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.
Best places to stay in Great Ocean Road
Australia - Melbourne & Victoria (Chapter)
Melbourne is the state’s urban hub and the nation’s artistic centre. The Great Ocean Road winds its way around coves, beaches and cliffs to the west. For wild landscapes, head to the Grampians National Park or the southernmost mainland tip, Wilsons Promontory.
Where to go in February 2011
February is that strange short month each year. Everyone’s recovering from New Year festivities and just getting used to being back at work. Too soon for a holiday? Too short a month? Nonsense. It’s low season so tickets are cheap! In fact, it’s one of the best times for a holiday.
Need to know
Melbourne & Victoria - Great Ocean Road (Chapter)
This is the Great Ocean Road chapter from Lonely Planet’s Melbourne & Victoria guidebook. Coverage includes: Geelong, Torquay, Anglesea, Aireys Inlet, Lorne, Cumberland River, Wye River, Kennett River, Cape Patton to Skenes Creek, Apollo Bay & around, Cape Otway, Port Campbell National Park, Port Campbell, Warrnambool, Tower Hill Reserve, Port Fairy, Portland, Cape Bridgewater and Nelson.
Great Ocean Road destination guides
Great Ocean Road Small Group Eco Tour from Melbourne
Experience the spectacular Great Ocean Road on a full-day tour from Melbourne. Your small, personalized eco tour takes you by comfortable minibus along the winding Great Ocean Road to Kennett River, where you're guaranteed to spot koalas in their native habitat. The Great Ocean Road eco tour continues to the Otway Ranges for strolls at Maits Rest panoramic rainforest walk.
Great Ocean Road West—Melbourne to Adelaide
This might be a quick trip along the Great Ocean Road—but you’ll never feel rushed. Geared towards budget-conscious travellers looking to hit the highlights of the south coast, this itinerary features lots of inclusions at a great price. What’s more, you’ll have lots of options to get active when you head inland to Grampians National Park.