20 MUST STOP SPOTS - EXPERIENCE THE GREAT OCEAN ROAD AGAIN

by GREAT OCEAN ROAD

We are so excited to be able to welcome our regional visitors back. Welcome you back to re-live those cherished memories of the coast, or maybe you’ve heard a call to explore and create some new ones 

Come and reconnect with your friends and family you haven’t seen for a while, with those towns you love, that tucked away café with the best coffee – it’s all here waiting, just for you.  

It’s time to experience the Great Ocean Road again.

 

1. The world-renown Bells Beach for massive swell 

With its big swell and sweeping cliff-faceBells is an iconic spot to catch a wave or even the perfect possie to watch local surfers do their thing. You can also venture over to one of the other breaks nearby; Winkipop and Jan Juc are a couple of other local faves. 
 

2. Surf Coast Walk with those sweeping clifftop views 

Through bushland and then out again into the open sweeping views of the Southern Ocean, this walk will never tireThe Surf Coast Walk in full is 44km, stretching from Torquay through Anglesea and finishing at Aireys Inlet. This walk is also broken up into 12 manageable trails with carparking and easy access to each. Discover traditional Wathaurung country and abundant wildlife. Pick out a few of the shorter walks, book somewhere cosy to end your days walking in comfort and make a weekend of it.  

 

3. Adventures in Anglesea 

Anglesea is the place for family adventureTeach the kids to ride a bike down the easy path that follows the river, hit the mountain bike trails at Anglesea Bike Park or let them run wild on the beach 

Anglesea River is a perfect spot for fishing, paddling, relaxing, picnickingplaygrounding and taking the furry, four-legged family member for a walkThere are some great sheltered spots to teach the kids to surf too, like Point Roadknight. 

 

4. The iconic Split Point Lighthouse 

Driving around the bend from Angleseathe iconic Split Point Lighthouse suddenly comes into view, stood proudly on the edge of the cliff. When was the last time you stopped to take this all in? There are some beautiful walks close by and even some rockpools underneath to explore if the tide is out.  

 

5. Teddy’s Lookout (Do you know how Teddys got its name?) 

There are a few different stories behind how old Teddy's Lookout got its name and this is just one. 

During construction of the Great Ocean Road, a Ted Babington was contracted to supply and deliver timber for bridges. Ted would cart timber from St George River Mill with his two drivers, Ted Hogan and Ted Bolger. After a steep ascent, they would rest the horses at a high point where they could also see if anyone else was coming up the hill. This spot was then known as Teddy’s Lookout. 

Story from Meryl Inderberg, granddaughter of Ted Babington  

 

6. Stroll through Lorne 

Lorne is a vibrant hub of activity, where the shops and cafes along Mountjoy Parade meet the sea and are backed by rising hills and forest. Lorne is the perfect spot for a sleepover given how much there is to do in and around LorneYou may have seen Erskine Falls in your time, but a little-known fact is that there are 10 waterfalls within 10 kilometres of Lorne, yes, 10! Time to tick them all off that list. 

 

7. Stunning serenity in Wye River 

The stretch of coastline between Lorne and Apollo Bay is some of the most picturesque in the region. The Great Ocean Road hugs the cliff-face as it winds through the Great Otway National Park and rolling farmland. Wye River is the perfect place to set your family up by the beach to do little day trips and explore Lorne and Apollo Bay. 

 

8. Koalas at Kennett River  

Native animals are certainly not shy in these parts. The kids will love spying up at the trees trying to spot a furry grey lump (also known as a koala). Just remember that it’s important we all help to keep our wildlife wild by not feeding them. 

 

9. Watching the local fishing boats come in at Apollo Bay Harbour  

Watch the fishing boats bringing in the catch of the day or drop in a line yourself. On Saturday mornings you can buy fresh fish off the boat from local fishermen or just tuck in at the Apollo Bay Fisherman’s Co-op, where you can buy fresh seafood including crayfish and of course, fish and chips. 

 

10. That view from Marriners Lookout in Apollo Bay 

Walk Marriners Hill to  for a panoramic view over Apollo Bay. Local tip: sunrise and sunset are particularly beautifulWhen the sea and breeze are right and if it’s really clear, in front of the lookout in the bay, you can see the shadow on the seafloor and the town’s most famous shipwreck, the SS Casino which sank in 1932. 

