Frequently Asked Questions

Here are our answers to those burning questions.

The Great Ocean Road

  • What is Greatopia?

    Greatopia encompasses the entire Great Ocean Road region, stretching from Torquay to the South Australian border.

    You’ve probably heard of the Great Ocean Road.

    You may have even visited parts of it before.

    But when you venture a little further, you’ll discover the greatest nature, food, wine and adventure.

    You’ll soon realise why the locals call it their utopia!

    Discover why it earns this name and how you can make the most of your visit here!

  • How long is the Great Ocean Road?

    The Great Ocean Road (B100) stretches over 243 kilometres, winding through some of Victoria’s most scenic coastal landscapes. This iconic route offers breathtaking views and numerous stops at historic sites and natural wonders. Find the time and distance for your exact route here.

  • Where does the Great Ocean Road start and finish?

    The Great Ocean Road (B100) starts in the surf town of Torquay and finishes in Allansford, near Warrnambool.

  • How old is the Great Ocean Road?

    The Great Ocean Road is over 100 years old. The Great Ocean Road construction began in September 1919 and was completed in 1932. This monumental route is not just a scenic drive but also stands as the world’s largest war memorial, dedicated to soldiers from World War I.

Planning Your Visit

  • Can you drive to the 12 Apostles and back from Melbourne in a day?

    Technically you can drive from Melbourne to the 12 Apostles and back in one day, however, we don’t recommend it. You would just miss out on too much amazing nature and wildlife along the way, as well as the opportunity to discover wonderful attractions, beaches, forests, and great places to eat and drink – there are just too many exciting places to mention. We recommend slowing down and taking your time to appreciate the other wonders along the way, whether that’s along the coast or through the hinterland. Check out our detailed itineraries for your perfect trip.

  • What is the nearest airport to the start of the Great Ocean Road?

    Located just outside of Geelong and only 45 minutes from Melbourne CBD, Avalon Airport is the closest airport to the start of the Great Ocean Road, at only a 35-minute drive from Torquay. It offers easy transport options to Geelong and Torquay as well as plenty of car hire options. Avalon Airport currently supports budget Jetstar flights to and from Sydney, the Gold Coast and Adelaide.

    Find more information on ways to get to the Great Ocean Road here.

  • Can you stop on the Great Ocean Road to take photos?

    Absolutely! The Great Ocean Road offers numerous scenic lookouts and designated parking areas where you can safely stop to take photographs. For your safety and the safety of others, please adhere to the following guidelines:

    • No Stopping on the Road: Stopping on the road itself is strictly prohibited to maintain traffic flow and safety.
    • Use Designated Areas: Always use lookout points or car parks specifically designed for stopping and viewing the scenery.
    • Observe Traffic Rules: Follow local traffic regulations, including not crossing double lines to access viewpoints.
    • Stay Behind Barriers: When taking photos, ensure you stay behind any safety barriers, which are placed to protect you from cliff edges and unstable ground.
  • What's the busiest time of year on the Great Ocean Road?

    The peak season on the Great Ocean Road is during the summer holidays, from late December to January, and around the Easter long weekend. These periods see a surge in visitor numbers, drawn by the warm weather and vibrant local events.

    We recommend planning ahead for travel during these times or considering travelling during the autumn or winter months when the region is just as beautiful but with fewer crowds. The cooler months offer flowing waterfalls and magical whale watching, not to mention getting some of the best views in the world all to yourself.

  • What is there to do with kids on the Great Ocean Road?

    There is so much fun to be had for kids in the region. From beach days and rockpooling adventures to mini-golf and treetop challenges, there’s something to spark every child’s interest.

    View chocolate-making classes, epic playgrounds and so many more family activities here.

  • What is inland from the Great Ocean Road?

    Inland from the Great Ocean Road lies a rich hinterland, home to the lush Otway National Park, rolling farmlands, vast volcanic lakes and plains region in the west and heath and bushland in the east. Towns and villages full of artisans and creators are waiting for your visit.

