Should you be planning to get on a bus for a day trip to Australia’s famous Great Ocean Road, we suggest you disembark the bus immediately. Drive the Great Ocean Road and do it as slowly as your time allows. A several day journey provides the luxury of stopping frequently, discovering hidden gems and avoiding crowds on this 243 kilometer trip of a lifetime.
Built as a tribute to soldiers killed in World War I, the Great Ocean Road is the largest war memorial in the world. Here are our top reasons to get in a car and head out on a slow drive on one the most famous road trips in the world.
Could there be an animal cuter than the koala? Keep your eyes sharp for these sleepy fur balls in the trees. Kenneth River campground and the Cape Otway road were koala spotting jackpots for us.
Take your time when driving the Great Ocean Road. Explore the lesser known pull outs to discover fine sand beaches that stretch out past the horizon. Best of all you may find you have it all to yourself.
The coastline often gets the postcard billing, however much of the area is temperate rain forest. Trees over 100 meters in height provide cooling shade from the intense Australian sun.
Thousands of years of ocean swells crashing against limestone cliffs leave a rock art gallery of arches, islands, towers and blowholes.
The 130 kilometers of coastline between Port Fairy and Cape Otay is known as Shipwreck Coast. With over 600 shipwrecks known, this majestic and rocky coast is a nautical history lover’s dream.
Unexpected surprises on the Great Ocean Road
Take the time to explore unsigned pull outs on your drive. Below at Carisbrook Creek we found hundreds of rock stacks bearings striking resemblance to Canadian inukshuks. A man made addition to the beauty of the Great Ocean Road.
Flora and Fauna
What is that splash of color in the thick underbrush? Spot the unusual flowers and plants while on your drive of the Great Ocean Road.
The forests are filled with song and sound. Keep a watch for the vibrant color of the parrots and the bossy squawks of the white cockatoo.
Some of the world’s most famous surfing beaches can be seen driving the Great Ocean Road. Bell’s Beach at Torquay is the birthplace of international brands such as Quicksilver and Rip Curl.
The tiniest of all the world’s penguins nest in the area of the Twelve Apostles and London Bridge. You may be able to see them coming ashore from viewing platforms but don’t expect to see them up close. Their tracks wear paths in the sand from the water to their nests.
Within 10 kilometers of the town of Lorne, 10 waterfalls grace Otway National Park. This temperate rain forest can turn gentle gurgling into cascading torrents.
The Twelve Apostles
The most famous sight of the Great Ocean Road. If there would be one reason alone to drive the road rather than take a tour bus this would be it. In the early afternoon day trips arrive by the busloads to the viewing spot for the Twelve Apostles. you can plan your drive on the Great Ocean Road to avoid the hordes of mid afternoon.
From the 105 kilometer Great Ocean Walk to causal half hour treks, paths lead you through national forests, to secluded beaches and cliff tops.
Drive with caution – Kangaroos on the Great Ocean Road
Be watchful for kangaroos, especially at dusk. For a guaranteed encounter visit Angelsea Golf Course where approximately 300 Eastern Grey Kangaroos take up residence. For $10 a volunteer will take you out on a golf cart for a visit. In years prior visitors to the golf course wandered freely however due to safety issues the only access now is via the tours.
What do you think? Want to take a drive in Australia?