Lorne has some great cafes to keep your coffee and cake addiction well satisfied. Close to attractions such as The Otway Fly, Triplet Falls, Otway Estate and The Beechy Rail Trail, "Gelli"is a peaceful and relaxing place where you can reconnect with nature. If seeing koalas and glow worms isn’t enough, there are excellent fishing and surfing beaches for beginners. Three nights would be perfect for a slow trip along. He's a travel addict, sports fanatic, beach lover, and passionate craft beer drinker! About half an hour north of Apollo Bay via a beautiful drive through the Great Otway National Park you will arrive in Forrest. It’s picturesque and situated right on the ocean with a charm that’s hard to resist. The hinterland areas of the Otways are establish on the third largest volcanic plain in the world. Terang is a town lined with 19th century buildings and 100-year-old National Trust listed trees. Lismore has well preserved its colonial history with icons such as the town’s gothic revival chapel and 1840’s woodshed providing prominent landmarks. Part way between Portland and Casterton on the Princes Highway, Heywood is a place of significant cultural importance, and is also home to the popular Wood, Wine and Roses Festival.Surrounding Heywood is the Budj Bim National Heritage Landscape, where for thousands of years Gunditjmara people engineering and constructed an extensive aquaculture system along the Mt Eccles/Tyrendarra Lava flows and wetlands. Home to world famous Bells Beach and the birth place of iconic surf brands, Torquay is the surfing capital of Australia. See some of the highest coastal cliffs in Victoria overlooking the deep-blue waters of Bridgewater Bay that stretches in a perfect crescent around the rim of a huge, ancient volcano crater. It’s a bit of an […] Melba Gully is located just south of the town centre and boasts ancient rainforests during the day and glow worm viewing on trails at night - don’t forget your torch. It can be very popular here with many tourist buses lined up. He's been traveling and living around the world since 2002 and believes that life is all about accumulating memories and moments with his family, not just possessions. Remember ‘Round the Twist’, that 90s TV show with the catchy theme tune? Work it all off on two wheels and cycle the Timboon to Camperdown Rail Trail. .ugb-51c601e li{--icon-size:20px;margin-bottom:17px !important}.ugb-51c601e li::before{height:20px !important;width:20px !important;background-image:url('data:image/svg+xml;base64,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')}.ugb-51c601e li ul{margin-bottom:17px !important}.ugb-51c601e.ugb-icon-list ul{columns:1}.ugb-51c601e.ugb-icon-list{margin-bottom:45px !important;background-color:rgba(239,107,80,0.1)}.ugb-51c601e.ugb-icon-list:before{background-color:#EF6B50}16 Highlights of the Great Ocean Road Drive in Australia8 Exciting Places to visit near Melbourne (Less than three hours away)Why have we not heard of Wilsons Promontory National Park?16 Highlights of the Great Ocean Road Drive in Australia6 Beaches in Melbourne to Visit Once You’re Done with the CityThere’s Something About Marysville, Victoria11 things to do in Melbourne with kidsVictoria travel tipsRelaxing things to do in Bright, Victoria (one of our fave places in Australia)Don’t miss the Bridge Road Brewery in Beechworth, Victoria One of the most well-known highlights of the Great Ocean Road is the majestic 12 Apostles. For those staying a longer, the area surrounding Lismore has much to offer. | Besides the stunning beaches, waterfalls, walks, and forests there are some great towns dotted along the Great Ocean Road worthy of your time. Surfing Johanna's beach breaks with its power and reputation for rapid jumps is for the experienced surfer. Nestled in the valley of the Glenelg River, Casterton recognised as the birthplace of the Kelpie breed of dog and celebrates this each June long weekend with the Kelpie Muster, Festival and Working Dog Auction. Aireys Inlet. TOWNS & VILLAGES. Torquay – the official starting point of the Great Ocean Road. The town acts as a hub for the local farming network, fielding all the essential services including the ever-important local pub. While we recommend road tripping the Great Ocean Road in your own vehicle, we understand this is not always possible. 6. When waves aren't breaking at Bells, Johanna is the alternative location for the Bells Beach Rip Curl Pro held each Easter. Apollo Bay was once a sleepy fishing village but is now a modest seaside town of 2,000 people with plenty of cafes, restaurants and a community market each Saturday. Australia’s Great Ocean Road is hailed as one of the world’s most epic road trips, and for good reason. Torquay: the surfing place to be. Stay up to date Subscribe to receive inspiration and offers straight to your inbox. Immerse yourself in the Aussie surf culture, with the biggest surf brands retailing in the Surf City shopping precinct, visit some of the oldest surf clubs in Victoria, or get wet and learn to surf. To help you plan your visit, here is our guide to the best places and shopping areas in Great Ocean Road. Skyscanner is a comparison website that searches millions of flights. This region's produce is amazing, fresh and often you have the chance to meet the maker and the growers. It’s during this leg where the route gets interesting, meandering