Great Ocean Road

Great Ocean Road

This 3.5 hour drive is memorable and renown not only for its mesmerizing views and scenery but also for the number of famous sites and destinations clustered along this one route as well; these include the Twelve Apostles, Elephant Rock, the Blowhole, Bells Beach, the Grotto, London Arch, and Thunder Cave.

Great Ocean Road Australia

flickr image by Kyle Taylor, Dream It. Do It

Other sites include Great Otway National Park and the Otways rainforest, the coastal cities of Geelong and Warrnambool, and the historic villages of Queenscliff, Port Campbell, and Port Fairly, and resort towns such as Torquay and Apollo Bay. This is the only route, in terms of both car, train, hiking, or bike, that one can take in the entire country that will lead its traveler along both scenic coastline and beaches, historic natural attractions, and spectacular national parks along the same road.

Great Otway National Park

flickr image by OneEighteen

The sites and views along this famed road are said to provide a portrait of the rugged beauty and spirit of the land and people of Australia that can only be described after seeing them in person; stark yet majestic views of natural wonder, brilliantly blue and warm beaches, and colorful scenery will greet the driver within a few km at every turn of this road. Although this route technically can be driven in a few hours, one must take at least a few days to visit fully all of the surrounding sites and towns, and to absorb up close the natural wonder and beauty of all that this route has to offer.

Apollo Bay

flickr image by Philip N Young

The origins of this trip will begin in the Victorian city of Geelong, located one hour southwest of Melbourne, and end in the town of Allansford; from

Geelong one will embark on the Great Ocean Road and head southwest towards Torquay, the first of many historic towns along this drive and the first stopping point of this trip. This town is renowned as the country’s surfing capital, with dramatic waves and beautiful beaches making this a famed surfing spot; one site that one must visit here is the Surfworld Surfing Museum at Beach Road, Torquay, Australia (00 61 3 5261 4606; As one continues along the Great Ocean Road beyond Torquay, one passes deep gullies and dramatic cliffs, along with stark scenic views of natural beauty; the next destination site that one will encounter is Cape Otway, famous for Splitpoint Lighthouse, the country’s oldest lighthouse, and Great Otway National Park; Great Otway National Park is the country’s only park to house a temperate rainforest, and is also famous for its koala bears, Hopetoun Falls near Beech Forest, and Lake Elizabeth.

Hopetoun Falls

flickr image by Lenny K Photography

Continuing along the Great Ocean Road over Apollo Bay towards the village of Port Campbell, the road will subsequently head away from the coastline and instead delve into more forest; it is at this point that one will next see the scenic highlight of this route, the Twelve Apostles rock formation, at the city of Port Campbell. The Twelve Apostles is a group of twelve monolithic rocks, some rising as high as 70 meters, located in the ocean a few miles from the coastline, formed by the gradual erosion of limestone areas which subsequently created caves in the cliffs. These caves eventually wore away through wind and wave erosion to become arches and when they collapsed, rock islands forming the Twelve Apostles were left detached.

Port Campbell

flickr image by Philip N Young

The cliffs rise to nearly 70 meters in some places and the highest Apostle is approximately 50 meters from base to tip. The sunset view from this site is said to be spectacular and should not be missed. Other famous landmarks in Port Campbell that are within five minutes of the Twelve Apostles include the Gibson Steps, a group of immense and dramatic cliffs named for the rock stacks that function as steps that lead down to the beach, the London Bridge (now called the London Arch), a rock formation shaped much like its namesake, the Loch Ard rock formation, named after the ship that shipwrecked here, and the Grotto, a rock formation that is also a sinkhole. The drive along the Great Ocean Road finally winds down and ends at the town of Allansford, where one will want to end the trip on a gastronomic note with a visit to the city’s tourist attraction of Cheese World, a cheese store, museum, and production factory, and a tribute showcasing the regions cheese and butter manufacturing industries. This store is known throughout the country for the excellent gourmet quality of its cheeses and wines. This road trip will have introduced the traveler to the spirit and culture of the people of this continent, its ancient natural wonders, and its coastal tourist attractions; considered to be one of the most famous road trips in the world, its beauty can only be described in person.

Date posted: 19th April, 2016

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