The Great Ocean Road is a 243 Kilometre stretch located in Victoria. It is heritage listed and famous for the countless natural rock formations which line the coast. The Great Ocean Road begins in Torquay and travels all the way through to Allansford, but you can begin the drive from either end. The most famous landmark along the Great Ocean Road is the 12 Apostles, although there are many more incredible things to see! Keep reading to discover our Great Ocean Road Itinerary.
Where to stay
Accommodation options along the Great Ocean Road can be limited and are quite spread out. Torquay is a big township famous for its surf culture and is the official starting point for the Great Ocean Road. This town is perfect if you’re looking for a place to unwind before starting the big road trip. Lorne is another really great laid back town that is situated right by the beach. The atmosphere in Lorne is great and there are plenty of unique shops and cafe’s to keep you busy.
Half-way along the Great Ocean Road, you’ll find a town called Apollo Bay which is the perfect place to stay to break up the drive. Apollo Bay has a variety of accommodation options for everyone, ranging from luxury, family friendly and even cheaper options.
There aren’t many accommodation options near the famous 12 Apostles. Port Campbell is definitely the best place to stay if you’re looking for accommodation close to the Twelve Apostles with access to small supermarkets.
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Great Ocean Road Itinerary – Ultimate Guide!
1. The Twelve Apostles
The Twelve Apostles is no doubt the biggest attraction along the great ocean road. Visitors travel for miles just to get a glimpse of the iconic natural landmark. It’s known for its giant natural limestone stacks which align the coastal cliffs. You can view the stacks from a large viewing platform which gives you a panoramic view of the whole area. The structures were made by constant erosion over hundreds and hundreds of years. There are now 7 stacks left after one collapsed a few years ago. The Twelve Apostles is magical to visit at sunrise so be sure to visit early to have it all to yourself. You unfortunately can’t can’t walk down to the beach from here, although Gibsons Steps allows you to walk onto the beach right next to the giant formations.
For more informations on The Twelve Apostles, check out our full blog post here.
2. Gibsons Steps
Gibsons Steps is another top attraction and a must for your Great Ocean Road Itinerary. It allows you to view the various rock formations that make up the Twelve Apostles from a new perspective. Once you’ve made your way down to the beach you’ll see the giant formations. They are only a few metres from shore and are stunning to see up close. The beach is very big so you’re sure to find a place to relax to yourself! Some people also swim at this beach although it can be rough and the conditions can change quickly. It is the perfect place to watch sunset, so if you have time you can save this spot for the end of the day.
For more details on Gibsons Steps, check out our full blog post here.
3. Tom and Eva Lookout
Tom and Eva Lookout is definitely one of the most underrated Great Ocean Road attractions! From this lookout you have two giant rock formations right infront of you, while being surrounded by the neighbouring cliffs. There are no signs for the Tom and Eva Lookout, which is why we saw so many people walking by without even stopping to have a look. This lookout was one of our favourites as we thought it was incredibly unique. If you can visit in the morning before the crowds start to arrive then you’ll get to have some peace and quiet as the lookout for this spot is very small. Be sure not to miss this lookout off your Great Ocean Road itinerary.
For more information on Tom and Eva Lookout, check out our full blog post here.
4. Loch Ard Gorge
Loch Ard Gorge is another spectacular beach along the Great Ocean Road. This beach is sure to take your breath away as it’s enclosed by two cliffs leading out to the ocean. You can view Loch Ard Gorge from the platform above the beach on the cliffs, or you can take a short walk down to the sand for a closer look. What makes this spot so amazing is the limestone cliffs that surround the beach. The cliffs leave a small passage between them for the ocean water to rush in and out. The beach is incredibly picturesque and is a popular spot among visitors. People also sometimes set up picnics on the sand and watch the sunset between the cliffs in the distance. Additionally you can swim here, although the conditions can be rough so be cautious.
For more details on Loch Ard Gorge, check out our full blog post here.
5. The Razorback
The Razorback is located next to Loch Ard Gorge and as the name suggests, the Razorback formation consists of hundreds of jagged edges that line the top of it. Beyond the jagged formation, you can also spot some more tall limestone formations located out in the water. The Razorback is a very unique formation along the Great Ocean Road so it’s definitely worth a visit.
6. Island Arch Lookout
Island Arch Lookout is also located close to Loch Ard Gorge. From here you can view Loch Ard Gorge from a different perspective as you can actually look back onto the beach. While you’re at the lookout you can also read up about the ship that crashed into the limestone cliffs not far from the lookout. This lookout offers more incredible views of the surrounding cliffs and it’s very interesting to learn more about the ship wreck that occurred hundreds of years ago.
7. London Bridge
London Bridge is a natural arch formation located not too far from the shore. The ocean surrounding the formation is incredibly blue and vibrant while the beach infront of it is also pristine. You can only view London Bridge from the viewpoints located above the beach which keeps the beach looking clean and pristine. This formation was once joint to the mainland until erosion from the ocean caused the connection to collapse. Now what’s left is a giant arched island in the ocean. We really enjoyed taking a look at London Bridge as it’s unique and quite beautiful!
8. The Grotto
The Grotto is a small archway which has a rock pool located underneath it. To get to the Grotto, you’ll have to follow the winding wooden stairs which lead you down towards the rock pool. Unfortunately you can’t swim here as the tides are rough, although it’s still a cool little spot to check out. During peak hours, this spot can get very tight as it’s small and narrow. If you manage to visit early enough to beat the crowds then you’re sure to enjoy your visit here while you admire the awesome formation.
9. The Arch
The Arch is a smaller natural archway in comparison to the others along Great Ocean Road. If you follow the pathway from the carpark, it will lead you to a small wooden platform. To the left of the platform you’ll see the archway which is still joint to the mainland. On a windy day you can watch the waves crash onto the rocks below the arch. The surrounding scenery is beautiful with nothing but open ocean.
10. Thunder Cave
Thunder Cave is located on the way to Sherbrooke River and is a giant cave where you can watch the large waves burst in and out of the cave. Follow the path from the carpark and you’ll come to a wooden viewing platform where you can get a good glimpse of the cave. Thunder Cave is awesome to admire and unlike anything else on the Great Ocean Road. It is also a great stop before continuing the walk to Sherbrooke River.
11. Sherbrooke River
Sherbrooke River is another beautiful beach which you can explore. You can walk along the rocks and cliffs or relax on the sand. We visited in the morning and it was incredibly quiet. If you’re after another perfect beach along the Great Ocean Road then this is definitely it. The tide here can be very rough so it’s best not to go for a swim here. The beach is surrounded by the many limestone cliffs so you have beautiful scenery all around you. You’ll also be able to see more large limestone stacks which have disconnected from the mainland.
12. Bay of Martyrs
From the Bay Of Martyrs carpark, you can follow one of the various paths which will lead you around the cliffs. Along these walks you’ll be able to view the vast and winding coastline cliffs. If you take the path to the left of the carpark, this will lead you to a small beach called Worm Bay. You can keep walking for more rugged coastline views. If you take the path to the right of the carpark, this will lead you to a much larger beach. You can also walk down and explore the beach with the many limestone stacks in the distance. You’ll be able to see cliffs and rocks for as far as your eye can see!
12. Memorial Arch
Memorial Arch might be a bit out of the way for some people as it’s actually located about 1-2 hours away from the Twelve Apostles. If you’re driving from Melbourne then you can definitely add this to your Great Ocean Road itinerary. The Memorial Arch is a wooden archway above the main road and it signifies the start of the Great Ocean Road. You can pull over to the carpark and grab a quick picture with it before you continue driving.