It’s known as one of the best drives in the world and we recommend taking it slow to explore this majestic stretch of winding coastline.
The Great Ocean Road twists and turns for more than 200 kilometres from Torquay to as far as Portland. The drive is punctuated with beaches, from the roaring pro surfer’s choice of Bells Beach, to the Norfolk-pine-lined beachfront at Torquay with its protected foreshore. The jagged limestone of the Twelve Apostles will always impress, no matter how many times you stand in front of the eight remaining rock formations.
Head inland to explore the lush surrounds of the Otways. Trek through the tall trees as the sounds of a running stream or waterfall calls you further. Take a guided canoe tour of Lake Elizabeth – you may even spot a platypus. Or stop by the Forrest Brewery for a beer.
Winter on the Great Ocean Road is as impressive during the warmer months. You can retreat beside an open fire or savour locally grown food without waiting for a table. Watch the Southern Ocean in all its glory while you make yourself a cup of tea, and see the die-hard surfers for whom the cold is no deterrent.
Most places you’ll want to stop at on the Great Ocean Road are no more than an hour apart, and you won’t complain about the drive between them. Unique accommodation options abound, including a guest suite attached to a famous regional restaurant on 30 acres, and a lighthouse cottage.
Welcome to The Great Ocean Road
Simple dishes and fresh seafood dominate the menus at many restaurants along the Great Ocean Road.
Coastal Mediterranean food, with views over Anglesea beach.
The Bottle of Milk
Featuring 25 different burgers.
The shining culinary star of Apollo Bay.
The Great Ocean Road is home to some classic coastal pubs that are cosy in the cooler months.
A laid-back pub with beach views and an outstanding beer garden.
A classic beachfront pub with a vibing beer garden and ocean views.
The Forrest Brewing Company
What better way to finish a bike ride than with a fresh beer?
Luxury suites attached to a celebrated restaurant, and lighthouse cottages.
The Great Otway National Park is home to some beautiful bushwalks. Turn off the main road down an unsealed track and drive toward Stevenson Falls, a secluded waterfall that plummets into a spectacular creek at the end of a well-made path. You can take a guided canoe tour of Lake Elizabeth and glide along the water in search of platypuses.
Fairhaven beach is the longest on the Great Ocean Road, stretching six kilometres through Anglesea, Lorne, Aireys Inlet, Fairhaven, Moggs Creek and Eastern View. It’s a popular surf beach, with water ranging from inviting to ominous, and is known for its strong rips. A more peaceful, patrolled area sits in front of the Fairhaven Surf Life Saving Club. It’s a local favourite in winter.
PICO is a small homewares store with a curated selection of designer jewellery, lighting, furniture, art and photography, opposite Lorne beach. It functions as interior architect Georgina Jeffries’s creative outlet, each item matching her design style. Most have a story behind them, from the stunning photography by Jeffries’s husband Troy Fynmore to the food-themed jewellery and sunglasses by her friend Lucy Folk. Jeffries works from a small studio at the back of the store and is happy to talk you through her favourite items.
Aireys Inlet Markets
If you’re passing through Aireys Inlet on the second Sunday of the month between October and June, stop by its famous local market. Formerly a farmers’ market with an emphasis on local produce, they’re now joined by stallholders selling vintage, handmade and recycled goods such as fluffy ottomans and ceramic kitchenware. Choose some homemade cakes and slices to eat on the drive home.
Winding Down on the Great Ocean Road
Most towns on the Great Ocean Road are no more than an hour apart. Pick a few spots and spend a day winding your way through them.
Stop for Seven Seeds coffee and some breakfast in Torquay, just over an hour out of Melbourne.
Break up the drive with a quick dip or walk along part of Fairhaven beach’s six kilometres of sand.
(03) 5263 2454
Have a light lunch of snapper with cauliflower and currants in Anglesea, and enjoy panoramic views of the water from the deck of the surf life saving club.
The Otways VIC
Drive through the dense Otways forest, then walk the short track to the majestic Stevenson Falls.
Brae Guest Suites
(03) 5236 2226
Dinner will be picked from the garden, cooked by some of the country’s best chefs and matched with wine. Retire to your spacious suite on the property.