on the Great Ocean Road Itinerary
- The Grotto –
- Bay of Martyrs –
- Bay of Islands –
- Childers Cove – A beach to enjoy.
- Logans Beach Whale Watching Platform – From May until October this is the place where you can watch an amazing thing. Southern right and blue whales come to school their calves right off of the shore. You can view it from this platform.
Following your completion of the Great Ocean Road, you have a few different options as to what you could do next.
- From here you could drive back to Melbourne the same day. Taking the back way, which is much faster.
- You also could go explore the Grampians for a few days. That is such a beautiful area as well!
- Lastly, you could stay the night in Warrnambool and drive back to Melbourne the next day.
Whichever you choose to do, I’m sure you will thoroughly enjoy your time along this beautiful piece of the world!
Have you been along the Great Ocean Road? If so do you have any bits of advice, must stop places, or great stories to tell? If so leave a comment below, I would love to hear from you!
I have a great Pinterest board with tons of ideas on places to visit in Australia, head over and check it out!