12 Incredible Things to Do on the Great Ocean Road | Australia Road Trips

12 Incredible Things to Do on the Great Ocean Road

Posted on: August 21st, 2018 by Melissa Maxwell No Comments

Amazing Australia Road Trips Part 1

The Great Ocean Road: Melbourne to Port Campbell

There are so many amazing things to do on the Great Ocean Road. Road trips always include great tunes, laughing, singing and conversations. Long days on the road often make for the best stories and fondest memories. Just you, your loved ones, the open road and endless possibilities.

It’s a chance to be spontaneous, resourceful and find joy in the journey.  The unexpected moments, surprise encounters and freedom makes for a very special experience. You really get the chance to appreciate the small things and understand what makes a place special.

Take a road trip in Australia along the Great Ocean Road and not only will you reap the benefits of a good old-fashion road trip, but you’ll be driving along one of the most majestic stretches of road in the world. In this article we’ll show you the most amazing things to do on the Great Ocean Road from Melbourne to Port Campbell. Plus a few great places to eat too!

Insiders Tip:  Look up the time the sun sets at Twelve Apostles. Leave Melbourne early in the morning and plan your day so you arrive at the Twelve Apostles before sunset to witness this amazing sight.

Australian National Surfing Museum

Things to Do on the Great Ocean RoadLooking for a unique surfing experience where you won’t get wet? Visit the Australian National Surfing Museum featuring the Australian Surfing Hall Of Fame, a theater that screens some of the world’s best surf films, informative themes exhibitions, dozens of stunning photographs and an unrivaled collection of surfboards. The Museum is recognized by the International Surfing Association as one of “the most significant centers of world surfing heritage”.

Don’t pass a chance up to go in here – we nearly did thinking it was “just another museum”. Not so. We wandered around the interior of the Tourist Info Centre in Torquay and bought some gifts and then as it started to rain, thought we would pay the few dollars to have a look around, not thinking it would take long.

The building is huge, there is so much information about surf festivals and competitions, surfers themselves, champions and early pioneers of the surf movement, the evolution of surf boards and many boards belong to past champions.

There is an awesome tv exhibition of the waves and how to ride them and that is on for a while so be prepared to sit and watch. There are interactive green screen surf spots where you can take your own picture on the waves and email it back to yourselves.

One of the highlights was a set of surfboards which had been written all over as if from a teenager to his parents, absolutely hilarious, I forget what it was called but well worth the read.

In all – a great visit and one I am really glad we did not miss. Annette Laurie

Visit Anglesea Beach

Anglesea, Great Ocean Road

Credit: Robert Blackburn, Visit Victoria

Just ten minutes from Torquay, you’ll find a quaint surf town with towering cliffs, sprawling white beaches and abundant wildlife. Take a walk on Anglesea’s main beach, a wide sandy expanse next to the Anglesea River. Relax, take a swim or ask your Destination Specialist about booking a 2 hour surf lesson. Anglesea is also a great stop for breakfast. One of our favorite places is Captain Moonlite, a cute restaurant with European fare and amazing ocean views.

Incredible creative and tasty. Fairly large portions. And an amazing view. An incredible place you have to visit.George Popescu

 

Amazing Lookouts at Split Point Lighthouse and Sunnymeade Beach

Lighthouse at Aireys Inlet

Credit: Visit Victoria

Drive or walk up to Split Point Lighthouse where you will enjoy ocean views over Eagle and Table rocks. Tours are available if you have the time. There is another lookout at the end of Boundary Road, off the Great Ocean Road by Sunnymeade Beach.

Highly recommend this scenic spot. Beautiful views along the coastlines. The light is quite beautiful, but the view is to die for.Jonathon Gillard

See the Memorial Arch

The Great Ocean Road is a permanent memorial to those who died while fighting in World War I. Built by returned servicemen, it winds around the rugged southern coast and was a huge engineering feat ending decades of isolation for Lorne and other coastal communities.

