Driving Along the Great Ocean Road

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by Hertz AU - 07 September 2018

Embark on one of the most scenic coastal drives within Australia. With endless hours of pristine shorelines, picturesque outlooks and stunning bushwalks, this road trip surely won’t disappoint.

Stop #1: Torquay

The first leg of your road trip has begun. From Melbourne, drive 1.5 hours south to reach Torquay, a quaint seaside town buzzing with beach activities. Stop off for a day full of sun, or spend the night to maximise your time with some of the country’s best surf beaches. Bells Beach, internationally renowned for the Rip Curl surfing competition, and Jan Juc Beach are two favourite beaches for locals and travellers alike.

As you continue driving another hour south along the coast, stop off to absorb the serene settings and incredible views. Anglesea promises heaps of natural wildlife and an abundance of flora and fauna. You’ll be sure to see a kangaroo (or five). Continue towards Lorne, but not before you stop by Memorial Arch at Eastern View. This marks the “official” beginning of the Great Ocean Road; don’t forget to snap a photo. Be sure to make a pit stop just outside of Lorne at Erskine Falls in the Otway National Park. Known for its 30-metre waterfall, make sure you take time to hike to the top where you’ll find a peaceful resting spot.

Stop #2: Lorne

Once you’ve reached the artsy town of Lorne, you’ll be met with relaxed beach-goers, art enthusiasts and the ideal location for a holiday retreat. You’ll have your pick of delicious cafes, bars and restaurants, as well as stunning oceanside views while you feast. Discover Shelly Beach, Scotchmans Hill, and North Lorne for an array of seaside settings before driving another hour south to Apollo Bay.

Bring your camera to Teddy’s Lookout (car access available) or Cape Patton Lookout for sweeping ocean views from above. For a more mountainous atmosphere, check out Sheoak Falls on your way to Apollo Bay. Another destination that is a “must do” is to explore Kennett River. Stop off to grab a coffee at Café Koala and take a walk around the area to spot colonies of Koalas in the wild.

Stop #3: Apollo Bay

Once you reach Apollo Bay, stay the night by the ocean or stop in for delectable seafood cuisine. Be sure to venture to the “top” of the town. Marriner’s Lookout gives you a bird’s eye view across the horizon. This spot is most worthy for watching the sunset or having a picnic (or both!). Apollo Bay is the perfect place to kick back and relax. Explore the bay’s surrounds and enjoy venues such as La Bimba or the Great Ocean Road Brewhouse with over 100 craft beers.

Apollo Bay Beach is loved by visitors and locals for swimming, surfing, and fishing. For the best place to take your surfboard, drive a few minutes north to scope out the swell at smaller beaches littering the shoreline. Just south of Apollo Bay, hop onto the elongated trail of the Great Ocean Walk. Spanning 100km, embark on walk for a few hours, a day, or more if you’re keen for a challenge. The Marengo to Shelly Beach walk (4.7km one way) is popular for those staying in the Apollo Bay area.

Stop 4: 12 Apostles & Port Campbell

The last 1 hour and 30-minute drive transports you to your final destination: Port Campbell. Stop off for the night, as you’ll need a day to explore the splendours of this end of the Great Ocean Road. There are a variety of accommodation options including campsites for an outdoor experience on the foreshores. With your rental car, bounce from destination to destination throughout the day and enjoy the exquisite coastline.

Visit natural wonders such as Gibson Steps and the 12 Apostles – the sites most visitors are after. Don’t miss the London Bridge and The Grotto for unique rock formations that are intertwined with the ocean waves. Drive to the cliffs by Loch Ard Gorge to hear of shipwreck tales and continue on to the Bay of Martyrs to learn about this bit of historic coastline.

What is guaranteed: spectacular views, lush scenery, and a yearning to see more.