Coast of Great Ocean Road, Australia

Things to do in  Great Ocean Road

Take the Aussie road most traveled

When a road trip is called the “Great Ocean Road,” you shouldn't be too surprised by sweeping panoramas of blue ocean, jagged headlands looking out across seascapes, and white sand beaches with frothy waves, ripe for surfing. Australia’s most famous driving route has 150 miles (240 kilometers) of these views. But driving and photo-snapping aren’t the only things to do on the Great Ocean Road. You can also go bushwalking in the Great Otway National Park, spot wild koalas in the rainforest, and chill out in laid-back surf towns.

Top 6 attractions in Great Ocean Road

Great Ocean Road

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Victoria's Great Ocean Road offers scenic surprises at every turn. In signature Australian style, dense pockets of rainforest, charming coastal towns, and canopies populated by koalas flank endless stretches of white, sandy beaches.More

Twelve Apostles

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Situated right at the end of Victoria’s Great Ocean Road, the Twelve Apostles are a set of eight rock formations—there used to be twelve—jutting out of the Southern Ocean. These limestone pillars were once connected to the nearby cliffs but have been eroded away into caves, pillars, and arches from the harsh conditions of the ocean.More

Great Otway National Park

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Located on Victoria’s Great Ocean Road, Great Otway National Park is a lush area of forests, waterfalls, and windswept coastline. Whether you want to hike for an hour or several days, enjoy panoramic views from an historical lighthouse, bike through fern gullies, gaze at picture-perfect waterfalls, or seek out glowworms, there’s a lot to do here.More

Albert Park

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Best known as the home of the Formula 1 Grand Prix, which takes place in Melbourne every March, Albert Park is a leafy inner-city retreat that has a lake with swans, as well as sports venues, playgrounds, and a skyline view. Take a stroll along the lakeside boardwalk, or rent a boat to explore the lake.More

Flagstaff Hill Maritime Museum and Village

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Built around the 19th-century Lady Bay lighthouses, the Flagstaff Hill Maritime Museum and Village hosts spectacular shipwreck memorabilia amid recreations of 1870s shops. Evenings see the multimillion-dollar sound and light show Tales of the Shipwreck Coast. You might also meet Maremma dogs that protect nesting penguins from foxes.More

Melbourne Sports & Aquatic Centre

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Completed in 1997, the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre (MSAC) is one of the largest athletic centers in the southern hemisphere. Host of the 2006 Commonwealth Games and the 2007 FINA World Swimming Championships, the center caters to both serious swimmers and recreational users—it’s home to aquatic facilities ranging from indoor and outdoor Olympic swimming pools to a steam room and sauna, and has other sports facilities as well.More

Top activities in Great Ocean Road

The Great Ocean Road private 1 day tour

The Great Ocean Road private 1 day tour

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Two Hour Surf Lesson in Torquay on the Great Ocean Road
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Cruise Ship Shore Excursion - Private Great Ocean Road Full Day Tour (12 Hour)
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2-Hour Private Surfing Lesson in Torquay
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Great Ocean Road Reverse Itinerary ECO Tour (Max 22 People)
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Dusk Discovery Tour
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Dusk Discovery Tour

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2-Hour Deep Blue Hot Springs in Warrnambool
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Great Ocean Road Reverse Itinerary PREMIUM Tour
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All about Great Ocean Road

When to visit

Summer (December-February) is by far the busiest time to hit the road, but the crowds and tour buses can detract from the views, especially if you get caught in the rush-hour traffic. A winter (June-August) road trip provides the best chance of clear roads and crowd-free viewpoints, with the added bonus of low-season prices and whale-watching along the coast. Alternatively, split the difference and come in spring, when wildflowers bloom, and you’ll have a good chance of beach weather.

Getting around

While buses run to GOR towns like Torquay, Anglesea, Lorne, and Apollo Bay, public transport will only take you so far, and the classic way to experience the Great Ocean Road is to drive. Rent a car and set out on a self-drive adventure, or take your pick of tours ranging from a whistle-stop day trip to a week-long excursion. For the ultimate challenge, it’s also possible to hike the adjoining Great Ocean Walk or cycle the Great Ocean Road.

Traveler tips

Stock up on snacks. No road trip is complete without them, so add some foodie stops to your GOR itinerary. You can pick your own blueberries in season at Otway Blueberries, select some sweet treats at the Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery, and stock up on picnic supplies at Cheese World in Allansford. Don’t forget to stop for ice cream—Timboon Fine Ice Cream is worth the detour.

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People Also Ask

How long should you spend on the Great Ocean Road?

Although you can take in the highlights of the 150-mile (240-kilometer) Great Ocean Road on a day trip, a 2- or 3-day tour is much more rewarding. As well as seeing headline acts like Apollo Bay and the Twelve Apostles, you’ll have time to enjoy surfing, bushwalking, and wildlife-watching.

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What is the best section of the Great Ocean Road?

All of it. The entire 150-mile (240-kilometer) Great Ocean Road is packed with magnificent views, but the most popular section is the central and southernmost section. This is where you’ll find natural wonders like the Twelve Apostles, Apollo Bay, and Loch Ard Gorge, as well as Great Otway National Park.

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Is Great Ocean Road worth it?

Yes, the Great Ocean Road is one of Australia’s most popular road trips, and for good reason. The scenic road hugs the south coast of Victoria, winding past sandy surf beaches, iconic natural landmarks such as the Twelve Apostles, and spectacular ocean viewpoints such as Apollo Bay.

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What are the best secret spots on the Great Ocean Road?

The Great Ocean Road is full of secret side trips and worthwhile detours. Some of the favorites include surf hot spot Bells Beach, Redwoods forest in Great Otway National Park, and Erskine Falls. There’s also London Bridge rocks at Port Campbell National Park and Griffiths Island by Port Fairy.

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Where do I start on the Great Ocean Road?

The Great Ocean Road runs from the surf town of Torquay, about an hour’s drive southwest of Melbourne, to Allansford on Victoria’s southwest coast. Most road-trippers set out from Torquay and drive the road east to west, but you could also start at Allansford and drive west to east.

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Does it matter which way you drive the Great Ocean Road?

No, you can drive the Great Ocean Road in either direction. Most road-trippers opt for an east-to-west route from Torquay to Allansford—as Australians drive on the left, this affords the best on-the-road views. However, traveling west-to-east can be a smart way to dodge the traffic at peak times.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
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What are the top things to do in Great Ocean Road?
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What are the top activities in Great Ocean Road?
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