Top things to do in Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia
The Great Ocean Road is one of most scenic drives in the world, worthy of a spot on your bucket list. You can rent a car and go for a magnificent self-drive touring route or go with a tour bus on a day tour or longer. Most of the tours to the Great Ocean Road offer a friendly driver, pick-up, and drop-off at one of the several central spots or at your accommodation. The tours usually cover the road from Geelong or Torquay (east) to Warrnambool (west), where the road rejoins Princes Highway or Port Fairy.
The Great Ocean Road was originally built for the coastal residents, who were asking for easy transportation. It was built by Australian soldiers who participated in WW1, declaring it a monument to their fallen comrades and it was opened officially in 1932.
While on the road, you'll see sights like the cliffs at Port Campbell National Park, a historic lighthouse, the Twelve Apostles, and Australian animals like kangaroos, koalas, parrots, penguins and whales. Make sure you bring bird seeds with you to hand out to crimson rosellas.
Must see’s while on the road:
1. Australian animals
It’s easy to spot wild animals along the road, whether you are driving or on a tour. The bus driver will stop in certain spots guaranteed to have koalas and crimson rosellas. Stop at Logans Beach, where you can spot blue whales during winter.
Another place worth stopping by is the Tower Hill Nature Reserve, an easy 15-minute drive from Warrnambool, where you can see koalas, emus, kangaroos and waterbirds that roam freely.
Apart from koalas, you can see crimson rosellas and even anteaters at Kennet River township. Have the bird seeds ready to hand out, and the parrots will jump onto your hand.
Take a break from driving and stop at Anglesea. The Anglesea Golf Club is famous for its kangaroos lounging under the trees surrounding the fields.
If you want to see even more wildlife, take a cruise tour to Lady Julia Percy Island, and view the marine life and sea birds along the way. On the island you can spot the Australian Fur Seal in its natural habitat.
2. Otway National Park
One of the most iconic sights at the Otway National Park is the Split Point Lighthouse, built in 1891. Great Otway National Park offers spectacular views of Australia’s rugged coastline, as well as the Maits Rest Rainforest.
3. Port Campbell National Park
Driving down Australia’s Great Ocean Road will bring you to Port Campbell National Park. There you can see the spectacular limestone cliff formations, so get your camera ready. The most famous are Twelve Apostles and London Arch.
The outstanding rock formations are famous worldwide for their picturesque features. The best view you can get is from a helicopter. Choose between a ride for a few minutes or for an hour and fly over the Twelve Apostles.
5. Port Fairy
Explore charming fishing village Port Fairy and walk around the river. You can follow one of the historic walking trails to see old whalers' cottages
Where to stop for food
The tour bus will most likely have regular breaks for tea and food but if you’re driving a car, there are some great places to have a break and enjoy some great food. A must try is fish and chips on the beach at Lorne. For dinner, go to Chris's at Beacon's Point, a restaurant famous among Gourmet travellers. If you’re interested in a historic dining room experience, go to the Merrijig Inn, Victoria's oldest inn.