 

11. Pay homage to Victoria’s oldest working lightstation at Cape Otway 

Where the Southern Ocean and Bass Strait collide sits Cape Otway Lighstation, the oldest surviving lighthouse in mainland Australia built in 1848Located a short drive off the Great Ocean Road through serene forests where you’re almost guaranteed to see koalas, it’s worth the visit, you’ll feel like you’re at the end of the earth! 

 

12. Immerse yourself in the magic of the Otways  

The Otways are always vibrant and beaming with life and especially during the cooler months. The waterfalls are flowing, the ferns flourishing, the Redwoods steaming from the morning sun on the damp bark and the mountain bike tracks in Forrest are waiting patiently for the adventurer.  

 

13. Spot a platypus at Lake Elizabeth 

Lake Elizabeth, not far from Forrest, is another tucked away gem in the Otways. A still, fresh morning, fog on the water weaving its way throughout the drowned, petrified trees in the lake is eerie yet stunning, there’s just nothing else like it. If you’re lucky, you may be able to spot the local elusive platypus. 

 

14. Discover more to the stunning Port Campbell National Park  

Port Campbell National Park is a special place that holds a few of the most famous Great Ocean Road views. The 12 Apostles, while remarkable, are just one in the collection (but we always think they are worth another visit). Gibson Steps, not far from the 12 Apostles, boasts a stunning view while being able to walk along the beach for that special photo op. Port Campbell National Park will always impress, no matter how many times you return. 

 

15. Watch the sunset over the Bay of Islands  

Sunrises and sunsets are always special along the Great Ocean Road but watching the sunset over the Bay of Islands in Peterborough is something againThe pale limestone of this section of coast reflects a different quality of light and serves up superior photo opportunities in wintry, overcast conditions. 

 

16. Whale watching in Warrnambool 

It’s safe to say that just about everyone’s favourite thing about winter is that its whale watching season! The Great Ocean Road is such unique place where you can see Humpbacks, Southern Rights, Blue Whales and even the occasional Orca within 100m from the lookout platform at Logan’s Beach. Sign up to receive whale sighting notifications so you’re always one step ahead! 

 

17. A volcanic history at Tower Hill 

Arguably the regions best kept secret is Tower Hill, resting inside a dormant volcano formed around 30,000 years ago. The volcanic cones rise from a lakebed in a formation known as a nested maar, which was created by a series of volcanic eruptions and events over thousands of years. The raw beauty of this part of the Great Ocean Road region really is an untouched wonderland. Discover the geological, cultural and wildlife wonder. 

 

18. Wildlife and winding pathways at Griffiths Island, Port Fairy 

Griffiths Island is probably best known for its lighthouse in Port Fairy, but it is also a sanctuary for plants, birds and other wildlife. The island itself is only small, but it makes for a lovely 5km stroll from Port Fairy 

 

19. A petrified forest in Cape Bridgewater 

Take in the surreal landscape of the petrified forest which looks like a forest of treeturned into rock and watch as the sea spray blasts metres skyward at Bridgewater BlowholesCape Bridgewater is the raw, wilder side of the Great Ocean Road and well worth the trip to experience something truly distinctive. Discover the fascinating attractions of the west. 

 

20. Rivers and caves in Nelson 

From the breathtaking volcanic landscape in Portland, head further west to meet awe-inspiring caves in Nelson by the Glenelg River. The western stretch of the Great Ocean Road truly is wild and unique. In natural bush surrounds of the Lower Glenelg National Park, you’ll find Princess Margaret Rose Cave, known for its extensive decoration of hanging stalactitesrising stalagmites and cave coral 

 

 

We all have our favourite places we love to return to, our home away from home but maybe it’s time to create some new memories, drive that little bit further, to stay that little bit longer. We hope to see you soon. 

About the Blogger

GREAT OCEAN ROAD

CONTRIBUTOR

A blog contributed by a weekend adventurer, casual walker, coffee lover and market enthusiast. Enjoying days along the Great Ocean Road.

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