in and out of … Winchelsea's historic origins are clearly visible in town, with some grand buildings including the National Trust property Barwon Park, which was built in 1871. Marengo, located on Mounts Bay, is just a couple of minutes drive from Apollo Bay and home to the Marengo Reef Marine Sanctuary. We didn’t really explore the last section too much but did stop at Port Fairy for lunch. Make your dream home in the sand with turrets adorned with seaweed and shells then take a well-earned refreshing dip in the cool waters of the bay. There’s also the glowworms at night (which aren’t that great) and you can buy bird feed from the store here and feed wild king parrots and Rosellas. If you don’t have your own car, you can easily rent a … Spanning an incredible 243km down Victoria’s coastline there are plenty of beautiful seaside towns you can stop in. This location is super popular with surfers as it’s one of the country’s best breaks. Call into the 12 Apostles Inn situated on the hill in Princetown surrounded by breath taking coastline only minutes away from the renowned 12 Apostles on the Great Ocean Road. Just up the road from Apollo Bay is one of those “best-kept secrets” of the Great Ocean Road, the Marengo Reefs Marine Sanctuary, a rocky beach with a seal colony. During whale watching season (May to September) you may catch a glimpse of these amazing sea creatures making their presence known. Everyone has different time constraints, but if you have the time give yourself at least three days. With a population of only 50, Kennett River is a quiet and laid-back town between Lorne and Apollo Bay. There is an abundance of native wildlife to be spotted, including swamp wallabies, possums, grey kangaroos and koalas. Dartmoor is situated on the banks and floodplain of the scenic and peaceful Glenelg River. Consider spectating at a local football or cricket game as part of your next visit? Begin your trip in Torquay and pop into the bustling seaside towns of Lorne, Anglesea and Apollo Bay. There’s a caravan park at Kennet River should you wish to stay longer with Australia’s favourite furry friends. In April it hosts one of the best three-day music festivals in Victoria, the Apollo Bay Music Festival. Cookies help us provide a better experience for you. Though technically the Great Ocean Road becomes the Princes Hwy around here, you won’t want to miss out on a detour some 15km from the town of Warrnambool to the vast caldera of Tower Hill that was born in a volcanic eruption 30,000 years ago. Join our community for insider tips and updates! A range of linked tracks offer the opportunity to walk as little or as much as desired, allowing you to explore the spectacular coastal cliffs, diverse bird life and picturesque surrounds of the park. Cobden is the half way point of the ride, giving visitors the option to heading north through Camperdown’s crater lakes or south along the old rail sleepers and trestle bridges to Timboon. It’s the pride of the state of Victoria and it’s one of the best road trips that you can do in Australia. Situated in the Port ... AIREYS INLET. BEECH FOREST. The Crater to Coast Rail Trail is a scenic bike ride running between Camperdown and the epicurean treats of Timboon. It's home to the Forrest Brewery, quirky cafes & eateries featuring fresh local produce, Lake Elizabeth and the Barwon Dam and is the hub of mountain bike activity in the region. Melbourne is a great city and can easily be combined with a road trip along the Great Ocean Road. We recommend these tour options through our tour booking partner, Get Your Guide. Today the Winda Mara Aboriginal Corporation and Budj Bim Tours of Heywood help organise tours of the area to explore the remains of stone house sites and eel traps, as well as highlighting the Aboriginal culture and their way of life. The recent opening of the Lismore Discovery Trial makes walking the site easy, inviting onward travellers to explore the town a little deeper. The valley is home to a number of berry farms where you can pick your own fresh berries (Nov to March). Located 95km south west of Melbourne, it is the official start of the Great Ocean Road. Just down the road at Cape Otway are some of the best walks in the country and the town makes for a great base to explore the Otway region of lighthouses, rainforests, waterfalls, and farmland. Sit quietly along the banks of Mount Emu Creek, keeping a close eye on the waters edge where the platypus burrows its shelter. We recommend starting the Great Ocean Road drive from this direction so you’ll be on the lane closest to the ocean which makes for easier stops at the view points. Walks range from short to long catering for varied leaves of fitness. Lorne – The next town to visit is Lorne. If you are yet to encounter this unique egg-laying mammal, a walk in Stewart Park is a must. In the late 1800s Beech Forest quickly became a major centre for the timber industry due to the abundance of these trees.It is also home to many wonderful food and primary producers and with nearby Weeoproinah boasting the highest rainfall in the state - this area is drought-proof! More useful tips for Victoria The Great Ocean Road continues on and finishes at Port Fairy. Port Campbell This is by far the best place to stay on the Great Ocean Road. The town caters for visitors with a number of cafes, a pub with a