Twilight hot springs, cosy oceanside bars and acclaimed vineyards – all set against the backdrop of one of the world’s most spectacular coastal stretches. Winter is the perfect time to fire up the senses and recharge the soul, and the Great Ocean Road in Victoria delivers opportunities for both in equal measure.
Break the mid-year spell and set the controls for the coastal heart of inspiration, and enjoy a Winter getaway in Victoria. Here’s a guide to the best things to do along the Great Ocean Road in Winter, including where to stay along the Great Ocean Road (including dog friendly and pet friendly accommodation on the Great Ocean Road!).
Geelong and Torquay
The iconic Great Ocean Road covers 243 wild and wonderful kilometres from the tip of the Surfcoast Highway in Torquay to Allansford in the west. Whether you are about to take the western leap along Victoria’s unrivalled coastal splendours, or head into the festive lights of Melbourne after driving east from Adelaide, the Geelong region is a superb winter playground to pause and sample some coastal treats, and a truly iconic Victoria winter getaway.
Dine under winter-soft lights at Nicol’s Paddock. An intimate boutique winery flourishing with shiraz vines, this vineyard offers seasonal dishes matched with some of the best wines from the region. Settle in for a long lunch or dinner amongst the greenery.
Discover beautiful artworks. The Narana Art Gallery showcases traditional and modern art from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from around Australia. These artworks retell stories through a traditional perspective of traditional lands and culture.
Experience the magic of Torquay’s beaches. The official starting point of the Great Ocean Road before Apollo Bay, Torquay is a great spot to enjoy a coffee by the beach or wander along the calm waters of Torquay Beach Front. You’ll also find a world-famous surfer’s haven here – the iconic Bells Beach.
For sea view accommodation for your winter weekend, base yourself in Quality Hotel Bayside Geelong and draw a breath while overlooking peaceful Corio Bay. The Quality Hotel Bayside Geelong also provides dog friendly accommodation for the Great Ocean Road, making it the perfect accommodation option for the entire family!
Elevated upon the southwestern contour of the Great Ocean Road, Warrnambool is brimming with superb seaside eateries and restaurants, historic landmarks and shipwrecks. Did we mention the therapeutic hot springs? You’ll also find plenty of colourful local art galleries to explore, as well as close proximity to the 12 Apostles.
Reset the spirit in hot springs. One of winter’s true delights, a twilight immersion at Deep Blue Hot Springs is guaranteed to soothe the soul. The therapeutic geothermal mineral waters guarantee a reboot – you can also enjoy massage and body spa therapies, making it a great location to spend a day unwinding.
Tempt the tastebuds. With a vantage point that enjoys sweeping winter views of Lady Bay, Middle Island and the Southern Ocean, the Pavilion Cafe & Bar offers travellers seasonal dishes served with crisp ocean views. Replenish yourself before exploring the vibrant arts scene at the south end of Liebig Street.
Explore the dramatic history of the Shipwreck Coast. Visit award-winning Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village where you can explore the historic lighthouses and see the infamous Loch Ard shipwreck of 1878. This is also seasonally brought to life with a light and laser show.
To find where to stay on the Great Ocean Road in Warrnambool, find accommodation options conveniently located around Warrnambool.
Situated near the far western end of the Great Ocean Road and a short 45 minute road trip from Port Fairy, this lively harbour town is a great place to launch from or land in. Experience winter ambience on some of the highest coastal cliffs in Victoria, take a peek inside the inspiring local heritage and relax at the great waterside pubs. You’ll find plenty to keep you enthralled on this legendary route during the cooler months.
Step back in time in this beautiful sea side town. Portland was declared Victoria’s first European settlement in 1834 and today contains more than 200 buildings of historic significance. Discover their splendour on the Portland self-guided Historical Buildings Walk. Unwind with a beverage after a day of exploring Portland at Ademella’s Bistro, located at the Quality Hotel Bentinck.
Walk in the dramatic footsteps of nature. Overlooking the turquoise waters of Bridgewater Bay, the Great South West Walk follows the pronounced rim of an ancient volcano crater. Loop in and wander through native flora and fauna along the way as you savour the invigorating ocean breezes.
Watch whales migrate. Between June and August you can come within just metres of a mighty southern right whale. Step onto Logans Beach Whale Viewing Platform and watch these majestic creatures frolic. The Maritime Discovery Centre in Portland is also home to the historic remains of a 14-metre Sperm Whale.
To find where to stay on the Great Ocean Road in Portland, find accommodation options conveniently located around Warrnambool.