The Great Ocean Road begins just outside one of the world’s most iconic surfing spots, Bells Beach in Torquay. Home to the Rip Curl Pro surfing competition, this famous beach is the ideal location to see the power of Victoria’s shoreline (waves can reach six metres high) and Australians’ longstanding relationship with it. It’s the perfect place where nature and people meet and captures the essence of the Great Ocean Road. Not bad for the first mile.
Photo: Robert Blackburn
The Great Ocean Road was built by 3,000 Australian soldiers and sailors who returned home from fighting in the First World War and immediately went to work on constructing a memorial to their fellow servicemen who lost their lives in the war. These veterans turned workers had to blast through rock and clear hundreds of miles of land just to make the road possible. Now, the GOR stands as the world’s longest war memorial and a testament to one of Australia’s greatest generations.
For a room with one of the greatest views in the world, a stop at Chris’s Beacon Point Restaurant & Villas is a must. Even better, it comes with the option for an incredible dinner overlooking the ocean. What goes best with a Tasmanian ocean trout gravadlax and an Australian Shiraz? An after dinner view like the one above.
While the Great Ocean Road took thirteen years to complete, its greatest attraction is still a work in progress. The 12 Apostles continue to be sculpted and carved by winds and waves and stand as one of the great wonders of Australia. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a favourite spot for visitors and never disappoints with its size and splendor.
Good surprises! One of the many joys of the Great Ocean Road is a traveller’s ability to improvise. Take for example, Mait’s Rest, an outstanding and secluded walkway through the rainforest of the Great Otway National Park. In this walkway, a visitor will surely find ancient 300 year old trees and, if they’re lucky, spot a koala. Little side-journeys like Mait’s Rest are essential parts of the GOR journey and the road is full of pull-offs and pathways to explore.
The GOR travels through sparsely-populated areas of the Victoria coast. Sparsely populated by humans, that is. Kangaroos, koalas, wombats, whales and even a platypus (if you know where to look) are all likely to be seen on a Great Ocean Road journey. Please do keep an eye out for wildlife as you are driving, as Australian animals have been known to cross the road at inopportune times. Just one more reason to take the trip slowly and enjoy all of the incredible sights.
Photo: Josie Withers Photography
What’s the best way to celebrate the completion of Australia’s great road trip? Enjoying Australia’s greatest city! Melbourne awaits just a short drive from the round-trip end of the Great Ocean Road and is ready to dazzle with its famous coffee, bustling streets and one-of-a-kind culture.
Ready to plan your road trip on the world’s greatest road? Visit our website for all of your planning needs including accommodation, activities, restaurants and more!