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Introducing Great Ocean Road

Wind down the windows if you’re driving along this road that curves from Torquay to Warrnambool and you’ll cop a unique perfume of bush and beach, gums and salt­water. Some waggish locals call the B100 the Great Bitumen Sea Snake which weaves its way along classic surf beaches before sliding into the Otway Ranges just after Apollo Bay. If you are driving, plan on regular stops to snap the vistas and koalas who don’t mind the spectacular scenery themselves.

Beyond Apollo Bay, the thrashing Shipwreck Coast (from Princetown to Port Fairy) inspires spooky stories of ghosts from the bones of wrecked vessels that haunt the area. The lush Otway Ranges, stretching from ­Aireys Inlet to Cape Otway, offer revitalising landscapes for bushwalking and camping – most of the coastal section is part of the former Angahook-Lorne State Park, now incorporated into the Great Otway National Park. Further west, the magnificent limestone cliffs of Port Campbell National Park will give your camera a work-out.

Taking a surfing lesson is a popular activity for would-be surfers, and there are plenty of relaxed teachers (‘Paddle, paddle, keep paddling’) who can give you the basics. Lessons cost about $50 for two hours.

Contact the Geelong and Great Ocean Road Visitor Information Centre for maps and detailed information.