  • Can you get to the Great Ocean Road by public transport?

    Accessing the Great Ocean Road by public transport is convenient, with options including car, train, bus, and ferry.

    More details on routes and schedules can be found here.

  • What events are on in the Great Ocean Road region?

    The Great Ocean Road hosts a vibrant array of events throughout the year. From local markets and music festivals to sporting events and cultural celebrations, there’s always something happening.

    Check out our Events Calendar for current and upcoming events here.

  • Where are the Visitor Information Centres along the Great Ocean Road?

    Find a list of all of the region’s Visitor Information Centres here. The friendly staff are full of local knowledge, so they’re definitely worth a call or a visit!

  • Where can I find out more information about the Great Ocean Road? Accommodation, what to see and do, where to eat etc.

    This website is full of useful information and inspiration – but here are some quick links to get you started:

    Find out more about all types of accommodation in the Great Ocean Road region

    Find out what to see and do in the Great Ocean Road region

    Find places to eat and drink in the Great Ocean Road region

    Find out about tours in the Great Ocean Road region

  • What Is The Best Way To Travel Great Ocean Road?

    Exploring the Great Ocean Road can be done in several exciting ways:

    • Flying: Start your journey at Avalon Airport, just a 35-minute drive from Torquay, with car rentals available for convenience.
    • Train: Catch a train from Melbourne (Southern Cross Station) to Geelong or Warrnambool, and connect to local buses or rental cars to explore further.
    • Bus: Regular bus services link the major towns along the route, providing an easy way to travel between key attractions.
    • Ferry: The Queenscliff to Sorrento ferry connects you to the Mornington Peninsula & Phillip Island, offering beautiful coastal views.
  • What Towns Are Along The Great Ocean Road?

  • What Can I Do in Winter on the Great Ocean Road?

    Winter along the Great Ocean Road offers a unique charm with plenty of activities:

    • Culinary Experiences: Explore local farms, renowned restaurants, providores, and cellar doors to taste the region’s seasonal produce and hearty comfort foods.
    • Bushwalking and Hiking: The cooler months mean less foot traffic and a lower chance for bodies of water being dried out. Perfect for exploring the Great Otway National Park’s walking tracks that offer spectacular views of cascading waterfalls and lush greenery.
    • Cosy Accommodations: Book a stay in a seaside cottage or a forest cabin, many of which offer fireplaces for a warm, snug environment.
    • Spas and Retreats: Unwind at one of the many local spas and wellness retreats, ideal for warming up and unwinding after a chilly day.
    • Wildlife Watching: Spot local wildlife like kangaroos and wallabies grazing at the Anglesea Golf Course or embark on a wildlife tour to see the native species in their natural habitat.

Great Ocean Road Attractions

  • How were the 12 Apostles made?

    The 12 Apostles are limestone formations created by the relentless forces of nature. Over millions of years, the Southern Ocean’s waves and weather conditions have eroded the softer limestone, gradually sculpting these magnificent pillars. While some may eventually crumble, ongoing erosion along the coastline ensures that this dynamic landscape continues to evolve.

  • When is the best time to see the 12 Apostles?

    The 12 Apostles are a spectacular sight at any time, but they are especially breathtaking at sunrise and sunset when the light casts dramatic shadows and colours. Early morning is the time to go with the chance of having the view all to yourself, but it’s best to check local weather forecasts for the best viewing experience.

    Regardless of when you visit, you must stay on the viewing platforms. This will protect you, as the cliffs nearby are unstable and dangerous, as well as the vegetation and native wildlife living in the area.

  • Are there waterfalls around the Great Ocean Road?

    With 10 waterfalls within 10km or Lorne, and supposedly over 500 waterfalls in the Otways alone, the Great Ocean Road is a mecca for waterfalls. Some of the more popular are Erskine Falls in Lorne and Hopetoun Falls in the Otways.

  • Are there volcanoes on the Great Ocean Road?