During the early years, travelers paid a toll at the gates of the Memorial Arch at Eastern View. Now you can just take a quick stop at the official entrance to learn a little about the history of the road.

You’ll most probably stop by here if you’re out to look at every historical detail of the Great Ocean Road. You can find all the details as shown here online but it is still nice to see the things here with your own eyes. People don’t spend very long here. There is a pathway to the beach too. Minimal parking especially for long vehicles like buses, so do take note. It would be easy to wait around for one though.Wendy Ong

Teddy’s Lookout

Teddy's Lookout Lorne

Credit: Visit Victoria

Teddy’s Lookout is one of the best along the Great Ocean Road.  It provides stunning views from its platform high above the coast where St. George River empties into a small cove. Access off the Great Ocean Road at the end of George Street, then take a short walk through the bush.

Photos don’t do it justice! Not physically demanding but rocky and uneven on the track so footwear with good grip recommended. This is part of a loop walk.Alan King

Mount Defiance Lookout

Mt Defiance | The Great Ocean Road

credit: Robert Blackburn, Visit Victoria

A short drive further south west from Cumberland River is the spectacular ocean lookout at Mount Defiance. The Great Ocean Road here hugs the cliffs and provides a magnificent balance for the sweep of the ocean. There are always people stopped here with cameras running hot.

A lovely viewGary Cheavin

Otway Forest Park Adventures

Otway Forest Park Adventures

credit: Mark Chew, Visit Victoria

Get a change in scenery by heading into the Great Otway National Park. Choose between a Tree Top Walk or Zip Line Tour. The tree top walk is about a 1/3 of a mile long. Explore the towers and suspended arms jutting into the forest. Allow about 1.5 hours to take the walk and check out the shop and bistro.

The Zip Line Tour is a series of flying foxes, moving from tower to tower. Visitors can zip through the leafy treetops of the magnificent Otway Ranges from one ‘Cloud Station’ to another, suspended up to 98 feet above the forest floor. Specialist guides will provide training and unique rainforest insights. This adventure will take about 2.5 hours.

Pre-book your rainforest adventure with your About Australia Specialist.

We had the best afternoon flying through the treetops. Our instructors were amazing- funny, knowledgeable & made our whole group feel comfortable & at ease. If you are considering doing this then don’t hesitate, you really will have an unforgettable experience.Leanne Coxall

Cape Otway Lightstation

Cape Otway Lightstation

credit: Visit Victoria

If you don’t want to go into the rainforest, stay on the Great Ocean Road and head to Cape Otway Lightstation. You might enjoy some lunch at Chris’s Beacon Point Restaurant.

Cape Otway Lightstation is Australia’s most important lighthouse. The lighthouse established in 1848 is perched on towering sea cliffs 295 feet above where Bass Straight and Southern Ocean collide.

Experience the thrill of stepping out onto the Lighthouse Balcony for awesome views, and hear the amazing history of tragic shipwrecks on this isolated and rugged coastline from the passionate guides.

Explore the historic telegraph station built in 1859 and discover Australia’s extraordinary secret war history from World War II. Appreciate and understand local indigenous culture at the Aboriginal meeting hut, with storytelling and bush tucker sessions from local guides.

If you’re lucky, you may even spot whales at play in the ocean below or wild koalas in the the surrounding wooded areas.

This is a great spot to visit and the second most southerly point on the Australian mainland. Make sure to explore the building and save some time for a walk in the surrounding bush as there are some great spot to look out for Koalas. There is a cafe but would recommend packing a picnic lunch for a half day of exploration.Mike A

Gibson Steps

Gibson Steps Great Ocean Road

credit: Mark Watson, Visit Victoria

Be dwarfed by the 230-foot high vertical cliffs and marvel at Gog and Magog, the nicknames given to the giant limestone stacks rising up out of the sea. Weather permitting, make your way down to the beach via the 86 steps that were carved into the face of the cliff by local settler Hugh Gibson, who worked on the route originally used by the Kirrae Whurrong people.

