If you want to do a spot of touring you can’t find a drive much better than Victoria’s Great Ocean Road. Famous for its steep inclines, spectacular views, Bells Beach and the Twelve Apostles, the Great Ocean Road hugs the southern coast of Victoria for 263km (163m).
For the best experience it pays to be organised before embarking on your road trip. Not only will it make the drive more enjoyable, but it will also help you get the most out of your time on the Great Ocean Road (GOR). We’ve put together a few tips to help smooth the way:
1. Be aware of the distance and time needed to travel and take in the sights
If you are traveling from Melbourne it can take a good hour and a half to reach the official start of the GOR. Set off early and stop for breakfast on the waterfront in Geelong, or save time and bypass Geelong and head straight for the surf-coast towns of Torquay or Anglesea.
2. When to travel
The GOR is at its best during the spring, summer and autumn months and it stays popular well into April. The Road will be much busier during the Australian summer holidays (late Dec to late Jan) and at this time (and at Easter and public holidays) you’ll need to make sure you book any accommodation well ahead of time.
3. Plan your meals
Depending on which season you travel, you might wish to plan or book your lunch and dinner spots along the way, or take your own provisions. Options for refreshments become limited to the towns once you hit the GOR.
4. Be safe
The Road’s hairpin bends and steep inclines make it popular with motorbike riders and boy racers, and occasionally you may feel pressured to drive faster than you might like. The speed limit never exceeds 80kph (50mph), however, and there are several viewing spots where you can stop and let faster traffic pass.
5. Book ahead
If you want to drive as far as the Twelve Apostles in one day then you are best to stay overnight at nearby Port Campbell or double back and stay at Apollo Bay. Alternatively, Lorne, the most popular town on the GOR, offers a good range of accommodation options. Because of Lorne’s distance from the Twelve Apostles, however, it is better to plan an overnight stay before touring the rest of the Road.