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20 of the Most Breathaking Stops on the Great Ocean Road

One of the best things to do in Australia is driving the Great Ocean Road. This Australian road trip takes you on a remarkable journey across the southeastern coast of Australia. You’ll travel the 243 kilometres between the Victorian towns of Torquay to Allansford. The Great Ocean road was built by returned soldiers between 1919 and 1932 in dedication to the soldiers killed in World War 1, making it the world’s largest war memorial. The terrain along this road is ever changing and so are the views, setting up absolutely epic scenes all different from the last.

The Great Ocean Road is packed with attractions, camping spots and genuine reasons to stop, making it the perfect Australian campervan road trip. It takes three days to drive but can be stretched out a little longer so you can soak in the sights. So what are you waiting for? Rent a travel van from Mighty Campers and explore Australia using this Great Ocean Road trip itinerary.


Reasons why driving the Great Ocean Road is worth it

With so much to see on this stretch of road, you will likely be stopping often. And what better way to experience all the Great Ocean Road has to offer than in a campervan? This will give you the freedom to stop at any spot you want to and even stay at some of your favourites along the way.

You’ll see iconic spots of Australia: famous beaches like Bells Beach and Apollo Bay, enchanting walks in Grampians National Park or the Kennett River Koala Walk and unforgettable scenes such as The Twelve Apostles or Split Point Lighthouse. There’s plenty to see and with a campervan, plenty of time to see it all. Read on for our 20 of the most breathtaking stops on the Great Ocean Road.

Top 20 Stops along the Great Ocean Road

1. Torquay

Torquay is the gateway to the Great Ocean Road and the home to some of Australia’s best surf culture. It’s the birthplace of internationally regarded brands like Rip Curl and Quiksilver. During the Easter break, Torquay is the host to the annual Rip Curl Pro, where surfers from around the world come to compete. No matter where you go in Torquay, it’s hard to escape the surfing vibe and lifestyle, with the town also being home to the Surf World Surfing Museum, full of pictures and hands-on displays. But, don’t worry, if surfing isn’t quite your thing, take a stroll down the beaches below towering cliffs or take in the views from the top, along the Surf Coast Walk.

Torquay Beach  - Visit Victoria Content Hub.jpg Image Source: Visit Victoria Content Hub

2. Bells Beach

A short 5 km southwest of Torquay is Bells Beach. Bells Beach is regarded as one of the most famous beaches in the world for surfing. The cliffs rising above the beach create a natural amphitheatre, perfect for wave-watching and viewing the surfers below.

Bells Beach is only suitable for very experienced surfers due to the size of the wave sets. So keep this in mind if you are thinking about heading into the water. Why not take a walk along the beach and take in a bit of surfing history instead!

3. Anglesea

Just 10 minutes west from Torquay is Anglesea, a place full of white beaches, inquisitive wildlife and activities galore. Anglesea’s main beach is perfect for swimming, surfing and relaxing - it’s also perfect to take the kids along because of the protected swimming area at the nearby Point Roadknight beach. If you’re not so keen on the beach, the walking trails are a retreat into the woodlands, full of vibrant flowers and local kangaroos and wallabies bouncing around. If you’ve brought your mountain bike or canoe along, the Anglesea river and Anglesea Bike Park are there for your service.

Anglesea Bike Path - Visit Victoria Content Hub.jpg Image Source: Visit Victoria Content Hub

4. Split Point Lighthouse

Split Point Lighthouse is known for its rich history and iconic views - a full 360 degree view from the top. The lighthouse was built in 1891, originally called Eagles Nest Point and still to this day guides sailors along the deadly Shipwreck Coast. Book yourself a guided tour (A$10.00 per person) or take it at your own pace. There's a lot to see from the top of the coastline, perhaps even a pod of dolphins.

5. Lorne

With a relaxed Mediterranean atmosphere, strong community and white beaches, Lorne has been a holidaymaker's favourite spot for more than a century. The Lorne Surf Beach is the only patrolled beach in the town and is perfect to cool off while feeling safe and protected. Beaches aside, Lorne is well known for its great community and township, there are great eateries, boutique gift stores and cellar doors all along the main strip. Pop in to Ipsos Restaurant and Bar for a taste of Greek-inspired cuisine and a glass of wine and then back down the strip for a stroll and gander of the artsy offerings of Lorne.

