Many of you have probably either seen, done or heard about The Great Ocean Road. It is widely considered one of, if not the best scenic drive Australia has to offer. Just a few hours from the bustling metropolis of Melbourne, the road stretches 243 km between the towns of Torquay and Allansford. With highlights including cliffs, national parks, ocean views and more coastal views than you’ll know what to do with, this journey is a must-do for tourists and locals alike. Originally built to commemorate those killed during World War I, the Great Ocean Road is also the largest war memorial in the world. Who knew hey.
This is how I'd recommend driving The Great Ocean Road......
Note. This is for the general person wanting a weekend adventure, no hiking, no hard work, just good views & a nice relaxing weekend away. This will not be the entire thing, just up until the main attractions.
Before you actually begin along the GOR. The Geelong/Bellarine Highway has a very special place with very special people there willing to make your drive & adventure a lot more fun & a lot more memorable. Hire a Kombi is exactly what the name says. With 5 Kombi vans on offer, it is the ONLY way to make this drive, I was lucky enough to have been paired up with Gracie "I referred to her as Gracie Girl" & boy was she a joy to drive! With a quick minor briefing from owners George & Alyce "who are an absolute pleasure to deal with" you can then be on your way.
Take in the surf beach, check out the surf shops, get some breaky go SKYDIVING & get noticed in your wicked cool Kombi. Gracie was a bit of a head turner for this trip & she has a pretty cool horn to sound off to everyone that stares, you'll just have to hire one to see for yourself. Anyway back to SKYDIVING, yes that is one hell of a way to get you amped up for your upcoming trip & is only 15-20 minutes down the road from Hire a Kombi, convenient? I get skydiving isn't for everyone & I did say this is a relaxing way to go about the trip, but I had a 57-year-old jumping with me, so I believe if he can do it anybody can! It's a kind of rush like no other & It is a great way to set the tone for the trip. Big thank you to the Geelong/Bellarine council for providing me with this.
Lorne has one of the best lookouts along the entire road. Overlooking the ocean & seaside cliffs Teddy's lookout is a must see & you can drive straight up to it. Lorne also hosts one of Victorias biggest waterfalls Erskine falls, it can be very touristy & all though I didn't go there on this trip, it is definitely worth a look if you haven't been there before.
Apollo Bay is home to Australia's oldest lighthouse. It links right up to a beautiful beach setting where you can park the van and really relax for the afternoon so definitely account for some down time here. On the main strip there are plenty of food spots & is a good final stop for a sunset. When continuing on you have a choice of hitting up The great Otway National park. Here is where you can catch 3 of Victoria's best waterfalls, Triplet falls, Hopetoun falls & my favourite Beauchamp falls, again we didn't stop here on this trip but god damn if you have the time stop at all 3!
This will be the longest part of the trip, but hey you're in a kombi van with good weather so who cares right! Princetown is where you find all the gems & the reason you do the GOR.
Gibson Steps - This is the first stop of the big three, with . short walk down to the bottom of the cliff, it is here you can enjoy some rays, go for a swim and get that sand between your toes
Twelve Apostles - It's easy to see why these are one of the most photographed icons in Australia, seeing them in real life is jaw dropping & if you can catch yourself a sunset there it is well worth it.
Loch Ard Gorge - a MUST see, this is the kind of place you see in movies. Walk to the edge up top, get your shot then make the walk down to the bottom & again, if you can catch a sunrise/sunset here i definitely recommend it!
The Secret Cave - This one I only just found out about recently from a special someone. So...... when you venture to the lookout for the Twelve Apostles "the really touristy one", go to your left. You will walk out until you see a wooden fence in the shape of a circle. There will be signs saying "Do not Jump/Cross", but we are adventurous human beings & we want the best possible view! Jump that fence! walk out to the end of the cliff and with a tiny climb down you will reach the coolest little cave with the coolest view out to two of the Apostles to the left & The Gibson steps. This is my new favourite spot!
Setting up camp - So remember how I told you to grab the Kombi, this is why! You have the opportunity to set up camp where ever you feel like, just watch out for those rangers, be respectful & be smart about it. Don't light fires near grass, clean up after yourself & enjoy every moment!!
Thats it guys, hope you take inspiration from this post & do this trip before winter hits again.
Gracie girl I love you.