Base yourself in the vibrant seaside town of Port Campbell on the Great Ocean Road’s Shipwreck Coast, and you’ll discover a lot more than the 12 Apostles.
With a wide variety of places to eat and stay, using Port Campbell as a base makes it easy to explore the surrounding region.
Start your adventure with a stroll along the Port Campbell Discovery Walk. Cross the swing bridge over the creek and hike along the cliff tops with panoramic views of Port Campbell Harbour. Afterwards, if the temperature is right, take a dip in the safe, sandy cove of Port Campbell or launch yourself into the water from the jetty.
Get up early to see these majestic monoliths at sunrise, when the sun sheds a glorious golden glow onto the remaining seven of the 12 Apostles as it rises above the ocean. Simply stunning!
Don’t miss the national park’s other attractions–London Bridge, Loch Ard Gorge, The Grotto and Gibson’s Steps–all of which are unique and eye-catching. Take plenty of photos at these ‘Instagrammable’ locations, but be mindful of keeping to designated pathways and taking note of signage whilst in the park.
For a bird’s eye view of Port Campbell National Park’s natural rock formations, take a scenic helicopter flight with 12 Apostles Helicopters tours. Soaring above the rugged Great Ocean Road coastline is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will give you a completely different perspective of these amazing rock formations.
After a busy day exploring the national park, sit, sip and snack while you take in the great views over Port Campbell Harbour and its famous jetty from one of the bayside cafes, restaurants or bars.
See Port Campbell from above with the Discovery Walk
Visit the classics – the 12 Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge, The Grotto, The Arch and plenty of other beauties in the Port Campbell National Park
Get set for a day in foodie heaven on the 12 Apostles Gourmet Trail in the nearby town of Timboon, only a 15-minute drive from Port Campbell. Winning silver in the Top Tourism Towns Award for two years running, Timboon packs a punch with loads of interesting things to do and see.
Sample and stock up on locally made cheeses, chocolates, ice cream, yoghurt, honey, farm-fresh strawberries and distilled whisky. Visit the Timboon Railway Shed Distillery and sample some single malt whisky, and other spirits. While here at the ‘Shed’ indulge in fresh produce from over 13 local producers all available within the same hub.
Stop at the Timboon Ice Creamery and enjoy free samples of 24 delicious luxury ice cream flavours. Take an ice cream making class and ‘learn to churn’ your own. It’s the perfect place for a decadent dessert!
If you have a sweet tooth, you’ll love GORGE Chocolates. Home of the Chocolate Alpaca, it is located in the nearby town of Cooriemungle. Making their own smooth Belgian chocolates, as well as serving up hot chocolate and coffee, Gorge is worth a stop–if not to devour chocolate, then to see the large herd of cute alpacas!
While in Cooriemungle, stop at Apostle Whey Cheese for award-winning, delectable homemade cheeses. The dairy is a genuine paddock-to-plate experience, where you can see the whole process from dairy cows being milked, right through to the cheeses being made.
Work off all the food by cycling the Timboon to Camperdown Rail Trail with Ride With Us bike and picnic hire. This 34-kilometre-long trail takes you through farmland, wooded grassland and tall timber forest on the descent into the wooded Timboon valley. Make sure you check out the historic trestle bridge along the trail. Make a special day of it and pack a picnic lunch of local delicacies to enjoy during your bike ride.
After a big day sampling the fresh produce of Timboon, tonight will be the perfect time to enjoy the local produce you have collected throughout the day. Return to the comfort of your accommodation in Port Campbell and enjoy it with a bottle of wine or locally brewed craft beer.
Stretch your Great Ocean Road trip a little further and enjoy a day in Warrnambool, another Shipwreck Coast town only 67 kilometres from Port Campbell. This vibrant city has a lively foreshore promenade, an intriguing shipwreck and whale history, spectacular beaches, a blooming arts and culture scene, and the ancient geological wonder of Tower Hill.
During Australia’s colder months from May to October, witness the southern right whales who give birth to their young in the sheltered waters of Lady Bay. You can watch them from the viewing platform or from the sands of Logan Beach, where they are often seen frolicking with their newborn calves in the waters only 100 metres offshore.
Learn about the interesting maritime history of Warrnambool at the award-winning Flagstaff Hill Maritime Museum & Village. Here you will experience the hardships of the early settlers of the Shipwreck Coast in the Living Museum and enjoy the Sound and Light Show.
Wander around the cobblestone streets of the village, recreated with over 40 authentic buildings. You will find characters in period costumes who will spin you a yarn of yesteryear, and see the Loch Ard Peacock shipwreck and artefacts.
Take the short drive out to Tower Hill, a dormant volcano with a spectacular landscape of tapered hills, glistening lakes and natural bushland reserve. The Tower Hill Visitor Centre is the heart of Tower Hill, offering interactive walks, Aboriginal guided tours, arts and crafts.
The Tower Hill nature reserve is full of wildlife such as emus, koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, echidnas, black swans, wedge-tail eagles, magpie geese and reptiles. Get back in your car and take a drive around the rim of the crater–there are plenty of opportunities for perfect photos from the lookout spots.
Pamper and indulge yourself in the therapeutic geothermal pools at Deep Blue Hot Springs. Select from a range of treatments including open-air bathing, sensory therapy, salt therapy, reflexology, hydrotherapy and star gazing pools.
After a fun-filled day exploring Warrnambool and the surrounding area, it’s time to take a break and treat your tastebuds before you head back to Port Campbell. The choices are almost endless, with the town’s great collection of places to eat and drink. Try takeaway fish and chips on the foreshore, freshly caught seafood, international flavours, coffee and cake, or a refreshing ale at one of the pubs or boutique breweries.
Whale watching is a must at Warrnambool between May and September
Wander around the cobblestone streets of the village and see a light show at Flagstaff Hill Maritime Museum & Village in Warrnambool
Walk the crater rim walk at the volcanic Tower Hill and spot the resident emus
Relax and kick back at Deep Blue Hot Springs mineral baths
As one of the world’s great road trips, nothing compares to the Great Ocean Road and Shipwreck Coast. The more you immerse yourself in this remarkable landscape, the more you’ll discover. Port Campbell is just one of the great places to base yourself in and discover the jewels of this region.
Start planning your Great Ocean Road escape today with 52 Great Weekends that offer experiences for everyone. There are things to do with families, romantic weekend getaways, adventure activities, experiences for nature enthusiasts, fun for the kids and lots more. Pick one and start planning your getaway today!
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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.