The Great Ocean Road is 245kms long starting in Torquay and finishing in Warrnambool. It is one of Australia’s most famous touring routes. It takes you to some of the best surf sports in Australia, through forests littered with Koalas and to the very edge of roads running along sheer cliffs.
Virtually the entire way the road sticks firmly beside the gorgeous blue sea where the waves never seemed to stop crashing on the shore below. We decided to do the first 190kms of this route and would like to share with you some of our highlights.
The starting point of the Great Ocean Road is Torquay. This town is famous for hosting, Rip Curl Pro (the longest running professional surfing contest in the world) on Bells Beach. There we found the surfers out in force – It was packed and had a really nice vibe about it. Torquay is also home The Surf World Museum, the largest museum of its type in the world.
Our next stop was Anglesea, which is 10kms down the road from Torquay – It’s here where we saw our first Kangaroo. The Kangaroos hang out in the shaded areas within the grounds of Anglesea Golf Club. We parked up and hung out with them for about 20 minutes and were able to get within 10 meters or so. It was awesome!
We stayed in Anglesea for lunch by the Lighthouse – You can’t miss it. It was a nice 10-minute walk to the top of hill where the lighthouse sits, a lovely place to have your peanut butter sandwiches.
Next up on our Great Ocean Road tour was Kennett River home to the first Koalas we’ve seen in Australia. The Koalas can be found sleeping in trees beside the creatively named, Kafe Koala. We stayed there for about an hour trying to spot the little balls of fur sleeping up in the trees. What we didn’t bargain for was an encounter with the Australian King Parrot. The Parrots live alongside the Koalas and love to be fed. If you’ve got food like we did then they’ll swarm to you, standing on your wrist to peck food out of your hand and once its gone they’ll fly up to sit on your head!
That night we stayed in Stevensons Falls, an extremely popular free camping spot. After dinner that evening we wondered down to the epic waterfall 2kms from the campsite.
The next morning we were bound for the 12 Apostles. It was a good 3-hour drive to get there and the weather wasn’t great but we arrived safe and sound, around mid-day. We found a spot in the carpark and followed to crowd towards to famous 12 Apostles.
There they were, in all their glory, more stunning than we could ever have imagined. The boardwalk took us out to the very edge of the 100 metre sheer cliff that dropped down onto the waves below. It was an amazing place and the views were to die for.
We then ventured 500m down the road to Gisbson steps where we walked down the 86 steps to the sandy shore. Here you can stand a few hundred meters from one of the Apostles, again with awe-inspiring views.
Our Great Ocean Road journey was almost over. We got back in the van and on the road bound for Melbourne.
There was one more stop to be had, Erskine Falls. Just a 10km drive from our camping spot that night was this amazing waterfall. We ran down the steps and over the slippery rocks at the bottom where we stood almost right under the 5 story tall waterfall.
And that was it, our Great Ocean Road journey was over, but what an amazing few days it was. We hung out with Kangaroos, Koalas and Parrots, visited the best surf spots in Victoria, stood at the base of two huge waterfalls and got to see the amazing 12 Apostles. What a journey and what a fantastic stretch of road. If you are lucky enough to do this route – We hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
♦ Bring bird feed. Bring some bird feed with you for your stop at Kafe Koala to ensure you get the best Parrot experience.
♦ Accomodation. Book accomodation in advance in the high season as we saw lots of ‘No Vacancy’ signs. If you get stuck there are a couple of free campsites along the route – We stayed at Stevensons Falls and Sharps Camping.
♦ Ship Wreck Sites. If you are planning to visit a ship wreck, ensure you check the tide times and go during low tide.
♦ Food. Be sure to buy food prior to your trip as the stores are a lot more expensive in the smaller towns.