6. Erskine Falls

The Erskine Falls are a 15-minute drive from Lorne and you can park up to 30 metres away. The waterfall plunges down a 30 metre drop, making the Erskine Falls the most popular waterfall in the Otway Ranges. The Erskine Falls make for a great half-day trip away from the sandy beaches if you’re staying in Lorne or a nearby town. It’s a truly refreshing getaway.

Erskine Falls - Visit Victoria Content Hub.jpg Image Source: Visit Victoria Content Hub

7. Teddy’s Lookout

At the top end of George Street at the back of Lorne, you’ll find a scenic spot called Teddy’s Lookout. The lookout watches over sweeping, coastal views of the surf breaking into the mouth of the Saint George River. Once you reach the top viewing platform, you can venture further down for a more mountainous view. Watch as the Saint George River flows through valleys and gorges. It’s a worthwhile experience and won’t take up too much of your time.

8. Kennett River Koala Walk

The Kennett River Koala Walk is the best place to see Koalas on the Great Ocean Road. Koalas are solitary creatures that spend the majority of their time eating at the top of a eucalyptus tree. What makes the Kennett River Koala Walk so special is it’s one of the few places where you can find koalas living in large numbers. It’s a 35-minute drive west from Lorne, and you can park your campervan at Kafe Koala, and grab a coffee before embarking on your koala spotting trek. Another fun activity here for the whole family is buying bird seeds from the café. There are exotic birds galore that hangout around the Koala Kafe for you to feed - beak to beak.

Koala Kennett River - Visit Victoria Content Hub.jpg Image Source: Visit Victoria Content Hub

9. Apollo Bay

The quaint village of Apollo Bay sits in the foothills of the Otways. Apollo Bay is home to crystal clear waterfalls and a golden sand beach with inviting waters. This is the perfect spot for a swim, paddle or surf. Not only is the beach great for a walk and a swim, but also for a sunset beach ride on horseback, there’s even a seal colony to have a look at. The town itself is full of teahouses, galleries and cafes, perfect for grabbing a treat. If you find the time, take a treetop walk along the Otway Fly and get a bird’s eye view of the magnificent Otway Ranges.

10. Cape Otway

If you’re looking for a day hike or a short walk, Cape Otway is the place for you, sitting on the Great Ocean Walk. Native wildlife is everywhere around the area, especially exotic birds, koalas and wallabies, a favourite attraction of tourists. The Cape Otway Lighthouse is an absolute must-see, as it’s the longest serving lighthouse in all of Australia, dating back to 1846 when it became necessary for a lighthouse due to the wreckage at sea. If you’re looking for an overnight stay, check out the Blanket Bay campgrounds, tucked away in a protected spot from the wind. It’s perfect for those travellers looking for a more secluded escape from the busier campsites.

11. Maits Rest

Follow the wooden boardwalk through the rainforest at Mait’s Rest in the Otways for a self-guided tour. The boardwalk is built over green fern gardens, shadowed by ancient, towering rainforest trees. Discover the local wildlife, keep your eyes peeled for swamp wallabies, koalas, ring-tailed possums and grey kangaroos. If you listen out you may even hear a yellow-bellied glider howling. The walk is a gentle 800 metres and is a 30-minute return walk. A nice easy stroll through Australia's native beauty.

Maits Rest - Visit Victoria Content Hub.jpg Image Source: Visit Victoria Content Hub

12. Grampians National Park

The Gariwerd Aboriginal people have a close and natural connection to the beauty and landscape of Grampians National Park. It is home to the largest number of significant and ancient aboriginal rock art paintings and shelters in southern Australia. Grampians has world-famous hiking trails, with majestic waterfalls, wildflowers, all sorts of native wildlife and amazing mountain panoramas. If you’re an experienced walker, take on the challenge of some of the overnight hikes such as The Fortress or Mt Thackeray Overnight Hikes.

13. Gibson Steps

70 metres up, overlooking Gog and Magog (the nicknames given to the limestone stacks rising from the sea) are vertical cliffs, looking out over the horizon. The beach below is stunning to see, and now accessible thanks to the Gibson Steps. The steps were carved into the cliff face by local settler Hugh Gibson, who worked on the route originally used by the Kirrae Whurrong people. The view from the top is sensational, and down below is magnificent when you realise how large these limestone stacks truly are.