If you have some time, park your car at the 12 Apostles and walk a little over half a mile to the Gibson Steps. The trail starts just behind the kiosk at the Visitor Facility. The path will cross under the Great Ocean Road near the Gibson steps view platform and beach access. Otherwise, you can access the Gibson Steps from its own car park.

Conditions can determine access. Check the Parks Victoria Website for changes in conditions and safety warnings.

Following a long descent down the steps etched into the cliff you arrive to a stunning view of giant rocks in the ocean with pounding surf – it’s nature in your face – it’s well worth the climb down and back up.David Rose

Twelve Apostles Lookout

Twelve Apostles

credit:Robert Blackburn, Visit Victoria

Arguably the most iconic lookout on the Great Ocean Road, the 12 Apostles is a must while on your Great Ocean Road vacation!

“Once upon a time – or up to 20 million years ago – they were connected to the cliffs of the mainland. The waves and wind carved them into caves, then arches, and eventually battered them down into columns that rise up to 45 meters high.” – Australia.com

As the years have come and gone the stacks have withered to the eight that remain strong and triumphant. This destination is one of those “can’t miss” moments because these limestone wonders are literally challenged daily to withstand the high winds and waters that relentlessly beat against them. The most recent stack that fell was in 2005. When visiting The Twelve Apostles, be sure to inquire about the shipwrecks and history that surround these natural wonders. 

Ask your About Australia Destination Specialist about taking a Helicopter Tour for a real treat!

This is a spectacular place with stunning views and coastline. You can also look at these from a helicopter which would be even better (if that’s at all possible). I would definitely come back to see this againJane Rose

Loch Ard Gorge

Loch Ard Gorge

credit: Roberto Seba, Visit Victoria

Located just three minutes west of the mighty Twelve Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge is a treasure trove of natural beauty, coastal wilderness and maritime history. Take some time to wander the trails, exploring the blowholes, offshore limestone stacks and towering cliffs. Visit at dusk to watch the short-tailed shearwaters (muttonbirds) fly home. Hear the story of the Loch Ard shipwreck and learn about the rich maritime history of the area at the nearby Port Campbell Visitor Information Centre.

Absolutely amazing place to visit! We walked down to the beach and were able to look down into a cave. The sea crashes through a small gap and looks spectacular as it rushes in. Up higher at the lookout you can see for miles and information boards tell you about parts of the coast including some of the shipwrecks that have occurred on that area and about any of the survivors. Really good place to visit, definitely recommend taking time to see and experience this area.Krystyna Rose

Port Campbell

Port Campbell is a colorful and lively seaside village along the Great Ocean Road. It is home to restaurants and cafes with views of the beach, bakeries selling homemade goodies and plenty of vibrant shops and galleries to explore. We love Port Campbell as an overnight stay. Just minutes from Loch Ard Gorge, the faint lights of Port Campbell are a welcoming sight to travelers who have been on the road all day. Explore this lovely town by taking a walk down it’s main street and select a restaurant for dinner. Follow the main street to the jetty to enjoy an ocean view before you call it a night. 

Try one of our favorite restaurants. The 12 Rocks Beach Cafe is a family owned, laid-back eatery with water views and outdoor tables. Their dinner menu includes lots of fresh seafood, a kangaroo burger, slow roasted Portuguese chicken and more! Another staff favorite is Sow & Piglets Brewery. Enjoy some great local beer and pizza after a long day on the Great Ocean Road.

More Adventure Awaits!

In our next blog post, well take you on the Great Ocean Road from Port Campbell through Warrnambool and on to the scenic drive through the Grampians to Halls Gap.

Want to Travel the Great Ocean Road?

If seeing the Great Ocean Road is a bucket list item for you, let one of our Destination Specialist plan your perfect Australian road trip!


Phone us Toll Free on 1-888-359-2877 (CT USA, M-F 8.30am – 5pm).


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