    The Volcanic Lakes & Plains region, accessible via the Great Ocean Road, features more than 400 extinct volcanoes, making it the third largest volcanic plains on the globe. This unique geological landscape offers visitors a chance to explore vast crater lakes, conical peaks, and fertile farmlands shaped by ancient volcanic activity.

    Follow the meandering roads north from the coast to find the home of the biggest volcano in Victoria, Mount Elephant, and an endless carpet of rolling farmland punctuated by deep crater lakes and conical peaks.

  • What else is there to see aside from the 12 Apostles?

    The Great Ocean Road offers so many stunning natural attractions, Beyond the 12 Apostles some must-visits are:

    • Bells Beach Torquay – Famous for massive swells and home to the Rip Curl Pro Surfing Competition
    • Port Campbell National Park – with the famous 12 Apostles plus other stunning formations such as Loch Ard Gorge and Gibsons Steps
    • Budj Bim Cultural Landscape – A UNESCO World Heritage-listed site containing one of the world’s oldest aquaculture systems
    • Tower Hill – Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve sits inside an extinct volcano formed some 30,000 years ago
    • Great Otway National Park – an abundance of waterfalls, rainforest, hiking, mountain biking and artisan treats.
  • What else is close to the 12 Apostles to see?

    Did you know the national park where the 12 Apostles is located has several awe-inspiring natural landmarks worth visiting? The Grotto offers a picturesque view through its window-like rock formation, Loch Ard Gorge tells the tale of the shipwreck coast, and the Gibson Steps provide access to a stunning beach flanked by towering cliffs, just a short walk from the 12 Apostles. View our itineraries to ensure you don’t miss out on the other spectacular wonders by just doing a day trip to the 12 Apostles.

  • Can I surf at Bells Beach?

    Bells Beach is renowned for its powerful swells and is suited for experienced surfers. The beach hosts the annual Rip Curl Pro, attracting surfers from around the world. Beginners are advised to enjoy the spectacle from the safety of the shore or consider any of the many other nearby surfing spots that are more suitable for those new to the sport. Your best bet is to have a chat with one of the many surf schools in Torquay or Anglesea for the low down.

  • Where is the best place to see whales on the Great Ocean Road?

    For your best chance at spotting a whale, the western end of the Great Ocean Road, including Warrnambool, Port Fairy, and Portland is your best bet. Part of the Whale Trail, at these locations you can often spot Southern Right Whales, Humpback Whales, and occasionally Blue Whales from May to October. The helpful visitor centres in these towns offer the latest sighting information and the best viewing spots.

  • Where is the best place to see wildlife on the Great Ocean Road?

    Kennett River and Grey River are popular for spotting koalas in their natural habitat, while the Great Otway National Park more broadly offers encounters with a variety of wildlife including Eastern Grey Kangaroos, echidnas, and diverse bird species. For the best experience, visit at dawn or dusk when many animals are most active, or for a more interactive experience, Wildlife Wonders in Apollo Bay & Great Ocean Road Wildlife Park near Port Campbell are must-stops.

    Always remember to never feed wildlife, including birds. Help us keep our wildlife wild. Find out more

  • What are the most popular natural attractions on the Great Ocean Road?

    • The Twelve Apostles — possibly Victoria’s most famous regional tourist attraction, these natural limestone structures that tower above the Southern Ocean are part of the Port Campbell National Park.
    • Port Campbell National Park — As well as the Twelve Apostles, this national park includes natural coastal attractions such as Loch Ard Gorge, London Bridge, The Arch and the Grotto.
    • Great Otway National Park — with tall forests, waterfalls and ferny gullies this park also boasts rugged coastlines, sandy beaches and rock platforms.

    Explore sandy beaches, rugged coastlines, and rock platforms that provide breathtaking views and photo opportunities with our curated collection of the best Nature and Wildlife on the Great Ocean Road.

  • What are the top cultural attractions on the Great Ocean Road?

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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.