Geelong to Warrnambool: Great Ocean Road itinerary

Buckle up for one of the world’s most spectacular coastal drives. The Great Ocean Road unfurls over 200 kilometres of unspoiled and dramatic coastline, from the beaches of Geelong to the mighty beauty of Cape Otway and the world-famous 12 Apostles. Make the most of this stunning drive with a Great Ocean Road Trip itinerary that lets you take a week to travel its length.


Four wine glasses on top of a wooden barrel with wine
Wine tasting? Yes please! Image from Wine Victoria.

73 km / 1 hour from Melbourne

2 nights

Situated on the doorstep of the Great Ocean Road, Geelong is your idyllic starting point on the Bellarine Peninsula. There is plenty to explore in this waterfront town, with Geelong activities for adults and kids alike, so we recommend taking a couple of nights to settle in and enjoy an invigorating mix of waterfront, wineries and culture. 

Begin with a drink overlooking the bay at Sailors’ Rest’ rooftop bar or Murphys. The Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie is one of Victoria’s most popular chocolate and pastry makers, and Geelong’s surrounding wine region also produces acclaimed cool-climate wines. Sample some of its flavours at Provenance Wines and Nicol’s Paddock. 

For some culture and colour, step through the Geelong Gallery – home to important Australian and international works. The interactive Museum of Play and Art is one of Australia’s best children’s museums. For some colourful history visit the Geelong Gaol Museum, Victoria’s longest-running colonial Gaol.  

Where to stay

Situated in a quiet location, Quality Hotel Bayside Geelong is a great option overlooking Corio Bay’s beautiful waters. 

Apollo Bay

a group of people walking towards a lighthouse that is set on a cliff face that looks across the water.
Cape Otway Lighthouse. Image from Great Ocean Road Tourism.

114 km from Geelong / 2 hrs 15 min drive

3 nights

Heading along the Great Ocean Road past Jan Juc, this trip opens up some unforgettable scenery. Surrounded by stunning beaches, walks and lookouts, Apollo Bay sits at the spectacular heart of this drive. Take three days to immerse yourself in the surrounding wonders. You’ll also find plenty of great restaurants, cafes and bars. 

Marriners Lookout is a great way to take in the scenery. The start of the Great Ocean Walk will let you stretch your legs along some spectacular coastline. Or let the tranquil waters lap about you as you find your feet on a stand-up paddleboard. A kayak tour will also introduce you to a seal colony that frolic near the shoreline. 

Apollo Bay is the gateway to the stunning Cape Otway. This national treasure is home to Australia’s oldest lighthouse, lush ancient rainforests and the cascading Hopetoun Falls and Beauchamp Falls. Visit Maits Rest Rainforest Walk and wind your way between towering 60-metre trees at The Redwoods.

There are plenty of other tasty things to do in Apollo Bay – the Great Ocean Road Brewhouse serves local beers and family-friendly meals and Apollo Bay Distillery does awesome pizza. Don’t skip a scallop pie at the Apollo Bay Bakery – one of the best things to do in Apollo Bay!

Where to stay

Located opposite the beach, The Comfort Inn The International is close to pubs, restaurants and shops.


Twelve Apostles at the Gibson Steps. Image from Visit Victoria and Emily Godfrey.

159 km from Apollo Bay / 2 hrs 15 mins drive

2-3 nights

The drive from Apollo Bay reveals many coastal gems, including the iconic Twelve Apostles and awe-inspiring Loch Ard Gorge and Gibson’s Steps. A Twelve Apostles sunset visit delivers an unforgettable honeycomb panorama. At Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village you’ll also see historic lighthouses and the fascinating Loch Ard shipwreck of 1878. 

One of the many fun things to do in Warrnambool Victoria and at end of the Great Ocean Road is a soak in the town’s famed hot springs. Deep Blue Hot Springs offers geothermal mineral waters as well as massage and body spa therapies. Enjoy ocean views with a drink and a meal at the popular Pavilion Cafe & Bar.

Where to stay

Ideally located in the city centre near the Great Ocean Road, Comfort Inn Warrnambool International is a great base for exploring the area. Comfort Inn on Raglan is another great option near the coast and city centre.

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