Victoria’s Great Ocean Road is not only a scenic expanse of highway; it’s a tangible remnant of Australian history. This road holds national significance, and it has been recognised as both an Australian Heritage Site and an official war memorial.
The Great Ocean Road exists because a prominent Australian, William Calder, championed its construction. As the initial chairman of Victoria’s Country Roads Board (CRB), Calder had oversight of the building and maintenance of Victoria’s main roads.
The Great Ocean Road was to serve multiple purposes. One of Calder’s goals in constructing it was providing work for Australia’s soldiers, who were returning home after World War I. It was also intended to commemorate the sacrifices made by the heroic soldiers who lost their lives in the war. On a practical level, the road met the need of connecting Victoria’s isolated coastal towns and settlements.
Nowadays, the Great Ocean Road is one of Australia’s most compelling visitor attractions. It can easily transport you to heaps of local landmarks including the Twelve Apostles rock formations, the Loch Ard Gorge, the Memorial Arch, Port Campbell High Viewpoint,
the lighthouse at Airey’s Inlet and the London Bridge. Other stops along the way could include various beaches and seaside towns that are all worth visiting.
Road Trips Starting From Melbourne
Many visitors to Australia arrive via Melbourne Airport; so Melbourne
becomes the logical starting point for their Great Ocean Road tours. It’s about 105 km from Melbourne to Torquay, where the Great Ocean Road officially begins. If you drive the entire expanse of road, the endpoint is at Allansford, close to Warrnambool. Many people extend their trip even further to visit Port Fairy.
It’s also possible to make the trip from the opposite direction, starting at Allansford and driving from west to east. One big advantage to doing the reverse tour is that there tends to be less traffic. However, the scenic views are generally more impressive when you start driving from Torquay and head west.
Beaches and Coves Near the Great Ocean Road
As you drive along the Great Ocean Road, you’ll encounter stunning views of the Australian coastline and its many surf beaches. In particular, Bells Beach is worth stopping for. It’s a world famous surf spot. Lorne’s Main Beach is a lovely, sandy bit of shore that’s patrolled during the summer months. Apollo Bay has a beach that’s also patrolled, and it is safe for both surfing and swimming. Childers Cove, Sandy Cove and Murnanes Beach are other beautiful spots to stop and enjoy the scenery.
The Great Otway National Park
Outdoor enthusiasts will want to consider visiting the Great Otway National Park, which is 103,185-hectares of varied terrain ranging from sandy beaches to rocky platforms to lush rainforests. The park is known for its spectacular waterfall, its excellent bushwalking trails and its varied campsites. It’s also one of the best places to view Aussie wildlife including koalas, kangaroos, tiger quolls and wallabies.
Call +61 3 8678 1866 to Book Your Great Ocean Road Tour
If you’d like to experience the road trip of a lifetime, we invite you to consider taking one of our Great Ocean Road tours. Since there are countless things to do along the Great Ocean Road, we highly recommend putting together a custom private tour with your own dedicated tour guide, who can introduce you to the attractions of your choice.
If you have at least 15 days to spend in Australia, you might prefer to take our popular tour of Victoria, South Australia and the Great Ocean Road
. Choosing this tour ensures you’ll have the opportunity to see the Great Ocean Road plus many of Australia’s most delightful destinations including Adelaide and Kangaroo Island.
Please get in touch
with us soon if you’d like to discuss your travel itinerary or book your Great Ocean Road tour. We look forward to speaking with you.