14. The Twelve Apostles

The Twelve Apostles, just a kilometre down from Gog and Magog are a collection of limestone stacks off the shore of Port Campbell National Park. Though there never were twelve stacks, seven of the original eight still remain strong, providing an unforgettable landscape for travellers to see. The stacks stand at 50 metres tall, formed by erosion from the waves and made of limestone that was deposited around 15 - 5 million years ago. The Twelve Apostles are a true wonder, and an absolute must see for those who can.

Twelve Apostles - Visit Victoria Content Hub.jpg Image Source: Visit Victoria Content Hub

15. Loch Ard Gorge

A few minutes down the road from The Twelve Apostles is Loch Ard Gorge, the sight of the most famous shipwreck in the aptly named Shipwreck Coast. The Loch Ard crashed into Mutton Bird Island in 1878, leaving just two teenage survivors who became the talk of the English-speaking world.

Every Spring and Summer, Mutton Bird Island is home to a colony of short-tailed shearwaters. Everyday at dusk, the birds flock home to feed their chicks in their thousands - an incredible natural phenomenon to see before heading to Port Campbell for dinner and perhaps an overnight stay.

16. London Bridge

Another interesting rock formation along the Great Ocean Road is the London Bridge also amongst the Port Campbell National Park. An incredibly popular tourist destination, the London Bridge rock formation doesn’t come without its own interesting history. Before 1990, London Bridge was literally a land bridge from the mainland, but famously part of the ‘bridge’ collapsed into the ocean, leaving a couple stranded there for hours. There are two viewing platforms for the London Bridge, both situated close to the carpark. It’s recommended you go along at sunset or sunrise; natural wonders like this are better in stunning lighting and there’s bound to be fewer people.

London Bridge - Visit Victoria Content Hub.jpg Image Source: Visit Victoria Content Hub

17. The Grotto

After seeing all these other phenomenal rock formations on the way, you might be thinking you’ve seen enough - The Grotto will change your mind. Part blowhole, part archway and part cave, it’s a surreal spot to sit down and soak in your surroundings. The Grotto is accessible via a decked staircase that leads down from the top viewing platform, meaning you can choose whether to gaze from above or experience it at eye level. The best view is from the lower platform, looking at the horizon, pools and all the rock formations at one go.

18. Bay of Islands

Another popular attraction on the Great Ocean Road is the Bay of Islands. As magnificent as the coastline is, one thing to keep your eyes peeled for is the colony of rare black-faced cormorants as the Bay of Islands is home to the only marine cormorant nest in Victoria. Along with these rare birds, you can also marvel at rare plant life, such as the sun orchid and the spider orchid. Once done sightseeing, you could head down to Peterborough for a 9 hole game of golf or a nice sit down meal and drink.

19. Childers Cove

Childers Cove is 19 km from Peterborough near the Bay of Islands and is a mesmerising sight. It is named, much like a few of the other sights along the Great Ocean Road, after the wooden barque Children was wrecked. What makes Childers Cove so special, is that while all the other tourists and holidaymakers will be at the Twelve Apostles, you’ll likely have this entire beach to yourself. It’s the perfect spot for an idyllic beach walk in the serenity.

Childers Cove - Visit Victoria Content Hub.jpg Image Source: Visit Victoria Content Hub

20. Hopetoun Falls

If you’re still keen on, or yet to embrace some of the beautiful greenery that the Great Ocean Road has to offer, then look no further than Hopetoun Falls. The water falls 30 metres into the Aire River in Great Otway National Park, accessible by a series of around 200 stairs. The stairs wind through glades of ferns and trees and is a half hour return trip. The upper platform however is an easy 20 metre walk from where you’ve parked the campervan.

The best way to see and do more is with a Mighty Camper

It’s no lie that the Great Ocean Road is full of some of the most immaculate displays of wildlife, scenic perches and natural wonders. So, there’s no reason you should be driving past them. Not all the sights are the same, some are walks dedicated to viewing wildlife, and some are dedicated to the views or the waterfall and cliff faces above. It’s a huge variety and are spectacles you don’t want to miss out on.

The beauty of having a campervan is the ability to stop and stay and soak in the beautiful landscapes around you, without the feeling of being rushed. Book your Mighty camper today in a branch or online. Get more travel inspiration on our blog.