bistro, and visitor information. This has become known as one of Australia’s koala-spotting capitals, thanks to the large numbers of these native animals that make their home in … Here are five towns we recommend you not only visit, but stay at and enjoy what they have to offer. The local boat ramp at the camping ground is a popular launching spot for Anglers. Seriously. Our podcast that shares our 18 month road Australia road trip. Along the rugged edge of Australia’s best-known road is a collection of limestone stacks. Don’t rush it. Drive the Great Ocean Road and see London Bridge, The Grotto, Loch Ard Gorge and the unmissable Twelve Apostles. You get free cancellation on most rooms and a best price guarantee. There are several unique shops, boutiques, and galleries to keep the shoppers happy. Yes most people drive from Melbourne towards Warrnambool along the Great Ocean Road and then when they get to Warrnambool they either drive back inland to Melbourne via Colac and Geelong, or head up to the Grampians.. Click here to down the  Casterton-Accommodation-Guide.pdf. Find accommodation and apartment rentals for Torquay here. Locally, Casterton offers historical buildings, including Warrock Homestead station, and unique geographical attractions. Narrawong's historic cemetery is home to William Dutton, Portland's first European Settler. Derrinallum is located 2 hours west of Melbourne and 1 hour from Geelong, Warrnambool and Ballarat. The beautiful green rolling hills invite you to explore and discover live music, farmgate sales, wine tastings and fresh produce, bespoke accommodation and quaint country villages. Even surf brands Rip Curl and Quicksilver were founded in Torquay. Anglesea to Lorne. Colac has a rich farming and forestry history and is the perfect central location to explore the Otways. Why have we not heard of Wilsons Promontory National Park? The Great Beach Drive in Queensland is another amazing road trip to consider. There's plenty of coastline to explore. If you’re going to explore The Great Ocean Road Drive in Victoria let me make a suggestion. Read reviews, compare malls, and browse photos of our recommended places to shop in Great Ocean Road on Tripadvisor. Lorne also plays host to The Falls Music & Arts Festival at the end of December which is very popular. The town is built alongside the huge Lake Colac and on the doorstep of the Great Otway National Park. Take a tour of the lighthouse, and enjoy the stunning views of Eagle Rock Marine Sanctuary while you learn about the history of the area on the discovery trail. Skipton has recently grown in reputation with the refurbishment of the Ballarat-Skipton Rail Trail. Home to the Gellibrand Blues and Blueberries Festival, held each year in March, the town is positioned along the edge of the Gellibrand River. The Great Ocean Road was designed to be a living memorial to the many Victorians who had served in the military during World War I. Behind the eight remaining stacks (five have fallen since their discovery) are majestic cliffs, around 70 metres high. One of the most well-known highlights of the Great Ocean Road is the majestic 12 Apostles. It was the last campsite we visited during our road trip and to us, is one of the best free campsites on Great Ocean Road because it has FLUSH toilets instead of the drop toilets which can be a tad scary at times. The 12 Apostles are located 275 kilometres west of Melbourne, approximately a four-hour drive along the Great Ocean Road. The township of Torquay is famous for its surfing culture, which you can learn more about at the surfing museum. Local producers and makers create whisky, organic yoghurt, classic French cheeses, honey, chocolate, mouth-watering ice cream and some of the freshest, sweetest strawberries you will ever taste! A gateway to the Otways region and the Pennyroyal Valley, the Deans Marsh area features a number of gourmet farm door experiences featured on the Otway Harvest Trail. Situated in the heart of the Great Ocean Road’s iconic attractions, Peterborough is a great family friendly destination with a shorefront playground and children's riding loop. Torquay is oozing with surf culture. Begun in 1919, progress was initially slow as the state government had no enthusiasm for the project and funding had to come from the … Lorne is a small town along the Great Ocean Road and the perfect spot to stop for lunch after a morning of driving. Grab your board and make for the break as you teeter on some of Australia’s best waves. Deans Marsh is home to shops and cafes with a Fitzroy feel but the added bonus of the Otways fresh air. 10 of the best ice cream shops on the great ocean road We’ve put together a list of 10 of our favourite artisan ice cream shops for you to try - in no particular order, because it was hard enough picking just 10 let alone the very top 1! Located at the western tail end of The Great Ocean Road, Warrnambool is a historic city that has urban facilities while maintaining a small town feeling. The town itself features wonderfully restored facades on buildings, giving it an old world charm, and the vibrancy of the growing arts and cultural community is reason to stay and explore this lovely township. Cobden is rich in natural and colonial history and is an integral hub for the local dairy Industry. Attractions include a 3-kilometre clifftop walk and a visit to the