Emblazoned with scenery ranking among Australia’s most spectacular, the Great Ocean Road is world class.
Blending breathtaking and rugged coastline with sprawling rainforest and towering trees, this region sparkles at every turn.
If you want to get to know the Great Ocean Road area in a hurry – including the Geelong and the Bellarine sub-region – you’re in the right place.
Port Campbell National Park is home to a handful of amazing natural wonders that can be witnessed from various viewing areas. They include:
Brilliant beaches abound in the Great Ocean Road region. Here are some highlights:
As you’d expect, the region’s famous beaches provide prime photo ops and often come with designated viewing platforms. These are top picks:
In addition, Mt Defiance Lookout at Separation Creek – between Lorne and Wye River – is another popular viewing area, and with good reason.
Elsewhere, the viewing platform at Logan's Beach in Warrnambool combines glittering views with great opportunities to glimpse southern right whales in season (June-October).
For a funky photo, stop at Artillery Rocks between Lorne and Wye River and marvel at Mother Nature’s creativity.
A few lighthouses also gift glittering outlooks, either from their base or atop.
Great Otway National Park features a handful of waterfalls set among spectacular rainforest and other natural beauty. These include:
Outside of the Otways, grab your camera and shoot away at the dazzling 90m-wide Hopkins Falls near Warrnambool. The amphitheatre-like setting that supports Sheoak Falls near Lorne is sure to give your camera or phone a tough workout, too.
While there is loads for families to do in the Great Ocean Road region, we're pointing out two attractions that should not be missed.
Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village at Warrnambool
This is one of the best Great Ocean Road attractions. It features a museum and recreated village filled with engrossing interactive displays vividly detailing the area’s rich maritime and shipwreck past. At night, a dazzling sound and light show enthralls all ages.
Otway Fly Treetop Adventures, inland from Apollo Bay
The attraction features an exhilarating treetop canopy walkway that allows you to admire seemingly endless rainforest as well as get the heart racing on thrilling zipline tours.
There are ample opportunities to spy native wildlife and bird life, and these hotspots should be on your itinerary…
Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve, near Warrnambool: Lives up to its name; home to koalas, kangaroos, emus, echidnas, and plenty more.
Anglesea: Kangaroos consistently roam the fairways of Anglesea Golf Club and make regular appearances at BIG4 Anglesea Holiday Park.
Kennett River: This is one of the best places in the country to see koalas in the wild and is also a prime bird-watching destination. It’s worth looking ‘tree-wards’ for cuddly koalas at nearby BIG4 Wye River Holiday Park, too.
Port Campbell National Park: When not admiring amazing formations, there's the chance to spot echidnas here.
Don't let the weather dampen your mood. Head indoors and explore worlds filled with colour and interest at the following attractions:
Warrnambool Art Gallery: A century-old gallery with a rich, diverse collection showcasing the region’s prolific beauty.
Australian National Surfing Museum, Torquay: Dive in to explore the nation's wave-riding culture via myriad displays.
Maritime Discovery Centre, Portland: Comprehensively details the region's link to water with whaling and shipwreck history among the absorbing themes.
Fort Queenscliff museum, Bellarine Peninsula: Explodes with fascinating yarns about the area’s military past.
National Wool Museum, Geelong: A seriously good find, rammed with a massive exhibit range.
Geelong Gaol Museum: Has captured a wealth of fascinating tales over a period of almost 150 years.
With so much magnificent scenery, picnic spots abound. Apollo Bay, Lorne, Port Campbell, and Geelong are among locations with inviting foreshore areas; the latter has a series of colourful bollards to admire on a stroll.
Warrnambool Botanic Gardens and Geelong Botanic Gardens are both tranquil and picturesque and are perfect for a relaxing arvo.
While in Warrnambool, pick up a heritage map and wander the streets to admire striking old buildings.
Nearby Port Fairy also teems with heritage-listed structures and a great wharf, both of which are well-suited to walks.
For most of the way from Apollo Bay to just before the Twelve Apostles, there isn’t much ocean to sight. Instead, the windy road is dominated by a sea of green, passing through soaring trees and rainforest. When the sun shines through narrow gaps onto the road, it’s a magical scene and a spectacular contrast to what lies ahead at the famous rock formations.
Palate-pleasing goodies are dotted throughout, and following a designated trail is your best bet. Call into a visitor centre or download maps for the Otway Harvest Trail, the 12 Apostles Gourmet Trail, or the Bellarine Taste Trail. They're bursting with local produce outlets: cheese, chocolate, ice cream, fruit, seafood, whisky, wine, and much more are on the menu.
Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula boast fantastic wineries: Jack Rabbit Vineyard earns special mention, particularly for its sensational views.
Further west and inland, Otway Estate at Barongarook has a vast range in pleasant surrounds. And don’t miss Basalt Wines near Port Fairy.
This region is dotted with first-rate craft breweries, including: