The Great Ocean Road curves along the coast from Torquay, passing through Anglesea, Lorne, Apollo Bay, Port Campbell, and Peterborough and ending in Warrnambool. This road offers one of the most breathtaking views through Australia. Many things can be seen along the 106 km drive – from cliffs, ocean vistas, beaches and rainforests to incredible rock formations. And if you want to see the most interesting part of the road, you should begin from Princeton (Port Campbell National Park) and drive 27 km to Peterborough. Although rather small, the settlements along the road have many available accommodations.
If you want to fully enjoy your trip along the Great Ocean Road, you’d better drive calmly and stop whenever you wish to in order to look at everything you like. The most beautiful attractions start from the Port Campbell National Park, so don’t worry if you don’t find anything that interests you until you reach it.
If you travel to Adelaide, you might spend one night along the road and another one in the Coorong (South Australia). The first attraction you might want to look at is Torquay – a town perfect for surfing which main surf beach is better than the one in Lorne. In the town you can visit Surfworld Museum, Surfcity Plaza and Beach Road (West Torquay), where you can see exhibits connected to surfing history, design and the best surfers in the world. And if you want to surf yourself, you should definitely go to Bells Beach, just down the road, which is widely famous for its gorgeous waves.
Lorne, which is farther down the road, is perfect for shopping and offers good accommodation for the night. And from this town to Apollo Bay you can enjoy one of the most fascinating parts of the road. In this section the road curves and twist in a narrow space – from one side is the ocean and from the other – a steep cliff. Apollo Bay used to be a whaling station and now is a nice town with beautiful beaches and cheaper than Lorne.
The next attraction on the road is the Angahook-Lorne State Park, which preserves a large part of the coast of the Otway Ranges (from Aireys Inlet to Kennett River).
In the park there are many marked paths in the rainforest and picnics spots in Shelly Beach, Elliot River and Blanket Bay. You can also admire the variety of the wildlife there.
Around 13 km after Apollo Bay, off the main road, you can stop by and see the Maits Rest Rainforest Boardwalk.
A few kilometers along the main road you will see an unpaved road, leading to the town of Beech Forest and passing through Hopetoun Falls and Beauchamp Falls. If you follow the main road for another 7 km and then continue 15 km on an unpaved road again, you will reach the Cape Otway Lighthouse. It was built on a windswept headland in 1848 by convicts. The lighthouse is 100 m tall and is available for tourist visits. If you continue driving along the main road, you will pass through the Horden Vale area and then reach Glenaire. Only 6 km away from this town you will find good places for surfing and sleep in Johanna. After Glenaire, the road continues till Lavers Hill – once a timber village. There you can visit the small Melba Gully State Park (5 km away), where you can enjoy the glow-worms during the night or walk on paths among the rainforest during the day. An attraction here is also one of the last gum trees, left by loggers – a giant tree, 27 m in circumference and around 300 years old.
In the beginning of the Shipwreck Coast you will find the next place of interest – Moonlight Head. The coast is 120 km long and is notorious for the facts that there shipwrecked more than 80 ships for only 40 years in the beginning of the previous century.
Near the Moonlight Head there is the Great Ocean Road Wildlife Park, which is also worth visiting.
A little while after Princetown starts the greatest attraction of the journey - Port Campbell National Park. There you can see some gorgeous rock formations. First you should visit the Gibsons Steps which lead to a marvelous beach with a view of the Twelve Apostles.
There are perfect places for taking pictures of the Twelve Apostles which in fact are rock pillars, standing in the near the shore. You can also visit the Loch Ard Gorge, which bears the name of a ship that wrecked there and had 2 survivors. At the end of the step there you can see limestone stalactites and a cave.
Next is Port Campbell where you can shop, rest or spend the night. From there you can visit Timboon and the Timboon Farmhouse Cheesery. Along the road there still are many attractions – the Two Mile Bay, The Arch, the London Bridge (which centre crashed in the water in 1990), the Blowhole (which throws up streams of water) and the Grotto (a rock formation carved by the water). You can also visit Port Fairy, a beautiful fishing town.
A while after the town of Peterborough, the main road leads to Warrnambool. It afterwards joins the Princes Highway which leads to Adelaide
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