Driving The Great Ocean Road Australia

The Great Ocean Road in Australia is one of the most scenic and unforgettable road trips in the world. The beautiful coastline is just breathtaking and this is what makes the Great Ocean Road a memorable experience. In this post, I will talk about driving the Great Ocean Road in Australia and the must-see stops along the way. 

First a little about why we love road trips.

We adore road trips. Exploring the wide open spaces, seeing the beauty of the coastline, stopping in little towns and exploring and going off the beaten path are some of the reasons we love it so much. The world is a huge place and a road trip is a great way of seeing more of it. You also have an amount of freedom on a road trip, things aren't generally so scheduled, so if you see that instagrammable spot or that idyllic beachside cafe, you can stop and take it all in.

We've driven around the American Deep South from Memphis to Nashville, along the Pacific Coast Highway in California and around the Golden Circle, the south and north of Iceland. So when Mr W suggested we travel to Australia and drive around the country then, of course, I said yes.

Australia is a huge country and there are some great road trips to take, but we decided to focus on the Great Ocean Road,  as one of the most scenic drives in the whole of Australia.  

The Great Ocean Road is a 151 mile (243 kilometres) stretch of road along the south-east coast of Australia between Torquay and Allansford. Built by returned soldiers between 1919 and 1932 and dedicated to soldiers killed during World War I, the road is the world's largest war memorial.

Firstly preparation is key for a road trip. Choose your car or motorhome well.

A car should be comfortable to drive and have air conditioning, a convertible may seem glamorous but you need to weigh up the pros and cons such as where will you put your bags and don't forget your sunscreen if you hire a convertible. Some towns may be small and not have a lot of accommodation so it's always worth booking ahead especially in peak season.

With a motorhome you will have your place to stay with you at all times, however, you may not be able to park anywhere you like, so plan out the campsites in advance. You can buy a used motorhome here which may be worth it if you are travelling across Australia for a few months.

So you have got your wheels sorted, packed your swimsuit and your sunscreen and now it's time to plan the stops along the way of the Great Ocean Road in Australia. Here are some of the key towns to visit along the drive.


The Great Ocean Road officially starts in Torquay (not the British one), a town famous for its surfing culture. The brands Rip Curl and Quiksilver were founded here and it has a surfing museum called Surf World, about surfing culture.

It's also close to Bell's Beach made famous by the film Point Break and every year Rip Curl hold their pro surfing competition here.


Lorne is a picturesque town known for its arts community. While you are here stop by at Qdos ARTS with its gallery and sculpture park. Mountjoy Parade has many shops and cafes so why not stop for coffee and cake and watch the world go by.

Drive to Teddy's Lookout for a spectacular view of the Great Ocean Road over St George River and the coast. Close by are Angahook-Lorne State Park and the gorgeous Erskine Falls set among ferns.

Kennett River

Kennett River is a small seaside town 17 miles from Lorne. It is famous as it's one of the best places in Austrailia to see koala bears in the wild. Turn into Grey River Road, off the Great Ocean Road, and along the first two kilometres of the road, look up and you should be able to spot koalas in the eucalyptus. Also look out for king parrots, rosellas - a type of parrot and kookaburras. 

Watch out for dolphins and seals along the coast and magnificent whales from May to September. 

Apollo Bay

Apollo Bay is a small seaside town known for the Apollo Bay Music Festival every April as well as the Great Ocean Sports Festival. It has shops, cafes and restaurants and is a great place to stop along the way.

Close by is Cape Otway with Australia's oldest lighthouse as well as rainforests, streams, rocky cliffs and sandy beaches. Cape Otway was originally inhabited by the Gadubanud people, indigenous Australian people from Victoria and evidence of their campsites is contained in the middens throughout the region.

Port Campbell

Port Cambell is a small town known for the Twelve Apostles. These huge limestone structures tower up into the sky with a backdrop of limestone cliffs.

Whilst in town take a walk on the Port Campbell jetty and then head inland to the Kanawinka Geotrail comprising of volcanic lakes and craters. This volcanic plain is the largest in Austrailia and the third largest in the world.

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As you can see there are lots to see and do along the Great Ocean Drive, some amazing wildlife to encounter and beautiful coastal points. 

For more about the Great Ocean Road check out the official Great Ocean Road website and for more information about the best places to visit in Australia check out this guide.

Let me know, do you like road trips? Would you drive the Great Ocean Road in Australia?

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  1. I have friends who have done 2 six month road trips to Oz and both times they bought a motorhome at the start and then sold it at the end. A great way to get around.

  2. I love road trips and this one is definitely on my bucket list for when the kids have left home!

  3. Oh wow! It looks beautiful. My sister lives in Australia but I still haven’t done the GOR! I really need to do it!

    1. Go visit and if you do try it out let me know how you get on.

  4. I've never really thought about visiting Australia before but this sounds like an amazing trip.

  5. We’ve done road trips in Scotland, but not further afield. We both really want to drive round Iceland, that’s probably our next adventure.

    1. Iceland is amazing! We have done the south coast, the west and the north of Iceland on road trips.

  6. What an amaxing road trip, I would love to do this! I love all you pics, especially the koala bear!

  7. Oh wow now that's what I call a road trip! How amazing! One day I'll get there!