5 Essential Stops Along the Great Ocean Road

Whether you are a local or visiting, traveling along the Great Ocean Road and experiencing the Victorian coastline of Australia will give you miles of picturesque sandy beaches, lush green rainforests, and scenic ocean views.

Australia's Great Ocean Road
Great Ocean Road (Australia) – Photo Courtesy: Larry W. Lo @ Flickr

But the drive along the roads that are cut into the cliffs, isn’t enough for travelers looking for a unique experience. Some stops along the way are not to be missed and will guarantee the most out of this memorable journey.

Bells Beach

Australia's Great Ocean Road - Bells Beach
Bells Beach – Photo Courtesy: Thomas Jupe

Starting in Torquay and driving through to Warrnambool, at the western end of the Great Ocean Road, the first stop along the way is Bells Beach. This surfer’s paradise is iconic to beach lovers from around the world. It’s only a short trip from Torquay, but well worth the photo stop. Grab a coffee at one of its trendy cafes and take in the waves that pro surfers tackle on a daily basis. From Bells Beach sit back and enjoy the drive along the magical historical coastline. Your next stop will be the Sheoak Falls, around an hour into your journey.

Sheoak Falls and Teddy’s Lookout

Australia's Great Ocean Road - Sheoak Falls
Sheoak Falls – Photo Courtesy: Drew @ Deviant Art

Not far from the Wye River Township, the Sheoak Falls is a short detour that will take you to the crystal clear waters of a waterfall cascading 15 meters down into a water pool below. It is one of many experiences along the Great Ocean Road, which will show you the contrasting waters of the ocean and the rainforests.

From Sheoak Falls you can also go the short distance to Teddy’s Lookout to experience the grandeur of gorges, valleys, and Saint George River. From here, you are only 15 short minutes away from the small coastal town of Wye River.

Wye River Township

Australia's Great Ocean Road - Wye River
Wye River – Photo Courtesy: Great Ocean Road Real Estate

The Wye River Township is another popular surfing destination. This is the ideal location to take a break from the driving and unwind at one of its pubs or cafes. Take to the beach along this strip or, alternately, enjoy the ancient Otway Rainforests. If you’re partial to a good seafood meal, try the Fisherman’s Co-ops.

The Twelve Apostles

Australia's Great Ocean Road - The Twelve Apostles
The Twelve Apostles – Photo Courtesy: Aral Bereux

Let’s admit it. The main reasons you drive along the Great Ocean Road are the rugged coastline, miles of beach and rainforest, and… the Twelve Apostles. Just a short drive from Apollo Bay, the Twelve Apostles is best seen in early morning when the sun is breaking, or at dusk.

The massive limestone structures jutting out from the Southern Ocean are a sight to see, leaving the most professional photographer breath taken. Not only are the Apostles worth the view, but the colours of the cliffs, as the sun sets, are worth experiencing. Feeling hungry? Head to Port Campbell for dinner.

Port Campbell

Australia's Great Ocean Road - Port Campbell
Port Campbell – Photo Courtesy: Explore Great Ocean Road

Often overlooked, Port Campbell is around a 20 minute drive from the Twelve Apostles. This small port town along the seaside is nestled in a crook and offers some of the best food in the area while enjoying the sounds of the ocean.

Opt for the typical fish and chips by the beachside, homemade treats from one of the many cafes, or dinner at one of the restaurants. If you’re visiting during the day, be sure to pop into the galleries where local artists present their talents.

The Great Ocean Road offers a plethora of stops along the way to assist in your indulgence of the Great Australian landscapes. It never fails to please.

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