We are so excited to be able to welcome visitors back again. Welcome you back to re-live those cherished memories of the coast, or maybe you’ve heard a call to explore and create some new ones.
Come and reconnect with your friends and family you haven’t seen for a while, with those towns you love, that tucked away café with the best coffee – it’s all here waiting, just for you.
It’s time to experience the Great Ocean Road …again.
With its big swell and sweeping cliff-face, Bells is an iconic spot to catch a wave or even the perfect possie to watch local surfers do their thing. You can also venture over to one of the other breaks nearby; Winkipop and Jan Juc are a couple of other local faves.
Through bushland and then out again into the open sweeping views of the Southern Ocean, this walk will never tire. The Surf Coast Walk in full is 44km, stretching from Torquay through Anglesea and finishing at Aireys Inlet. This walk is also broken up into 12 manageable trails with carparking and easy access to each. Discover traditional Wathaurung country and abundant wildlife. Pick out a few of the shorter walks, book somewhere cosy to end your days walking in comfort and make a weekend of it.
Anglesea is the place for family adventure. Teach the kids to ride a bike down the easy path that follows the river, hit the mountain bike trails at Anglesea Bike Park or let them run wild on the beach.
Anglesea River is a perfect spot for fishing, paddling, relaxing, picnicking, playgrounding and taking the furry, four-legged family member for a walk. There are some great sheltered spots to teach the kids to surf too, like Point Roadknight.
Driving around the bend from Anglesea, the iconic Split Point Lighthouse suddenly comes into view, stood proudly on the edge of the cliff. When was the last time you stopped to take this all in? There are some beautiful walks close by and even some rockpools underneath to explore if the tide is out.
There are a few different stories behind how old Teddy’s Lookout got its name and this is just one.
During construction of the Great Ocean Road, a Ted Babington was contracted to supply and deliver timber for bridges. Ted would cart timber from St George River Mill with his two drivers, Ted Hogan and Ted Bolger. After a steep ascent, they would rest the horses at a high point where they could also see if anyone else was coming up the hill. This spot was then known as Teddy’s Lookout.
Story from Meryl Inderberg, granddaughter of Ted Babington
Lorne is a vibrant hub of activity, where the shops and cafes along Mountjoy Parade meet the sea and are backed by rising hills and forest. Lorne is the perfect spot for a sleepover given how much there is to do in and around Lorne. You may have seen Erskine Falls in your time, but a little-known fact is that there are 10 waterfalls within 10 kilometres of Lorne, yes, 10! Time to tick them all off that list.
The stretch of coastline between Lorne and Apollo Bay is some of the most picturesque in the region. The Great Ocean Road hugs the cliff-face as it winds through the Great Otway National Park and rolling farmland. Wye River is the perfect place to set your family up by the beach to do little day trips and explore Lorne and Apollo Bay.
The native wildlife are certainly not shy in these parts. The kids will love spying up at the trees trying to spot a furry grey lump (also known as a koala). Just remember that it’s important we all help to keep our wildlife wild by not feeding them.
Watch the fishing boats bringing in the catch of the day or drop in a line yourself. On Saturday mornings you can buy fresh fish off the boat from local fishermen or just tuck in at the Apollo Bay Fisherman’s Co-op, where you can buy fresh seafood including crayfish and of course, fish and chips.
Walk Marriners Hill to for a panoramic view over Apollo Bay.
Local tip: sunrise and sunset are particularly beautiful. When the sea and breeze are right and if it’s really clear, in front of the lookout in the bay, you can see the shadow on the seafloor and the town’s most famous shipwreck, the SS Casino which sank in 1932.
Where the Southern Ocean and Bass Strait collide sits Cape Otway the oldest surviving lighthouse in mainland Australia built in 1848. Located a short drive off the Great Ocean Road through serene forests where you’re almost guaranteed to see koalas, it’s worth the visit, you’ll feel like you’re at the end of the earth!
The Otways are always vibrant and beaming with life and especially during the cooler months. The waterfalls are flowing, the ferns flourishing, the Redwoods steaming from the morning sun on the damp bark and the mountain bike tracks in Forrest are waiting patiently for the adventurer.
Lake Elizabeth not far from Forrest, is another tucked away gem in the Otways. A still, fresh morning, fog on the water weaving its way throughout the drowned, petrified trees in the lake is eerie yet stunning, there’s just nothing else like it. If you’re lucky, you may be able to spot the local elusive platypus.
Port Campbell National Park is a special place that holds a few of the most famous Great Ocean Road views. The 12 Apostles, while remarkable, are just one in the collection (but we always think they are worth another visit). Gibson Steps, not far from the 12 Apostles, boasts a stunning view while being able to walk along the beach for that special photo op. Port Campbell National Park will always impress, no matter how many times you return.
Sunrises and sunsets are always special along the Great Ocean Road but watching the sunset over the Bay of Islands in Peterborough is something again. The pale limestone of this section of coast reflects a different quality of light and serves up superior photo opportunities in wintry, overcast conditions.
It’s safe to say that just about everyone’s favourite thing about winter is that it’s whale watching season! The Great Ocean Road is such a unique place where you can see Humpbacks, Southern Rights, Blue Whales and even the occasional Orca within 100m from the lookout platform at Logan’s Beach. Sign up to receive whale sighting notifications so you’re always one step ahead!
Arguably the regions’ best kept secret is Tower Hill, resting inside a dormant volcano formed around 30,000 years ago. The volcanic cones rise from a lakebed in a formation known as a nested maar, which was created by a series of volcanic eruptions and events over thousands of years. The raw beauty of this part of the Great Ocean Road region really is an untouched wonderland. Discover the geological, cultural and wildlife wonder.
Griffiths Island is probably best known for its lighthouse in Port Fairy, but it is also a sanctuary for plants, birds and other wildlife. The island itself is only small, but it makes for a lovely 5km stroll from Port Fairy.
Take in the surreal landscape of the petrified forest which looks like a forest of trees turned into rock and watch as the sea spray blasts metres skyward at Bridgewater Blowholes. Cape Bridgewater is the raw, wilder side of the Great Ocean Road and well worth the trip to experience something truly distinctive. Discover the fascinating attractions of the west.
From the breathtaking volcanic landscape in Portland, head further west to meet awe-inspiring caves in Nelson by the Glenelg River. The western stretch of the Great Ocean Road truly is wild and unique. In natural bush surrounds of the Lower Glenelg National Park, you’ll find Princess Margaret Rose Cave, known for its extensive decoration of hanging stalactites, rising stalagmites and cave coral.
We all have our favourite places we love to return to, our home away from home but maybe it’s time to create some new memories, drive that little bit further, to stay that little bit longer. We hope to see you soon.
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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.