Seaside Villages and Surfing Stars along the Great Ocean Road
Head south-west from Melbourne and within two hours you’ll reach the Great Ocean Road. Extending approximately 300km from Torquay to Nelson in the west, the Great Ocean Road is one of the world’s most spectacular drives, taking you past incredible rock formations, perfectly formed crescent beaches and fertile forest.
Torquay is a beach town with internationally-renowned credentials. Iconic surf brands Quicksilver and Rip Curl were born here, and the Rip Curl Pro is a world championship title event that draws surfers from across the globe to the giant waves of Bells Beach. Stroll along beautiful coastline on the 30km Surf Coast Walk, enjoy snorkelling at the Point Danger Marine Sanctuary or pay a visit to Surf World Surfing Museum.
Nature doesn’t get much more spectacular than The Twelve Apostles. Situated around Port Campbell National Park, this striking collection of twelve incredible rock formations rises out from the sea, carved from the headland by pounding waves over thousands of years.
The Great Ocean Walk stretches 104km between the Twelve Apostles and Apollo Bay. Stroll for a few hours, or days on end, to discover pristine beaches, historic lighthouses and shipwrecks. There are plenty of places to camp along the Great Ocean Walk, or you might opt for a cottage, motel, eco retreat or resort.
The seaside village of Apollo Bay is a relaxed destination offering fantastic seafood, colourful cafes, gift stores and galleries. It’s ideally situated close to the Twelve Apostles and the Otways. Hike through the ancient rainforest of the Otway Ranges and don’t miss the Otway Fly Tree Top Walk. Or head to Cape Otway for dramatic cliffs and secluded beaches. Close by are the famous glow-worms of Melba Gully.
Adjacent to Petersburgh, the Bay of Islands Coastal Park is a stunning stretch of coast that you can explore with a short walk or over several days hiking. Several shipwrecks are located here.
Warrnambool is a seaside town rich in maritime heritage. This area is known as Shipwreck Coast and you can discover the dramatic seafaring history at the Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village. Warrnambool is blessed with beautiful beaches and surrounded by rolling hills abundant with quality local produce. Sample it at the bustling cafes or great restaurants. Visit the Southern Right Whale Nursery and you may even spot whales off Logans Beach between June and October.
Port Fairy is a picturesque fishing village built by 19th century whalers and fishermen. Stroll along the heritage walk to discover white-washed cottages, historic churches and wide streets lined by towering Norfolk pines. Much of the town’s architecture has been classified by the National Trust. You’ll also seek out cute cafes, antique stores and restaurants. Take a cruise to Lady Julia Percy Island or Cape Bridgewater, to view colonies of Australian fur seals. And do not forget the festival
Portland is at once a relaxed fishing village and bustling port. There are beautiful beaches, lovely historic buildings and a fine selection of attractions including a lighthouse, World War II Tower and vintage car museum. The Portland Cable Tram is a great way to explore the foreshore area.
There are numerous places to stay along the Great Ocean Road – choose from luxury accommodation, humble bed and breakfasts, camping sites, and everything in-between. This is a popular route so be sure to book accommodation in advance during holiday seasons.
There’s plenty to explore along the Great Ocean Road so be sure to schedule plenty of stops. Ready? Book your adventure now!