If you thought the 12 Apostles were going to be the only highlight of your Great Ocean Road trip, you’re going to be pleasantly surprised.
With a big focus on ‘Holiday Here This Year’, it’s a good time to remind visitors that the Great Ocean Road is easily accessible from Melbourne.
In fact, the entire region, from Torquay right through to Nelson and inland to towns like Colac are a mecca of natural attractions.
To inspire you, here are 13 of my favourite places to spend time, which should also form part of your itinerary!
Hopetoun Falls is the most picturesque waterfall on the Great Ocean Road and arguably in Victoria too.
It’s worth the 500 metre walk down the stairs to see this beautiful place at eye-level; a symmetrical plunge before cascading right underneath the viewing platform.
Tip: Roads are not suitable for caravans or large vehicles.
The wild wind and heavy seas have formed a number of picture-perfect rock formations on the Port Campbell coast and The Grotto is some of Mother Nature’s finest engineering.
Suitable for most fitness levels, there’s also pram and wheelchair access to the top lookout, before a steep descent down to the bottom.
Loch Ard Gorge is one of the most scenic places to see on the Great Ocean Road; a protected, sandy beach nestled amongst cliffs.
Waves thread their way through the gorge and up onto the beach when the swell is up. And when it’s calm, the inlet turns glassy and turquoise blue. Tour Groups frequent here during the day, time your visit for sunrise or sunset to avoid the crowds.
The Redwoods are a magical plantation of Californian Redwood trees hidden in the midst of the Otway forest surrounding Apollo Bay. The Redwoods are not native to the Great Ocean Road but they definitely complement its appeal.
Follow your nose and get lost beneath these giants. Easily accessible on foot from the car park but the roads surrounding Beech Forest are not suitable for large vehicles or caravans.
In the foothills of the seaside village of Apollo Bay sits Marriners Lookout; a panoramic viewing point offering an almost birds eye-view of the Great Ocean Road and its coastline.
Just a short drive out of town and then a short walk to the lookout, don’t miss this gem.
Once much larger and connected to the mainland, the Razorback has been carved back to just a little slither of limestone off the coast.
Great for photography and an epic place to catch the sunset, make sure to put this on your list of places to see.
Lower Kalimna Falls is not the biggest waterfall on the Great Ocean Road but is certainly one of the most unique. A large alcove sits underneath a rock ledge where the water trickles, so you can enter the cave and actually watch the falls from behind.
To see this place, you’ll need to take an easy three-kilometre walk through the Otways bush.
The gorgeous fishing village of Port Fairy is a good excuse to head further down the Great Ocean Road. Giffiths Island is connected to the mainland via a causeway and It makes for an incredible walk.
The photogenic lighthouse sits at the very tip of the island. You’re bound to spot wallabies and maybe even a Southern Right Whale out at sea from May to October.
The three-kilometre return walk to see Beauchamp Falls is challenging but also very rewarding.
Emerge from the rainforest to a mini canyon surrounded by lush ferns and shadowed by huge gum trees – it’s an adventure that really takes you back to nature.
Point Addis is a popular surf spot among Torquay locals for both the waves and the huge surrounding cliffs. Take the Koori Cultural Walk and you’ll get the first taste of the iconic Great Ocean Road seascape.
Just a two-kilometre walk uphill to a vantage point, it’s moderate in difficulty but sure worth it at the top.
Just minutes from the town of Lorne, Erskine Falls is a popular place to visit for many exploring the Great Ocean Road.
One of the largest waterfalls in the region, it’s a spectacle in itself. The easy walk to the lookout or the trek down the stairs is well worth it to feel the fresh mist hit your face from the 35-metre drop.
A little off-the-beaten-track, nearing the end of the official Great Ocean Road sits a relatively unknown beach, Childers Cove.
If you’re lucky enough you might just have this place to yourself. Visit on low tide for a gorgeous sandy beach with impressive surrounding rock formations.
Last but not least, are the iconic 12 Apostles. These natural rock formations are rightly on everyone’s Great Ocean Road bucket list.
The viewing platform does get very busy and the only thing that could possibly make the views even better, is to have them to yourself. Brave an early morning and get out there for sunrise.
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Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the Great Ocean Road region the Wadawurrung, Eastern Maar & Gunditjmara. We pay our respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging. We recognise and respect their unique cultural heritage and the connection to their traditional lands. We commit to building genuine and lasting partnerships that recognise, embrace and support the spirit of reconciliation, working towards self-determination, equity of outcomes and an equal voice for Australia’s first people.