The Great Ocean Road is the most famous coastal road in Australia and meanders along sheer limestone cliff tops, spectacular jutting headlands beside the edge of pristine beaches. Passing the iconic 12 Apostles and other amazing natural features carved into the expansive coastline the Great Ocean Road is a road trip to remember. Check out some epic food stops here! Don’t forget to book your stay at ChoiceHotels.com.
Days – 1, 2 & 3 – Melbourne CBD
Although officially the Great Ocean Road starts in Geelong, Melbourne is the ideal start to the trip as it provides the contrast of a big city with the quiet of the small towns dotted along the Great Ocean Road. Melbourne is a city renowned for its food, shopping, sporting culture and nightlife. Did we mention food? Some of Melbourne’s best brunch spots right here! Explore the cobblestone laneways, dine in the world class restaurants or browse through the many unique boutiques and galleries.
Melbourne offers a plethora of sites and activities to suit all interests. The Werribee Open Range Zoo is a must see along with Federation Square and the Southgate River Precinct. Surrounding areas include the beautiful Yarra Valley, the majestic Dandenongs and the picturesque Phillip Island and Mornington Peninsula. Choice Hotels has a large selection of Melbourne accommodation to suit all budgets and styles of traveller.
Day 4 – Melbourne to Lorne
The easy two hour drive from Melbourne to Lorne passes through Geelong which is a great place to stop for a break. Walk along the waterfront esplanade and view the painted sculptures, which tell the history of Geelong. From here, head to Lorne, passing by the famous Bells Beach, well known for its annual international surf competition, the ‘Rip Curl Pro’.
Lorne is a cosmopolitan seaside resort, popular with surfers and offers a large array of restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars. The surrounding Otway National Park is famous for its magnificent ‘tall trees’ and is a haven for koalas. The beaches surrounding Lorne are beautiful and the surf is some of the best in Australia.
Day 5 – Lorne to Apollo Bay
The stretch of road between Lorne and Apollo Bay is some of the most picturesque coastal road in Australia. On one side of the road is spectacular coastline and on the other, lush forests. Koala spotting on this road is a highlight, along with watching the dolphins play in the waves. Apollo Bay is a sleepy coastal town, revolves around the fishing and tourist industries.
Enjoy some of the local seafood at one of the cosy cafes or restaurants, shop for art or peruse the weekly markets for arts, crafts and fresh produce. The Comfort Inn The International is a four star hotel close to many popular Apollo Bay attractions. If you plan on stopping a little longer, read these things to do in Apollo Bay.
Day 6 – Apollo Bay to Warrnambool
The Twelve Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge and the London Bridge are along this section of the Great Ocean Road and are a must see. Allow time to walk out to the vantage points to see these spectacular natural features as they are not all visible from the road. A detour inland to the Otway Fly Treetop Walk offers a unique look at the tall tree rainforest from elevated walkways built in the rainforest canopy. If you need any further tips on what to do in Warrnambool, check these out!
Day 7 – Warrnambool to Portland
Continue along the Great Ocean Road past Port Fairy to Portland. In Portland, ride the historic tram and take the Seal Tour at Cape Bridgewater, 20km west, & see the largest mainland seal colony in Australia. Portland has a rich maritime history, a thriving fishing industry, excellent surf beaches with an abundance of restaurants and cafes. The Quality Hotel Bentinck and the Econo Lodge Portland all offer well located Portland accommodation.
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Day 8 – Portland to Mount Gambier
Officially the Great Ocean Road ends at Nelson, on the Victorian and South Australian border, roughly halfway between Portland and Mount Gambier, as from here the road heads inland. Visit the famous Blue Lake in Mount Gambier, situated in one of three extinct volcanic craters. The lake famously changes colour from steel blue in winter to brilliant turquoise blue in summer.
The World Heritage listed Naracoorte Caves National Park is also well worth visiting, and is home to some of the most spectacular limestone caves in Australia. There is a selection of Choice hotels in Mount Gambier to choose from, depending on your budget and needs.
Day 9 – Mount Gambier to Adelaide
Adelaide is a small city, boasting colonial architecture and surrounded by beautiful parkland. Its laidback lifestyle and gourmet food and wine make it a great city to visit. Here’s some top things to do in Adelaide while you’re there.
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Yeah. Let’s drop anchor right about… HERE. Hugging the untamed wilderness of Flinders Chase National Park, Weirs Cove is home to a secluded #beach and a stunning backdrop of cliffs. Sitting on top, you’ll also find the historic Cape du Couedic lighthouse commanding amazing views of @authentickangarooisland’s most recognisable icon, Remarkable Rocks just down the road. Rest up at @westernkicaravanpark when you’re in town. Thanks for the snap, @tess.fraser! ⛵️⚓️🙌 #SeeSouthAustralia [📍Location: just 2 hrs flight from Sydney to #Adelaide in #SouthAustralia – then a 35 minute flight (or 2.5hrs drive/ferry to #KangarooIsland ] #AuthenticKI #SeeAustralia #Australia
The coastal town of Glenelg, (one of Adelaide’s most popular suburbs) is a popular tourist destination and is dotted with trendy cafes and interesting shops. Choice Hotels has several hotels in Adelaide to choose from offering a variety of services and facilities to suite a range of budgets.