5 reasons why you must see the Great Ocean Road from the sky

5 reasons why you must see the Great Ocean Road from the sky

If you really want to experience the pure magnitude of the Great Ocean Road – maximise your experience (and your camera roll) and see it from the air.

There are many coastal lookouts where you can view the cliffs, rock formations and waterfalls — but to see them from above gives you an entirely new perspective.

Depending on the time of day you fly, you’ll see how the landscape changes as the sun comes and goes, or the clouds roll in and out.

Here are my favourite things that I see from the air between the 12 Apostles, Bay of Islands Coastal Park and Cape Otway Lighthouse:

1. Full view of a whale

From the land in winter, you can be lucky to see a Southern Right Whale rolling around in the ocean, or catch a glimpse of their tail as they breach.

From the air, you are more likely to see full body sighting of a whale (and perhaps a calf), giving you the chance to see this magnificent mammal in its natural environment.

We are generally the first to report the earliest whale sighting for the season (June to September), which is always exciting!

2. Fast moving orcas and dolphins

Orcas like to join the Southern Right Whales on their migration journey, so we often see them from the air, which is a very special experience.

You would be lucky to ever see an orca in the wild, let alone from the land. We also generally see pods of dolphins, seals and big schools of fast-moving tuna.

3. Rainbows of another realm

Most of us visualize a rainbow as an arc, but from the air, you can see rainbows in lots of different forms. The best one is the infinite circle; our guests really love seeing that!

At any time of year it’s beautiful to watch the coastal weather change throughout the day, from the summer sun throwing a hue on the colorful cliff faces, to the misty clouds rolling in.

Throughout winter, there are many waterfalls of varying sizes along the coastline between the 12 Apostles, Bay of Islands and Cape Otway Lighthouse.

4. 'Upside down' winter waterfalls

On foot, you can get up close and personal to the thundering sound of the water rushing.

But, from the helicopter, you’ll get an even better view of these rare coastal falls, especially when the wind is swirling the misty water high up into the air (I call it an ‘upside down waterfall’) — it’s really beautiful

5. Cliffs and rock formations

When you’re standing on the coast overlooking the cliffs, they sure do look big. But, to truly appreciate the massive drop of the coastal cliffs, jump on one of our flights.

You’ll see:

  • The stunning cliff face colors…oranges, reds, pinks and yellows
  • A birds eye perspective of the Bay of Islands
  • 8 sets of secret, hidden historic steps carved into the cliffs along the coast
  • The entire rock formation of The Arch
  • A unique view of Sentinel Rock

About the 12 Apostle Helicopters flights...

All flights start and finish at our base, located at the back of the 12 Apostles Visitor Information Centre car park.

  • Flights run from 9am to 4pm in winter and 10am to 8pm in summer (weather depending, and we don’t do sunset flights).
  • 15 minute return flight to the London Bridge
  • 25 minute return flight to the Bay of Islands (this is my favorite flight!)
  • 60 minute return flight to the Cape Otway Lighthouse; which includes the London Bridge, Bay of Islands, Moonlight Head and Johanna Beach.

Flight tips:

  • The morning is generally the best time to fly, it is usually calm and clear, and you will miss the busy afternoon rush of other passengers!
  • No matter the weather, viewing this magnificent coastline from the air is always breath-taking. People seem to think that rain and clouds are going to ruin the flight experience, when in my opinion it just enhances it!
  • Bring your camera!
  • Ask questions- us pilot’s absolutely love engaging with the passengers, so please ask as many questions as you have!
  • The front seat is… THE BEST!


Find out more about the 12 Apostles region here.

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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.