This magical road located in Victoria, a state in southeast Australia, consists of 151 miles of beautiful highway winding through varying terrain like rain forests, beaches, and cliffs. For future visitors, here you go. I’ve done the research and I’ve completed this drive. You have full permission to copy every stop, no copyright infringements or travel agent fees necessary. Note: Driving on the other side of the road is harder than you think and takes all your focus. Also, look for the Great Ocean Road wifi along your journey. It’ll get you out of a bind when your GPS fails you.
Melbourne to Torquay – Here you’ll find the cutest beach town in existence with seaside cafes and chic hotels. It’s probably up there as most developed town on the stretch. What wasn’t so awesome was the temperature. We arrived about two weeks too early. The water was a tid bit nipply. Total driving time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Torquay to Split Point Lighthouse – Explore the lighthouse and the cliffs at this stop. Parking is a few yards ahead of the lighthouse. Total driving time: 30 minutes
Split Point Lighthouse to Erskine Falls (Lorne) – Erskine Falls has a long stairway down to the actual falls, so plan accordingly. I was in a maxi dress and flip flops. Definitely an outfit fail, but I rock climbed the boulders anyway! Total driving time: 1 hour
Lorne to Apollo Bay – Beautiful town along the coast (obviously) and affectionately known as Paradise by the Sea. Awwww. Total driving time: 1 hour
Apollo Bay to Twelve Apostles – If you’ve researched this drive at all, you’re excited to stop here. The Twelve Apostles are now only eight limestone stacks off the shores of Port Campbell National Park. Formed by erosion and harsh weather conditions from the ocean, the stacks were formerly caves in the cliffs, which then became arches, which in turn collapsed leaving rock stacks. Sunset here is magical, even though there was a massive cloud cover when we arrived. Thanks, Mother Nature. Total driving time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Apostles to Gordon Beach – The Apostles and Gordon Beach are right next door to each other. Go down to the beach for an up close and personal photo session. Note that even if there’s a sign saying Beach Closed, go anyway 😉 You only regret the things you didn’t do.
Apostles to Thunder Cave and the Gorge – I don’t usually do road trips like this where I’m stopping every 10-30 minutes, but the land formations were worth the whiplash. A 10 minute walk preceeds the cave and gorge. Total driving time: 10 minutes
Thunder Cave to Port Campbell – Port Campbell is a great resting spot for the evening. It’s not NYC or even Arkansas for that matter as it’s hardly developed. There’s a liquor store and a handful of good restaurants to choose from, making for a fun girl’s night once we finally stopped the car for the day! Recommendations: Daysy Hill Collages for sleep; Nico’s for pizza, salad and wine; Waves for breakfast the following morning. Total driving time: 15 minutes
Port Campbell to the Arch – This wasn’t exactly on our itinerary, but we came across it and decided to stop. That’s what road trips are for, right? I still don’t know much about this arch, but it makes for a pretty picture! Total driving time: 10 minutes
The Arch to London Bridge – London Bridge was formed by gradual erosion, and until 1990, formed a complete double-span natural bridge. One side collapsed in 1990, leaving two tourists to be rescued by a helicopter. Total driving time: 2 minutes
London Bridge to Warrnambool – Warrnambool is a developed city that marks the official end of the Great Ocean Road. We were having so much fun driving on the other side of the road, so we kept on moving west and continued onward towards Adelaide. Note that it’s entirely acceptable to stop your road trip here, skipping the remainder of the itinerary. The Outback is calling, and I regret not seeing it! Just sayin’… Total driving time: 40 minutes
Warrnambool to Port Fairy – Surfer’s paradise. I think there’s a lighthouse here as well, but we were light-housed out from the day before! Total driving time: 25 minutes
Port Fairy to Cape Bridgewater – Up the hill from the beach you’ll see a sign telling you about a fur seal boat tour. It was far too cold and windy for us to partake, so we kept going straight towards the windmills until we hit the petrified forest and the highest coastal cliffs in Victoria. I hope it’s a warmer and clearer day for you if/when you decide to visit! This photo might as well be out of a horror movie. Good thing it just so happened to be Halloween. Total driving time: 1 hour
Cape Bridgewater to Mount Gambier – This is the second most populous city in south Australia with the famous Blue Lake, a crater lake located in an extinct volancic maar. Total driving time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Mount Gambier to Robe – I spent Halloween in Robe this year, but the town is far from scary. It’s beyong beautiful with its lakes, vegetation, historical buildings and popular fishing port. Make a night out of it and stay at the Fayrefield House. 1 hour and 30 minutes
Robe to Barossa Valley – This wasn’t exactly an awesome morning (as you can note the 4.5 hours of driving), but the afternoon of wine drinking made up for it. Our wine tour with Barossa House was stunningly delicious, and Lee was the best guide one could ask for! Lee and his wife Judy have been doing tours and running their B&B for 14 years. They picked us up for a half day wine tour from noon until 4:30 that included lunch and three wine tastings at different vineyards in the region. We took a rest after getting wine drunk all afternoon to soak everything up with a carb-loaded dinner at 1918. Mmmm! Total driving Time: 4.5 hrs
Barossa Valley is a renowned wine-producing region northeast of Adelaide where Shiraz grapes reigns king.
The next morning we had a balloon ride scheduled, which meant a 4:00am wake-up call after day drinking the previous afternoon. Ouch. Once we rose above the clouds, the hangover seemed to disappear as fast as the morning fog.
Barossa Valley to Cudlee – We then loaded up the car (again) to visit Gorge Wildlife Park in Cudlee. My travel buddies had to hold a koala, and I wasn’t going to say no. Total driving time: 45 minutes
Barossa Valley to Adelaide – We took it easy in Adelaide for the afternoon, finding a good spot to eat before basking in the luxury of the Mayfair Hotel for the evening. We had a 6am flight the following morning to the Great Barrier Reef area that we weren’t about to miss! Total driving time: 1 hour