Cape Nelson lighthouse. Along the Great Ocean Road and seaside you will find a row of cute coffee shops, restaurants and pubs with outdoors seating space. The picturesque town of Narrawong is on the northern shore of Portland Bay. For a natural history lesson, visit the extinct Mt Noorat Volcano Walk, 5km south of Terang. Kennett River, located half way between Lorne and Apollo Bay, and only a hop, skip and jump from Wye River, offers a safe beach (patrolled during the peak season) and is known as a reliable break for the more experienced surfer. Panoramic views over the harbour and the coastline from the Mariners Lookout will give you the best perspective of this. The Dartmoor Community and a local chainsaw artist, joined together to create nine tree carvings in the avenue of Honour, depicting service men and women in the army, navy and air force. The foreshore is a popular spot for Summer holidays. APOLLO BAY. Centrally located 43 km south of Colac on the highest settled ridge of the Otway Ranges, Beech Forest is a tiny township that gained national fame in 1983 when a 61-year-old local potato farmer, Cliff Young, won the Sydney to Melbourne Ultra Marathon. The Great Ocean Road Self Drive: The Must See Places to Stop Encompassed by the Great Otway National Park, the ever-changing landscape sees rainforests and streams tumble to the coast, where they meet rugged rocky cliffs dotted with pockets of sandy beaches. Nearby is one of Australia’s best surfing beaches, Bells Beach, home to the annual Rip Curl Pro Surfing Competition (made infamous by the movie Point Break). The township of Torquay is famous for its surfing culture, which you can learn more about at the surfing museum Surf World. Apollo Bay Surf & Kayak run 2-hour tours to view the seals. The 12 Apostles Gourmet Trail is a 70km loop with Timboon at it's centre providing an opportunity to experience these culinary sensations at your own pace. Delve into history and get back to nature in this thriving city by the sea. Leaving Torquay and continuing west, check out the townships of Anglesea and Aireys Inlet which are beautiful. The rural township of Gellibrand in the foothills of the Otways provides a perfect base to explore the region. This 243 km road needs to be experienced from behind the wheel and having your own vehicle allows you the flexibility to stop when and where you like. Derrinallum lies at the foot of Mount Elephant, surrounded by a series of lakes and grazing cattle. Beauty abounds on the walking and riding trails through the Great Otway National Park and the quiet creeks are ideal for fishing. Anglesea marks the first town from the Great Ocean Road’s official start in Torquay.The quaint town is the perfect place to stop for lunch along the beach or to wander through their fantastic Sunday market. Stand in awe on dramatic clifftops shadowed by protective lighthouses, see the remnants of sailing tragedies and walk the rugged windswept beaches peering into rockpools teeming with life. We’ve been traveling consistently for 17 years and have come to rely on a few trusted websites that save us money and time when booking accommodation, flights and car rental. From Lorne, keep following the Great Ocean Road southwest, and in around 30 minutes you will come to the township of Kennett River. If the arts is your thing, you'll fit right in - the long celebrated Falls Music Festival, Lorne Festival of The Performing Arts and the Lorne Sculpture Biennale take place here. During the day we walked down Gibson’s Steps and then visited Loch Ard Gorge, London Bridge, The Grotto, The Arch, and the Bay of Islands with a handy lunch break back in Port Campbell. If you are a mountain bike enthusiast, you will not want to leave! Revel in the stunning coastal scenery on a journey along the Great Ocean Road, one of the world's most scenic routes and home to the famous 12 Apostles. Follow meandering roads north from the coast to explore sublime volcanic landscapes and charming inland towns. Take your time to explore the beautiful Lower Glenelg National Park by taking a cruise up the Glenelg River or adventuring on the sand dunes at the gorgeous remote beach where the river meets the ocean. The beach is lovely for a walk either early morning or late afternoon and stop at the Lorne Beach Pavilion for a coffee, or beer, with uninterrupted views of the water. Located at the footsteps of the Otways, the Pennyroyal Valley has fertile soils and a temperate climate which makes it the perfect place for growing produce. It has two great beaches, one popular with surfing lessons and the other one much quieter, best for kids. Princetown offers fishing opportunities in the estuary and on the ocean beaches with direct access to National Park trails and lookouts and plenty of magnificent beaches. Bells has an impressive cliff-face and the views are spectacular. Located on the northern rim of Tower Hill State Game Reserve, Koroit derives its name from the Koroitch Gundidj people, one of the original occupiers of the area. It was pouring with rain so could not explore more. Spend a few hours experiencing the amazing Princess Margaret Rose Cave or take a day trip to one of the surrounding towns. Below are our preferred partners: Accommodation From June until September, southern right whales visit the area to give birth. 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